Deploying AWS EC2 Instance for WordPress

  1. Register for an AWS Account
  2. Launch EC2 Instance with Ubuntu LTS 18.04
  3. Save your PEM key in a safe place
  4. Install Putty
  5. Convert PEM Key to PPK using PuttyGen or other method
  6. SSH to your new EC2

This video shows you the bare minimum to get an EC2 Instance setup, if you are to use this in production I recommend additional security controls. This will be covered in later videos.

A DevOps Guide for WordPress – Mastering The Art of Modern Development for WordPress – Preorder Now!

You can preorder my book now which is due out this summer. If there is anything you would like to see in the book please let me know, I am still editing it and want to pack as much useful information in there as I can for you. As well as receiving the book you will get access to exclusive videos showing you step-by-step processes to get you set up your CICD pipeline for WordPress.


Chapter 1: Understanding WordPress and DevOps

  • Introduction to WordPress architecture.
  • Overview of DevOps principles and practices.
  • The significance of DevOps in WordPress development.

Chapter 2: Setting Up a DevOps-Ready WordPress Environment

  • Best practices for setting up a local development environment.
  • Leveraging containers (Docker) for WordPress development.
  • Version control systems and WordPress: Integrating Git.

Chapter 3: Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) for WordPress

  • Automating testing: Unit tests, integration tests, and WP-CLI commands for automated testing.
  • Building CI/CD pipelines with Jenkins, GitHub Actions, or GitLab CI.
  • Deploying WordPress updates safely and efficiently.

Chapter 4: Monitoring and Performance Optimization

  • Tools and techniques for monitoring WordPress sites (e.g., New Relic, Kibana).
  • Performance optimization: Caching strategies, database optimization, and CDN integration.
  • Security considerations: Automating security scans and handling vulnerabilities.

Chapter 5: Collaboration and Workflow Optimization

  • Managing team workflows using agile methodologies.
  • Collaboration tools and practices for WordPress development teams.
  • Documenting changes and maintaining clear communication channels.

Chapter 6: Advanced Topics in WordPress DevOps

  • Automating WordPress and database backups.
  • Strategies for managing WordPress configurations across different environments.
  • Leveraging infrastructure as code (IaC) for WordPress hosting environments.

Chapter 7: Case Studies and Real-World Examples

  • Interviews with industry experts on successful DevOps implementations.
  • Analysis of common challenges faced by WordPress DevOps engineers and solutions.

FTP sucks.

Ah the good old days of FTP I remember them like it was yesterday, waiting ages for my website to upload, no changes tracked, pain in the ass to rollback anything, and just time consuming. Every time someone asks me to give them FTP access I die a little more inside, wishing they would crawl back to the cave they came from, however since I am a nice person I suck it up and educate them on the error of their ways, remembering I also use to know feck all.

What should we being using then?

RSYNC, SCP or GIT. If you are doing any kind of development then you need to be using GIT, end of discussion. I recommend checking out GitLab for free repositories for your private and public projects.

Setting up an Awesome local WordPress Development Environment with Virtual Box and Xubuntu

The objective of this tutorial is to show you how to quickly setup a decent local development environment that will give you flexibility needed to develop and test your WordPress applications. This is not limited to WordPress, however this will be our focus for this setup.

  1. Download and Install VirtualBox from here:
  2. Download the latest distro of Xubuntu here:

Journey to Automating WordPress Development with GitLab CI/CD

Certainly, Alan! Here's a draft post that you could use or adapt for sharing your journey with setting up a GitLab CI/CD pipeline for WordPress development. Feel free to customize it to better reflect your voice and experience.

Journey to Automating WordPress Development with GitLab CI/CD

Hello fellow developers,

I've embarked on an exciting journey to streamline and automate my WordPress development workflow using GitLab's CI/CD capabilities. As I delve into this process, I want to share my experiences, learnings, and the steps I'm taking to create a robust CI/CD pipeline. My goal is not only to enhance my own development practices but also to provide a reference point for beginners in the realm of CI/CD and GitLab.

Why CI/CD?

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) are key practices in modern software development that allow for code changes to be automatically tested and deployed. This automation significantly reduces the chance of human error, ensures consistent testing environments, and speeds up the time it takes to get new features and fixes to users.

The Tools of the Trade

My setup involves a combination of technologies each chosen for their reliability, efficiency, and compatibility with WordPress development:

  • Xubuntu: A lightweight and efficient variant of Ubuntu, perfect for development purposes.
  • Docker: To containerize my WordPress environment, ensuring consistency across development, testing, and production.
  • GitLab: For repository hosting, issue tracking, and, crucially, CI/CD pipelines.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server: A stable and secure choice for hosting the production environment.
  • Atom: My code editor of choice, thanks to its flexibility and integration with Git.
  • GitLab Runner: To execute the jobs defined in my pipeline.

Building the Pipeline

My CI/CD pipeline in GitLab is defined in a gitlab-ci.yml file, allowing for version control and easy updates. The pipeline consists of several stages designed to automate the development lifecycle of a WordPress site:

  1. Build: Compiling assets and preparing the site for deployment.
  2. Test: Running automated tests to ensure stability and functionality.
  3. Deploy: Pushing code changes to staging for further testing, followed by deployment to production.

Overcoming Challenges

As with any technical endeavor, the journey hasn't been without its challenges. From ensuring environment parity between development and production to writing effective tests for WordPress themes and plugins, each step has been a learning opportunity.

Sharing the Knowledge

In the coming weeks, I'll dive deeper into each component of my setup and the specific steps involved in creating and optimizing my CI/CD pipeline. My hope is that by sharing this journey, I can not only refine my own process but also assist those new to CI/CD or looking to implement a similar setup for WordPress development.

Stay tuned for updates, and feel free to share your own experiences or tips in the comments!

Getting Started in DevOps

Getting started in DevOps can feel like embarking on an epic quest in one of your favorite video games. There's a path to follow, skills to acquire, and mentors to meet along the way. Let's break down your quest into manageable levels, so you can navigate your journey to becoming a DevOps Engineer with confidence and a bit of fun.

What is DevOps?

Think of DevOps as the dynamic duo of development (Dev) and operations (Ops), working together to speed up the delivery of software. It's like having Mario and Luigi team up from the get-go, combining their skills to make the game (or in this case, the software development process) more efficient, reliable, and faster.

Qualifications & Courses

Qualifications: There's no one-size-fits-all "qualification" for becoming a DevOps Engineer, but a background in computer science or a related field can be a great starting point.


  • Online Platforms: Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Pluralsight offer a plethora of DevOps courses covering everything from the basics to specific tools and practices.
  • Certifications: Consider pursuing certifications from cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, as well as DevOps-specific certifications like the Docker Certified Associate or the Kubernetes Certification.

Books to Power-Up Your Knowledge

  • "The Phoenix Project" by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford: A novel that explains DevOps principles in a relatable, engaging way.
  • "The DevOps Handbook" by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis: Offers a more technical, how-to approach to implementing DevOps in your organization.
  • "Accelerate" by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim: Delves into the science behind DevOps practices and their impact on software delivery performance.

Essential Skills

  • Technical Skills: Familiarity with Linux/Unix administration, scripting languages (like Python or Bash), infrastructure as code (IaC) tools (such as Terraform or CloudFormation), continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, and containerization technologies (Docker, Kubernetes).
  • Soft Skills: Effective communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and a continuous learning mindset are key.

DevOps Experts

Some of the most recognized names in DevOps include Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis. Following these experts on social media or their personal blogs can provide insights and updates on the latest in DevOps.

Hiring DevOps Engineers

Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are great for finding DevOps talent. Additionally, niche job boards like Stack Overflow Jobs or the DevOps subreddit can connect you with professionals.

Best Education on DevOps

  • Formal Education: Some universities now offer courses or specializations in DevOps as part of their computer science degrees.
  • Online Learning Platforms: As mentioned, Coursera, Udemy, and Linux Academy are excellent resources for both foundational and advanced DevOps education.

What is Kanban and Agile?

  • Kanban: A visual workflow management method that allows teams to visualize their work, limit work-in-progress, and maximize efficiency (or flow).
  • Agile: A methodology that promotes continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the software development lifecycle of the project.

Best DevOps-friendly Cloud Hosting Providers

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are among the top choices for DevOps-friendly cloud hosting, offering a wide range of services and tools that support DevOps practices.

Experience Required

There's no strict rule, but typically, a few years (2-5) in roles related to software development, IT operations, or system administration can lay a solid foundation for a career in DevOps. However, with the right mix of skills, passion, and dedication, you can accelerate your journey.

Embarking on your DevOps quest is an exciting journey filled with learning and growth. Just like in video games, persistence, upgrading your skills, and sometimes teaming up with others for multiplayer missions will lead you to success. Welcome to the world of DevOps – your adventure begins now!

Help me build this online resource, what questions do you want answers to?

Leveling Up in the Real World: How DevOps Unites Sonic Speed with Mario’s Mastery for Tech’s Ultimate Power-Up

By Kharnagy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Ah, the eternal debate: Sega Mega Drive vs. Nintendo, Sonic vs. Mario. If you, like me, spent countless hours glued to the screen, mastering every jump, spin dash, and secret level, you've got that gamer's spirit – a spirit that's not too different from what drives the world of DevOps. "DevOps?" you ask, with a controller in hand and a skeptical eyebrow raised. Yes, DevOps. Let me tell you why this is one level you'll want to unlock.

From Console Wars to Collaboration

Back in the day, it was all about picking a side. Sega or Nintendo? Sonic or Mario? But imagine a world where Sonic and Mario teamed up. Unthinkable? Maybe in the '90s, but that's precisely what DevOps is championing in the tech realm: tearing down the walls between development (our beloved game creators) and operations (the unsung heroes keeping our games running smoothly online) to achieve greatness together.

Speedrunning Through Development

Any seasoned gamer knows the thrill of a good speedrun – that exhilarating dash to the finish line, shaving seconds off your best time. DevOps injects this speedrun philosophy into software development. Through automation, continuous integration, and delivery, DevOps accelerates the development process, making sure new features and fixes are delivered faster than Sonic collecting rings. It's about keeping the game fresh and exciting, without the bugs.

Achieving High Scores in Quality

But what's speed without quality? A glitchy game is no fun – looking at you, early '90s game releases with their infamous bugs. DevOps ensures that as we push the envelope on speed, we're not sacrificing the quality of the final product. Continuous testing is like having a Game Genie for development – it helps spot the pitfalls before they become game-breaking bugs, ensuring a smoother, more enjoyable experience for the end-user.

Leveling Up Through Continuous Improvement

Remember grinding through levels to level up your character? DevOps embodies this spirit of continuous improvement. It's all about taking feedback, learning from each release, and using that knowledge to make the next one even better. Each iteration is a chance to level up, ensuring that the software (or game, in our metaphor) remains top of the leaderboard.

Why This Should Matter to You, The Essex Gamer

  • For the Gaming Aficionados: Understanding DevOps is like discovering a secret level in your favourite game. It opens up new perspectives on how games and software are developed, delivered, and maintained. It's a glimpse behind the curtain, revealing how collaborative efforts can lead to spectacular results.
  • For Those Who Venture Beyond the Console: DevOps principles aren't just confined to the realm of software development. They're about teamwork, agility, and the pursuit of continuous improvement – values that can level up your personal and professional life.
  • For the Nostalgic Gamers: Just as we've seen the evolution from the Sega Mega Drive to today's consoles, the tech world evolves, too. Embracing DevOps is like upgrading to the next-gen console of software development – it's about staying current and competitive in a rapidly changing landscape.


So there you have it. Whether you're team Sega or Nintendo, Sonic or Mario, the world of DevOps has something for every Essex gamer to appreciate. It's about combining the best of both worlds – the collaborative spirit of a multiplayer game with the thrill of a solo speedrun – to achieve something truly remarkable. And who knows? Maybe in the world of DevOps, Sonic and Mario can finally join forces, showing us that when we work together, we can tackle any challenge that comes our way. Game on!

Welcome To Your Path to DevOps Enlightenment

Embarking on the journey towards DevOps enlightenment is akin to setting out on an epic quest in search of wisdom and mastery over the mystical lands of software development and IT operations. As you begin this adventure, armed with curiosity and a drive to transform the digital realm, the importance of sage guidance cannot be overstated. Books, those timeless vessels of knowledge, offer invaluable insights and strategies from the pioneers who have charted the DevOps territories before us.

One of the first scrolls you should seek out on this quest is "The Phoenix Project" by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. This novel, much more than just a collection of pages, serves as a beacon for many who wish to delve into the DevOps philosophy. Through a narrative that's as engaging as it is enlightening, it unfolds the struggles and triumphs of Bill, an IT manager, as he navigates the challenges of transforming a beleaguered IT department to meet the demands of the modern business landscape. It’s a tale of IT woes turned into IT wins, making it a perfect starting point for your journey.

However, the path to enlightenment does not end with a single tome. Here are other sacred texts to guide your way:

"The DevOps Handbook" by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis

Following the narrative journey of "The Phoenix Project," "The DevOps Handbook" offers a more practical, hands-on guide to implementing DevOps principles in your organization. It's a comprehensive manual that covers everything from automating the deployment process to integrating feedback and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

"Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps" by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim

"Accelerate" delves into the science behind DevOps practices and their impact on software delivery performance. It presents research-backed insights into how technology, process, and culture contribute to the high performance of IT organizations. This book is crucial for understanding the "why" behind DevOps practices.

"Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems" by Niall Richard Murphy, Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, and Jennifer Petoff

While not exclusively about DevOps, "Site Reliability Engineering" (SRE) shares a symbiotic relationship with DevOps principles. This book provides a glimpse into how Google applies the principles of reliability and scalability to its massive, global-scale systems. It's a deep dive into managing complex systems and ensuring they are both reliable and efficient.

"Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation" by Jez Humble and David Farley

This book is a cornerstone in understanding the practices of continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous deployment. It lays out a framework for automating the software release process, allowing teams to rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly push out enhancements and fixes.

"Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit" by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Adopting DevOps means embracing a culture of agility and continuous improvement. "Lean Software Development" explores the principles of lean manufacturing as applied to software development, offering tools and techniques to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your development processes.

Embarking on your DevOps journey with these texts will not only illuminate the path but also equip you with the knowledge to navigate the challenges ahead. Remember, the quest for DevOps enlightenment is not a solitary one. Share your insights, discuss the teachings with fellow travelers, and contribute to the growing body of knowledge. Your adventure has just begun, and the realms of collaboration, automation, measurement, and sharing await. Let the pages of these books guide you towards achieving DevOps mastery and transforming not just your IT department, but your organization at large. Happy reading, and may your path be enlightening.