How to Host Your WordPress Site on a Serverless Platform
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. It was originally founded in 2003 and now boasts over 250 million downloads. It’s a must-have for any blog or website.
What if we told you there was an alternative to WordPress that provided all of its features and then some? Well, there is a solution called Jekyll that was built with exactly that purpose in mind. It was originally developed by GitHub in 2017 and quickly took the content management world by storm. It’s compatible with the vast majority of PHP-based web servers and is extremely simple to use.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to host your WordPress site on a Jekyll server.
The Advantages Of Using Jekyll
If you’re already using WordPress to develop your website or blog, then migrating to Jekyll shouldn’t be that hard. It provides all of the features that you’re familiar with from WordPress (themes, plugins, etc.) and then some.
Here are just a few of the perks that you’ll experience once you start using Jekyll:
- 100% free
- Fully customizable
- Incredibly simple
- Works with any theme or plugin
- Search engine optimized
- Robust documentation
- And the list goes on…
As you can see, Jekyll boasts a huge number of advantages. It’s completely free, customizable, and incredibly simple to setup. It optimizes your website speed and provides all the functionality that you need. What’s not to love?
Step 1: Install Ruby On Rails
To start, you’ll need to get Ruby On Rails installed on your computer. You can find the installer here.
Once you’ve installed Ruby On Rails, you’ll need to navigate to the terminal window on your computer and enter the following command:
$ ruby -v
This will give you the version number of Ruby On Rails that you have installed. You should see something like this:
ruby 2.4.2p0 (2019-04-24 revision 692bbd8) [i386-mingw32]
Now that you have Ruby On Rails installed, you can move onto step 2.
Step 2: Setup Your Hosting
Next, you’ll need to set up your hosting for your WordPress site. You can use any of the services that you’re familiar with, such as Amazon AWS, Google App Engine, or Joyent. All of these are popular hosting services that support the Jekyll framework.
You’ll simply need to log into your hosting account and install the Jekyll gem. For example, if you’re using Google App Engine, you can head over to the Google Developers website and search for the Jekyll gem. Once you’ve installed the gem, you can test it by trying to access a Jekyll powered website from within your browser. If all is well, you can continue onto the final step.
Step 3: Install WordPress To A Subdomain
Now that you have both Ruby On Rails and Jekyll installed, you can move onto step 3. In this step, you’ll need to install WordPress to a subdomain. Why would you want to do this? Well, you could connect your blog’s RSS feed to your website (if you haven’t done so already), but more often than not, we recommend keeping your blog and your website separate. What’s the point of linking them if all the content is going to be the same? That’s no good. Keep them separate and give the people what they want. In this case, you’ll want to install WordPress to a subdomain because you have a separate domain for your blog (such as joe.com) and you want to keep your blog content separate from your website’s content.
To do this, you’ll need to log into your cPanel account (if you don’t know what a cPanel account is, it’s time to find out) and find the “Actions” button. Once you’ve found this button, you’ll need to click on it and a menu will pop up. Select “Install WordPress” from within this menu and follow the instructions. In most cases, this is all you need to do to get WordPress installed to a subdomain on your server. Once completed, you can test the installation by trying to access a Jekyll powered website from within your browser.
Step 4: Use the.onion Address To Access Your Site
Once WordPress is installed to a subdomain, you can move onto the final step which is to set up the.onion address for your site. For those of you who don’t know what an.onion address is, it’s time to find out. An.onion address is similar to a regular domain name except that it’s entirely encrypted.
To set one up, you’ll need to log into your cPanel account and find the “Actions” button. Once you’ve found this button, you’ll need to click on it and a menu will pop up. Select “Create.onion Address” from within this menu. Give this new address a memorable name that relates to your site (such as customerreviews.onion or blog.onion) and then follow the instructions. Once the address is set up, you can access it with a special browser (the Tor browser) or by typing the address into your browser’s address bar.
If you’re curious as to what all this means, here’s a brief explanation. When you have a regular domain name, such as bestbuyget.com, you can simply go to that domain name and all your content will be available. With an.onion address, however, you would need to enter the address whenever you want to access content or use certain tools. For example, when you use the.onion address to type a website into your browser’s address bar, you’re not going to access that website. You’re going to access the onion service (also known as the ‘dark web’) and the website will appear as though it’s not connected to you at all.
Once you’ve installed WordPress to a subdomain and set up the.onion address, you’re all set. You can start using Jekyll powered websites without any worry of security issues.