Starting Over - (Re)Starting a blog in 2016

I got laid off. Just shy of 5 years of working on a project that never sold enough to even cover my salary, the company decided it was time to trim some fat. That happened almost 3 weeks ago. Since then, i’ve been spending time with my family, doing some house work, exercising, and just generally not touching a computer. This morning, I had the urge to pick up my laptop and work on something. Anything. I decided i’d focus on this blog again, for a short while.

The last post on this blog is from September 2013. When that post was made, I was hosting on amazon S3, which has cost me about $0.33 per month, on average (I also store several GB of data there, so the number isn’t solely this blog.). While S3 is great, and there is a jekyll gem/plugin that automatically builds and publishes to S3, I want to move things to a ([] droplet i’ve been running for the last year or two.

I need to make sure I have all the content from this site, preserve the url structure, upload it to my droplet, update DNS, install an SSL certificate and try to get a valid HTTP 2 request in Chrome. I’ll keep a checklist running here while I do each task.

Make sure I have all the content

This seems easy enough. I’ve had a copy of this blog on github the whole time, so i’ve got what I need there.

Preserve URL Structure

This should “just work”, but when I try to build this locally with jekyll, I see no content. I’ll have to sort out the build errors in a 3 year old template.

Well, that was easy enough. I was missing: gems: [jekyll-paginate] From my config.yml file.

Set up nginx on my droplet

I’ve already got nginx running, so i’ll just need to create a configuration file for and reload it.

Switch DNS

This is just changing the IP in the dashboard. Actually, I had to delete the cname entry from hosting with amazon and create and A record for my own droplet.

Disable Amazon Cloudfront

I logged into the AWS management console, selected CloudFront, saw my one distribution, and disabled it. I am unable to delete it, but that should not be a problem once it is fully disabled.

Delete S3 Bucket

Gotta save those pennies!

Install SSL Cert

cd /opt/letsencrypt ./letsencrypt-auto certonly -D -w /opt/

Easy enough. Enable it in nginx and I have SSL


This is just splitting hairs, but since i’m running ubuntu 16.4.1 and nginx, with SSL, I should be able to enable HTTP 2. This was enabled by adding “http2” to the protocols list to listen for. Easy enough. Now I see a bunch of “h2” requests when serving my site.

Looks like that was all pretty easy. Now, i’ll clean up this post a bit, publish it, and try to write something new here before 3 years is up.