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HWC 2018-03-07 Wrap Up

Meeting Notes

Homebrew Website Club Baltimore had our first March meetup at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on Wednesday, March 7th.

Here are the notes from the broadcast portion of tonight’s gathering!

derekfields.is – Today Derek worked on his infrastructure and how he wants his domain to handle requests. He’s setting up a subdomain for VueJS apps, and is figuring out how he wants to serve this subdomain.

Derek decided to use Hexo and Hexo Admin to push his static site content to a GitHub repo. He’s going to use this for his blogging. Derek started exploring Vue and this is a way to explore Vue a bit further. He’s going to use Zeit’s Now service to host his Vue apps!

  • Goals: Derek says he may want to “stop being cheap” and get a server!

dariusmccoy.com – Darius configured his AWS server instance but is encountering some strange DNS issues. Darius successfully installed WordPress on his AWS instance and is able to login and update it, but encountered some issues with DNS and nameservers. It seems that there is still a pending transfer from the previous domain registrar, and that his site has a record for WordPress.com nameservers, despite what whois reports when hit from terminal showing the correct registrar and new AWS nameservers. We’re going to see if this is resolved tomorrow. If not, we’re going to call his previous domain registrar.

  • Goals: Darius is feeling like he wants to trash his site because he’s encountered some ridiculous problems. I’ve encouraged him to not trash his site and that we’ll work to get this resolved. As a side note, Adam was rather fascinated by these issues.

bouhmad.com – Adam’s site is now live again! Powered by Hugo. Adam has written a report on a data leak/vulnerability that he’s going to post on his site. Adam is looking into a post-receive hook to automate his deployment process.

  • Goals: Adam wants to start posting more frequently. An initial goal is to write 1 post every 2 weeks on a variety of topics. Another goal is to get a SSL cert and to change his site title from test.

jonathanprozzi.net – I’ve been doing lots of frontend skill building, particularly with regards to UI/UX. I experimented a bit with GatsbyJS tonight and spun up a quick tutorial site. I’m pretty excited about Gatsby and testing out running headless WordPress (using WordPress for the backend and something like React or Vue for the frontend). I talked about my learning log updates and how it’s been really refreshing and motivating. I’ve been reading a lot about UX and UX writing, and generally building my skills and documenting the process as I go.

  • Goals: I want to continue building my UI/UX skills by practicing CSS layouts and also plan to continue exploring decoupled CMSes and the JAMstack. I also want to keep building up my ability to recommend website starting points for others based on their experience level and needs.

martymcgui.re – Marty was here in spirit!

March 07, 2018 homebrew website club meetup at Digital Harbor Foundation

Left to right: jonathanprozzi.net, dariusmccoy.com, derekfields.is, bouhmad.com

Other Discussion Topics

We talked about hosting options such as AWS, DigitalOcean, and Google Cloud. Static site generators, particularly Hugo and Gatsby, were discussion points.

We spent a good bit of time talking through the strange issues that Darius encountered tonight when setting up his server. Basically, he transferred his domain registration from a previous service that was bundled with WordPress.com to Hover, and Hover accepted the transfer. Darius configured AWS and set the records and made his domain point to the AWS nameservers. However, it seems that the previous registrar still has his status as pending transfer, meaning that its using the previous WordPress.com nameservers! This is a very strange issue and we were all pretty amazed that it was even possible.

We also discussed JAMstack concepts such as decoupled CMSes and I talked a bit about headless WordPress and his plans to experiment more with this. I wrote about this in my last learning log entry.

We had a discussion about how headless WordPress works and how it allows for a complete separation of frontend and backend concerns. The integration of the WordPress REST API into the WordPress Core allows for some great new things. I also brought up how Gutenberg is built in React and is moving WP toward a more component based design language.

Lots of great discussion tonight! I’m looking forward to our next one in two weeks.

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  1. Yea! I used Hugo for awhile but Gatsby has been tempting. I got a basic tutorial hello world up and running. Gatsby by design allows for decoupling CMS use, particularly WordPress. It’s also really fast 😀

  2. Very cool guys. I’m glad other people host their own sites. I’m using a VPS hosting service for this. I may have to look at the cloud. I’m going to base my move our your findings.

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