ajtjp.com Has Been Migrated

May 4, 2020

ajtjp.com has now been migrated to a shiny new server! It may look a little early-mid '90s in style, but the migration accomplishes several key objectives that make ajtjp.com more appealing as site to publish to, and thus will likely result in it having more content.

A bit of background is relevant first. This is actually the third iteration of my blog. The first is so ancient that I hardly remember it, but it is archived somewhere, and dates to 2014-2015. I think it used WordPress. The second is the one you likely have been before, running from 2015 - 2020, on ajtjp.com. It migrated to Ghost, which seemed like a great alternative for a simple blog. It was fairly new, but had a lot of promise, including simplicity, and eventually having its own internal metrics features that would provide the key information Google Analytics did, such as which blogs posts were popular, but without the Google ad tie-ins. Sounds great!

But it didn't wind up making sense for me. The metrics part of Ghost eventually got cancelled. https configuration provded just a little bit more effort than I was willing to put in (although I did figure it out for the Jetty web server). And upgrading from the 0.x builds of Ghost to later 0.x and 1.x builds was not as simple as I read it is today. I fell behind, and all of a sudden there were intermediary upgrades necessary - you couldn't jump from 0.6 to 2.0, quite reasonably. And what was I getting from it? Styling that I didn't really like, the ability to use Markdown instead of HTML, and that's about it. Granted, I could have hosted it on Ghost Pro, and that would have solved the upgrade problem, but over the past five years the cost went up from $5/month to $30/month, whereas the cost of a basic DigitalOcean box stayed the same, while RAM doubled, space increased by a quarter, and the CPU speed presumably didn't go down. $360/year is a lot for a simple blog with low traffic, so I'm kind of glad I didn't go that route.

So, I decided to go simple, with the current iteration of danluu.com being my inspiration. That meant:

This has been achieved. ajtjp.com is now encrypted, and the certificate should auto-renew. I can migrate it to a new host with a minimal amount of setup - much less than migrating it took this time - and the Gopher site is running via pygopherd, which set up more easily than Bucktooth and is more up-to-date. I missed Ubuntu Focal by a couple weeks, but Bionic will be supported for several years yet. And I've already moved my Civ Archive site to this sever, saving a few resources and encrypting it in the process.

There are still a few things I'd like to do with improving the site. Getting a Java served configured via nginx; implementing an RSS feed; maybe adding a Gemini server. But a lot of the technical debt has been paid off, and it's now a lot more open for simply writing or posting whatever I want on the site. That will, hopefully, result in the amount of new content returning to what it was in 2015-2016. I even got a few ideas for updating some of those old posts with new info when migrating them.

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