Setting up this Blog


I first setup this blog years ago and thought it would be best on Wordpress... nope! Way too limiting! Then I set it up on Joomla, because it had all kinds of support and templates, and stuff... After it was hacked three times I started to think that Joomla was not the best idea!

I recently exorcised Joomla from this server and moved all of the HTML to markdown documents via copy/paste and re-established links to the picts etc. This all seems much more stable and much easier to maintain. Joomla is like using a sledgehammer to drive a tack, you can do it, but it likely will not turn out well. :-/


Then I discovered Markdown, and recreated my pages with Typora, which I highly recommend if you don't like editing HTML or typing tags... <> until your finger bleed!

The markdown documents were are served right off the Apache server with an add in. It just worked! Easy to maintain, backup, restore, and edit! :-)

Unfortunately there is a problem with maintaining a website with all Markdown documents; Google search doesn't like it and neither do most search engines, so my traffic fell and my ratings went down the tube.

So I used Typora and exported everything to HTML - very simple actually. And I started to edit and create files with Dreamweaver 5.5 which is actually pretty easy. In hindsight I should have skipped Markdown and just went to HTML with Dreamweaver.


The hardware history is below:

This blog started on Ubuntu 12.04 then moved to 14.04 and running on a MiniITX Gigabyte Celeron board that draws very little power at less than 20 watts. That was running via a Dynamic DNS connection. is redirected to the DDNS company (DYN) who forwards it to this server which runs on a DSL connection.

The OS was installed and then these websites were referenced to install a LAMP server, and then Joomla. Joomla is very easy to use but more powerful than WordPress. I found that WordPress "got in the way" a lot. I'm not getting the same impression with Joomla.

The last verison of software I was using was a LAMP server running on Ubuntu 18.04 on the MiniITX gigabyte board front ended with Cloudflare. The hacks on the website went to zero with this setup over a period of years.

Recently I decided to move this site and some others to Digital Ocean and that was painless. The web pages now load much faster and I don't have to mess with hardware. Even though it was really not a problem. Gigabytes MiniITX boards last a very long time.

Here are the links I used:

I don't have the link handy, but if you setup a Digital Ocean account, there is a LAMP server setup in their Marketplace. It takes less than 5 minutes to setup a live LAMP server. So I just did that. Painless!

Install the LAMP server with this - use the one line script:

Or, if you want to do it the hard way.. follow this link.

Setting up the FTP server (not required but very handy )

Keep in mind that you can copy and paste from a website to the terminal window. Do a right click in the terminal window to see the paste. :-)

Also if you use Windows to work on your blogs/websites, then the BitVise SSH Client is a handy way to run it remotely.

Joomla Extensions:

The default "editor" that Joomla uses is TinyMCE which sucks unless you already know how to edit Joomla, which makes no sense. I downloaded and installed the JCE editor from the Joomla home website and it is much better and free! To install it in Joomla, go to extensions, browse for the .zip file and install the package.

I realized after I got this blog up that it was missing a major item on the blogsite.. COMMENTS!!!

So I added another extension to Joomla called "Komento". Komento is a free extension for Joomla Articles that is added in via the extension manager in Joomla. I tried to upload the .zip file for the package but the upload would not work. So I fired up Bitvise and via the FTP copied the unzipped files into the servers tmp directory for this website and then did an "install from directoy" from within the Joomla extension manager. That worked. I thought I would have to restart something but the comments function neatly showed up below each article! :-) Revision! Unfortunately Komento is a great way for spammers to load crap onto your server web pages. Don't use Komento! Not worth it. Joomla was ok, but it is hackable.

However, if you run Joomla behind a Cloudflare front end, I think it would be fairly bullet proof as well.