Brace Yourself, LowEndSpirit Infra Changes On The Horizon

MasonMason AdministratorOG
edited April 2 in General

Hey all, just checking in. @mikho and I have been working diligently to prepare a new infrastructure to support our lovely community and be capable of scaling as we grow and prosper. This post will be updated with dates as they are scheduled and completed. At the bottom of this post, we are asking you all for some feedback to help drive our decisions -- please feel free to chime in!

Schedule dates for changes:

  • Planned - 2 Apr @ 11pm EST - Migrating LES Forum
  • Planned - 2 Apr @ 11pm EST - Support System (HESK)
  • Ongoing - Migrating LES Blog / Change LES Blog CMS

Upcoming changes:

  • Migrating LES Forum (https://talk.lowendspirit.com) to its new home
  • Migrating LES Blog (https://lowendspirit.com) to its new home
  • Change LES Blog CMS (Grav -> Wordpress) and migrate existing articles
  • Migrating email hosting to new provider
  • Rebuild development/staging environment
  • Create a support system for tickets/helpdesk

Other stuff on our radar -- so in addition to the above infrastructure changes, we are also discussing and working towards resolving a few other outstanding concerns and housekeeping topics. More info will be released in the coming weeks as we check the boxes. This includes topics, such as, forming a mod staff/team to govern the community, deciding on what to do with adverts on the forum and main blog site, establishing new processes to apply for provider tags (via the support system) and a couple other minor tweaks. Also, we have decided to continue using Runcloud as our server management panel. Runcloud makes maintenance, migration, and establishment of new sites a piece of cake, so for now we'll be sticking with it.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and patience as we work through this transition period. We don't anticipate any significant downtime necessary to complete any of the actions in this thread, but we appreciate your tolerance in case any speed bumps are encountered.


Migrating LES Forum - Status: Open

Scheduled Date: 2 Apr @ 11pm EST
Completed Date: TBD

Description: In an effort to embrace financial independence, the forum site and database will be migrated to a VM on Hetzner Cloud. Hetzner Cloud carries some nice features that will ensure the longevity of the forum including: automated backups, 10gbit/s pipes, ability to scale up resources as needed, etc. A clone of the forum and database to the new VM has already been tested to ensure the process will be a smooth one. Minimal downtime is expected while the forum is migrated and as the site in its new VM gets proxied by Cloudflare.


Migrating LES Blog - Status: Ongoing

Scheduled Date: TBD
Completed Date: TBD

Description: Currently, the blog and forum exist within the same VM. We will be separating the two sites into their own VMs on Hetzner Cloud. This move ensures both sites have their own dedicated resources and can scale as needed independently of each other. The first stage of this will be cloning the Grav site as-is and eventually moving the blog to a wordpress-powered site (see below).


Change LES Blog CMS - Status: Ongoing

Scheduled Date: TBD
Completed Date: TBD

Description: Sure, Grav is light-weight, but has shown to be not very flexible when it comes to multi-administration and adding content from multiple users. In an effort to increase maintainability and ease of use, we will be migrating the LES Blog CMS from its existing software (Grav) over to Wordpress. Wordpress is the de facto standard for blogs and will ensure that we can easily maintain the site and have access to a wealth of plugins for any future needs. We will ensure all existing articles will be ported over to the new environment.


Migrating Email Hosting - Status: Ongoing

Scheduled Date: 29 Mar 2021
Completed Date: 30 Mar 2021

Description: Email hosting will be migrated from its existing provider over to use a combination of Mailcheap and Amazon SES. Mailcheap will be utilized for a couple admin accounts and the support email traffic. Amazon SES will be utilized for forum-generated messages and blog subscriptions (if implemented).


Rebuild Dev Environment - Status: Complete

Scheduled Date: 29 Mar 2021
Completed Date: 29 Mar 2021

Description: We will need a staging and development environment where we can test new plugins and code changes. This environment will exist on a third Hetzner Cloud VM. Runcloud's clone functionality allows us to create a 1-to-1 mirror of the existing site as it stands and replicate it on another machine. We will use that to create the development environment and give access to select people to help test functionality out, if they'd like to contribute.


Support System - Status: Ongoing (Testing Options)

Scheduled Date: 2 Apr @ 11pm EST
Completed Date: TBD

Description: Rather than handling provider tag requests and other forum support via PM, since now the admin staff is bigger than one, we'd like to set up a central place that all admins (and most likely moderators as well) will be able to access and coordinate support efforts moving forward. We're still evaluating software candidates for this.


Have any feedback for us? Be sure to let us know what is the one main thing you would like to have in the LES community? And what's one thing you absolutely do not want? Also, feel free to ask away if you have any questions or concerns about the information above!

Looking forward to hearing all of your input to help guide us in building and growing our community together.

Cheers,
~M&M
(Mason & Mikael)

M&M

Humble janitor of LES
Proud papa of YABS

«134

Comments

  • Will Cloudflare be dropped?

    Thanked by (1)Mason
  • I would support dropping Cloudflare

    https://git.nixnet.services/you/stop_cloudflare

    Thanked by (3)PHP_Backend Mason benz
  • A bit curious about the email hosting. Didn't it recently migrate to MXroute? :)

    Thanked by (1)Mason
  • MasonMason AdministratorOG
    edited March 9

    @benj0x said:
    Will Cloudflare be dropped?

    @valkyrie said:
    I would support dropping Cloudflare

    https://git.nixnet.services/you/stop_cloudflare

    Barring some other free or super-cheap means of protecting the site from DDoS, there are no plans to drop Cloudflare. Running the site naked or with only the provider's protection isn't really an option for this type of forum.

    Humble janitor of LES
    Proud papa of YABS

  • MasonMason AdministratorOG

    @flips said:
    A bit curious about the email hosting. Didn't it recently migrate to MXroute? :)

    Yes, it was. As we haven’t decided on our stand regarding what hosts to use, we have decided to, for now, use larger companies for the infrastructure.

    Humble janitor of LES
    Proud papa of YABS

  • ApeWebApeWeb Hosting Provider

    It would be nice to drop cloudflare but given the costs savings in using it is likely impractical. What is the forum currently running on?

    Thanked by (1)Mason
  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @ApeWeb said:
    It would be nice to drop cloudflare but given the costs savings in using it is likely impractical. What is the forum currently running on?

    A VPS with Inceptionhosting. You can find the specs in a seperate thread. I can’t remember them right now.

    Thanked by (1)Mason

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • seriesnseriesn Hosting ProviderOG

    Looks like you're have a busy tax season on your hand @Mason ?. All the best to MnM gang.

    Thanked by (3)mikho Mason yoursunny
  • Sounds quite ambitious - planning for the future.
    I like it. :)

    While I support the idea of configuring everything so that Cloudflare can be ditched if needed, I see no point in dismissing it right now, for the sake of dismissing it.

    If you need any help with WordPress - let me know.

    P.S. Thinking out loud (not that I'm very good at thinking :) ):
    There is no amount of memory that human stupidity can't fill-up. Still, images take even more, a lot more, space than our general txt drivel. That's why I suppose hosting any images of forum posts on the forum's hosting server will probably result in a lot more storage space taken.
    Using image-hotlinking services (like imgBB) has its risk: if anything gets broken/deleted there, some posts might become less understandable (if the image is crucial), but I suppose that's the lesser evil.
    Yes, I understand storage prices are dropping, and backups can be incremental.

    Thanked by (3)Ympker mikho Mason

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • Agree with all 5 choices. Good to see such a well-planned road-map. First of many great things to come. :)

    Thanked by (1)Mason
  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @bikegremlin said:
    Sounds quite ambitious - planning for the future.
    I like it. :)

    So do we! :)

    @bikegremlin said:
    While I support the idea of configuring everything so that Cloudflare can be ditched if needed, I see no point in dismissing it right now, for the sake of dismissing it.

    Right now we think it will help when updating the infrastructure. A ”simple” update in the Clouflare DNS will most likely be faster updated then not using it.

    We are open to suggestions for alternatives.
    Feel free to post it here in this thread or send us a message.

    @bikegremlin said:
    If you need any help with WordPress - let me know.

    Thanks! I’ve read your posts about Wordpress that you linked elsewhere in this forum and I’m sure there will be questions along the way.

    @bikegremlin said:
    P.S. Thinking out loud (not that I'm very good at thinking :) ):
    There is no amount of memory that human stupidity can't fill-up. Still, images take even more, a lot more, space than our general txt drivel. That's why I suppose hosting any images of forum posts on the forum's hosting server will probably result in a lot more storage space taken.
    Using image-hotlinking services (like imgBB) has its risk: if anything gets broken/deleted there, some posts might become less understandable (if the image is crucial), but I suppose that's the lesser evil.
    Yes, I understand storage prices are dropping, and backups can be incremental.

    The forum has not increased that much in disk usage as we have seen from the old status posts made by Ant.

    One of the reasons why we decided to go with Hetzner Cloud is the easy upgrade path they offer.

    A couple of other suggestions is also on the table. As a Wordpress user, there is Smush to compress images.
    An option is to cronjob compression of images.
    Another is to use/setup a image hosting service.
    That is yet to be decided.

    Thanked by (2)Mason vimalware

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited March 9

    Looking forward to this :) Good luck!
    Why not make a public roadmap on Trello and maybe have users vote for/suggest features? :)

    Happy to see the blog system will be using WordPress.

    Thanked by (2)mikho Mason
  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @Ympker said:
    Why not make a public roadmap on Trello and maybe have users vote for/suggest features? :)

    We are getting familiar with the software used so far and I’m sure there are options to make a public roadmap of some sort.

    Not promising m, but will look into that alternative.

    Thanked by (2)Ympker Mason

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • lentrolentro Hosting Provider

    One other possibility, Hugo.

    You can use a theme, or create your own (I can help), and you use it to generate a static site. Serve using CloudFlare pages, and it'll be fast everywhere without a single PHP server handling all WP requests. Not to mention, the scripting nature of WP means that it's a bit more unsafe.

    Thanked by (1)Mason
  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited March 9

    @lentro said:
    One other possibility, Hugo.

    You can use a theme, or create your own (I can help), and you use it to generate a static site. Serve using CloudFlare pages, and it'll be fast everywhere without a single PHP server handling all WP requests. Not to mention, the scripting nature of WP means that it's a bit more unsafe.

    While Hugo is without a doubt fast and all, I think WordPress might just be the more "comfortable" option to use. I mean, we are all not losing millions here (except for CC maybe), so a few seconds more load time caused by PHP shouldn't be that much of an issue for someone who occassionally wants to read one of the blog posts. I can see that there does not need to be more load than necessary, but one of the big Pro's of using WordPress is that is basically THE Blog platform these days (as @Mason pointed out) and there is a plugin for just about any possible feature that may be needed some day. Throw in Blocksy as a theme and the speed side of things should he even less of an issue :)

    @Mason @mikho You can probably import the posts from Grav using the free "WP Scraper" plugin :)

    Thanked by (2)Mason Wolveix
  • Hugo is nice is you like to post articles using git, markdown etc (or you could use a solution like Forestry, but it would cost to have more than one user).
    If you prefer a GUI CMS, Wordpress is better ... Just my 5 cents... :)

    Thanked by (3)Ympker Mason mikho
  • I'm not a "Grav" fan... But choosing today the easy back path to the old wordpress is wrong in so many ways!

    I understand but ... please give yourselves 10 minutes more to think what kind of example you are setting! :'(

    Thanked by (2)yoursunny ialexpw
  • Not_OlesNot_Oles Hosting ProviderContent Writer

    @TigersWay said:
    I'm not a "Grav" fan... But choosing today the easy back path to the old wordpress is wrong in so many ways!

    I understand but ... please give yourselves 10 minutes more to think what kind of example you are setting! :'(

    Hi @TigersWay! Would you please suggest a few good alternatives that you might consider if you were in M&M's shoes? Thanks!

    Tom, not Oles. Happy New York City guy visiting in Mexico!
    Purveyor of Fast-as-Metal LXC and KVM VPSes!

  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @TigersWay said:
    I'm not a "Grav" fan... But choosing today the easy back path to the old wordpress is wrong in so many ways!

    I understand but ... please give yourselves 10 minutes more to think what kind of example you are setting! :'(

    Please elaborate.
    If you can give me, say 5 reasons why it is wrong and a couple of alternatives to Wordpress, I will give it 10 more minutes to consider.

    If it is about using less resources, I’m all up for publishing TXT files for you to download instead.

    One of the reason why Wordpress was chosen at this stage is that it IS one of the most used blog engines out there.
    With expected guest writers, the amount of extra work needed for someone to prepare the article for a GRAV installations is to much.

    What I’ve written may sound harsh, but if you can’t give examples of why you think its wrong. I won’t give it another 10 minutes of thought.

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • @Not_Oles , @mikho I never wanted, and still don't want to start any kind of war, really!
    My only "trouble" is exactly the word you used @mikho : "One of the reason why Wordpress was chosen at this stage is that it IS one of the most used blog engines out there."
    Because of these words, not many people are even trying to choose, imagine, create or try to use anything else.

    And between all the "flat files" engines, the hundreds PHP/DB CMS, the thousands of JAMstack combination, the netlify, vercel, now cloudflare and everything I never heard about.... Individual may choose the easy path, Communities could - yes, just could - try to find the new ones :-) It's merely a "political" choice.

    And I am no expert in anything, so please, don't loose the 9 minutes left :3

  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @TigersWay said:
    @Not_Oles , @mikho I never wanted, and still don't want to start any kind of war, really!

    No worries, as long as we keep away from profanity or namecalling. I consider this a healthy discussion with different views. :)

    @TigersWay said:
    My only "trouble" is exactly the word you used @mikho : "One of the reason why Wordpress was chosen at this stage is that it IS one of the most used blog engines out there."
    Because of these words, not many people are even trying to choose, imagine, create or try to use anything else.

    Emphasis on the word ONE. It was not the single reason why we came up with Wordpress.
    I gave you another reason right below that sentence.
    Another thought we had was the integration with the forum. To avoid having 2 logins for, basicly, the same community.
    As we want to have more then one person publishing the future articles, GRAV (I’m not saying I’m an expert on it) lack these features.

    @TigersWay said:
    And between all the "flat files" engines, the hundreds PHP/DB CMS, the thousands of JAMstack combination, the netlify, vercel, now cloudflare and everything I never heard about.... Individual may choose the easy path, Communities could - yes, just could - try to find the new ones :-) It's merely a "political" choice.

    And I am no expert in anything, so please, don't loose the 9 minutes left :3

    As you say, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of variations out there.
    I get the feeling that whatever we had chosen, someone in this community would have disagreed with that choise.

    And again, believe me when I say that we have looked into alternatives, not all of them, and weighing pros and cons, this was the outcome.

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • edited March 10

    @TigersWay & @mikho

    TL/DR: WordPress and Cloudflare have their downsides, but I still think they are "the least bad choice" with all the pros and cons considered.

    Long-winded drivel:

    I'm a kind of pers robot that usually sees the worst aspects of every solution (along with the good sides). As in: prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Plan B. And a plan B for the plan B. :)

    With that in mind, I still don't understand the suggestions for avoiding WordPress - and Cloudflare for that matter.
    They are far from perfect. Each have a lot of downsides.
    But weighing the pros and cons, with an average idio user in mind is the reasonable thing to do (in my opinion).

    Cloudflare
    CF is a, still growing, behemoth. I'm all for configuring stuff so you don't depend on it, i.e. so it can easily keep going if you ditch it. But for now I think it helps more than it harms.

    WordPress
    I'll first refer to this post ( @havoc made some very good points, and I'm not claiming to be "right" - just my opinion).

    TL/DR - I'll use an analogy (I hope it's a good one):
    I prefer bicycles with friction shifters (where you just keep moving the shifter until a gear is changed - no pre-set clicks). They are a lot more robust, durable, and reliable. Same goes for automobile and motorcycle manual gear-boxes (there's great joy in getting the throttle blip just right before down-shifting, while braking for a corner, so the suspension doesn't bounce from a sudden increase in engine braking :)).

    Still, I don't expect normal people to enjoy any of those things - objectively, they are less convenient.
    Yes, indexed shifters and automatic transmission are more complicated to keep running - in terms of maintenance, mechanics - under the hood stuff.
    But, for most normal people, the ease of use is worth it, even if they pay more for the maintenance.

    That's how I see the WP choice:
    Yes, some people will have a bit more headache keeping it running - probably.
    But making the adding of new content simpler could easily outweigh that.

    I'm far from an expert, but also far from a complete git. For me it's a lot easier formatting text & pictures on a WP website, than using this forum's markup.

    With the right choice of plugins and themes, WP can even run without problems (I've had literally 0 update, or other problems since 2015, after many website migrations, layout and theme changes, and even plugin changes - just takes some reading, testing, and common sense).

    To avoid any misunderstanding:
    I fully understand the advantages of static HTML output. I love it!
    Prefer it for making websites whenever that makes sense. When is that? In my opinion:

    • sites with not many content changes
    • and/or experts available for making the content changes.

    For all else, I go with WP.
    Here's a website with WP and the infamous Elementor, running on the cheapest (HostMantis) reseller hosting account - GTmetrix results.
    My cycling website, also WP, has about 10 visitors shown in Google Analytics practically whenever I log in. Those are just people who don't use any ad-bockers - the other visitors aren't tracked there. About 200 posts. It still runs smoothly.

    Yes, but what happens after 10,000 articles?
    Well, first we need to fight off the 10 ninjas who bust into the Hetzner data centre at the time you publish 9,999th article!
    After that - WP is so popular that, in case of any problems, I expect it will be highly probable that tools for migrating off of it will still be available. It will be a hassle and we might conclude "OK, WP was a bad idea after all," but based on the info available for now, I think it's the "least bad choice," with all the pros and cons considered that I can think of.

    Again - I could be wrong. And I do understand all the WP downsides. Hell, with those in mind, I've been looking for a budget alternative for years. One that's simple to use (adding and editing content) and allows visitors to leave comments without paying for any external service for that functionality.

    Thanked by (2)mikho Ympker

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • @mikho said:
    Emphasis on the word ONE. It was not the single reason why we came up with Wordpress.
    I gave you another reason right below that sentence.
    Another thought we had was the integration with the forum. To avoid having 2 logins for, basicly, the same community.

    I forgot this one, clearly!

    @mikho said:
    As you say, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of variations out there.
    I get the feeling that whatever we had chosen, someone in this community would have disagreed with that choise.

    Please don't let me be that one :p

    @mikho said:
    And again, believe me when I say that we have looked into alternatives, not all of them, and weighing pros and cons, this was the outcome.

    Accepted then!

    @bikegremlin said:
    With that in mind, I still don't understand the suggestions for avoiding WordPress - and Cloudflare for that matter.

    In my rant, cloudflare was "Cloudflare Pages". I would not dare to have any kind of advice about Cloudflare Pro.

    @bikegremlin said:
    With the right choice of plugins and themes, WP can even run without problems (I've had literally 0 update, or other problems since 2015, after many website migrations, layout and theme changes, and even plugin changes - just takes some reading, testing, and common sense).

    Great for you, it proves you know how to use it.
    But I have 2/3 calls every weeks for people or companies having "trouble" with theirs... And I insist on theirs!

    Last words, again, I don't have - mostly :p - bad words for anything, but I enjoy good ones for newer tech!

    Thanked by (2)bikegremlin mikho
  • edited March 10

    @TigersWay said:

    @bikegremlin said:
    With the right choice of plugins and themes, WP can even run without problems (I've had literally 0 update, or other problems since 2015, after many website migrations, layout and theme changes, and even plugin changes - just takes some reading, testing, and common sense).

    Great for you, it proves you know how to use it.
    But I have 2/3 calls every weeks for people or companies having "trouble" with theirs... And I insist on theirs!

    Last words, again, I don't have - mostly :p - bad words for anything, but I enjoy good ones for newer tech!

    I highly value different opinions and ideas - especially when they come from experienced experts.
    So not disagreeing here, just... expanding? :) Correct me where I'm wrong:

    I suppose that website setup and maintenance is done by someone reasonably competent.
    People adding new content could (should?) be given limited access (Author is good enough).

    That's a huge difference from making a website for a client, or a person making a website by themselves.
    No, this would be a LES website, where we are all just "guests."
    Passionate, contributing, but still guests.
    "Can I have sliding vide..." - NO! :)

    Hopefully, there is a more robust, yet idiot-friendly alternative available - would be happy to give that a try, for my own use if nothing else. Based on my knowledge and experience (both quite limited) - I don't see one.

    P.S. One could go as paranoid as they like - changing any article ownership after it's been published, to prevent the (not very likely) possibility of author deleting the published content after it's finished (easier than reverting from backups). I'd prefer any potential contributions made to be configured so that I can't fuck it up, even if I wanted to - less responsibility, less worry. The content is what matters. :)

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited March 10

    @mikho said:

    @TigersWay said:
    I'm not a "Grav" fan... But choosing today the easy back path to the old wordpress is wrong in so many ways!

    I understand but ... please give yourselves 10 minutes more to think what kind of example you are setting! :'(

    Please elaborate.
    If you can give me, say 5 reasons why it is wrong and a couple of alternatives to Wordpress, I will give it 10 more minutes to consider.

    If it is about using less resources, I’m all up for publishing TXT files for you to download instead.

    One of the reason why Wordpress was chosen at this stage is that it IS one of the most used blog engines out there.
    With expected guest writers, the amount of extra work needed for someone to prepare the article for a GRAV installations is to much.

    What I’ve written may sound harsh, but if you can’t give examples of why you think its wrong. I won’t give it another 10 minutes of thought.

    I can second that when I wrote my articles I had issues formatting it all for Grav and I think @vyas and @InceptionHosting helped me out with it. I can see WordPress being super easy to use here. Not to say Grav is difficult to use, but WordPress may be more intuitive.

    @bikegremlin said:
    @TigersWay & @mikho

    TL/DR: WordPress and Cloudflare have their downsides, but I still think they are "the least bad choice" with all the pros and cons considered.

    Long-winded drivel:

    I'm a kind of pers robot that usually sees the worst aspects of every solution (along with the good sides). As in: prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Plan B. And a plan B for the plan B. :)

    With that in mind, I still don't understand the suggestions for avoiding WordPress - and Cloudflare for that matter.
    They are far from perfect. Each have a lot of downsides.
    But weighing the pros and cons, with an average idio user in mind is the reasonable thing to do (in my opinion).

    Cloudflare
    CF is a, still growing, behemoth. I'm all for configuring stuff so you don't depend on it, i.e. so it can easily keep going if you ditch it. But for now I think it helps more than it harms.

    WordPress
    I'll first refer to this post ( @havoc made some very good points, and I'm not claiming to be "right" - just my opinion).

    TL/DR - I'll use an analogy (I hope it's a good one):
    I prefer bicycles with friction shifters (where you just keep moving the shifter until a gear is changed - no pre-set clicks). They are a lot more robust, durable, and reliable. Same goes for automobile and motorcycle manual gear-boxes (there's great joy in getting the throttle blip just right before down-shifting, while braking for a corner, so the suspension doesn't bounce from a sudden increase in engine braking :)).

    Still, I don't expect normal people to enjoy any of those things - objectively, they are less convenient.
    Yes, indexed shifters and automatic transmission are more complicated to keep running - in terms of maintenance, mechanics - under the hood stuff.
    But, for most normal people, the ease of use is worth it, even if they pay more for the maintenance.

    That's how I see the WP choice:
    Yes, some people will have a bit more headache keeping it running - probably.
    But making the adding of new content simpler could easily outweigh that.

    I'm far from an expert, but also far from a complete git. For me it's a lot easier formatting text & pictures on a WP website, than using this forum's markup.

    With the right choice of plugins and themes, WP can even run without problems (I've had literally 0 update, or other problems since 2015, after many website migrations, layout and theme changes, and even plugin changes - just takes some reading, testing, and common sense).

    To avoid any misunderstanding:
    I fully understand the advantages of static HTML output. I love it!
    Prefer it for making websites whenever that makes sense. When is that? In my opinion:

    • sites with not many content changes
    • and/or experts available for making the content changes.

    For all else, I go with WP.
    Here's a website with WP and the infamous Elementor, running on the cheapest (HostMantis) reseller hosting account - GTmetrix results.
    My cycling website, also WP, has about 10 visitors shown in Google Analytics practically whenever I log in. Those are just people who don't use any ad-bockers - the other visitors aren't tracked there. About 200 posts. It still runs smoothly.

    Yes, but what happens after 10,000 articles?
    Well, first we need to fight off the 10 ninjas who bust into the Hetzner data centre at the time you publish 9,999th article!
    After that - WP is so popular that, in case of any problems, I expect it will be highly probable that tools for migrating off of it will still be available. It will be a hassle and we might conclude "OK, WP was a bad idea after all," but based on the info available for now, I think it's the "least bad choice," with all the pros and cons considered that I can think of.

    Again - I could be wrong. And I do understand all the WP downsides. Hell, with those in mind, I've been looking for a budget alternative for years. One that's simple to use (adding and editing content) and allows visitors to leave comments without paying for any external service for that functionality.

    You always make me smile, mate :) Love you <3

    Thanked by (2)bikegremlin mikho
  • edited March 10

    Please replace the Clouvider banner with an optimized version to reduce page size for new visitors by ~30%.

    Forum homepage ~4.4 MB
    Clouvider 258x250 1.90 MB
    Optimized 258x250 643 KB (less than the original by ~65%)
    Optimized 129x125 242 KB

    The optimization is done with gifsicle available in Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and Windows.

    gifsicle -O3 -o optimized-banner.gif banner.gif

  • Since we are on the topic of polemic suggestions, may I suggest Discourse? :p

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  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    @beagle said:
    Since we are on the topic of polemic suggestions, may I suggest Discourse? :p

    Flagged!

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • edited March 10

    How about using something like https://wp2static.com/ ?

    tl;dr leave the familiar interface/user integration inside the staging env, and make the main blog static=safer+faster (caveat: you'd probably need to be willing to give up plugins)

    Putting the work involved in the initial setup aside, this would allow your authors to keep the workflow / editor they are familiar with (c.f. writing Markdown and posting a PR on GitHub - by no means rocket science, but this might turn off some, were you to use, let's say, Hugo), and also make it safer (no attack surface as far as static HTML is concerned) - provided you'd restrict the staging Wordpress only to a handful of author IPs, so that you are safe from bot attacks and other exploits (although you might also need to get a Lightsail VPS or something else, since I don't think Hetzner Cloud has a software firewall yet)

    Haven't used it myself so can't vouch for this specific plugin, but the main reason for me suggesting this kind of thing is that I am concerned that maintaining a publicly available WP safe (esp. incl. all the plugins involved) and up to date might be a major PITA, and surely, your time could definitely be used on things more meaningful than that

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  • edited March 10

    @chimichurri said:
    How about using something like https://wp2static.com/ ?

    tl;dr leave the familiar interface/user integration inside the staging env, and make the main blog static=safer+faster (caveat: you'd probably need to be willing to give up plugins)

    Putting the work involved in the initial setup aside, this would allow your authors to keep the workflow / editor they are familiar with (c.f. writing Markdown and posting a PR on GitHub - by no means rocket science, but this might turn off some, were you to use, let's say, Hugo), and also make it safer (no attack surface as far as static HTML is concerned) - provided you'd restrict the staging Wordpress only to a handful of author IPs, so that you are safe from bot attacks and other exploits (although you might also need to get a Lightsail VPS or something else, since I don't think Hetzner Cloud has a software firewall yet)

    Haven't used it myself so can't vouch for this specific plugin, but the main reason for me suggesting this kind of thing is that I am concerned that maintaining a publicly available WP safe (esp. incl. all the plugins involved) and up to date might be a major PITA, and surely, your time could definitely be used on things more meaningful than that

    What about the protection of publicly available back-end? :)
    Sure - some security through obscurity is possible, but if you notify 10 different contributors about the login location... You still need very good security (or add a lot more hassle).

    "Whichever way you turn, your back is in the rear" is a local saying. :)

    Another thing to consider is: do you want comments enabled?
    Yes, there is the forum, and it's great, but article comments are practical, useful, and can be helpful - while being very convenient.

    This falls under strategic decisions, but not the irreversible kind, so it can be re-considered along the way.

    Thanked by (1)Ympker

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

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