Site Hosting – Srikanth Perinkulam https://srikanthperinkulam.com Thu, 16 May 2019 00:53:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://i1.wp.com/sriperi.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/03112012/SP01-550afdebv1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Site Hosting – Srikanth Perinkulam https://srikanthperinkulam.com 32 32 120822608 Bringing the cloud home https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2019/02/26/bringing-the-cloud-home/ https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2019/02/26/bringing-the-cloud-home/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2019 17:55:51 -0400 https://srikanthperinkulam.com/?p=5724 I finally got my Shoebox server setup working! I now have three Single board Computer [SBC] working in tandem behind my home router to accomplish what I’ve been wanting to do for quite sometime now – Setting up an easy-to-maintain, in-house server for all my data and web hosting needs. Fixing this all together has …

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I finally got my Shoebox server setup working! I now have three Single board Computer [SBC] working in tandem behind my home router to accomplish what I’ve been wanting to do for quite sometime now – Setting up an easy-to-maintain, in-house server for all my data and web hosting needs. Fixing this all together has been a tremendous learning experience. I still need to weed out some pesky issues but I believe I have the bearing right now.

Here’s my current setup:

  1. NexcloudPi installed on a Raspberry pi 3B+ board
  2. Yunohost installed on an Odroid XU4 board
  3. Diet-Pi installed on another Raspberry pi 3B+ board

I’ve been using Nextcloud as my data storage solution for more than a year now. It does what I expect it to do and much more. NextcloudPi handles the intricate details and takes out the hassles that come with hosting data on personal servers.

On the ODroid-XU4, I installed debian stretch as the base OS and then manually installed Yunohost as my web server. I use ServerPilot on my Digital ocean servers and was looking for a close match while self hosting. Love YHs web-ui and they did seem to support quite a few web apps. I also have my eyes on cozy and caprover. Might explore these at a later point in time if decide to switch to a different SBC.

Both NextcloudPi and Yunohost have letsencrypt tools to setup and manage certificates for the domains/sub domains. While super useful, I realised to benefit from that feature, I had to rely on haproxy. With some pointers from the Nextcloud forum, I decided to use another pi to front as the main server. Installed Diet-pi on it since it’s just something I really liked and configured haproxy on it to map to the corresponding server based on the hostname. While at it, I also added in a switch between the router and various servers.

I still need to work on making this more robust. One niggling issue is the speed is heavily compromised. I’m guessing it’s do with my haproxy config and I should be able to fix it pretty soon. Once I have this sorted out, I need to spend some time hardening the security of the server, further configure Yunohost, device my backup strategies and finally moving my websites over from Digital Ocean.

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Migrations, Workflows and Awesomeness https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2017/03/02/migrations-workflows/ https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2017/03/02/migrations-workflows/#comments Thu, 02 Mar 2017 19:22:27 -0400 https://srikanthperinkulam.com/?p=3081

Since mid 2016, I’ve been wanting to consolidate all the portals I manage. Having set them up on separate domain spaces, It was getting excruciatingly difficult to update/maintain/upgrade them. The admin interface at times was dead slow and I had restrictions with server permissions which wasn’t quite helpful. My first thought was to procure a home server and …

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Since mid 2016, I’ve been wanting to consolidate all the portals I manage. Having set them up on separate domain spaces, It was getting excruciatingly difficult to update/maintain/upgrade them. The admin interface at times was dead slow and I had restrictions with server permissions which wasn’t quite helpful. My first thought was to procure a home server and host all the portals from there. Besides speed and control, It would also give me flexibility to tinker with other self-hosted apps that I’ve been itching to work on. It looked like a great solution but I knew it would also need me to invest a lot of time, getting up to speed with server administration. With my new running schedule and several other things, time was a luxury I didn’t have and I was soon scouting for alternatives.

I figured the ‘cloud’ was a good alternative. While debating between AWS and Azure I came across DigitalOcean [DO] which seemed to be a great testing ground for Cloud services. It seemed to have all that I was looking for and apparently was also pretty easy to setup. Besides, with another service called Serverpilot.io I could spin a portal with just a few clicks. Sometime late in December when one of my shared servers expired, I bit the bullet and signed up with DO. It’s been pretty stable and worry-free so far. I see a tremendous improvement in speed, and goes without saying, the flexibility is incredible. As an added bonus, I also got to port to https using LetsEncrypt. Something that I sub-consciously wanted to do for a long time now. Couldn’t have asked for more! Over the next few weeks, as other shared accounts expire, I plan to migrate all of my other websites over to DO. It’s been a fun ride and a huge learning experience.

In the process I also came across a few nifty tools that do incredible things. The All-in-one WP Migration plugin does wonders in migration. All you need to do is install it in your old server setup, download the export and then import that into your brand new wordpress setup. This plugin takes care of EVERYTHING – posts, pages, CPTs, database, media and what not! It takes me just a minute to migrate my whole setup! Amazing! On another front, I’ve been itching to find a tool to publish to my site directly from my phone. The wordpress app worked just fine but didn’t quite meet all my needs. And then one day, I chanced upon a neat workaround using the workflow app on my iphone. One of those days when I wasn’t quite in the mood for podcasts, I used the 20 minute train commute to build some custom workflows. Soon I could push updates to my site – be it bookmarks, moments, quick notes, replies, running updates etc which seamlessly get posted with just a few clicks. Once these ‘posts’ enter my website, I use a couple of plugins to add featured images (Quick featured images) and/or auto post to twitter using SNAP. Some thought behind this was also to live the indieweb philosophy.

Ever since I started training for the 50 miler, I seem to have developed a better approach to time-management. During the week I keep note of all the tasks I would like to work on, prioritize them and then only work on the finishing the top three. This way I spend at-most half an hour during the weekend on server admin tasks and weed out the one’s with lower priority. This approach leads to having several want-to but unfinished tasks on the list. However, I guess it’s the best in terms of distributing time across the buckets.

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Important plugins for your WP Installation https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2015/04/08/plugins-for-wordpress/ https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2015/04/08/plugins-for-wordpress/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:17:03 -0400 http://srikanthperinkulam.com/?p=1914 Over the last seven years, since I moved to a self hosted platform I’ve grown really fond of WordPress as a CMS. The ease of its installation and maintenance, the power of scaling, the flexibility to adapt it to your requirements and it’s ever present support framework is something that I’ve really grown to appreciate …

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Over the last seven years, since I moved to a self hosted platform I’ve grown really fond of WordPress as a CMS. The ease of its installation and maintenance, the power of scaling, the flexibility to adapt it to your requirements and it’s ever present support framework is something that I’ve really grown to appreciate over time.

I’ve worked on several installations of WordPress and over these years extensively tested quite a few plugins. Here’s a log of plugins that I’ve really found useful and hopefully will update this list as I experiment more with them:

Security and Regular Maintenance

Wordfence Security

Started using this plugin when one of my sites was hacked (more on this later) and sworn by it ever since then. With server-side scans, e-mail alerts and regular updates, this is one plugin you should install by default.

Bad Behavior

You just need to get hacked once to realize how vulnerable you actually are! I installed this plugin as a primary shield to spammers and malicious code and the ships’ been sailing in full mast ever since.

Updraft Plus

A backup and restoration plugin I came across recently that easily backups the core files and databases to S3 buckets (And other services)

Akismet

There’s absolutely no reason why shouldn’t install this plugin. Its free, works wonders and just so easy to set up. Add a captcha and your site should be rock-solid.

Speed and SEO

W3 Total Cache

Though not that straightforward, you can count on this plugin to drastically improve your site’s speed and performance. There are tons of reference guides available online and in a few minutes you should be all fired up!

CloudFlare

Install this plugin once you setup a cloudflare account (Free) for your site. Besides the benefits of a CDN you also get another layer of security for DOS attacks.

WordPress SEO

The most powerful SEO plugin I’ve come across yet. With a nifty setup it compels you to write better content. The ease of updating your meta tags and the dynamic scoring gives you a very clear picture on your SEO rankings for each post.

WP-Optimize

Worpress being the dynamic CMS gives you robust features such as post revisions, Trackbacks and pingbacks, transient options to state a few. Over time as your portal content increases, this may cause unnecessary meta data and content. WP-optimize does a wonderful job of optimizing and cleaning your database.

Broken link checker

One nifty plugin to keep track of your links. Based on your site settings, this plugin gives you complete control of the links you use on your portal and does a brilliant job not only in picking up broken links but also giving you remedial options.

Custom Post Types

Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields

Enter the world of Custom content types and fields – The true power of WordPress as a CMS. Pods helps you generate CPTs in a matter of seconds. I chanced on this plugin when I just learnt about CPTs and have been extensively using them ever since.

Book Review Library

Think of this as a variant of the Pods plugin. This plugin comes in-built with features such as authors and ratings.

Current Menu Item for Custom Post Types

This plugin lets you add a parent page for a CPT and highlight the menu accordingly.

Enhanced features

TablePress

WordPress by default doesn’t provide tables. This plugin gives you a truly functional and easy to implement table feature for your installation. With import and export features, this is one plugin that really stands out in its kind.

ByTheWay Annotations

If you’ve read any of my Actuarial Postpad posts, you would have noticed the power of + ByTheWaty Annotations ! One effective short-code usage to highlight content.

Custom Sidebars

Powered by the super-awesome wpmudev team, this is one plugin you could use to modify the way you display content even in really complex themes. The flexibility to work on the sidebars is truly amazing!

Display posts shortcode

This plugin gives you the power to display list of posts based on certain criteria. The truly powerful feature is its ability to work with Custom Post Types. Well documented and one truly powerful plugin.

Jetpack

Powered by Automattic, this plugin gives you a slew of features to customize your WordPress installation. Most of the settings work out of the box and brings in features previously only available to WordPress.com users.

Simple Mathjax

One powerful plugin to solve all your latex worries on WordPress. Most of my mathematical posts are powered by Simple Mathjax and Jetpacks inbuilt latex support. CodeCogs LATEX equation editor is yet another support framework truly worth exploring!

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved

This plugin easily helps you post your syntax highlighted code in your posts. With its support for many languages and its ease of use, this plugin is a must have if you work with developing and sharing code snippets.

WP CSV

One simple CSV export and import plugin. Works with CPTs too.

Better Font Awesome

Helps you automatically integrate the latest version of the font awesome toolkit into your WordPress installation.

Storage and Media

Amazon Webservices

I recently moved all my images to the Amazon S3 service to steer clear of image link issues and server delays. The Amazon Webservices plugin is a primary plugin to connect your WordPress installation to Amazons’ Webservices account.

Amazon S3 and CloudFront

Coupled with the Amazon Webservices plugin, this plugin automatically uploads all your images on to the S3 bucket you’d setup previously. The optional CloudFront feature also brings in the additional benefit of serving your images from Amazons’ CDN.

Regenerate Thumbnails

A handy plugin to regenerate all your thumbnails. Very useful when you have images that are not yet ported on to the Amazon S3 bucket but would like to do so in bulk. More of a secondary option but truly worth it!

Instagrate to wordpress

Sync your Instagram posts with WordPress and use the auto post to seamlessly post updates to your portal.

Charts and Mapping

WP-GPX-Maps

When talking about fitness, data and WordPress , this is one plugin I would highly recommend. Using imported GPX files, this plugin gives you dynamic elevation, speed, cadence and heart-rate plots. Brilliance at work!

gpx2chart

Yet another nifty plugin that captures your Garmin data beautifully with core statistics tabled out. Talk about details!

]]> https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2015/04/08/plugins-for-wordpress/feed/ 0 1914 Damn! It’s all black! https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2008/03/29/damn-its-all-black/ https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2008/03/29/damn-its-all-black/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2008 16:35:27 -0400 http://srikanthperinkulam.com/blog/?p=117 Having something of you own definitely costs you a penny more! I moved over my WordPress blog to a self hosted domain about a month back. It wasn’t much of a problem to start out with. But of late the loose threads are soon popping up!  Server down time, FTP issues, Database issues , linking issues to …

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I moved over my WordPress blog to a self hosted domain about a month back. It wasn’t much of a problem to start out with. But of late the loose threads are soon popping up!  Server down time, FTP issues, Database issues , linking issues to name a few.

After hooking to bland white themes for quite some time I thought I’d transition to a few dark themes. Wanted to use Red but then I realised I alone wouldn’t be reading  the posts on this blog. So settled for Black! Scouted for a couple of themes for my blog and baselanded on the elegant DF Theme. To relate it to my blog, I modified my site’s theme to black as well. All looked rosy(ROSY? 😉 ) on my Desktop with Firefox.  They blended well in IE too. Safari was never an issue. It only made the site look Royal! Tweaked the font size et al and finally it was all set up.

About two weeks later, people soon started dropping their comments! The color ain’t jelling! , Where’s the text? , Change the font! . Fools! Don’t they have a color sense? One more week passed and still the same comments. Nut Cases! Give them some aesthetic senses!

I never understood their suggestion…till today! I happened to check my site and blog on a different system , on a different browser with different settings at a different place ( not on my desktop at home) . And I realise how bad a testing I’d done when setting up my site. All I could see was BLACK. The font wasn’t visible, the contrast was too bad, the voting widget was all jacked up and , the comments tag was a bit too confusing , people were responding to one post instead of another, the tags were being misplaced. In a gist, The whole site was in a mess and it still is! What a jerk I was, to set my LCD monitors brightness and Contrast settings to the max and test the display! Sigh!

Folks! Really sorry for having neglected your suggestions!

I’m currently having very limited access to internet and my company’s Internet policies prohibits me from accessing login to my site! It’s a pity , this site and blog is to remain in a sad state of affairs as long as I’m in the Pune campus 🙁 . That ideally translates to another month or till I manage to get an accomodation somewhere in the City!

So till I manage to set things right, I’m just hoping your monitor’s display settings are set to make this site/blog readable. Too much of an expectation, but still that’s the best I can ask for! 🙂

And thanks a ton for your comments. Lest I would still be basking in twilights glory!

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Transition from v1.0 to v2.0 https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2008/03/09/transition-from-v1-0-to-v2-0/ https://srikanthperinkulam.com/2008/03/09/transition-from-v1-0-to-v2-0/#respond Sun, 09 Mar 2008 13:41:46 -0400 http://srikanthperinkulam.com/blog/?p=109 I was just sifting through a few of my previous posts couple of minutes back and even before I realized, something came in as a wonderful surprise. My first post was dated March 10th ‘07 and that means It’s been exactly one year that I started rambling on WordPress. It’s been a wonderful journey all …

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I was just sifting through a few of my previous posts couple of minutes back and even before I realized, something came in as a wonderful surprise. My first post was dated March 10th ‘07 and that means It’s been exactly one year that I started rambling on WordPress. It’s been a wonderful journey all along.

WordPress has been one beautiful tool to rant and rave at my whims. It gave me the flexibility which Blogger didn’t match ( and I believe it still doesn’t !), the flexibility that I could deploy when required, the aesthetic appeal that I wanted to personify on my space, and Oh yes the always responsive support team that I believe none of the other competitors of WordPress are even close to! Be it the stats page or the widgets corner; the lucid variety of themes or the anti spam Akismet utility, the going’s been fabulous.

On a different note, Blogging has got me on an altogether different front. It’s been a wonderful medium of expression of my thoughts not just to people who know me but also to those totally unaware of my existence. It’s got me up in the Networking platform and thanks to this I’ve got to know quite a few interesting people and more so their perspectives. I feel it’s also one of the reasons responsible for the change in my outlook per se.

I preferred not blogging on the latest sizzling topics or contentious issues just because that would mean something else encroaching into my space. Something that would undermine my real virtual presence. There’s been a downside to this too but then at the end of the day when it comes to personal satisfaction hits or stats are no match. Just the sheer pleasure of someone reading what you right out of your fickle mind works wonders in making things better. It’s been great getting to hear your version of the story from the other side of the wall on most of my posts. Thank you for that!

I’ve always believed in looking back at the way things evolve and in giving credit to myself however small be my achievement. To be frank , I was totally oblivious of the fact that I’d soon be reaching the one year mark till a few minutes back. I’d bought myself a domain name and hosting space from Znet just to experiment on my coding prowess yesterday and what do I find today? Looks like all of this was choreographed just like pieces of a puzzle falling in the right place at the right time!!

From today I’ve decided to stop blogging . Blogging on this space! srikanthperinkulam.wordpress.com would soon cease to be the platform where I would live virtually. Things need to change. Transition, thrill and adventure is a must in life and just to fall in line with that funda of mine, I Quit. Quit, to move on with things from a different perspective. It’s sad to see the end of my year long journey here. But there’s always that pot of gold at that fag end . Something else more interesting beckons !

Thus, with the power vested in me I officially declare v1.0 to be stalled, deprecated and no more active .

http://srikanthperinkulam.wordpress.com is now http://srikanthperinkulam.com/blog

Catch me on Spiky V 2.0

Everything is the same except the name! ;-)

Srikanth S Perinkulam

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