Dev Branch

EP36 – Digital Spring Cleaning

April 5, 2024

This month on Dev Branch we will be discussing our approach to spring cleaning, digitally. We explore the world of digital spring cleaning to consolidate and secure digital assets for improved WordPress site management. Dive into the benefits of domain and hosting consolidation, SSL certificate management tools, and the efficient monitoring capabilities of Uptime Kuma. Learn how centralizing website updates and streamlining monitoring can enhance security, manageability, and cost-effectiveness.


Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 36 of DevBranch Digital Spring Cleaning.

[00:00:19] Jason Tucker: I’m Jason Tucker. You can find me over at my website on jasontucker. blog.

[00:00:28] Jason Cosper: Sé Reed is on assignment, so she won’t be here this week. And y’all know who it is. It’s your boy, Jason Cosper, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:00:41] Jason Tucker: Speaking of that podcast, find us wherever it is. Great podcasts can be found, which is pretty much everywhere. Except for Google.

[00:00:50] Jason Cosper: Yeah, not anymore.

[00:00:52] Jason Tucker: And coming out with this in our discord, you can go over to wpwatercoolerslack. lol and go take a look at that over there. We’d appreciate it. We’ve been having a lot of fun over in that discord.

[00:01:07] Jason Cosper: Yeah, absolutely. It is Hey it is a lot of fun in the discord. Sometimes I will get distracted and forget to log in and then I’m like, holy crap, like I have so many messages to catch up on because folks are chatting over there it’s good vibes and it’s a passionate community.

[00:01:36] Jason Cosper: But we’re all interested in the same thing and making WordPress better. So if that sounds like you, yeah, come hang out.

[00:01:46] Jason Tucker: Yep.

[00:01:47] Jason Cosper: Actually. And speaking of that lol domain I got that domain as a free domain registration for a year. Which is why it is a lol. It’s the whimsical domain.

[00:02:03] Jason Cosper: But it’s with a registrar that I don’t use for anything else, which dovetails into spring cleaning because Tucker, you have been trying to consolidate a lot. Yeah, a lot of what you’re doing online and really like moving everything closer to maybe not all under one service, but just trying to like, okay.

[00:02:29] Jason Cosper: I know that I go here for domain registrations. This is where my hosting is et cetera, rather than having a bunch of stuff in a bunch of different places.

[00:02:40] Jason Tucker: Yeah, this kind of started this kind of started at work where I was doing a little bit of figuring out where all those digital assets are and where the different contracts that we have and we manage this more in like the accounting side, but on the It’s Oh I need to schedule that SSL cert to be reinstalled on that, that one server.

[00:03:07] Jason Tucker: And, Oh, there’s another SSL cert on this other server. It’s a lot of SSL certs and on all different, on windows, on Mac, on Linux, it’s on everything. It’s on our wifi it’s all over the place. Having those things, I could have stuck them in a calendar and been like, all right here’s calendar entries and the calendar entries will tell me when to go do these things.

[00:03:28] Jason Tucker: But then you essentially have two calendar entries. You have the calendar entry saying, this is the last day that this needs to be done. And the other one is going to be, Hey, by the way, that’s probably a good day for you to get this done.

[00:03:40] Jason Cosper: Right.

[00:03:40] Jason Tucker: I, I was like, I gotta come up with a better solution for this.

[00:03:45] Jason Tucker: I was, I’ve been looking at a bunch of different tools and also looking at using Google sheets and Excel. And I have access to all the toys. So it’s just what am I going to do? Am I making a SharePoint site? What am I doing here? Am I using a Google site? Am I using some SaaS solution that kind of does this stuff for me?

[00:04:08] Jason Tucker: What’s the best approach to it? And I found a couple of posts that people have discussed these things, but these are things I want to share because they don’t sound like they, they would work all that well for most people. It sounded like it worked really great for this one person.

[00:04:25] Jason Tucker: But yeah I’ve looked at like Docker containers and all sorts of like different solutions that people have built out as a ways of of tracking this stuff. And I really came back down to just using the calendar. And just having essentially those two entries. But I have a whole calendar that I’ve set up, like my life runs on calendars.

[00:04:48] Jason Tucker: And for me, I have a, I use Google for my email calendar solution,

[00:04:54] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:04:55] Jason Tucker: I’ll have multiple calendars and one of them is for all those SSL certs are the ones for all those domains and when they expire and stuff like that. And. The, that whole digital asset combining thing that you’re talking about is the, one of the things that I’ve been wanting to figure out is, does this stuff need to continue to exist?

[00:05:21] Jason Tucker: Does this website need to exist still? Is this serving anything? Is this something that’s going to help somebody out? Was it cool that I bought that domain name and I threw 20 posts on it and then it never didn’t do anything?

[00:05:41] Jason Cosper: So it’s funny that you mentioned that as well, because our mutual friend, Jeremy Kitchen has been going through this as well. And he hit me up the other day saying, Hey, I have websites that WordPress websites that I have created did exactly that. Did five posts, did 20 posts, whatever.

[00:06:08] Jason Cosper: I’m no longer updating them and I don’t really want to keep updating a WordPress site for the rest of my life. His idea was, he was like, at first I was going to convert it to some static site generator and then whatever. He’s But I like my theme. I don’t want to like mess with all that.

[00:06:32] Jason Cosper: I don’t have the energy to do it. Like he’s undergoing cancer treatment right now. So he really is I don’t, and he goes, is there. a static generator plugin, like for WordPress. I’m sure that there is a, he’s I see a bunch of them. But do you know any that are legit? And the two that I told them were like WP2static, which is Stratic, I want to say that got bought by Elementor.

[00:07:10] Jason Cosper: It was their plugin. It’s still open source. It’s still maintained. It’s not as actively maintained as simply Static. And I’ll make sure that both of those make it into the show notes. But they both will generate. In, in the case of simply Static, they also have a pro plugin that you can use to like automatically deploy your site to Netlify or any of those places that will host static sites for you, like GitHub pages, et cetera.

[00:07:47] Jason Cosper: Or I think the free version just outputs a zip file that you can upload somewhere. And he’s kitchen was like. That’s my speed. Let’s just go ahead. And he’s I don’t need to pay 99 bucks a year, 59 or whatever to just do this the one time. So he I also just for a local dev environment he.

[00:08:13] Jason Cosper: Installed local. He moved both of his sites into local. And then he’s so I still have a WordPress installed, but it’s not publicly accessible. I don’t have to worry about maintaining it, except if I need to generate a new version of the site, because it’s like, Oh, actually, you know what? I do want to add a post.

[00:08:35] Jason Cosper: He’s been taking some of his other sites and just turning some of his WordPress sites and just turning them into static sites, throwing them up on Netlify, throwing them up on GitHub pages, and then just going. Okay if I need to revisit this, I can, but otherwise I have a forever static site that I don’t need to worry about getting it hacked, getting it whatever And I was like, when he was doing that and with you doing this I thought to myself like, Oh crap.

[00:09:17] Jason Cosper: Like I should go through my sites and figure out which ones are effectively in that static mode. And do the exact same thing. Use local use some sort of dev environment. I know that automatic just put out like studio for wordpress. com, a similar thing that’s supposed to be like a local competitor which local is a WP engine product.

[00:09:52] Jason Cosper: There’s a bunch of different things that you can do there. VVV is still a thing but who wants to mess with that, especially since Vagrant is always figuring out a new way to fall over. So

[00:10:12] Jason Tucker: that’s my thing though is the fact that maintaining this stuff, like if for the most part I’m tur we’re turning these websites into movable typesites and we’re running a Perl script that’s going to generate that, that static page it’s like, you’re still using the database.

[00:10:32] Jason Tucker: You’re still using a database to hold this stuff, but pulling up that local site, hitting the go button and having it spit out a static site. I think that’s great. My, my approach to it was, I was thinking, I was like if I’m going to maintain a website, can it just be one website and all the things will go into that one website and I’ll just have them as like categories or something like is, does that make sense?

[00:11:01] Jason Tucker: And then I’m like, but does, I don’t know I don’t think I have fans. It’s only somebody who’s Oh man, I’m waiting for that post to show up in my RSS feed, or I’m waiting for it to show up on some random social media network that Jason’s going to post this to. I don’t think that’s the case.

[00:11:20] Jason Tucker: I think this is very self self serving in the way that I used to have a tagline that was like I I blog because I want to find it on Google later it’s I’m going to, I’m going to do a search for this like very esoteric thing. And then you’re going to find it and you’re like, Oh yeah, I wrote that.

[00:11:41] Jason Tucker: I wrote that blog post on that thing and I’m just an idiot and can’t remember that I did it. Yeah, for me it’s just what what’s the best solution for this? Is it to have those domain names still floating around? Cause now I’m paying for domain names that I don’t necessarily think are worth it anymore.

[00:12:00] Jason Tucker: I just let go one of one of my oldest domain names that I’ve had. And I was like, I’m never going to use this. I’m just going to let it, I’m just going to let it die. It’s going to turn into some ad domain. Cause no one’s going to buy it. Cause it, it was cool at the time, but it’s just not that cool anymore.

[00:12:21] Jason Tucker: And so I was just like, ah, I’m going to let this die. I used to do a lot of Disney related stuff and I was like, ah, I don’t go to Disneyland all that much anymore. I’m just going to dump all those domains. And so all these domains, I’m just you know what? Yeah, they’re just going to go away. Now that content that I wrote, is that content still worth it? And where should I put it? So for me, I’m thinking I’m going to throw it as a category. I’m going to put it on like my personal site and be done with it. But the problem is for me is my personal site’s not currently on WordPress. So now I’m like, Oh gosh, do I really want to do like a merge? Am I going to take this other site and I’m going to turn it into whatever the hell it is that I’m using this week. I don’t know. It’s. Is it worth it? I’m not entirely sure. I’m still trying to decide what the appropriate approach is to that. But getting all this stuff and consolidating in it, I think is worth it.

[00:13:28] Jason Tucker: I think also consolidating web hosts. If you have a bunch of different websites hosted on different web hosts I think I, at one point I had maybe seven different web hosts that I was paying for to do all these different tests that I was doing. But I’m like, I’m getting down to like, all right, I got the one web host now or two web hosts.

[00:13:51] Jason Tucker: And and that’s it. And just bring it all back to where where I wanted it to be. I will say, as a quick aside I’ve been a customer of DreamHost, not an ad here, but I’ve been a customer of DreamHost since The beginning,

[00:14:11] Jason Cosper: right.

[00:14:12] Jason Tucker: I don’t know, like, when did you first start working over there?

[00:14:17] Jason Cosper: I know I started working there in 2006 and I think at that point they were nearing their 10th anniversary.

[00:14:26] Jason Tucker: I was trying to look up, I’ll have to look up my account and see how long I’ve had it, but I’ve had it for a damn long ass time. But the problem was, is back in the day, like your, the, their dashboard has changed over the years and things have changed over the years and stuff. And so I just had.

[00:14:43] Jason Tucker: Tons of domain names. Like all my domain names used to live on this thing. I was I was a slumlord to myself. I just had so many domains, just running on this poor one, one poor website. So I started moving a lot of my sites back to, to DreamHost just cause it’s like, it’s a shared hosting.

[00:15:03] Jason Tucker: I, like I said I’m not trying to look for like the like ultra high performance, blah, blah, blah. I’m not spending 7, 500 a month for for it. If I do, I could probably spend that up off of when a dream hosts the solutions for that. But I just wanted having that one company to pay and just make sure all that stuff’s there.

[00:15:28] Jason Tucker: But also domain name consolidation going through all of the different places that you’re hosting your domain or you’re, you bought your domain names through and maybe take the time to go through and figure out where the heck should this stuff reside. I was always of the mind that you should never have your domain names hosted at the same place that you’re hosting your websites and they should just be on a registrar.

[00:15:51] Jason Tucker: That’s separate from everything else. But I have seen we’ve seen this in the past where we’re like, Oh, let’s start putting our stuff on Google domains. And then guess what happened to Google domains? It’s Now owned by Squarespace, right?

[00:16:06] Jason Tucker: So now guess what? You’re back onto some host that you’re not even hosting your website on.

[00:16:11] Jason Tucker: It was just like hopefully you’ll switch to Squarespace. I’m like, no, I’m just going to go switch all my stuff over to Namecheap or something.

[00:16:20] Jason Cosper: I will say I have long subscribed to okay. I have a, like before I worked for DreamHost and this is like the second time that

[00:16:36] Jason Tucker: You’re not going to say gondi. net, are you?

[00:16:39] Jason Cosper: No. I Tucker, you and I we’ve been like interested in podcasts, like since from the jump as well.

[00:16:51] Jason Tucker: the jump.

[00:16:52] Jason Cosper: Yeah. And back in the day a very popular domain registrar like a podcast sponsor was hover. com. They used to they used to sponsor like all the Leo the port shows, a bunch of the kind of nerdier shows and they were affordably priced. I think that there are people who are like.

[00:17:16] Jason Cosper: Undercutting them now. But for the most part the majority of my domain names are on hover, but I will say working at DreamHost, like it’s a web host and it’s a registrar and there are other added services. One benefit to having your domain registration where you host your site is the fact that.

[00:17:44] Jason Cosper: If there is an update. That needs to be made in a lot of cases, those DNS updates, say Oh, we had to do emergency maintenance or whatever. And we’re very sorry, but the IP address of your machine changed instead of having to go, Oh crap. Now I have to remember to go log into my registrar and change it.

[00:18:10] Jason Cosper: Oh, your host actually handled that for you.

[00:18:14] Jason Tucker: Huh.

[00:18:15] Jason Cosper: It’s a nice thing to have. And for the handful of domains that like I have registered in my hosting account at DreamHost I will say it is nice to just never. have to worry about that and never have to think about okay, wait, where do I have, cause now especially since the new kind of like novelty TLDs have come up I’ve this random registrar that I have this dot L O L domain at I have a few other.

[00:18:58] Jason Cosper: like random domains that are over on pork bun, which is a newer registrar. It’s a little less expensive than hover. So like I, I have over maybe the past, two or three years started to in you’re like pulling everything in, like I’ve expanded. Like my footprint and watching you do this, watching my friend kitchen, like consolidate all of his stuff into into what he’s doing it’s very much like a thing where it’s okay, I think I maybe need to start like pulling everything.

[00:19:46] Jason Cosper: At this point, like I have so many domains over on hover, like I, I just need to transfer it. I don’t care what it’s going to cost me to transfer it in. Even if Porkbun is offering a domain and a renewal at 10 a year, but. Over on Hover, it’s 20 a year. It’s like just to have that all in one place, one login.

[00:20:11] Jason Cosper: What’s the the business term that they always love using one throat to choke, right? Like I know that it’s okay if I have a registration, I go here. If I have a hosting issue, I go here. It’s a little more confusing for me. Cause as an employee of a web host, I have like my own employee account, but I don’t like.

[00:20:41] Jason Cosper: To host my websites where I work. And that’s always been the case. So I maintain a hosting account elsewhere. I’ll host like little one off things, little silly stuff where it’s okay, I can just spin this up real quick and not mess with it. But I have a hosting account.

[00:21:03] Jason Cosper: I use spin up WP and have. Probably like 15 sites, 10, 15 sites. And those are like my sites, like they are like the ones that’s where the silly sites that you know I maybe get started on like my shared hosting account at work. It’s Oh, okay. I’m actually going to make this a serious thing.

[00:21:32] Jason Cosper: Like I promote it to the actual hosting. So it’s. It’s and it’s funny because when I went back to work at DreamHost a few years ago, people were telling me like, Oh man, I’ve had a DreamHost account forever because it’s shared hosting. You pay 10 a month for it.

[00:21:53] Jason Cosper: And as somebody who earns a living off of all of these people who are just like, Oh, I still have my DreamHost account from 20 years ago. Please keep paying my bills. I like staying employed. Buy some more, like whatever hashtag not sponsored. But still there are a lot of people out there who just have a shared account that they do that stuff with.

[00:22:31] Jason Cosper: And it’s not a, it’s not a bad thing to have like I’m sure that when you get stuff. All consolidated. No matter where you wind up with everything, you’ll probably end up keeping your cheap as long as it’s under 10 a month, like under 10 a month shared hosting account, as a web professional, it’s always a nice thing to, to keep around. It’s always a, yeah. To just be like, Oh I had this like little proof of concept thing. I’m gonna throw this together. A lot of times I’ll admit this even. As like a developer I don’t really I was talking about kitchen running my friend, Jeremy kitchen running local, and having these local dev environments a lot of times I’ll just throw a site up on a temporary domain, live on the internet.

[00:23:37] Jason Cosper: I don’t care. Like it, it is.

[00:23:40] Jason Cosper: And I don’t have to worry about if Docker needs an update. I don’t need to worry about any of this other stuff. I do have to worry about if I’m keeping the plugins up to date, because this actually is like a live site.

[00:24:04] Jason Cosper: So if I haven’t. Tucked it behind some sort of like login or locked it down to just be accessed by my IP or whatever. Yeah. Okay. That’s a little bit of a problem. I was gonna, no I was going to mention it. I didn’t want to shame you. You said you came back to one of your shared accounts and found a bunch of

[00:24:32] Jason Tucker: Yeah, I was going to bring it up, but I didn’t know how to approach it. We don’t, we on this show do not censor ourselves when we talk about Most of the things but I my friend works there, my friend’s also on the show,

[00:24:50] Jason Cosper: it’s fine.

[00:24:52] Jason Tucker: so shared hosting shared hosting is fun you can be the you can be the bad neighbor.

[00:25:00] Jason Tucker: Which is someone who may have may have done something screwed up on their website. They maybe have an old version of some software that’s running on there. And then that version of software may get hacked. And then at that point, maybe things start getting in there. And if you, at one point didn’t really understand how security works, you had everything running off of one user account in the shared host.

[00:25:27] Jason Tucker: Those different domain names can then propagate through one another. And then since that account that they’ve that they’ve compromised has been compromised, has access to everything else, they’re able to then go through all the different domains that are in there and start just throwing all of the different PHP files that can be used to circumvent.

[00:25:50] Jason Tucker: And start doing bad things to your stuff. So that’s what happened to my account. I logged in, I it’s I it’s like I went off to college and then I came back to mom’s house and she hasn’t touched anything in the room, but everything has like dust bunnies all over just all sorts of stuff is just like accumulated.

[00:26:11] Jason Tucker: She didn’t actually go in the room. She was just like, oh yeah, I won’t touch any of your stuff. That’s what happened here, but we left the window open. And the window had the breeze come through and it brought in leaves and it brought in all sorts of crap. And yeah, I logged into the account and I was like, wow, what the hell are all these PHP files that are everywhere? it’s file list. php, backdoor. php. It’s like all the things.

[00:26:37] Jason Cosper: They’re not even like bothering to hide.

[00:26:41] Jason Tucker: no they enumerated like every file that’s in this whole thing. And it’s just it’s a bunch of just I don’t know, memes, essentially, it’s just, it’s a bunch of crap that I just, I, Accumulated on various websites. And yeah, that’s what ended up that’s what ended up happening is I got on there and I was just like, Oh wow.

[00:26:59] Jason Tucker: I hit up the security folks over there and I was just like, Hey, can you look at my account? I just looked it up on, on here. So my account was from 4 26 2006. So yeah, I’ve had that account for a long ass time. And but it has every domain name I’ve ever done with every version of everything that’s on there.

[00:27:25] Jason Tucker: Before, before using dream host, I worked at a web host as well. A competitor as well. And it’s not like I had OS commerce or some really old software running on there or anything, but there was some stuff that was in there and I’m just like, Oh wow, some really old single click install type crap that was just floating around in there that I needed to get rid of.

[00:27:52] Jason Tucker: So yeah. When you’re doing this sort of thing, that spring cleaning also turns into a spring mitigation.

[00:27:59] Jason Cosper: sure. Sure. It’s you’re doing spring cleaning and Oh crap. Is that black mold? I need to get a guy out here with the mold testing kits and everything else. And I’m, I might need to, I might need to hire a crew to come in and clean out this thing because I have just let this sit way too long.

[00:28:22] Jason Cosper: A couple of tiles got knocked off the roof and. Things have been leaking into the sidewall in my house or whatever, and now I got black mold in there and you think you’re doing a good thing by spring cleaning, but all of a sudden it’s oh, I’m like 20 grand in the hole,

[00:28:39] Jason Cosper: Metaphorically.

[00:28:41] Jason Tucker: Big flurkly. Now what’s funny about this whole thing is that one of these, one of these installs was it had infinite WP in there,

[00:28:51] Jason Tucker: Which was I don’t even know how this works. And nowadays I don’t manage like a whole crap load of websites that I care about. But infinite WP was that single solution that you would go into like manage WP or one of those where it would control all those sites and keep everything up to date.

[00:29:11] Jason Tucker: I went to go, I went in there and I was like, Oh, I wonder if I can get in this. I went to like infinite dot whatever the domain name is. com type in username, password, got into it. And I was smart enough to at least have HTTP authentication enabled, but once I got past that the whole installation was broke.

[00:29:32] Jason Tucker: Like it was just busted whoever it was that got into the account probably just scooped up all of the usernames and passwords or whatever it was to get into those other sites, but none of those sites. Work anymore? Cause they they’ve been moved around so many times and the username and passwords have changed so many times.

[00:29:50] Jason Tucker: All this to say that when you’re going through something like this, you’ll probably find that that. that a lot of your stuff is going to be jacked up and that you’ve neglected a lot of these websites. And that neglect is really it’s really telling you should you keep this domain?

[00:30:11] Jason Tucker: Should you keep this content that’s in there? Should you move that content elsewhere? Yeah, like that sort of thing and figuring out Does that have value still? Or is that a post that you could then move and maybe rewrite or freshen it up a little bit so that it can be something that could be used?

[00:30:32] Jason Tucker: I don’t know. Yeah, looking through that stuff doing that spring cleaning is is well worth it. And also just taking that time to, if you’re going to go through those posts, maybe look to see if you have old old shortcodes that are floating around in there that are what we would call like naked shortcodes that just they aren’t actually producing any content.

[00:30:59] Jason Tucker: Going through that and maybe cleaning some of that stuff up. And there’s a bunch of tools to do that sort of stuff, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

[00:31:07] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:31:07] Jason Tucker: some of my stuff isn’t even hosted on WordPress anymore. So it’s a little funky to just figure it out. If I do any consolidation, like I was talking about I’m going to have to go back to WordPress, do the consolidation and then go move it off to the next Whatever the hell, that’s what I have, I you and I have just personally texted about this. I am using WordPress to move. And I think we touched on it in a previous episode. My wife, Sarah, is using for her horror movie podcast signed up with Anchor, which is now Spotify for podcasters or whatever.

[00:32:02] Jason Cosper: And she wanted to be able to like instead of let’s host it on our own site, like something we control. She doesn’t like the Spotify tools or anything else. And I was like, Oh, I’ve been playing with ghost. This seems a site for people who subscribe to things like a decent, like they have.

[00:32:30] Jason Cosper: Some stuff built in for podcasting. And I was like, I found a theme I liked and everything else. But I could not get the RSS feed imported into Ghost. So instead of spending some time, like hacking a script together, I was like and this is something I know. James in our discord like one of my favorite sayings the best thing about WordPress is you can build anything with WordPress.

[00:33:05] Jason Cosper: The worst thing about WordPress is you can build anything with WordPress. That best slash worst thing is that I went ahead and said there’s gotta be something that will help me pull in an RSS feed to WordPress. Like a podcast RSS feed. And then I will take that and use ghost makes an export tool for WordPress.

[00:33:36] Jason Cosper: So I used WordPress to, I spun up a site. On a shared hosting account, used WordPress to pull all of that RSS feed data down then took and use the ghost export tool to send that out and up to ghost. And now every time they publish, we haven’t been able to take the wraps off the site yet, but it’s very easy for me to.

[00:34:05] Jason Cosper: To pull the almost it’s 75 or whatever episodes anytime they publish a new episode, I just have to make a copy of that post in the ghost install instead of Oh, I’m going to do all this again or whatever. So when the site’s ready to launch, like it’s good to go, but instead of going through and Oh, I got to mess with this Jason, I got to Pull down this RSS feed, do all that.

[00:34:36] Jason Cosper: Like I used WordPress for data liberation, effectively.

[00:34:43] Jason Tucker: It’s a utility belt that you can just tap into real quick and be like, all right let me go grab this little thing here and I hook this here and I’m going to move this over to here and hook this up there. And yeah, you strung together some stuff and now you just moved your site.

[00:34:59] Jason Cosper: yeah. And now considering what we were talking about with forgotten about installs and everything else, I absolutely need to make sure that install that I put together, even though I have everything set to auto update is spun down now because I no longer need it.

[00:35:17] Jason Tucker: Right.

[00:35:18] Jason Cosper: And doing a little bit of that spring cleaning myself, I want to loop back around.

[00:35:24] Jason Cosper: You were talking about setting something up for like your SSL expiration. And I know a lot of people, a lot of people nowadays, and they absolutely should lean on. Let’s encrypt and let’s encrypt does auto renewal as long as the host has it configured appropriately and everything else in your cases IT, like you maybe don’t have that luxury, like you’re doing stuff in Windows, you’re doing stuff across a few different platforms.

[00:36:02] Jason Cosper: I. Do you know of a tool it is like an uptime monitor. It’s an open source tool called Uptime Kuma. I don’t know if you’ve looked at that, but

[00:36:16] Jason Tucker: I use the heck out of that.

[00:36:18] Jason Cosper: okay. So since you already are using the heck out of that, do you know that some of the newer versions of it have alerts set up that will let you know when your SSL certificate is getting close to expiring?

[00:36:34] Jason Tucker: No, but I did see on there that it did domains,

[00:36:39] Jason Tucker: As well. Oh, okay. Yeah. I maintain at my work, I maintain a Docker. container that has that running in it that has a whole bunch of our stuff that we’re looking at. And then in my house, I also have that looking at all my different websites and whatnot, just to make sure that things are going up and down staying up and down and doing all those sorts of things.

[00:37:06] Jason Tucker: Notifications for like you, it’s weird, but You end up with a discord for like your house,

[00:37:18] Jason Tucker: just to have all your crap. Tell you something’s broken or whatever. There’s a whole bunch of different notification systems to do that. But yeah having that is that’s an important way of approaching it. The host that I use or rather the SSL provider that we use Also does that.

[00:37:41] Jason Tucker: Though it’s in their best interest for me to renew my account with them. They do that as well. But I think the thing is being able to forecast it. What’s what’s coming up and then you can also figure out am I going to be on vacation around this time or not?

[00:37:58] Jason Tucker: How am I going to approach approach this kind of change or something like that. But yeah, Uptime Kuma very nice.

[00:38:06] Jason Cosper: Yeah it is very handy. If you because it’s an open source tool it can it’s not as fiddly as some of the other stuff to, to set up but I will say and we’ve again not. Not sponsored but Picapods which I know you use for one of your ghost installs, et

[00:38:35] Jason Cosper: They have done a one click install for some of these like Docker containers and they handle everything for you. I’ll make sure that makes it into the show notes as well. Picapods is a really good And can you push a couple buttons dedicate the resources it needs.

[00:39:02] Jason Cosper: If you under resource it or whatever, you’re like, oh, I don’t know how much RAM I need. Just pick the lowest RAM setting. And then when you try to save, it’ll go, oh, you need at least this much RAM and storage. Like it, it will do its best to make sure that you’re not like deploying a crappy version of this for yourself or whatever.

[00:39:24] Jason Cosper: But having something like that having a management interface, like an infinite WP or managed WP, I know that they’re called solid now, they used to be itheams but solid has, what was it, solid central or something like that? That I, yeah.

[00:39:50] Jason Tucker: that sounds right,

[00:39:52] Jason Cosper: It’s I will say I got into using that for a second when when it was just iTheme sync but solid central is actually pretty decent at just, you want to.

[00:40:14] Jason Cosper: I have a few sites set up on that, like on one of their legacy free plans or whatever. And even though I have auto updates enabled for a number of plugins and themes and et cetera. I really like to run on the edge and maybe screw up by having auto updates enabled.

[00:40:41] Jason Cosper: If we can only get that update rollback thrown in, thrown into they keep snatching away from me, like Lucy with the football. I get so excited about it. I wrote a blog post on the DreamHouse blog, like six, five, it’s going to happen, and then it didn’t happen. Oh, good.

[00:41:01] Jason Cosper: People need to get out there and test that because if there’s like a failed update rollback or whatever, but having high points for like spring cleaning, consolidate your domains.

[00:41:17] Jason Cosper: Consolidate your hosting. Having a separate for hosting and domains is advantageous, but if you’re not dealing with a ton of sites, maybe having them all under one roof is not the worst thing.

[00:41:32] Jason Tucker: Right.

[00:41:33] Jason Cosper: There’s no need to make things more complicated on yourself if DNS changes and then you’re going to have to run off and have your site down, especially if it’s something that’s like mission critical or whatever.

[00:41:48] Jason Cosper: But okay.

[00:41:50] Jason Tucker: when you can.

[00:41:52] Jason Cosper: Use, see names when you can. However if you use a c name that if you don’t like having www in front of your domain Yeah.

[00:42:04] Jason Cosper: like you can’t c name just a raw domain name. So wp water can’t be cna, you have to use an a record there. But can use a cna DNS record.

[00:42:22] Jason Cosper: Know what you’re doing there getting something set up. Even if you’re like, Oh man that’s a lot to unpack. Say we have viewers out there who, Oh man, I have four different hosting accounts. I’ve got domains, a bunch of different places because dot coms were on sale over here and I just never.

[00:42:56] Jason Cosper: Moved all my domains into one registrar or whatever and then domains were on sale over there and same thing if that’s a lot to unpack at the very least having a tool like like solid central, like manage WP infinite WP, which is still out there, like plugging along I think Mark Benzikin old friend of the show, Mark.

[00:43:25] Jason Cosper: Benzikin is working over at main WP now. Is that right? I

[00:43:33] Jason Tucker: we have to wait till Christmas when he sends out the Christmas newsletter.

[00:43:36] Jason Cosper: okay. Yeah. But there are tools out there that will help you manage your sites in a central way to know when there are updates. All of these will send nightly emails to you and let you know, Hey WordPress core had an update like 6. 5 came out when 6.

[00:44:04] Jason Cosper: 5. 1 comes out, if you have sites that, that haven’t auto updated whenever two, three weeks when they finally get that little first point release of 6. 5 out. It’ll let you know, it’s Hey some of your sites already auto updated, but you’ve got these three or four sites and oh, now some of the 20 themes, what, whatever ones that you still manage to have installed on your site those have updates too and this plugin and et cetera.

[00:44:43] Jason Cosper: And getting those emails every night, every few nights, like when there’s an actual update. It’s nice to see like I’ll, I know that one of the last emails like times that I check email on the night, like that’s when my solid central email shows up and I just,

[00:45:04] Jason Tucker: Oh, I’m good.

[00:45:05] Jason Cosper: Yeah as I’m like brushing my teeth I really should probably stop looking at my phone as I’m brushing my teeth.

[00:45:12] Jason Cosper: But as I’m brushing my teeth, I go, okay, I’ve got updates. I mash the button hit a couple other buttons and then it’s oh, all my WordPress sites are up to date. Cool. But having that, having a tool like Uptime Kuma that not only will tell you like when your SSL certificates are expiring, but like also having effectively like pingdom notifications for your site and especially if.

[00:45:42] Jason Cosper: One of these multiple web hosts that you have is having like server problems or whatever being able to, okay, thank you for showing Uptime

[00:45:55] Jason Tucker: I thought I would, I thought I would show. Yeah. So here’s my, my my, my local one, but going here and looking at the notification type you can get notifications, you name the thing. Like I was saying, if you have a discord that your house runs on, or if you use if you’re a little bit more fancy and you’re using like PagerDuty or I use Pushbullet so there’s there’s different tools to do that, but it’ll monitor darn near everything.

[00:46:27] Jason Tucker: I have this monitoring Docker containers that are running on a laptop server in my house but it’ll monitor all sorts of stuff, if you needed to do like I use radius at work I could be using that but it can look at all sorts of stuff, including like actually looking at the website itself for changes.

[00:46:50] Jason Tucker: And it does so many things. And the one thing that Cosper is talking about right here was the certificate expiry notification. This one’s super duper handy. And if you’re someone who has your site locked down, cause you’re using this for for like personal testing purposes, you can do that whole HTTP basic auth and it’ll still be able to get past that and then run those tests.

[00:47:15] Jason Tucker: So yeah there’s a whole lot of stuff being able to group them up based on different criteria that you’re using and then how you want that to be displayed and then what’s really nice about this is You know, you could give this to your spouse and be like, yeah, this is the reason why the Plex server is down or whatever.

[00:47:34] Jason Tucker: But you can load this up and be able to look and see is my stuff up? Is my stuff down? And then what happened to it?

[00:47:41] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:47:42] Jason Tucker: Everyone has different ways of getting things that fall off the back of a truck. And if you can track, if you can track it, then that’s a great way to be able to track it.

[00:47:51] Jason Tucker: Looking at that, this might be a, this might be a good solution for you and it’s free. That’s what’s nice about it is it’s free.

[00:47:58] Jason Cosper: It is free.

[00:47:59] Jason Tucker: and if you want to pay a couple bucks, you can pay a couple bucks and they’ll actually do notifications using their own system. And you, they have an app that you can actually run on your phone and it’ll send you notifications that way.

[00:48:12] Jason Tucker: And you can act on those notifications from that too. So

[00:48:16] Jason Cosper: And if you want to, if you want to pay a peak of pods to do it, I think it’s only maybe I, it’s not more than two or 3 a

[00:48:26] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:48:28] Jason Cosper: And really all it’s doing is just every few minutes just checking your site, seeing if it’s up And then when it checks your site to see if it’s up, seeing when the certificate expiration date is, and oh, hey, that’s coming up.

[00:48:46] Jason Cosper: So like really, if you take anything away from this, if you’re like, oh, this is a really big lift I don’t think I’m going to be able to get to consolidating my hosting, consolidating my domain registrations moving all of this stuff like under one roof like at the very least if you can’t like get everything.

[00:49:15] Jason Cosper: Collected for that stuff, at least take an inventory of what you have. Because and get it into even if it’s just a plain text list, so you know, all of the, or spreadsheet, whatever you’re most comfortable with, but just know what you have out there just take the, a second to be like, okay.

[00:49:41] Jason Cosper: Here’s all my domains, here’s all my sites and go through and say Hey what do I still need here? What can I do? Figure out your approach for consolidation are you going to throw it as a post on one of your websites or are you just going to dump it? Are you going to have some consolidation website that’s going to have all this crap on there? Like Cosper saying, if you’re going to take the time to turn them into static sites that sounds great.

[00:50:18] Jason Tucker: But yeah, being able to do all that. One thing we didn’t touch on here and that, that’s, this has always been an issue I think is this idea of having this like one site or this one place that’s your low, like how you’re storing that local site. That you’re going to be like having to maintain and keeping that keeping that up to date and also moving it from computer to computer as you’re like moving that, moving the sites around how should someone approach that?

[00:50:51] Jason Tucker: That might be something we have to talk about at some point here with Just like backups and the different ways of backing up, not just your website, but also like your development environment and any of those any of those other types of environments that might be something we should definitely discuss at some point.

[00:51:13] Jason Cosper: Yeah, absolutely. But I feel like we’re approaching the one hour mark. I feel like maybe we’ve managed to go on long enough. Would you

[00:51:24] Jason Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. We definitely covered the heck out of this.

[00:51:30] Jason Cosper: Yeah. And I always worry when we’re we’re down a co host when Sé isn’t with us when she’s got something going on or whatever. I’m like, man how are we going to fill time? But it turns out

[00:51:48] Jason Tucker: very easy.

[00:51:49] Jason Cosper: yeah.

[00:51:51] Jason Tucker: We don’t need Sé, Sé who?

[00:51:54] Jason Cosper: Oh, come on. We absolutely do need Sé.

[00:51:59] Jason Tucker: No, I think yeah my, my speaking part jumped by 700%. So that was that was that was good.

[00:52:09] Jason Cosper: Yeah, no just inside baseball, but Tucker has a thing that shows him like how much each one of us has spoken. And it’s always funny cause he has like the smallest slice of pie. I have a lot to say. I just don’t know how to play jump rope and and double dutch is very difficult. So

[00:52:30] Jason Tucker: Yeah. When do I jump in? When do I jump in? And then how the hell do I get out?

[00:52:39] Jason Cosper: Yeah,

[00:52:40] Jason Tucker: out, thank you very much for hanging out with us today. We really appreciate it. If you haven’t done this yet, please do this. Go over to our website, go over to the discord. And join our discord and come hang out with us. We’ve been getting some really great people coming in there and hanging out with us.

[00:52:58] Jason Tucker: And we’re not trying to sell you anything. It’s so much fun to just just hang out and actually talk about stuff. Not just WordPress stuff, talk about life, talk about all the things that are going on with your business, with your personal, with your whatever come hang out. We would love to hang out with you and talk with you.

[00:53:16] Jason Tucker: And like I said, links are in the show notes down below as well as on the website and while you’re down there, leave us a comment. Talk to y’all later. You have a good

[00:53:24] Jason Cosper: It is a legitimate water cooler. Bring your own water.

[00:53:29] Jason Tucker: Bring your own water. It doesn’t have to be water, but bring your own. And there you go. Thanks all. You have a good one. Bye bye. All right.

[00:53:45] Jason Tucker: We appreciate it there. And come hang out with us in our discord. You can go find that in the links down below. We’d really appreciate it. Talk to y’all later. You have a good one. Bye bye.

[00:53:56] Jason Cosper: Hi everybody.

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