The Caddy server is a relatively new, easy-to-use server written in the Go programming language. It is very buzzword compliant. But, the nicest thing about it, in my opinion, is that it sets up SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates automatically from Let’s Encrypt to let you serve a site with HTTPS by default. The project is open source and the certificates are free.
Of course, WordPress is a very popular blogging platform. Caddy provides some guidance on getting WordPress up and running on the server. However, it wasn’t enough for me. Here’s some step-by-step guidance on how I got it working on some of my own self-hosted sites.
This probably has no interest to anyone but me, but you may notice a change in the blog theme today. I’ve been dissatisfied with the typography of the blog for quite some time. Today I set out to try to find a theme that had better typography. Man, what a mess!
There are a zillion WordPress themes out there. Some awful, but many quite good. However, finding a minimalist theme intended for writing and reading is surprisingly difficult. They seem to jump from those with no bells and whistles at all (see mnmlist or less or Hemingway Rewritten simple for example) to those that have galleries and seem to be photo driven. A lot of “responsive” themes seem to give ugly results when shown on a nice big monitor as opposed to a tiny phone screen.
I just want to write stuff and have a few side widgets. It has to be capable of supporting code listings, of course, and the few little widgets I use for navigation (archive, categories, and tags). That’s enough for me.
So this is now Two Thousand Twelve, an update to the Two Thousand Eleven them I used previously. There are still things I don’t care for, like the way the blog header and image are laid out, the typography (could be better), ugly links to read the rest of long stories, and on and on. But I’m too lazy to write my own. It isn’t really hard, just tedious (says the guy who has only read the tutorials.)
Dave Winer’s new outliner, Fargo, does most of what I want and seems a great tool. It even integrates with WordPress. Maybe that’s something to look into another day. The Truly Minimal theme looks almost right too.
Well, it’s been a long time coming and I’m still a little unsure about it, but starting now, this site will allow comments. I’ve explained why I didn’t allow them before, but I’m adding Disqus-powered discussions to the blog. We’ll see how that goes.
If everything that comes in is just spam, I’ll disable comments again. If comments are useful, civil and on topic. they will remain.
And we’ll see if anyone thinks any of this stuff is interesting enough to comment on in the first place.
Since I’m going through the setup again, I thought I would start out with some older posts from other systems (the few that remain). Don’t pay much attention to the dates.
Well, here we are again. You, me, and WordPress. It seems like I go through this setup a lot. Over the years, I’ve tried other blogging platforms, and even toyed with the idea of creating one of my own for fun like one of my heroes, Brian Carper. But I just keep coming back here. Why do I ever leave?
There are really a couple of reasons. I do this a lot because of hardware and backup failures. At those times, since I’ve pretty much lost everything, I decide to give one of the other systems a try. And it usually goes ok for a while. But eventually, dissatisfaction creeps in. For example, my most recent foray was into Drupal. I really liked Drupal but was continually frustrated by problems with formatting source code. The crazy combination of editor plugins and highlighter plugins and all the version problems just got me fed up one day. So, here I am again.
Another reason is that WordPress just feels so comfortable to me now. I’m back again. Maybe I’ll stay. Maybe I’ll host this on a real web server with a backup routine that works.