Mike on Tap APIs, Code, & Beer... What more do you really need?


WordPress Optimization: Installing and Configuring WordPress

Welcome to part 5 of 8 in my series on Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization!  If you’re here, you’ve probably just completed setting up your server and DNS to host your website on your very own Digital Ocean droplet.  Now we’re going to get down to business and install your database and your WordPress installation! WordPress Optimization: Installation This section on Installing and Configuring WordPress will consist of the following topics: Installing MySQL and Configuring Your Database Actually Installing MySQL Creating a Database Creating a User Granting your User Permission to Use Your Database Tuning MySQL for WordPress Installing and Configuring WordPress Downloading...


WordPress Optimization: Configuring CloudFlare as Your DNS Provider

Welcome to Part 4 of 8 on configuring CloudFlare as your DNS provider as part of my series on Kick Ass WordPress Optimization.  If you’re here you’ve either already set up your web server or you host your WordPress elsewhere. What is CloudFlare you ask? Well, the general overview is this: CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block...


Brew Day: Black IPA

So it’s here again! BREW DAY.  That glorious few hours where I get to drink beer while making beer. There’s really something chicken ad egg about the whole thing.  Which came first? Beer or beer? But I digress for now.  As this is still somewhat of the beginning to my brewing adventures, I’ve been starting with some small batch 1-gallon kits to get a feel for where I’m headed next.  Ideally I’ll be migrating onto some 5-10 gallon batches over the next year or so, getting some automation involved, and preparing a sweet taproom setup. So with all of that...


Beer Brewing Adventures

As I start building more on the website here, I’d like to take a side-bar and talk about my home brewing experiences from time to time.  While this is a very new hobby for me, this is something I really am excited about.  There are 3 things that I’m very good at: Code, Automation, and Drinking Beer.  Looking at these, I see home-brewing as a way to take 3 things I love and blend them over time. I’m wrapping up my first batch this weekend from a kit my wife gave me.  Nice little small batch, 1-gallon, pale ale that’s just...


Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization

So you want to know about WordPress Optimization? Well I’ve scoured the web (and continue to do so frequently) for ways to optimize the various WordPress blogs that I run.  While I can’t claim to be the source of all knowledge on this topic, I can tell you what has worked well for me and how I run all of my blogs (some have seen upwards of 60K visits in a day!) on a single server and don’t lose a second of sleep over it. I’ll be splitting this post into several parts mostly because I just can’t bring myself...


WordPress Optimization: Setting Up a Web Server

Welcome to part 3 of 8 on Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization: Setting Up a Web Server!  In this segment we’ll be covering the implementation of a web server on your virtual (or regular) server that we set up in the previous segment or part 2 of 8: Setting Up a Virtual Server.  If you haven’t already done this… you may want to go back and get this going before you end up here. WordPress Optimization: Web Server Set Up This segment will cover the following topics: nginx Web Server – Because I won’t be covering Apache. Installing PHP Installing PHP-FPM and Tuning...


WordPress Optimization – Setting Up A Virtual Server

Welcome to part 2 of 8 of my series on Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization: Setting Up Your First Server.  Here’s where we dive into the basics of setting up your very first server that you, regardless of your experience, can set up, manage, and turn into a lean mean blogging machine. I’m going to assume that you’ve already done Part 1: Getting Started.  If you haven’t… for shame! So, get back there and check your list and make sure you’re ready to rock! We’ll cover the following topics in this segment: Why anyone can do this! Virtual Servers – WTF is a Virtual...


WordPress Optimization – Getting Started

Welcome to Part 1 of 8 of my series on Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization!  This is the Getting Started chapter outlining things you will need.  Ideally this is for basic users, but hey, even if you’re a 30-year veteran with punch-card experience, this probably can’t hurt as information or a plain-old refresher. So you want to take the necessary steps to optimize your WordPress blog?  Well, let’s get started!  You’ll need a few things in order to get moving.  This tutorial is for EVERYONE with skills ranging from beginner to advanced, so don’t bail on me just yet! Domain Name If you don’t...

Varnish 0

Redirecting Bad Referers with Varnish

I hate all that crap in my referrals in my analytics software!  So finally I got pissed and updated my Varnish Cache .vcl to show those jerks… well… something less than pleasant! Check it out (also note this is VCL 4.0): sub bad_referrals { # Just add the text in the referring domain you want to match, and voila! if ( req.http.referer ~ “hulfingtonpost” || req.http.referer ~ “forum.topic57969834.darodar” || req.http.referer ~ “ilovevitaly” || req.http.referer ~ “priceg” || req.http.referer ~ “blackhatworth.com” ) { set req.http.host = “www.ihateyousomuchomgroflcats.com”; return(synth(750, “All your referer are belong to us.”)); } } sub vcl_recv { #...


Deploying WordPress over Nginx and PHP-FPM

I found these great advanced examples of deploying nginx, PHP5, and MySQL/MariaDB from scratch including: – Installing Nginx from package repository or compiling it from scratch; – Installing php5, php-mysql, php-fpm and other php libraries if needed (like php-gd); – Installing MySql or Maria-DB; – And off course setting up php, nginx and mysql/mariadb. https://groggystuff.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/deploying-wordpress-over-nginx-and-php-fpm/ Tip for Beginners: For a more guided and beginner / n00b-level tutorial on this, try checking out my Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization Series that discusses everything from how to create a virtual server to how to optimize your nginx / PHP-FPM setup.