Friday Fun: Checking under the hood

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I was heavily considering writing a post about recent events in anime news and whatnot, but these posts are supposed to be fun, right? Instead, I want to talk about the tech behind my site. Admittedly, this is a topic for which I really don’t have a good gauge on what people think, so let me know if I’m boring you with the details. Really, I want to know! And if you want my opinion on anything related to websites, please don’t hesitate to ask. If there’s any way I can help, I want do so.

As I say in my About page, this blog is built using a framework called Django, which is a framework that uses Python as a programming language. If you’re interested, my source code is available here. The main reason I chose to use this framework instead of the more popular language PHP is that I wanted to spend my time learning a language that I could use outside of the context of web development. At the time, I wasn’t fully sure I was going to get too far in web development, so you could say I was hedging my bets. This actually came in handy later on as I’ve built a few scripts in Python to help me import data from WordPress into this blog (like old posts or comments).

The hardware of my blog is hosted on OVH, a suggestion I took from a friend who knows a lot more about web development than I do. If you’re curious about the actual specs of the machine, it’s VPS SSD 1 on this page. As a word of warning, this kind of server is really barebones, so I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re new to this. My previous server was hosted on JustHost, which has scripts for installing WordPress or other website systems as well as a web interface for interacting with the server. The reason I changed over was that I no longer needed the scripts and the OVH server was much cheaper. To give raw numbers, the hosting cost of JustHost was about $15/month, which amounts to around $180/year. By comparison, the OVH VPS is $3.50/month, or $42/year.

Which brings me back to WordPress. Despite having created this website, I still think that WordPress is a great discovery platform, which is why I continue to copy my posts on a free WordPress site. Part of the reason I bring this is up is that it ties into my “general updates” on the blog. WordPress has an API available for developers and I’ve been looking into it as my next big update for the site. I’m not sure what is available to me in the API yet, but my hope is that I’ll be able to synchronize comments between my site and the WordPress site, which would allow readers to comment on this site by logging into their WordPress account. Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Hope this was fun.