(Not so)Short Status Update…

We’ll I’ve been busy re-configuring all our domain names to use HTTPS through Let’s Encrypt┬áthe past week. In my other post I mentioned that our hosting provider 1&1 doesn’t allow 3rd party TSL/SSL certificates.

I wasn’t going to pay the $30/year for the 30+ sites I needed to configure, so I devised another solution.

To sum it up quick:

  1. I configured the 1&1 name server settings for websites that I’m moving to point to Digital Ocean’s name servers.
  2. I then set the DNS settings in the Digital Ocean control panel for each domain to point to my droplet running Apache2.
  3. I’m using $5/month Digital Ocean droplet running Apache2 with VirtualHosts to handle serving all my sites. Lets Encrypt’s Certbot program made installation and configuring HTTPS a breeze.

To sum it up not as quick:

I’m keeping 1&1 as our domain registrar & since they offer 1 ‘free’ SSL certificate I will have at least one website that will continue to be hosted by 1&1.

For my solution, since our sites a relatively low traffic at the current time, I knew a $5/month Digital Ocean Droplet could handle running Apache with multiple virtual hosts running off that 1 server.

I actually have 2 DevOps labs running in my house that are running Linux with various software configurations on outdated laptops. They actually come pretty close to the specs of the $5-10/month droplets and allowed me to debug & test at a much faster rate. This was an excellent exercise for configuring various servers before setting up a cloud server remotely to do testing on.

After learning trial by fire with the 2 LaptopLabs, I’ve actually learned about Linux, server software, networking & other DevOps related administration much quicker than I think I could of if I didn’t have the hardware in front of me to tinker with. It also helped that I had 10-14 laptops running at any given time, so testing multiple configurations was much quicker than test benching a single cloud server.

I will be posting a journal log of how I set up my personal DevOps lab using hardware I already had in storage. So another bonus was the zero cost to deploy! It’s definitely worth the time and more than likely shorten the time required to grasp & understand fundamental networking concepts and give you the skills you need going forward.

There’s a definite value in the experience gained from familiarizing yourself with Linux & various networking methods with hardware that’s right in front of you that you can test & configure in any way you see fit.


Getting back to Digital Ocean…So for $5/month I basically setup a web server that will host about 20 websites, I have full control over the server that is not on some limited shared server with 300 other users and it was a breeze to enable HTTPS with Let’s Encrypts Certbot script.

Now, currently my sites are low-traffic because we’re in the development stage & haven’t really gone live with anything other than a couple blog sites to keep people updated, but D.O. does have awesome options for expanding your server as your needs change.

I still have a couple more sites to move over to Digital Ocean & that process should be completed by the end of the weekend. I’m also working on finishing a couple tutorials that I will be posting hopefully sometime in the near future.

Until then..Peace Out Yo




Author: Brando

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