Blazing Fast & Beautiful isn't it? Discover Digital Ocean and Ghost

A lot of people ask me... How did you create such a nice website? How did you make it so fast? Well I will now tell you how!

Long, long ago, there was Wordpress. It’s a Content Management System (CMS) dating from 2003 based on PHP and MySQL. I’ve used this for a long time, but on the way I started hating it more and more. The pro’s of WordPress is that it’s completely open source and that you can make plugins for it and this is the reason why everybody uses it. Because you can literally do anything with it. From blogging to building a social network. Yeah, that’s right. You can literally make a social network with WordPress. And about 60 plugins. I did that. But WordPress has, in my opinion, one huge disadvantage. And they can’t solve it. It’s the core where it’s built on: PHP and MySQL, and how they use it. PHP and MySQL are not built for this plugin structure, so it makes WordPress incredibly slow. My social network would take ages to load. Sometimes I would click on a new page, go to the toilet, come back and it still wasn’t loaded! Well, of course, I was in Asia at that time, which also didn’t contribute to a faster website, I’ll give you that… But in my mind it was clear... I needed an alternative.

So I started talking to some smart programmers in co-working spaces and I noticed that everybody was using a certain form of Javascript. Javascript!? But that’s front-end! Yeah… Well… Things have changed! There are now multiple frameworks built on top of javascript that are also server-side and back-end. And their advantages and capabilities compared to PHP and MySQL are incredible.

I don’t want to bore you with more technical stuff. If you want to learn the specifications, just google them. There’s enough out there. Let’s make a long story short.

I started learning Node JS - In my opinion the best Javascript framework evar - and then I found this super nice CMS. It’s called Ghost. Ghost is a CMS designed especially for Journalists, Writers and Bloggers. It’s designed for optimal growth, speed and comfort. It’s just amazing. They also offer hosting, it’s called Ghost PRO. It’s not the cheapest, but if you don’t know anything about servers, then this is the way to go. If, however - like me - you’re looking for a cheap alternative. Then I would recommend DigitalOcean. It’s a pay-per-hour cloud-hosting platform. They have servers all over the word and the technology they offer is amazing. Next to the fact that their servers all use SSD (It’s more than 5 times faster than HDD) they have built an API which you can use to program a script that scales your servers - both horizontally and vertically - automatically. This means that, after setting things up correctly, you can automatically add and delete servers from your network. Isn’t that crazy? You can just lay back, have a cocktail in Bali, and when you look at your screen a few weeks later, one of your articles went viral, and your servers have increased in size 10 times that day, to handle all the visitors.

It’s amazing what technology can do these days.

There’s also AWS and GCP, and to be honest they have even more insane technology to give you the optimal laid back SysAdmin experience, but they are a little bit more expensive.

So, to put an end to this story, for any startup doing anything with websites or apps that can go viral at any moment, I would highly recommend using DigitalOcean and Javascript. Javascript?! Yeah… Javascript. I still can’t believe I’m saying this… But… It’s the shit now.