Side Project Tech Stack

I want to start this post by saying this is my preference on the frameworks and technologies that I use for most of my apps. Depending on your experience and goals you should experiment to see what works for you. For example, here’s a tweet from Pieter Levels that his site is running on a single PHP file and is making over $2,000 a day. He makes a good point that if your goal is to make money, the frameworks and libraries can get in the way of you making progress. It’s impressive what he is able to accomplish by keeping things simple.

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Weather.io

I’ve been working on a new site called Weather.io. Besides being on an awesome io domain name thanks to park.io, it’s a simple site that displays a weather-related background image and the current weather conditions. It also supports changing locations and F/C options. I’m working on adding new features and would love to hear what people think.

Leave a comment below of what you would like to see in a simple weather site.

Headless Chrome on Heroku

I’ve been experimenting with headless chrome for a Link Unshortener tool I’ve built to take screenshots of websites. I’ve been using BrowserShot which is great. It’s a php wrapper around Puppeteer which makes it simple to use in Laravel. To experiment more with Puppeteer, I wanted to get a node app running on Heroku. Overall it’s pretty straight forward but there are a few gotchas.

Here is a sample project that should get you started. Clone this and take a look at the source. You’ll notice I specified the node.js version in the package.json file. This is required for Heroku to know what version of node to use. Another issue I ran into is to run Puppeteer on Heroku you have to specify –no-sandbox. They last hurdle was adding the puppeteer Heroku buildpack. Follow the steps below and you should have a working screenshot app running locally and on Heroku. These instructions assume you are familiar with node and Heroku. Read More

Stress Test with Loader.io

Ever wonder how many requests your $5 a month Digital Ocean server can handle? Using Loader.io’s free load testing tool can help you do just that! It’s a good idea to know what your server can handle so you can be prepared to handle large spikes in traffic. This could mean increasing the specs on your current server, adding a load balancer or using round robin dns to distribute the request to multiple servers. Read More