Nginx – based stack

I’ve been working on moving this blog to a different server, and simultaneously performing a migration operation on some other sites I spend time on.

In an attempt to do something new and to create an environment that provides some much needed flexibility, I’m putting some extra time and energy into selecting a server and technology stack. Here are the highlights:

  • nginx instead of Apache. Nothing against Apache, honestly; LAMP-ish stacks have been my M.O. for a long while. Nginx will, however, provide many benefits: first, exploring a completely new web server will improve my understanding of how web servers work; second, I suspect using Nginx with uWSGI will make it easier to deploy my increasing number of Python + virtualenv + (some framework) projects; third, I run several low-traffic domains on the same box, and Apache has really been struggling with that.
  • Transfer my blog out of WP.com. I find myself wanting to do more and more with my WordPress blog that just isn’t possible with wordpress.com hosting. Having built several WP themes now, I feel nimble enough to put a custom theme together quickly. The ability to install certain currently inaccessible plugins will be very satisfying and I want to play around with writing some of my own plugins as well.
  • Use the Natural Language Toolkit (nltk) to made Pablo more fun at thesexycow.com and to do some for-fun natural language analysis on my blog content.
  • I will stick with Linode; I’ve been happy with them in servers past. I’ll be using Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, which has Python 2.7.1 and other impressive version numbers that Cent-#&$@#$-OS will probably get around to implementing no sooner than 2020.

So far, I have setup the server and Nginx with FastCGI, and started working on configuring wordpress and the first iteration of this blog’s theme.

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