Serverless Email Forwards with SES and Lambda

6 minute read Updated

How to create your own email forwarding service using Serverless and Lambda.

In 2016 this website underwent a major overhaul. I took it off my simple Docker set-up and moved it to S3 with CloudFront. The process of which enabled me to reduce hosting costs by 80% all while increasing reach and decreasing page load times globally.

But static websites have a perceived disadvantage: they’re static. They have no inherent dynamic functionality. What will you do when you want to add some piece of interactivity—a contact form, or an email distribution list? Sure you could go with TypeForm or TinyLetter. But you could also create your own service using FaaS (a.k.a. Serverless). Afterall, Serverless isn’t just a fad, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Host Websites in the Cloud in 10 Minutes

4 minute read Updated

Hosting companies Bluehost and Dreamhost offer simple, one-click installation of popular blogging platforms like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. The affordable hosting plans offered are low-cost, but you tend to get what you pay for: shoddy up-time and slow server responses.

What would our hero Mario do about this? I’m thinking he’d Tanooki suit up, make a mad dash and fly to the first cloud he found. And that’s what this post is all about. Read on to learn how to host a website in the cloud in 10 minutes. It may not be as simple as 1-click hosting, but it’ll almost certainly be faster. And you’ll earn some geek cred for doing something complicated to do something simple.

Host images on S3 with Octopress

3 minute read Updated

Learn how to host Octopress images on AWS S3 using Rubygems.

Glancing over the Octopress plug-ins list yesterday I noticed something I hadn’t seen before, an Image tag & uploader for S3. Curious to tinker around with it I set-up an account for S3 and integrated it today to decrease my blog header background image size and serve it from the cloud with caching.

Update 2016-11-22: You can find the open source Octopress version of this blog circa 2015 right here. Once you’re ready to move on from GitHub try Simple Websites with Jekyll and Docker. And, once you’ve nailed that approach, try going for PageSpeed 100 with S3 and CloudFront.

Follow along to learn how to host images on S3 with Octopress.

SFTP to Ubuntu with Sublime Text

7 minute read Published

Learn how to use Sublime Text to SFTP to an Ubuntu server for simple remote website administration.

About a year ago I explained how to set-up Remote Projects in Eclipse. Since then I’ve ditched Eclipse in favor of Sublime Text. But, even with the cat’s pajamas of modern code editors (that’s Sublime), getting source files from development to production meant carrying around some extra baggage:

  • A deployment process, often manual, or, if automated, tightly coupled with the application sources (zomg! oh n0s!!), must be created and followed.
  • At least two environments, likely not running on the same platform, must be stood-up and carried: development and production.
  • Windows users, who may not have a good method for developing for today’s Linux-based hosting environments, are pretty much snowed from the get-go.

I’m deliberately oversimplifying here for the sake of TL;DR, so let me get the point. If you’re running a small site, are capable of failing fast and failing often, don’t have a lot of code contributors or are for some reason stuck working on an IBM Aptiva with 16MB RAM upgrade, you can pretty much skip the pain points in the list above and just manage code directly on the web server remotely. How is that possible? Simple. SFTP to Ubuntu server with Sublime Text as explained in this article.