Captain Codeman

Category: blogging

Automatic HTTPS With Free SSL Certificates Using Go + Let's Encrypt

Adding SSL doesn't have to be complicated or expensive

If you’re still paying $$$’s for SSL certificates it may be time to look at Let’s Encrypt which describe themselves as “a free, automated and open certificate authority”.

SSL certificates are now effectively free.

Sounds too good to be true? Unless you need some fancy green-bar EV certificate there’s really no need to be paying for SSL certificates anymore. Especially now there is a Go package to support automatic certificate generation.

It turned out to be easier to setup the auto-certificate system than it was to renew a paid-for SSL certificate, here’s how …


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Polymer Web-Components for Markdown Image Upload

Creating a great image upload experience with Markdown

One of the great things about Polymer and Web-Components is they are part of the platform. What I mean by that is that once you define an element, you can add some HTML containing a reference to it however and wherever you like and the browser will render it.

Not all JavaScript frameworks can do that. Amazingly, some front-end frameworks don’t seem to be able to handle HTML unless it’s HTML that they are generating. Set some innerHTML and even though it may contain elements defined in the app, they won’t appear.

To show how useful it is, imagine we want to implement a markdown editor with Ghost-like image uploading …

polymer web-components blogserve

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AppEngine Applications - Doing the Math

How much does it cost to run a cloud app on AppEngine?

So for various reasons I decided to write my own blog engine and because I think AppEngine is such a fantastic platform (especially for hosting multi-tenanted apps) that is what the initial runtime implementation uses.

I now have a few blogs setup which demonstrate the multi-tenancy working so I thought it was a good point to do some back-of-the-envelope math to figure out how much it would cost to host or how many blogs I could host for any given price.

Remember - one of my motivations for doing this is that I’m too cheap to pay for someone else to host my blog and I also want to host blogs for friends and family without ending up on the endless treadmill of maintaining servers, database backups and WordPress plugins.

So how’s it looking so far?

appengine paas blogserve

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New BlogServe Blog Engine

Why I decided to write my own

Because everyone should write a blog engine at some point in their life …

This is the story of how I went from WordPress, to Jekyll, to Hugo, thought about going back to WordPress, briefly considered Ghost but ultimately decided to write my own multi-tenanted blog engine instead, powered by Google Cloud, Go and Polymer.


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Switching blog from WordPress to Jekyll hosted by GitHub Pages and styled with Twitter Bootstrap 3.0

Tired of dealing with WordPress issues

Phew … that’s a mouthful !

I’ve used WordPress for my blog for the last few years since switching to it from BlogEngine.NET. Originally I continued hosting it myself but it seemed like a never ending treadmill of installing software updates and battling with incompatible plugins which I finally grew tired of so I eventually ‘outsourced’ it to the hosted service.

This worked much better and I have no complaints with the quality of the service itself but am a little unhappy that after you pay to use it they add advertising to your site and you then need to pay extra to have their ads removed. I doubt my blog generates a huge amount of ad revenue but still, I’d much rather it came to me and I think it would be fairer to have a free ad-supported service OR an ad-free service which you pay for.

I’ve spent a few hours getting setup using an alternative and while it’s not yet finished and more than a little rough around the edges I can already see the value in it.

It’s based on GitHub Pages which provides free hosting of static content for github user, organization or projects. Because all the content is hosted in Github it’s automatically version controlled and published whenever you commit changes (within a few minutes).

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Blog Reboot

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