web development

WordPress K3s — Init Containers and Helm

11 minute read Updated

How to create a hardened WordPress installation in Kubernetes using Init Containers and Helm on MacOS.

Last week Pantheon dealt the final blow to the website I drove from 100 visitors up to 80,000 per month. By the time I heard the death knell we had a 10-day advance notice the price of hosting was increasing 1025% to $450/month.

I quickly spun up a Plesk instance on Digital Ocean and installed WordPress on a $10/month VPS but realized Plesk was too bloated for our needs and probably not going to cut the mustard in the scale department should traffic decide to climb.

After initially attempting to deploy Wordpress using the Helm chart by Bitnami via the App Marketplace in Rancher 2.5 I found the chart difficult to use, kept looking and eventually found a an alternative chart on a self-hosted VCS.

Like the Bitnami chart the independent chart includes optional database set-up. Unlike the Bitnami chart, however, the self-hosted chart also includes a Redis object cache, OpenID Connect authentication. It also builds a hardened WordPress Pod using WP CLI from scratch with Ansible inside an Init Container. And in this tutorial I’m going to show you how you install it on macOS with K3D.

Reaction Commerce — Getting Started

10 minute read Updated

The Unofficial Guide to getting started with Reaction Commerce v3.

Reaction Commerce is a full-stack, self-hosted commerce platform you can run for as little as $10 on your own VPS. Think of Reaction Commerce as what WooCommerce might’ve become had it not been dependent on PHP/WordPress and instead was rewritten using modern coding languages and development techniques.

Using self-hosted commerce is like having your own personal Shopify, WIX or BigCommerce right at your fingertips. Only there’s no monthly costs to worry about just to use it. And there’s no vendor lock-in which would otherwise make it too difficult or risky to switch between platforms when the need arises.

With commerce goliaths like Amazon doubling quarterly profits in 2020 while, at the same time snubbing their own FBA customers, it’s high time you took a hard look at your e-commerce and take control of your own commerce destiny. In this post I will show you how to set-up your own self-hosted Reaction Commerce stack on a VPS with as little as 2GB of RAM or about $10/month.

Redirect non-www to www Traefik v2

4 minute read Published

How to create more timeless URLs using Traefik 2 with Docker labels.

I like cool URIs that don't change so whenever I’m making a new website I make sure I put my web content on the www subdomain where it belongs. This of course leaves the domain apex, or root of the domain, empty and user agents don’t always do what comes so natural to us humans — adding a www in front of a domain name.

Computers get even more clumsy when you add HTTPS into the equation and are working with new technologies. So if you’re looking for cool URIs too here’s how to redirect domain.example to www.domain.example with Traefik v2 over both HTTP and HTTPS using Docker labels in a docker-compose.override.yml YAML file:

ACH Payments on Reaction Commerce

7 minute read Updated

How to accept ACH payments using Reaction Commerce.

After learning Mitragynine was the cure for my five year cough I realized most of my stay here in Bali put me a mere 653 miles from the source of the jamu (Indonesian for herbal remedy) I now substitute entirely as a replacement for caffeine. Given my medical journey and newfound love of Kratom it seems fitting to set-up an online shop to better take advantage of this miracle plant. After some trial and error the platform I’ve landed on for commerce is called Reaction Commerce. And in this post I’ll show you how to use it to set-up a simple ACH payment system using Reaction on your own website.

How to Make a Branded URL Shortener

3 minute read Updated

Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs for your website or blog.

Tiny URLs, otherwise known as short links. We’ve all used them to shorten URLs. Sometimes for sharing y2u.be videos. Or to make some cheese using amzn.to. Perhaps even to view someone else’s analytics data. And though some may lead you to believe short URLs can be dangerous, used thoughtfully they make a useful addition in your link building strategy. Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs free in under 5 minutes.

Managing Async Dependencies with JavaScript

4 minute read Updated

Managing asynchronous dependencies with JavaScript can be a nightmare. But there's a better way. It's called Fetch Injection.

I’ve long been inspired by the work of Steve Souders. Back in 2009 Steve published an article titled Loading Scripts Without Blocking, which I first became aware of and studied during my time at Orbitz – where every millisecond a user waited for the page to load had a measurable impact to the business.

Steve’s work was instrumental for performance-critical websites and apps, and even inspired Nicholas C. Zakas to write Loading JavaScript without Blocking the same month Steve’s book Even Faster Web Sites was published.

Initial Commit

5 minute read Updated

Learn about the creation of the website used to dogfood After Dark.

Back in 2008 I started my first blog. Its original incarnation was a WordPress site hosted on Bluehost. I’ll never forget the countless hours I spent wrestling with WordPress plug-in updates, sweating my database back-up process, fighting the content editor to produce valid markup and, on at least one occasion, losing several hours of work as a result of clicking the wrong button somewhere. WordPress was complicated and it sucked.

WordPress was complicated and it sucked.

Drupal 7 for WordPress Admins

7 minute read Updated

WordPress continues to become more and more sophisticated as time draws on, with a constantly improving admin dashboard and easy-to-use plugin architecture. And themes like  Twenty Eleven give both bloggers and web developers something to appreciate. But while WordPress is a great CMS for personal blogs, it’s not well suited for more complex applications such as Drupal, on the other hand, and by design, excels at all of the above and more.

his article will look at some of the similarities and differences between WordPress and Drupal 7, explain how to accomplish some of the less intuitive administration procedures in Drupal, share some newbie gotchas and timesavers, and provide a list of modules useful to get a new Drupal site off the ground. It is assumed readers are new to Drupal but have a familiarity with using the WordPress blogging platform.