As you may notice, you’re no longer reading this on the functionally designed hugo site that I had. To be honest I really didn’t like the design and didn’t want to spend the time to build out the Gatsby site that I alluded to in a previous post.
I want write words, not design a new site. So here I am, back with my old enemy WordPress because let’s be honest, it has the largest eco-system of probably any software out there.
As painful as it can be to manage WordPress, it actually has a whole lot going for it.
- Pretty editor
- A million themes out there (some of which are really good)
- A million plugins (some of which are really good)
- Simple customization without having to write React
Truthfully, the part that has always been the most painful to me is the running and maintaining of the application itself. As a DevOps professional I know there is no fun in the tech stack ecosystem of WordPress. Once you’ve got it running, it is usually solid, but you don’t want to have to back in and fix it.
Traditionally, I would use Digital Ocean to host WP and it would work fine. They have a couple of good quickstarts using either OpenLiteSpeed or Apache to run WP and they are pretty point and click.
But this time I found a better solution.
A better solution
This time I opted to use a managed solution rather than self-managing. There are a gazillion WordPress hosts out there, because truthfully if you spend the time to setup the automation up front, things will just work and you’ll make $$$.
A problem I have always had is that sites like this will never have huge traffic, yet looking at offerings like WPEngine the starting price is $28/month for up to 25k visits/month. That’s a lot for a personal blog.
Alternatively, there are a ton of really cheap options like SiteGround which always get rave reviews, but when I’ve tried them it is a miserable experience. For the average person who wants to setup a site I’m sure they work fine. But as a technologist I hate using crappy software.
I got lucky today when I stumbled across Closte, a new kind of WordPress host. They have what must be a novel idea in the WP hosting world: pay-as-you-go pricing. You only pay for the resources that you use. As someone who is used to paying for the resources they actually consume with cloud providers at work, it is refreshing to see a similar model for WP hosting.
I just started using it today, so obviously I can’t speak for the long term of how Closte performs. But I have high hopes for them. I’ve worked with a couple of tech analysts who said that pay-by-the-minute pricing for SaaS offerings is a huge plus, so I think these folks are on the right track.
A really cool migration
So typically with this kind of migration I would just point my DNS to my server hosting WP and set it up, not really worrying about the fact that someone might come across my site during the setup. But I checked my stats today and there were actually some people checking some pages out (honestly surprising), so I decided not to pull the rug out from under them.
With Closte, I was able to create a new site with logandonley.com as the target domain, but I didn’t change my DNS records yet. Then I used their staging site feature where I setup the site until I was satisfied, and then pressed the big push to live site button. Once the push was successful, I changed the DNS over, and boom, the site you see here was ready to go.
In the past I’ve tried other services’ staging environments, but it never worked so smoothly. I will be doing that again for whenever I inevitably redesign/re-theme this site.