keithRozario.com has a new look, and I can hardly contain my excitement.
The blog still retains all its previous content and more glorious content will be on its way, for now take a moment to savour the brand new theme which hopefully is cleaner and easier on the eyes than my previous blogs design. Also enjoy my complementary TLS connection (notice the httpS connection instead of just http) which means you now have a fully encrypted tunnel from your browser all the way to my new server in Singapore, and to round things up, the blog should be much faster now that its hosted it’s own dedicated server.
This blog started one slow day at work more than 4 years ago, when I decided to buy the keithrozario.com domain for my birthday (yes I give myself birthday presents), and from there I decided to host my own blog on an awesome web hosting company called nearlyfreespeech. Nearlyfreespeech are super awesome, and you can see why I love them here, here and here.
But Nearlyfreespeech was pretty bare bones, they expected you do to a lot of stuff on your own, which I didn’t have the skills or inclination to do, so 2 years into starting the blog, I moved a WpWebhost. WPWebhost bill themselves as a WordPress hosting service, which I took to mean they’d look after all my wordpress hosting headaches, but alas I was still expected to perform my own updates and troubleshooting–which really didn’t make it any different from the 101 other hosting providers that didn’t bill themselves as WordPress hosting.
So I decided to make a switch.
I wanted to get back full control of my blog, and I truly wanted to setup a website with SSL. I’ve been a long proponent of SSL, as you can see from my previous posts here, here and here, and so it didn’t make sense that I was preaching SSL on the one hand, but not implementing it on my blog.
But there’s a problem, implementing SSL isn’t as straightforward as you’d think it would be, but in order to practice what I preach, I bit the bullet, took a couple of hours out of my day and just went ahead and hosted did just that.
Part of the difficulty in implementing SSL was that most hosting providers don’t give you the SSL option (at least not cheaply), so you’d normally have to buy your own server and implement SSL on your own from the ground up. Implementing SSL was a one-time thing, but maintaining your own server takes more time and effort than most bloggers are willing to sacrifice.
This meant I’d spend a teensie bit more time on the administrative task of running the server, rather than focusing on writing content for the blog, and for most non-tech bloggers it really doesn’t make any sense. But I AM a tech blogger, and I’d like to take myself seriously (even if no one else is)
So I got got an account at DigitalOcean.com, they’re a pretty decent cloud provider currently making waves in the cloud computing arena (see what I did the puns there). They’re cheaper than Amazon, and products are more clearer and cleanly priced, if you wonder what clean pricing is, just try to figure out how much hosting on Amazon will cost you, and then you’ll know.
Spinning up an Ubuntu Instance of WordPress on DigitalOcean took me less than 60 seconds, but migrating all the stuff from my older blog, and fixing all the errors and issues that were piling up since I started this blog took much longer.
Let this be a lesson to you bloggers, avoid using short-codes, and avoid installing too many plugins on your website. Less is better, and ultimately a lot of plugin related features aren’t needed anyway.
In any case, for $5/month, I get to host my website on my on server, which has 1 CPU Core, 512MB of RAM and 20GB of SSD space–you could opt for more power by jumping to $10/month, but my blog with 30,000 unique visitors a month is getting by just fine on this small machine. Plus since the resources all belong to me, I get better performance than my time with WPWebHost where I was a shared server.
In a future post, I’d show you how to setup the SSL on digitalocean the ‘proper’ way. For now though, thanks for stopping by, and you have any bugs/comments on the new design, fire away in the comments below.