Coffee Space


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Site Creation

"How did you generate this beautiful site?" I hear you ask. Well...

AWS

NOTE: AWS is no longer used to run this server, but this is still relevant for others wishing to start.

First stop, Amazon AWS. At the time of writing, you can get a load of free processing time. I think it's well worth expanding and I've heard it works out to be barely anything per month. With a reliable service and good up time, I think it's a good investment.

AWS Screen-shot

AWS Screen-shot

When you get the offer of selecting your server, I went with Ubuntu Server. With awesome support online, easy to use, stable Operating System - why wouldn't you? I'm sure there are many good reasons for others but I'm very comfortable with Ubuntu altogether. Why make yourself struggle, especially when the system you're working on is very remote?

Underneath I'm using Nginx, because it's simple and doesn't seem to use all of the resources available to human kind. Apache seems good on the face of it, but I think it's ultimate down fall is how many features it tries to support. For a static site, it's just simple way too much. As they point out, it doesn't have the C10K, meaning more clients may be served with little power usage but many happy clients.

Domain

This was purchased from 123-reg, which despite being patriotically British is actually a very nice little service. If you shop around, like me you can find a domain for the next 10 years which is less than £30. Hopefully in the future this price continues to decrease and my next registration of the same domain significantly less.

Commenting System

Now this is something of interest. I started with the following limitations:

With these, if we're utterly honest, completely ludicrous requirements, I finally came to conclusion the way to do it was using an email commenting system. Being a fan of GMail and knowing they have good support for developers, the following are the advantages:

It was basically a case of looping occasionally (as not to make the feed system think you're a bot ho-hum (if you're from GMail, please don't nark on me!)) and parsing the data with a custom program written in C++ to do the trick (if you're interested in this please let me know).

Summary

Yes, it is possible to build a static website with comments without using bloaty third party tools, secure and without using some horrific PHP. The overhead for serving these pages really is extremely small.