Today I switched my website from GitHub Pages and Cloudflare back to my own servers. It wasn’t that hard but there are also some drawbacks I want to report.

Reasons for Switching

It’s super easy to set up github pages and as they have ruby installed it’s even easier to run your Jekyll based site on it. You can also add custom domains to it which I did. At some point in the past years I wanted to encrypt the user’s session and enabled SSL via Cloudflare. But there is an issue with the whole workflow while it’s super easy:

Preparations

First I needed to set up the project infrastructure for my Jekyll project. I wanted my workflow to stay the same so I needed git on the server. In fact, I preferred to do the jekyll build on my local machine now instead of the server so I don’t necessarily need ruby on the server, even though my shared hosting package at Uberspace does support that as well.

Second, I need my own SSL/TLS Certificate. I used sslmate for that creating Comodo certs in an super easy way. That was actually very easy already. I created them locally so I now needed to push them to the server via SSH (please be very careful here and keep everything secure and private in this step) and notified my hoster so he can configure the server to use it.

The domain was already allowed and configured for the server so now I only had to switch the nameserver and DNS to the uberspace host. This can take up to 48hrs to populate to everyone. Ready. My site runs on my own hosting service again, the certificate is my own which I can fully trust and I still have an easy workflow to push content to my site.

Trouble

But not everything went fine for me. In fact, there are a couple of drawbacks:

This experience again showed me how hard it still is for a normal user (and I’d call myself tech-experienced and CLI-aware already) to configure HTTPS properly.

It made me think about the hard push by browser vendors to HTTPS and question that in regard to people who don’t have the possibility to configure their webspaces (I know a lot of them where this wouldn’t have been possible at all without switching to a way more expensive package) or simply don’t have the skills and endurance of trying it out.


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