Adventures in CS

Setting up my site

11 Feb 2019

Setting up my site

Took a long while to get to it but I finally managed to setup a blog site on a server I manage myself. In this post, I will explain how I got this site up and running.

Step 1: Buy a domain

Get a domain name! I used namecheap since I had already bought a domain name from there. You can use any of the whole wide range of domain name providers out there. If you just want to experiment, there are domain names that are less than a dollar/euro.

Step 2: Get a Server

You don’t always have to spend money to get a server enough to serve a small site. For example you can use the GCP free tier. They have an always 1 f1-micro VM instance per month with certain limitations. You can get all the information about usage limits here. But that instance is only suitable for low-traffic website. Or you can just get a virtual server from any number of cloud providers.

Regardless of the cloud provider, make sure that the firewall rules of your instance allow for atleast http traffic. For GCP you can modify the firewall rules from here.

Step 3: Setup DNS entry for your Server

Step 4: Install Apache webserver

Use this guide to install apache webserver, if it’s not already there. The guide is for Ubuntu. Or simply use the following commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo service apache2 start

Step 5: Configure Apache webserver

By default apache webserver serves the files in your /var/www/html directory. We will do the setup such that our built site is copied to a directory in /var/www/ and that files from that directory is served by the apache webserver.

sudo vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

Modify the file so that it looks something like this.

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

        DocumentRoot /var/www/yoursite/
        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
        <Directory /var/www/yoursite/>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride None
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all

You can read further about apache webserver configuration here.

Step 6: Setup for Jekyll

sudo apt install rubygems
gem install jekyll

Step 7: Setup auto-regeneration

I used pygithub and modified the example of the webhook that they have here


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