December 28, 2018

Hello World, it's an actual post!!

Just finished setting up my blog, something that I've wanted to do for a while but have procrastinated for the past three years. It's going to be a place where I write down my thoughts and document stuff for future self.

I've been looking around for an open source, lightweight, and clean blogging platform for some time. The two final contenders were Ghost and Grav, but I settled on Ghost just because there was an official Docker image available and themes that I liked. The theme is currently a lightly modified version of Crisp.

I normally host my stuff on DigitalOcean because of their simple web UI, but unfortunately even the closest region to New Zealand, Singapore, still has >150ms latency which is a bit annoying when working over SSH. An Amazon Lightsail (baby EC2) instance in Sydney performed much better latency-wise and with comparable pricing and access to other AWS services (might move to RDS) meant I ended up on there. While AWS' control panel is much more confusing than DigitalOcean, once you have your instance there's really no need to visit it again.

Next is setting up the server. With a Docker Compose file written for Ghost, I just needed to setup SSL. jwilder's nginx-proxy and docker-letsencrypt-nginx-proxy-companion  Docker images made it a breeze with service discovery (by listening to the Docker daemon events) and my blog with SSL was all working in a matter of minutes! The last thing was just updating my DNS in CloudFlare and pointing it to the server.

Hopefully my next post won't take another 3 years, so watch this space...