The Importance of Rebuilding

One of my nerdier interests is Runescape. Every since Old School Runescape has been re-released, I’ve loved watching twitch streams featuring the game. It’s amazing to watch thousands of people gather around and watch a game I spent so many hours on when I was younger.  Don’t worry, this is relevant…

Every now and again, even the most popular streamers get “cleaned” meaning they have lost all their entire bank and are now starting over. They generally proudly exclaim to the chat “It’s time to rebuild, boys!”

Well, dealing with anxiety and depression, sometimes I have to spend a ton of energy doing normal day-to-day activities and there’s not much left to keep pushing on studying, networking, etc. I spent a couple months in a bit of a lull, and lost some of my drive to write this blog and continue to study… but:

It’s time to rebuild, boys!

For the last couple weeks, I’ve adjusted some medication and come out feeling better than ever. I started a project of relaunching a YouTube channel that me and a buddy used to run…  TheCreepypastaDuo. It’s a simple narration channel for Creepypasta stories posted online. We used it in the past to develop some skills in voice/instrument/sound effect recording, music composition, and marketing. It’s even more recently led to a paid voice over gig!

After restarting the YouTube channel, I wanted to rebuild it’s companion site, CreepypastaChamber. Riding the energy and excitement of rejoining the Creepypasta community, I decided this was the perfect outlet to really start putting some of my new development knowledge to the test.

I set out with the following goals in mind:

  • Setup a couple linode boxes from scratch (simple LAMP servers)
  • Use a headless WordPress instance as the backend
  • Create a React frontend that consumes the WordPress REST API

As things usually go, the scope and goals quickly expanded to:

  • Migrate everything to AWS
    • Serve the WordPress API from an EC2 instance
      • Make sure this is very secure:
    • Serve the static React build from S3/CloudFront
    • Utilize Route 53 for all DNS configurations
    • Utilize the free SSL service provided by AWS Certificate Manager
  • Figure out how to use Google Analytics within the SPA
  • Make sure the entire site works as a PWA (progressive web app)
  • Create dynamic page titles
  • Create custom post types for stories and narrations, allowing them to be linked together
  • And a huge backlog of other items

I’ve had some serious success burning through these items… even though not all of them had the best tutorials available. Because of this, I’ve decided that I’m going to document the entire process, and create tutorials related to each of these items in a full series about how to create a similar site and launch it to AWS including security configurations, SSL setup, steps to create a PWA even when using runtime caching to store external resources such as api calls and google fonts.

Tonight I hit a milestone of getting 100% in the lighthouse PWA audit and officially being able to download my first PWA to my phone!


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