SandorHQ — Foundations
I haven’t had a good online place for my personal experiments, even though there were many interesting technologies I wanted to inspect more carefully than just completing a few tutorials and reading a book or two about the subjects. Finally I made the decision and here’s the result. In this short series let me tell you about the details, my reasons and my thought processes.
I Claim This Land
Coming up with this domain name was a no-brainer: I needed a name which makes it immediately clear what people can find here. It also had to be pronouncable and short. Thankfully, for headquarters “HQ” is a well known abbreviation so I only had to prepend my given name to it, and it was all done.
I didn’t know which framework or even what language I was going to use first, and given the huge amount of interesting choices available it was clear from the beginning that I want a Virtual Private Server where I can absolutely do whatever I want, without restrictions. DigitalOcean is my choice for the provider, because they’re reliable and scalable, not to mention, cheap. I’ve quickly created a Linux droplet for start, which I’ve immediately sealed down via strict firewall rules and ssh key based login authorization, so I can safely assume that no mischievous villain finds their way in. Well, at least not easily — there’s always the possibility of a breach because of crafty social engineering, therefore just because something seems secure, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to remain safe forever.
There’s Nothing to See Here
All right, after establishing the foundations I wanted to announce that I’ve arrived, but could I do this without being able to show some HTML to my visitors? Although I’m still in very good terms with the Apache HTTP Server, and I can even set up a named virtual host for it without using the manual, I decided to go with an R2D2 this time, the lightning fast, smart and modern Nginx to have my content served. It’s so fast, and its caching component is so efficient I don’t even need Varnish to ease the load on my virtual hardware.
Granted, an HTTP server can make my content available, I still needed to send and receive emails under my flag — my domain name. First I’ve started setting up Postfix with some of its accomplices, but I soon realized that I just don’t care enough about these depths of server administration, especially having to continuously monitor and adjust filters for incoming spam. Why not let Big Brother do it for me, I thought, so I asked them nicely (I may have also paid them some money) and now Google Apps is taking care of my emailing needs.
Why So Static
For some time static HTML documents were sufficient for my needs, but there was no turning back from here. I wanted to create a worthy representation of my philosophy and style, so further decisions had to be made by defining appearance and of course the heart, the engine which is to create the fusion of content and visual design.