Blog Zero—DIY WordPress on Your Linux Box

After extensive thought and consideration of my inaugural blog, I’ve decided to describe how I set up this website.

I know. Bore me to death! Okay, here we go.

I went with WordPress. I did not, however, use wordpress.com. With paulmartz.com already hosted on my Debian 7 Linux system, installing WordPress locally made more sense than changing my domain’s host computer.

A quick web search produced instructions for installing WordPress on a LAMP box—Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. I downloaded the latest WordPress tarball and installed it into my local Apache hierarchy. In minutes, I was browsing through the admin menus and trying different themes.

After installing a WordPress plugin for security, I tried to create my first page with an RSS feed. Don’t ask me why this was so difficult. There is no native WordPress solution for RSS feeds. After trying a couple different WordPress shortcodes, I finally went with the wp_rss_aggregator plugin. You can view the results on my AppleVis Blog page.

Real websites use SSL certificates. I added one with Certbot. It updated dependencies such as Python, obtained a certificate, and configured Apache to redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS—all in a single shell script. The only thing I needed to do manually was add port 443 entry through my firewall.

If you leave a comment on my blogs, WordPress tries to email me a notification. Unfortunately, I never bothered to configure my Linux system to send email. A friend pointed me to a quick and free solution—mailgun.com, which has its own WordPress plugin.

At this point, I hope you understand that WordPress does practically everything with plugins. I even used the Contact Form 7 plugin in case you want to send me a note.

There you have it. DIY secure WordPress on your own Linux box. Now, back to my writing. In a future blog, expect to hear about Miriam—a story set in a world where corporations own patents on human DNA.

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