Marth's Anime Blog


Friday Fun: Checking under the hood


I was heavily considering writing a post about recent events in anime news and whatnot, but these posts are supposed to be fun, right? Instead, I want to talk about the tech behind my site. Admittedly, this is a topic for which I really don't have a good gauge on what people think, so let me know if I'm boring you with the details. Really, I want to know! And if you want my opinion on anything related to websites, please don't hesitate to ask. If there's any way I can help, I want do so.

As I say in my About page, this blog is built using a framework called Django, which is a framework that uses Python as a programming language. If you're interested, my source code is available here. The main reason I chose to use this framework instead of the more popular language PHP is that I wanted to spend my time learning a language that I could use outside of the context of web development. At the time, I wasn't fully sure I was going to get too far in web development, so you could say I was hedging my bets. This actually came in handy later on as I've built a few scripts in Python to help me import data from WordPress into this blog (like old posts or comments).

The hardware of my blog is hosted on OVH, a suggestion I took from a friend who knows a lot more about web development than I do. If you're curious about the actual specs of the machine, it's VPS SSD 1 on this page. As a word of warning, this kind of server is really barebones, so I wouldn't suggest it if you're new to this. My previous server was hosted on JustHost, which has scripts for installing WordPress or other website systems as well as a web interface for interacting with the server. The reason I changed over was that I no longer needed the scripts and the OVH server was much cheaper. To give raw numbers, the hosting cost of JustHost was about $15/month, which amounts to around $180/year. By comparison, the OVH VPS is $3.50/month, or $42/year.

Which brings me back to WordPress. Despite having created this website, I still think that WordPress is a great discovery platform, which is why I continue to copy my posts on a free WordPress site. Part of the reason I bring this is up is that it ties into my "general updates" on the blog. WordPress has an API available for developers and I've been looking into it as my next big update for the site. I'm not sure what is available to me in the API yet, but my hope is that I'll be able to synchronize comments between my site and the WordPress site, which would allow readers to comment on this site by logging into their WordPress account. Anyway, that's all I got for now. Hope this was fun.



  • Schrodingers Cat

    March 17, 2017, 6:13 p.m.

    that toooooooooooooooooooootally bored me.

    Reply

  • Jessica

    March 17, 2017, 8:15 p.m.

    Haha, I feel sorry for you. XD (Points to the harsh comment above) But I kind of agree. Don't get me wrong; I actually like nitty-gritty details about tech stuff. I enjoy scripting, and building computers, after all. But this post does seem a bit out of place for an anime blog. While there is such a thing as a computer otaku, it's still separate from anime otaku. For future reference, I think the anime news would have been a better option. :3

    Regardless, uh... I'm not sure what to comment. XD It sounds like you may've saved some money from switching to VPS? :D That's nice~

    Reply

    marthaurion

    March 17, 2017, 9:54 p.m.

    nah, that guy's just like that. and when i was re-reading this post after i finished, i realized how overly technical it was, but at that point, i was out of time to switch topics. that news wasn't that important anyway. ive spent a lot of time recently with the tech side of this site, so it's tough to keep things to myself all the time. and the money saved is a great perk.

    Reply

  • chikorita157

    March 19, 2017, 6:02 p.m.

    I have to admit that I have used an unmanaged VPS since 2012 after the big WPWebHost disaster with excessive downtime. Yes there is a learning curve, but it gave me system administration experience since I need to know Linux eventually. The first VPS host I picked was a disaster and eventually went to BuyVM, which is rock solid for the most part. Eventually, I upgraded to a 2 GB KVM VPS with 40 GB of storage because mysql keeps crashing and the high CPU usage. 2GB of RAM allowed for more caching.

    While Wordpress is nice and easy to use and powerful, of course it's high maintenance to keep the site running efficiently. This means caching plugins, database optimizations and making sure there is enough security so your site won't get hacked. Sure, I played around with static site generators like Jekyll (which uses markdown to create pages) for my sites for my programming projects (I develop desktop applications on my free time). Obviously static webpage generator websites have better performance and security wise, but has a bigger learning curve compared to Wordpress. This is why I still use Wordpress.

    Reply

    marthaurion

    March 19, 2017, 8:17 p.m.

    yeah, i did some testing with BuyVM a while back and didnt personally have a problem with it. in the end, i went with a cheaper option and havent had any particular issues yet. still a bit early to tell, though.

    i use markdown for my posts, but i cant really handle static site generators overall. i think the main draw for wordpress for me is the discovery aspect. i think it has a strong platform for readers and bloggers to interact, which is why i want to see if there's a good way for me to integrate the two. it seems like it would be really easy to do with a self-hosted wordpress blog, but i dont want to run two servers at a time, so im hoping the free site's API pans out.

    Reply

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