Technical Details

This blog runs on the WordPress platform, running on a random theme that I found works, when my old one suddenly stopped working under a new version of php. I’ll find something nicer over the coming weeks (written 2023-11-30).

I’ve installed WordPress on an AWS EC2 t4g.micro instance in us-west-2 (Oregon) which has the “LAP” pieces of the LAMP stack running on Amazon Linux 2023. It shares the instance and associated storage with my Reluctant Adventurer blog and used to host my brother’s teaching blog Flash the Grammar Cat (Flash, as it so happens, lives with me, but he teaches English in Uruguay.) For the database, I don’t use MySQL or MariaDB on the local machine (thus the LAP rather than LAMP), as I’ve opted for an AWS RDS db.t4g.micro, running in the same region.

To handle SSL/TLS, I installed the “Let’s Encrypt” Certbot, that will renew my certificates on a regular basis. Of course, I also set up the site to always redirect to the “https” protocol no matter what you type. So you’ll always have that nice lock on the top of the screen telling you you’re safe. I’ve considered adding an ALB in front of the web server and using it for cert management, and someday I’ll probably do it just for fun.

For storage, I have mounted a second EBS volume for all website content (mounted at /var/www/html for those of you who know what that means). That will allow me to easily bring the site up on a different host fairly quickly should that be necessary. Both volumes are regularly backed up to S3, of course.

I’ve got a bunch of other things running in the background that I’m constantly tweaking, mostly around automatically uploading and resizing my photos, running through S3 and a couple of lambda functions. There are now some plugins that allow you to use S3 directly for image storage, and since I’m already using S3 in my workflow that might make more sense than continuing to have an ever-expanding EBS volume for images.

I recently wrote up what I did to set it up, transfer over from my previous hosting, and generally make it work better.