As part of the DigitalOcean Open Source initiative, our own self-hosted web presence runs on DigitalOcean virtual private servers – also known as ‘droplets’ in DO parlance – in their network of global datacenters. DigitalOcean kindly support Textpattern with platform credit, allowing us to spin up droplets as required, build them entirely to our own specifications, optimise them for wicked-fast performance & response times, and scale them up or down according to demand.

Before we approached DigitalOcean in 2018, Textpattern infrastructure lived on a legacy server in a Joyent server rack. Our old server ran on the illumos operating system, and our instance had been officially end-of-life’d. We reached a point where we had to relocate. The development and operations team were spending increasing amounts of time finding workarounds for problems we encountered. Time spent fixing servers is time that could be spent on developing improvements, optimising code, supporting administrators…or simply logging into Textpattern and writing an article. We’re here for the writing, never forget that.

We allotted time to audit our entire infrastructure as part of the switch to DigitalOcean servers, unpicked some tape-and-string workarounds, brought everything up-to-date on a modern operating system with ongoing long-term support, and significantly expanded our horizons on what was now possible. We have stabilised, secured and strengthened our web presence. The foundations have been laid for a number of things that we intend to roll out in 2021 and beyond.

On a personal note, as the server guy for the Textpattern project, I’m really looking forward to building & announcing some more cool stuff this year. The differences from just a few years ago are quite extraordinary. I’ll tell you about some of the things we’re doing behind the scenes as the year unfolds.

Thank you, DigitalOcean, for your sponsorship and support: it means a lot.

Happy 2021 to you all!