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Tag: CDN

Migrating self-hosted WordPress

When I started this website in 2009, I was using Joomla. Then at some point I switch to WordPress because it was much easier to manage my posts. And it was hosted at one.com, where I initially registered this domain name. However, the network and service wasn’t really stable and I had a lot of hiccups back then. As a result, in 2017 I migrated the website to Scaleway.com, which offers very cheap virtual machines and small bare metal instances.

Another reason why I switched was because I was also running a real-time crypto price crawling and algorithmic trading service with a few servers, and since my website didn’t have a ton of visitors, I could put it together with other services. Back then a small instance cost only 5 euros per month, and I found it to be more cost-effective than other cloud computing providers like AWS, GCP or Vultr. As time went by, I had more resource intensive services running, such as staking pools which require large volumes. I ended up upgrading those tiny instances, and adding more resources from Scaleway. Then later when I phased out such services and reduced the number of instances, I couldn’t switch back to the smaller instances because either they didn’t exist any more or I couldn’t downgrade the volume size. So in the end I was paying a large monthly bill to run a small WordPress application.

And today I finally managed to spare a few hours reviewing the services I need, and decided it to migrate it back to one.com, which I was already paying anyway. As a side note, the price of one.com subscription also increase by 4x or 5x in 10 years.

Migrating WordPress alone is easy: backup all the files and database, then copy files to one.com, import the database, and setup the DNS on Cloudflare. I asked ChatGPT to draw me this flowchart:

During the process, I also tried setting up a local LAMP+WP service with docker-compose (this repo is very useful: https://github.com/nezhar/wordpress-docker-compose) and tried exporting my posts into GoHugo format. In the end I believed it was too much hassle and not worth it.

A few issues I encountered during the migration process:

  1. .htaccess files should be set up properly, otherwise WP complains about 404 for sub pages.
  2. Some WP plugins were outdated (code highlighting, for example), so it caused some page rendering issues. When I replaced the plugin such issues are gone.
  3. File permissions has to be 744 or 755 for the wp-content/uploads folder.
  4. I used nslookup daoyuan.li ns01.one.com to get the IP of one.com’s server, and manually updated it on Cloudflare, since I prefer to use Cloudflare to manage my DNS. In the future I may need to automate this process, in case one.com moves my VM to another server. Or at lease I should monitor the output from ns01.one.com versus kara.ns.cloudflare.com.

Besides migrating WP, I also had a few other websites to migrate. But since they are all static websites, I used Cloudflare Pages to host them and assigned the domains to the corresponding Pages project.

I probably spent 3 to 4 hours migrating everything, and double checking everything works fine. Then I went ahead and terminated all instances, elastic IPs and volumes on Scaleway. That would save me a couple of hundred euros a year. Not bad ROI!

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WordPress pages load very slowly after Google is blocked

After Google is completely blocked in China since May 31, I’ve had problems loading my website. After some investigation I found out the problem lies in loading failure of Google Fonts. Since it takes a long time to fail, the page waits before it fails and display with the fallback styles.

To solve the problem, I crawled the font styles from Google and put it up on my server. Then I changed the WordPress theme to use the font style on the server. Everything seems to work perfectly after that.

Another option would be completely disable Google Font Styles. This can be easily done using the WP plugin “Disable Google Fonts”, if you’re using WP’s default twenty-* themes. In my case, I would have to comment out two lines in Mog Theem Functions file (functions.php). Since my theme relies on Google Fonts, instead of commenting out the lines, I changed these to lines to use the localized style file:

 

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Raspberry Pi as a toy web server

1. Tell my router to route certain traffic to the Raspberry Pi. For example, I route HTTP and SSH traffic to one of my Pi’s. I disabled password login for  SSH, using public key authentication instead: in /etc/ssh/sshd_config, use the following setting and restart SSH service using `sudo service ssh restart’.

2. Getting my IP address of the Raspberry Pi. I firstly created a PHP script on my domain to record the IP address in a text file.

Then tell the Raspberry Pi to report its IP address every 5 minutes, using crontab:

After a while the IP address is recorded in the text file and updated every 5 minutes.

3. Optionally create a DNS record for the Pi. I use Cloudflare to manage DNS settings by myself, so just add/update an entry in Cloudflare’s settings. I point pi.daoyuan.li to the IP address of one Pi. This can be done automatically in the future.

4. Install Flask on the Pi.

5. Install nginx and uwsgi on the Pi.

6. Set up nginx along with uwsgi and Flask.

Edit nginx config:

Edit uwsgi config:

Create a simple Flask app:

Start up uwsgi:

7. Done! http://pi.daoyuan.li:5000/

 Update on June 24, 2014:

Getting the external address in step 2 can be done by running this command in Raspberry Pi:

See: http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/5427/get-your-external-ip-address

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