Cloud Confusing

Explaining hosting, AWS, Wordpress, static sites, and all manner of cloud solutions.

Properly redirecting is something that is easy to say (or request in a ticket) but not always easy to do. It just so happens that its really important for proper site behavior, particularly if you are concerned with SEO.

Here’s how you redirect a site with AWS in the simplest manner possible.

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November 24th, 2019

Posted In: AWS

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Upgrading a Lightsail instance is an incredibly easy procedure. If you have been thinking about it and don’t mind the expect expense associated with a more powerful virtual server, than I’d recommend making the plunge. A little extra CPU power, possibly an extra core, and more memory can really brute force some slowness.

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November 22nd, 2019

Posted In: AWS

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If you want to add structured data (via Schema.org spec) to your WordPress site, there are lots of options. There are so many options in fact that it’s hard to figure out which is right for you.

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November 9th, 2019

Posted In: Web Development

Tags: ,

AWS static hosting

Amazon Web Services is an intimidating thing. After all, some of the largest, most active websites in the world are hosted there. But that doesn’t mean hosting a website there needs to be difficult. In fact, as AWS has matured over time and now it’s at the point where anyone with a minimum level of technical understanding can host a site using AWS.

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September 16th, 2019

Posted In: AWS

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WP Engine is one of the foremost WordPress managed hosting services on the web today. Despite extraordinary amounts of competition, dropping prices, huge competitors, and new offerings popping up every time you look, WP Engine has stuck around. What’s more, the company has grown, aggressively acquired other companies, and built out their product offerings.

Read on for my full WP Engine review. This is a deep-dive into their managed WordPress hosting, a service I’ve used for over a year now.

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September 16th, 2019

Posted In: Hosting

Tags: ,

If you are looking for an explainer on S3 redirection rules, you are going to have a tough time finding a good one. While information on redirection rules is available from all over, no one source (including Amazon) is even close to complete. Then outcomes don’t always match exceptions. Welcome to cloud confusion!

This guide should help with some of your S3 redirection questions. At the very least it’ll cover the major concepts and get you on your way to having a static web site with properly working 301s, 302s and other such options.

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September 10th, 2019

Posted In: AWS

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It turns out that staring at back-lit computer monitors for 40+ hours a week might not be the best thing for you. With this in mind, many of us have started to look towards alternate technologies, largely e-ink. It’s a nascent market with a limited number of products for sale, and new products are slow to be released, but this is an important technology nonetheless. I’ll be tracking it closely on this page.

Here are the basics and some help choosing your first e-ink computer monitor.

Last Updated: 9/10/19 – Finally some big news! The Onyx BOOX Max3 e-reader has been announced and is ready for sale. This device is billed as an e-reader, but it’s actually a whole lot more than than. And, yes, it’ll work as a monitor. More information below.

Last Updated 6/17/19 – It’s summer 2019, time for another update! Unfortunately news from Q2 2019 has been very limited and the Paperlike Pro remains the best game in town. The Boox Max 2 is still a viable buy as well, but still has many flaws. This category has (un-officially) entered a stall, but the good news it that we know e-ink monitors are on the radar of some major players, like Benq and Lenovo.

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September 10th, 2019

Posted In: Localhost / Environment

Tags: , ,

Sometimes you have a bunch of .csv files, but you’d like to have one big .csv file. You can merge them in Excel, Google Sheets, or something similar, but that’s slow and error-prone. Plus, you might be dealing with something like a zip code — which starts with a zero — which is annoying to deal with in Excel.

So what’s a better solution?

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September 7th, 2019

Posted In: Localhost / Environment

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This won’t be an interesting topic for most people, but it will sure come in handy for a few of you! So you have a website setup on Route 53 and at some point in the past you pointed the name servers off to whatever your hosting solution was at the time. Now you want to do something else with that domain (maybe build a static site on S3) and you need your original Route 53 name servers back. But… what are they?

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July 24th, 2019

Posted In: AWS

Tags: ,

Google Tag Manager (GTM) has a lot of built-in variables, but the list is by no means complete. And what’s annoying about the built-in variables is that they are not fully customizable, so sometimes you need to build off of them. This can only be done by digging into GTM a little and writing some custom JavaScript.

One of these circumstances is when you want to store the query string parameter from a clicked URL. This is a slightly strange request because the UTM or query string parameter are generally for the downstream site, but you might want to store it nonetheless. This should be easy because:

  • GTM lets you easily store a query string parameter of the URL of the page you are on.
  • GTM also makes it easy to store the full URL of the destination page of a URL that get clicked.

… but if you want a param from a clicked URL? Time for a custom Javascript variable.

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June 21st, 2019

Posted In: Google Cloud Platform

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