Hosting and Branding Changes

hosting and branding is under construction
Photo by ericmerrill

Just some insight on what’s going on behind the scenes here.


I’m re-branding the Virtual Journeyman blog as vJourneyman to align with all my other social media naming. This tweak is probably overdue, but to be honest, I haven’t really been generating enough content to warrant spending time on the form or function of the blog. Having now gotten through the first full calendar year at work, I hope I have enough discipline and inspiration to post regularly.


I’m also moving my WordPress hosting to the Google Cloud Platform using Bitnami’s WordPress Stack. Bitnami has a cool automation engine that deploys a full LAMP stack and WordPress onto AWS, GCP, or Azure. Yes, yes, yes, no vCloud Air OnDemand option. Maybe someone should be talking to someone to make that happen. Performance seems a little snappier right away on a non-shared platform. I used the All-In-One WP Migration plugin to get a clean export from my previous host, then used the same plugin to import. Pretty slick.

Projected cost is $6.45/month at the entry level, with all the power of the Google Cloud Platform’s flexibility. Yeah, about that… I realized how my expectations around workloads have changed over the past year when I examined the various offerings of multi-tenant shared hosting available. At the base level, you’re given a WordPress install on a host with dozens to hundreds to thousands (maybe?) of other WordPress installs. For somewhere between $3-10/month. On a cloud platform, I get an isolated workload instance with guaranteed CPU/RAM in what I assume is a multi-tenant virtual environment. A virtual environment that doesn’t scale horizontally.

That’s right, you can’t add RAM or CPU to your instance. You’re stuck. You can scale horizontally, using Google’s Cloud SQL as a scalable MySQL engine (with read-only replicas if that’s something you want. But scale your instance up in place? Nope. Oh well, spoiled, I guess. I mean, it’s still light-years more flexible than those entry-level shared hosting solutions.

How the Sausage was Made

  1. Had to change group and directory permissions to use the All-In-One WP Migration plugin after the Bitnami install completed.
  2. I moved to the Twenty Fifteen Theme. Nice and clean. Responsive Design. Maybe I’ll add some header images later. Content first! Form later.
  3. That said, I added a menu with all my social media links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube) and the Twenty Fifteen theme just magically converts that to icons.
  4. OK, I broke down and installed the ImageInject Plugin to scan for, inject, and properly attribute images. Because it’s pretty and easy.
  5. Had to edit some php code to fix the chronically broken bitly plugin so it wouldn’t rewrite all my canonical URLs with bitly versions.
  6. Had to edit some WordPress install code to get the Binami WordPress install to use the domain name instead of IP address.

On the roadmap:

  1. 301 Permanent Redirects for the old URL
    UPDATE: I only had 17 published posts on the old domain, so I used the SEO Redirection plugin to manually configure a plugin for each page (and one for the index). Seems to be working wonderfully.
  2. Someone gives me a budget to work with Bitnami to offer WordPress hosting on vCloud Air OnDemand and we pull in all the virtualization bloggers to make it the default blog hosting platform for the industry. Uh, that might be a blue-sky action-item.

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John White is walking the path to virtualization mastery.

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