A little HTTPS for all

One downside of running a self-hosted WordPress site has been the lack of encryption with I’m logged in. This means my login credentials are sent in the clear across the Internet with who knows what three letter agencies and not so innocent folks potentially listening in. This is probably a major reason why I rarely blog when I travel.

Not any longer: this site is now fully SSL enabled. All HTTP traffic is now redirected to its HTTPS equivalent even for normal, every day visitors, however few there are.

Many thanks to this Digital Ocean tutorial for describing how to configure SSL certificates and for some semi-ancient knowledge from my early days on the Dyn tech support team when we were SSL certificate resellers.  It by and large went very smooth, with only a few minor hiccups that are probably due to my lack of experience than the tutorial.

Now to experiment with TLSA records…

Update: Thanks to some tweaking with my config, this site now receives an A+ on the Qualys SSL Labs test.

Six day checkpoint on VPS

It has been 6 days since I moved my site to a Digital Ocean VPS and so far everything has worked perfectly. The site is blazing fast and so far, the reliability issues the last time I tried this seem to have not reappeared (yet).

The next step I think is figuring out what I want my site to be. For about ten years, it has been a blog where I may post once every month or two. I don’t want it to be that for the next ten years.

VPS experiment has ended

I’ve decided to go back to a shared hosting environment for now with my sites. I just don’t have the time to properly maintain a VPS server. Plus my Dreamhost account is paid up through November. In November I’ll re-evaluate my options.

And now ChrisGonyea.com is redirected

I am pleased to announce that ChrisGonyea.com is now redirected to a new domain, chris.gonyea.com. This new domain consolidates several domains and will be the home to my future blog writing.

Links referencing the old URLs should redirect automatically. If they don’t, please let me know in the comments.

A new home and domain

I’m pleased to announce that my web site / blog now has a new home. I have consolidated my domains from and breakingbrickwalls.net to chris.gonyea.com. Additionally, this is now hosted on a Digital Ocean VPS.

Consolidating Domains

I’ve been blogging now for about 12 years, with archives dating back 10 years. In the past, whenever I wanted to talk about a new subject, I generally just purchased a domain name and setup a new blog.

However this came with a number of downsides:

  • Multiple WordPress instances are a pain to administer, especially when there is security and plugin updates.
  • I felt like my thoughts were scattered across multiple platforms and not benefiting from being collected and promoted on a single site.
  • I found I was far more likely to neglect my sites.

Additionally, since I purchased gonyea.com several years ago, I have been wanting to have chris.gonyea.com be my digital home. This seemed like a great opportunity to consolidate everything. breakingbrickwalls.net and chrisgonyea.com will eventually redirect here, with their archives imported.

Life in the fast lane

I have been less and less impressed with Dreamhost over the years. Their shared hosting seems to be so slow these days. I would wait seconds for WordPress pages to render. There is little control over the server and limitations to what I could do.

Running on a Digital Ocean VPS has been a revelation:

  • It’s insanely fast out of the box. Even the WordPress admin pages render in milliseconds it seems.
  • I have made the switch over to NGINX, which means even faster rendering and the ability to withstand the single digits of users hitting my site.
  • I’ve been able to do snapshots of my server’s configuration so I can instantly revert to it if needed.
  • I now have all server transactional email going through Dyn Email Delivery.
  • I can now experiment with the server’s configuration and try new tools, expanding my knowledge of administering Linux servers.

So far, so good on this experiment.