My spiffy new server stack

I like to tinker with new things, and my website is a victim of this, where although I don't regularly post content to it, I'm regularly rebuilding it in different technologies and platforms.

Quite recently this site was running as a modified version of Wordpress running in Google app engine, but it made changes annoying, and had some jank to it. So with an update to wordpress that would require me to make changes all over again, I looked at whether there was a lower maintenance way to get the same result.

This site you're looking at now (as of May 2015) is a result of that.

The Stack

So from the top to the bottom, this is what's being used to drive this site now.

  • Domain registrar: Discountdomains - because it's easy to register, and it's one of the few that allows a .co.nz, I would actually prefer to use hover, but that doesn't support .co.nz domains currently.
  • DNS provider: Cloudflare - I like cloudflares caching and security setup, and it also means it's easy to make dns changes that propogate quickly.
  • Email: Google Apps - I was lucky to have set this up so long ago that I get a free version of it, and it's still one of the best mail providers.
  • Hosting: Openshift by Red Hat - I like the ease of using a platform-as-a-service provider, where I don't have to worry about server updates and maintenance. Openshift is great in that it's stable, and there's a free tier that suits my needs. Technically behind the scenes it's actually hosted on Amazon Web Services.
  • CMS: Ghost - While relatively new, and fairly barebones, Ghost has all the basic stuff I need, with none of the extra cruft that comes along with many of the other CMS's out there. A close runner up was Anchor, but that would have required more setup to get it running on Openshift, and I wanted the most minimal setup possible. Techincally Ghost is Node.js & MySQL.
  • Monitoring: Newrelic - I trust the data that newrelic gives me, it monitors the sites availability and browser load times. I don't need any app or server monitoring since that is looked after by Openshift and Amazon respectively.
  • Analytics: Google Analytics - I probably don't need to explain why.

With this new stack, basically I can write any post in markdown and easily publish it, and any cms changes I can do via git, which then automatically restarts the openshift hosting.

And the only thing I actually have to pay for is the Domain once per year.