Easily Starting a Blog with a CMS and Web Server 

Apple blossoms and window blinds. Photo by Nicholas Kinar.

This blog is powered using the following technologies.  The software used on the server is Free and Open Source.  

Publii is a static CMS (Content Management System) that can be used to easily create a website.  The CMS is static since the web pages are created using GUI software installed on a development computer (i.e. no scripts).  Web pages can be created using WYSIWYG or the Markdown language.  The web pages are then uploaded to a server.  This is useful since it avoids security holes associated with technologies such as WordPress that are dependent on languages such as PHP and associated databases (i.e. MySQL).  The Publii software can automatically upload the website using SFTP and also allows for deployment to Github and similar software development platforms. 

Caddy is a modern web server written in the Go programming language.  The web server is easily configured using a single file and automatically supports HTTPS by obtaining TLS certificates.  The user of the server does not have to pay for these TLS certificates.  Caddy is amazingly versatile and can also serve as a file server and proxy.  The Caddy server allows a user to easily configure multiple sites.

The site is hosted on an Amazon Lightsail virtual server for only a few dollars per month.  This is the cheapest, easiest and most reliable virtual server service that I have found.  There are website-only services (including some free ones) that can also be used, but I want to have fine-grained control over what runs on the server.  There is also the possibility of hosting more than one site on the same virtual machine.

The domain name was obtained from Namecheap.  This is inexpensive and I have found that the company provides good service and some discounts.

Cloudflare DNS servers are used for faster DNS queries and to block bots and other bad web traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

This article was updated on August 18, 2020

Dr. Nicholas J. Kinar

Dr. Nicholas J. Kinar is a hydrologist and researcher at the University of Saskatchewan. This is a blog of ideas, techniques and things that Nicholas perceives as unsophisticated knowledge in the Homeland of the Métis / Treaty 6 Territory / Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada / Earth. His full name is Nicholas John Stanislaus Kinar. This blog of unsophisticated knowledge is intended to document some information that Nicholas finds useful. However, he does not mind if other people might find this information to be useful as well.