About the software behind this blog

This blog is self hosted

I spent days setting up this blog but for some good reasons. First I wanted to be independent and maintain control of my data, I had too many problems with services stopping and company closing. But I also wanted my blog to be SEO friendly and the fastest possible so I needed to have the most control possible on the software used to be able to tweak it like I want.

So instead of renting a web hosting service or to pay for a hosted blog I decided to use a VPS (virtual private server) and do everything on my own.


Powered by Ubuntu Linux distributionubuntu logo

I’m not that much a fan of Canonical (the editor of Ubuntu) as they made decisions for their desktop distribution that I didn’t like. But for a server I think it works well. Ubuntu is based on Debian but it feels a bit more hassle-free in my opinion. Most software I used are up to date ans easy to install. I think that Debian is not as simple to use for me. I know some people prefer to use Debian but I don’t think it is so different in fine. At least for my usage.

Ubuntu works well on by VPS, it doesn’t use a lot of ram and I haven’t got any crash yet. It has been running for something like 6 months at the moment (I was using it before I started this blog) without any problem.

WordPress as a blogging softwareWordpress Blogging platform Logo

As you may have noticed, I’m using wordpress. It is open source and has a HUGE community. You have to be cautious thought, many people are making a lot of money by selling themes, plugins and most of the free plugins are heavy and bloats your blog.

I’m running very few plugins, just the minimum I need. I don’t need fancy stuff, the main goal of this blog is sharing my experiences with other skateboarders. I want to be able to focus on the content. I also want my blog to be lightweight, nobody wants to load a webpage for seconds just to display some lines of text. I think that too many blogs and website are far too heavy, they load many javascript frameworks such as query just to use one or two functions. There is a forum I often visit that has more than 500kb of javascript, that’s more than the weight of my main page, images included.

Optimisation is the key

To be sure to be able to serve a high quality and lightweight blog, I made my own theme using _s framework with the less javascript possible. Just enough to offer a smooth experiences for my readers. It only has one css stylesheet (thanks to Sass) and one javascript file.

Instead of using plugging, I integrated myself some functions directly into my theme to get what I wanted. For exemple, the “You may also like” section under single articles is a home made script that shows post that are either in the same category or sharing some tags. I could have used a plugin for that, but it may have loaded some more javascript or css sheets and I would be dependent on the developper work to ensure the script gets upgraded.

WordPress + Nginx + MariaDB = LoveNginx Logo

I used Apache for many years but I had problems with my Owncloud installation on Apache. I tried it with Nginx and loved it. At first the config files are a little bit scary when you are used to Apache, but after a while it feel more natural and more powerful. I’m using a custom version of Nginx to be able to handle the cache correctly and not the one from Ubuntu repositories. Caching with Nginx is really efficient, in fact webpages are generated by php only when it is needed and most of the time a cached version of the page will be served to visitors. That’s what makes (or at least should make) this blog fast. Even a static webpage couldn’t be faster using the same server. I’m also using MariaDB as database, it is a fork of Mysql that is a little bit more optimized but above all, not owned by Oracle.

I don’t currently have millions of visitors, but I’m able to host three websites on the same VPS without any slow down. The only problem you may have is because this website is hosted in France, so if you are from the USA or from Asia it could be a bit slower.

Hosted on a OVH VPSOVH logo

In a client of OVH, they are not the cheapest and doesn’t have hundred of features, but they have enough to make my DNS managing really simple. The bandwidth is great and not limited so my website speed is constant and stable. I may try another host one day but for the moment I’m staying with OVH.

Now you know how this blog is run, I should add that I’m also using Postfix and Dovecot as a mail server and rsync to backup all my server daily, in case my server crashed or if I get hacked.

If you have any question or if you want to share what you are using for your blog, please comment bellow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *