Johnathan.org

Showing only:
spinupwp_homepage

SpinupWP: The Best Service for Deploying Self-Hosted WordPress

Over the last 10-ish years, I’ve deployed more WordPress sites than I can count. If there’s one service I could have used to make my life easier, it would have been an all-inclusive deployment tool that makes not only servers appear, but a complete and secure WordPress installation, too.

That’s not to say that easy solutions don’t exist. If you’re a Digital Ocean user, you know WordPress-specific images are already a thing and only require a few clicks. The problem there is WordPress isn’t configured with anything useful1 like caching, and passwords are up to RNG.

This is where SpinupWP comes into play, built by the folks at Delicious Brains, makers of the WP Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload Media WordPress plugins. They build amazing plugins, so you know they built a great service, too.

SpinupWP does one thing really damn well: make servers with WordPress pre-installed and pre-configured appear on Linux servers. Out of the box, they hook up with Digital Ocean, but if you have your own box elsewhere, just feed them the IP address and credentials. They’ll handle the rest.

For the sake of my review, we’ll be focusing on Digital Ocean deployments, but most of what I cover is the same elsewhere.

Part 1: Creating the Server

Creating a server starts simply: tell SpinupWP how large and where:

SpinupWP New Server page
The server setup page. This is where you’ll feed things like passwords and database names.

At this stage, you’ll provide things like the database name and it’s password, as well as any SSH keys for access to the server from a Terminal. Make note of the password before continuing.

SpinupWP New Server feed
The setup live feed.

Once all the details are plugged in, SpinupWP will take care of the rest. It starts by using the Digital Ocean API to create a server in the region you selected earlier and with the correct size. Once the server is up, SWP will update and patch the server, then deploy the version of PHP and MySQL you chose. This can take some time, so feel free to come back in a few minutes. They say it can take up to 10 minutes, and I found that often to be the case.

The SpinupWP dashboard with a server ready to accept new WordPress sites.

Just the fact that you can go from zero to a fully-functioning and ready-to-go WordPress server without any sites is awesome. It gets even better when we get to the next half: creating WordPress sites in a few clicks.

Part 2: Creating a WordPress Site

Creating the WordPresss site is also just as easy as the server itself and only requires a few bits of information:

Choose the PHP version and site type (single- or multisite):

Setting the PHP version and WordPress site type.

Name the database and its user and password:

Naming the database, setting the WordPress’ database access username, and the user’s password.

Name the site and create the admin user and its username and password:

Give the site a name, set the admin username, the admin email, and password.

And that’s it! After a few minutes it’ll appear on your dashboard:

A complete, ready-to-go WordPress site.

Once the site is live, you’ll be able to control certain aspects about it like SSL and caching settings. If the site ever needs to disappear, this is also where you’d delete it.

From end to end, this process takes about 20 minutes. If you’re in the market to host an array of WordPress sites for clients or you have a lot of unique blogs you keep operating, this is the way to go. I’d even go so far as to say it’s worth migrating your WordPress blog to a SpinupWP-created instance of WordPress just for the pre-configured caching and security hardening.

Summary

This service is killer and priced very competitively. Since they’re still fresh, everyone that signs up gets special pricing, starting at $6/month for the first three months with unlimited sites on one server or $9/month for the first three months with unlimited sites on up to three servers (+$5/month for every server thereafter). The fact that one can pay $6 to have a WordPress site appear in mere moments is awesome. If your goal is to only ever deploy one site, paying $6 for one month and cancelling is still absolutely worth it.

Sign up for SpinWP right now and safe yourself time and sanity. You’ll be glad you did and even more, you’ll wonder how you managed to deploy WordPress on servers before today.

andrew-neel-308138-unsplash

2018 Year in Review

It’s about that time of year when I look back on the posts that attracted the most eyeballs. Some of the most popular pieces of content this year were also the most popular last year, too. Admittedly, not much of this was actually from this year. By my count, half of these posts came from 2016 and 2017. I didn’t get back into blogging hardcore until the last 1/4th of 2018.

Here are the top 10 most popular posts on this blog based on the number of views in the last year:

#10 PowerPort Mini: The Charging Device Apple Should Have Made

When I got my hands on yet another awesome Anker product, I was almost certain I’d enjoy it. True to form, Anker built a charging brick that is a bit larger than Apple’s standard 5w unit but provides so much more power, it’s almost a no-brainer. Each port is good for minimum 6 watts at 1.2 amps or one port is good for 12 watts at 2.4 amps. It won’t break any speed records, especially compared to larger 18 and 30 watt chargers, but for its size and price (2-pack for $16) I don’t know if it gets much better.


#9 Affinity Publisher Beta

It was especially neat to see Affinity coming out with another killer desktop creative application to give Adobe a run for its money. Even though Publisher is still in beta, it’s extremely stable and worth taking a look at if you have some time.


#8 Add RTMP Support to Nginx Installed From Apt

For the third year, this post makes its way onto my top 10 list. There seems to be just enough people out there–especially in the Raspberry Pi community–that want to stream video and ran into a lot of the same problems I have.


#7 Fighting ffmpeg

Also in its third year, my struggles with ffmpeg don’t go un-noticed in the linux/Raspberry Pi community.


#6 MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X Review

There hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t a fan of keeping my computers fresh and clean. MacPaw makes great software, and their newest version of CleanMyMac is no exception. It’s entirely worth the price, and if you’re a Setapp user, download it right now. If you’re not, go pick it up anyway.


#5 Linode vs Digital Ocean: A Three-Round VPS Benchmark Showdown

This was a fun post to write. I’ve hopped back and forth between the two providers a couple times over the years, and it was good to see just how each of them shined. Since both are equally priced, a lot of it comes down to one part workload and one part personal preference. Take a look at some of the benchmark results for yourself and see what makes the most sense for you.


#4 Phone, Wallet, Keys

Adam Sandler was never one of my favorite comedians, but sharing this video seemed to be a hit with a lot of folks.


#3 Fixing Browsersync Not Reloading

I posted this in December 2017 so it never had the opportunity to make its way to the top that year, but I imagine had I shared it many months earlier, it would have.


#2 Live Streaming with Hardware Acceleration using a Raspberry Pi and RTMP/HLS

The third of four of my posts to make this list for the 3rd time. This is one of the series on my struggles in figuring out how to stream video from a Raspberry Pi to a couple different locations. Specifically, this part involved tackling hardware-accelerated streaming.


#1 Attempting to Stream a Webcam to an RTMP Server

This was my original attempt at streaming video from a webcam to an RTMP server and the fourth of my 2016 posts to make it on this list for the third time.

Remastered film of Paris in the 1890s

Shot by The Lumière brothers from 1896 to 1900 and remastered by Guy Jones.

 

(h/t Kottke.org)

permalink

Google Isn’t the Company That We Should Have Handed the Web Over to

Put simply:

This is a company that, time and again, has tried to push the Web into a Google-controlled proprietary direction to improve the performance of Google’s online services when used in conjunction with Google’s browser, consolidating Google’s market positioning and putting everyone else at a disadvantage. Each time, pushback has come from the wider community, and so far, at least, the result has been industry standards that wrest control from Google’s hands. This action might already provoke doubts about the wisdom of handing effective control of the Web’s direction to Google, but at least a case could be made that, in the end, the right thing was done.

Why should you care? For reasons like this (emphasis mine):

For no obvious reason, Google changed YouTube to add a hidden, empty HTML element that overlaid each video. This element disabled Edge’s fastest, most efficient hardware accelerated video decoding. It hurt Edge’s battery-life performance and took it below Chrome’s. The change didn’t improve Chrome’s performance and didn’t appear to serve any real purpose; it just hurt Edge, allowing Google to claim that Chrome’s battery life was actually superior to Edge’s. Microsoft asked Google if the company could remove the element, to no avail.

In any other industry, we’d call that grounds for antitrust lawsuits.

Microsoft isn’t blameless, either. They opted to take the easy way out and Firefox will likely have to pay the price:

By relegating Firefox to being the sole secondary browser, Microsoft has just made it that much harder to justify making sites work in Firefox. The company has made designing for Chrome and ignoring everything else a bit more palatable, and Mozilla’s continued existence is now that bit more marginal. Microsoft’s move puts Google in charge of the direction of the Web’s development. Google’s track record shows it shouldn’t be trusted with such a position.

At the end of the day, one thing’s clear: competition is good. We see it in all walks of life. With Microsoft turning tail and succumbing to the Chrome overlords, they’re admitting they don’t care about the openness of the Web… just their market share and numbers.

permalink

Some thoughts on the 2018 Macbook Pro

I have been a Macbook Pro owner since 2011. I bought a 15″ model then, another one in late 2015, and my third iteration landed in my lap last week. Unsure of the experience I would have, I took the plunge and snagged a 2018-era 15″ Macbook Pro with Touch Bar. I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts after a week of usage every day.

On the plus side, I actually enjoy the keyboard. I know not everyone does, and I think I might be in the minority, but as a light typist, the short travel keys actually feel really good. They’re a bit loud, but not so much that it bothers me.

The slightly smaller form-factor is also nice, too. I had started to think that a 15″ might be too big for my needs, especially after staring at the massive bezels for the last 3 years. Now, I’m back to thinking it’s just fine. 

The onboard storage is stupid fast, benchmarking at something like 2500MB/s for both read and write. Hot dog. 

The Touch Bar is strange. I never noticed until after getting this unit that I liked to rest my hand where the now-touch-sensitive Escape key sits. I’ve hit it a few times on accident. I have since corrected my ways, but it was definitely a bit of a surprise. As far as the rest of the touch bar goes, I’m still unsure of its ultimate value. 

Touch ID is super fast and is a great method for accessing the computer from a locked state. 

Battery life is pretty dang good, too. I spent an average day of work and managed to crank about 7 hours out of it with no care about how I was using the device or micro-managing its energy consumption. If I had spent more time dimming and throttling, it’s not unreasonable to have expected 9 or 10 hours. 

Weight is fine. It’s definitely lighter than my outgoing 2015 model. I haven’t had an opportunity to push the graphics card in any way. I spent 99% of my time on Integrated. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Getting into the USB way of life has been hard, though once I got my Thunderbolt 3-enabled dock up and running, I joined the “single cable club.” I’m also now a member of Dongle Town, too, so it seems like a wash.

Overall, I’m super happy with my purchase. 

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography