Owning my identity online is really important to me, and having my own place on the web is a fundamental part of this.
Before December 2015, I self-hosted my website, which I enjoyed as I had full control over every aspect of my site, from writing blog posts in my text editor to customising the caching of the site. However, in December 2015, I decided to switch to a DigitalOcean VPS, which allowed me to retain control over almost every part of the site, while benefitting from a faster server with higher bandwidth and lower latency.
hmercer.com is a static Jekyll site, hosted by Apache on a DigitalOcean VPS. Its SSL certificate is provided by Let’s Encrypt, an open certificate authority that provides SSL certificates for free using a totally automated certificate acquisition process. The codebase for hmercer.com is kept on a Gitlab instance on my server, and to update the site, I simply make the change in my local repository then commit and push the changes.