I wanted to create a simple website to catalog and track my software endeavors, hobbies, and random thoughts. Since I theoretically develop software for a living, this seemed to be something that I should take on myself, and so was born.

Like most developers I’m lazy… Err, I mean I want to use existing tools if possible to develop and expand upon. There is a lot of good work out there already, so I’m happy to glue bits of it together to meet my needs and move on to other things.

Steps to make this site come to fruition.

  1. Choose an Internet domain registrar
  2. Choose an infrastructure provider
  3. Choose a platform and content management system
  4. Get SSL certificates
  5. Deploy everything


Internet Domain Registrar

Domain names are available for purchase from multiple vendors. I chose GoDaddy for no particular reason other than they have a decent track record, their price isn’t bad, and their tooling is easy enough to work with.


Infrastructure Provider

There are plenty of service providers out there offering all kinds of tiered options. I’m happy to administrate my own site so I only needed a simple platform as a service (PaaS) provider and Digital Ocean fit the bill. Basic tier is $5.00 / month and there are typically promotional codes floating around to bring the cost down even more.

Basic tier / standard droplet

– 512 MB RAM
– 1 vCPU
– 200 GB SSD Disk
– 1 TB Transfer

How to create a Droplet

It is useful to generate SSH keys ahead of time if you don’t have one already. I tend to generate new keys based on a collection of services, and the creation of on Digital Ocean warranted the creation of new keys for me.

  • Your new SSH key can then be added from the Settings > Security > SSH Keys section

For information about SSH keys, see the SSH Key Primer (ref needed).

  • Login into your account at Digital Ocean
  • From top of droplets page, choose  Create > Droplets
  • Choose an image:
    • select a distribution you are familiar with configuring, for me this is Ubuntu 16.04
  • Choose a size:
    • I have no delusions nor desire of going viral, so this is going to be the smallest option possible, $5.00 / month
  • Choose a datacenter region:
    • I’m US based, and on the East side of the country, so New York
  • Add SSH keys:
    • Add my SSH keys that were generated locally from ~/.ssh/
  • Finalize and Create
    • How many droplets: 1
  • Choose a hostname: Pick something you can remember


  • Create domain name:
    Set A record

    • map to IP provided by Digital Ocean
  • Set CNAME
    • map to