I often write something up and would throw it in a dark corner of my hard disk. I wasn’t serious about the craft until April 2017.
One morning in the summer, I woke up at 5 AM and could not go back to sleep. I took my Android phone and wrote 200 words. And I published that piece on Medium. From that point, I wrote now and then. Medium became my base for posting the work for over a year. But, I wanted something more.
Why I can’t stick to Medium?
Medium is excellent, comfortable, elegant, and smooth. However, It didn’t have many variations and bored the hell out of me. I wanted a separate blog where I can tweak anything as I want.
I’m a computer science graduate, however, had never done serious programming. Jumped from Java to Haskell to Python, took salesforce classes and abandoned it in three weeks. The learning was futile. So, having no skill or money to hire a full-stack web developer, I had to turn to a Content Management System (CMS). With that also, I ran around WordPress, didn’t settled on it as I could not find a perfect free theme, and hovered around Joomla and Drupal. After all, I concluded WordPress is the only one that can do the job for me.
Now I needed a hosting service and looked into SiteGround, BlueHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, and few others. Their WordPress hosting plans did not feel worthy of the price tag. Or they needed an upfront commitment for a minimum of one year. Having no idea whether I would keep writing on the blog, I couldn’t afford them. Moreover, I hated the cost of an SSL certificate. It was cheaper for a Certificate Authority to issue one. But the third party vendors try to bang the bucks out of customers. Anyhow, Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) give free credits and trials of their services. These cloud services, however, are not as easy as you could manage hosting on GoDaddy. And the technical support costs extra, which if I pay, doesn’t make sense not choosing a service like SiteGround. I believed I could manage a public cloud like AWS on my own, and they’re not new to me. I experimented with both GCP and AWS before.
AWS is stingy to give freebies for newcomers. So, I signed up for GCP with a new email id and got 300 USD credit that is valid for 12 months. I spun up a pre-built Bitnami WordPress image. It saved time and frustration I would have faced if I had poorly configured the servers and network. However, I played around with the server through CLI (Command Line Interface) to set up SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. It was not a difficult task though.
What can I do now?
I had spent few hours to pick a theme and selected the one you’re looking at right now. If I feel the appearance of the blog sloppy, I have free servers and hundreds of free themes to tweak. I can change pretty much anything. Now, the boring pig would never come across my way.