Site Redesign... With Wordpress?

If you've been to this site before, you'll notice a whole lot has changed since the past week. I decided to make some changes, not only to the site, but to the entire architecture running the site as well.

The first major change I made was to switch from a regular hosting service to a VPS. It's made a world of difference. I don't want to name my previous hosting company, since the service is pretty good, especially for what I paid for it (not too much). However, I felt it was a bit too slow for my tastes. Also, I'm sort of a control freak when it comes to controlling my work. So I scoured the web, and found a company that offers cheap VPS service, so I signed on.

While I do have system administration experience in Linux and am very comfortable working from the command line, it took a while for me to learn how to set up a domain to resolve in your own DNS, how to set up E-Mail accounts with different domains, and other random things. I've learned a lot this past week, and for now, my domains are working correctly. It's fun when you have to bust your ass to get something working, and it finally does. The hard work makes you appreciate it more.

Since my VPS service is limited to 128 MB of RAM (this is just a test VPS to see how it'll work for my needs, so maybe I'll spring for more RAM later on), I immediately shut down the Apache Web Server that's automatically run by default, and grabbed a copy of Lighttpd. After compiling it, learning how to configure it, and making it run, it's also made a world of difference, as far as speed and ease of administration goes. Although it has some quirks to get some software working (especially Wordpress), it's not to difficult to figure out on your own.

FInally, my old site ran on Rails. After running it here, I noticed that it consumed too much RAM for my tastes. So I set out on rewriting the page again using PHP, but saw that my Wordpress installation is more than adequate to run the few pages I've had for now. I was also convinced to use this because I fell in love with this theme, called Hemingway. So I decided to make it easy on myself and just drop everything in Wordpress. I know Wordpress is used for blogging, but for a simple site as I have now, it's more than okay to have a few additional non-blog pages around. It just looks good and it was quick to do, and that's what I wanted all along, since I need to focus my energy on another task that I've been doing for the past two weeks.

So, after this switch to a VPS and the redesign, I'm happy with what I have for now. Not only do I have a good-looking site, I not only learned a lot more about Linux, I also have a nice little virtual server running smoothly. Right now, I'm running the server with a web server (Lighttpd), mail server (Postfix + Dovecot), a database server (MySQL) and it's only consuming 57 MB of RAM. Go Linux!

If you've been here before, or even if you haven't, tell me what you think about the site now, about his it looks, how it runs, whatever you want to comment about. I'll appreciate any feedback.

Written by

Dennis Martinez

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