You would think I would be using the latest and greatest software to make your website the best it can be. But the truth is that Linux and cPanel have been around for a long time. I am too lazy to Google it, so I use 20 years as an approximation.
The first layer of your webserver is… Linux. Linux is an operating system like Mac and Windows. But different. I would say that over 60% of the websites you visit are hosted on Linux, maybe more. There are some Windows webservers, but not many. And there are many flavors of Linux around. The one used by me (and the majority of webhosts like about 97%) is called CentOS. Its complicated, but that is the most tried and true flavor and works with all major other layers of software like peanut butter and jelly works with sandwiches.
Then there is the additional “layer” and that is CloudLinux. Relatively new, and yet well tested, this layer adds security to each website on the server, giving it a virtual “cage” if you will, around each site. Less bothered by the bad guys and by what is called “noisy neighbors”. [I know right? Don’t even get me started 🙂 ]
Then, there is a “drop in replacement” for the main database (MySQL) that powers WordPress called MariaDB. This is faster and more robust. And time tested.
And then I use a replacement webserver layer called Litespeed which replaces the older and often slower and yet still venerable Apache webserver.
And then the latest version of PHP which is 7.1. This is the programming language that WordPress uses to communicate with its database, in this case MariaDB.
And then the truly outstanding control panel layer called cPanel. Spelled just like that. I started using cPanel back in 1998-99, and I am sure it was around before that. Others have tried to knock this down and steal the crown, but no one has even come close. And the great thing about it is that it works. In all that time, I have never had any issue with cPanel. And from what I hear, if I ever did, they would help me really quickly. This provides a visual layer over Linux and without this, working with Linux would be like using the DOS C prompt all day long. Doable, but not much fun. Well, it kind of is fun because it gives the feeling that one is truly working in the belly of the beast. I do a little here and there just to stay sharp 🙂
Asleep yet? I realize that it can be boring, and yet I find it among the most exciting things on the planet.
I bet you had no idea all this was necessary simply to show your website to the world.
The reason I use this “stack” is because it combines the best from the past and the best from the present to make for a very nearly bulletproof server. I have tried almost every possible method of hosting that is out there. You would be surprised how often new tech for hosting comes out. But the number one concern I have is that your website is up. Coming up fast and working properly and securely. For me, there is nothing else. That is and always has been my goal. I am sure that is true of most web hosts but just wanted to mention that fact.
CPanel is so big they have their own conferences just for their software. And it is used by the biggest hosts like GoDaddy and the smallest like me. And every size in between. And the miracle is they keep making it better without breaking it. I tip my hosting hat to the fine folks at cPanel.
If something better comes along, I will be right on it. And there are times when this stack may not be the best like for very high traffic ecommerce sites. But for anything that would suit your company or mine, this is a state of the art stack.
OK, now on to the eBay adventure. It was an exciting week as I watched the bids come in. I thought maybe I had a tiger of an auction, but alas, it was a kitten. Everything went as I predicted except for the final sale price which was within a few dollars of what I paid when I “accidentally” bought the darn thing. So, with fees, probably a $10-12 dollar loss. Not bad when compared to a $60 dollar potential loss. My problem was I initially misjudged what it was worth. In this hobby arena, things that look very similar can be wildly different prices. If it was what I had initially thought, it would have been worth a minimum of $125, and very possibly $250-350. Which is why I threw in a $75 bid just for the heck of it. I was very surprised when I actually won the auction and for only $61 dollars. Lesson learned.
And now to keep my last week’s promise and show you how to try out for free the exact technology I used to build this website/blog. Just click this link and I think that will do the trick. Click the button that says Page Builder Demo. Do not be overwelmed. If you have 0.0% experience with websites, do not worry. You cannot break it. Well, you probably could but it does not matter. Because it is a demo.
This will give you some insight as to how a website is built. Fun stuff!
Often, I will use this same setup for clients that express an interest in learning about their website. I can teach you in 2 hours what it took me 11 months to learn 🙂
It’s Summer again, so remember to be careful as you drive among all those who have never driven here before, or… should have had their license taken away years ago.
Note: The above mentioned software does not even include WordPress itself, which has a whole nother stack under it. Life is good.