CloudFormation templates: Old vs. New

I’ve been using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a while now, and have recently started using their new product called CloudFormation.  CloudFormation is a must-have solution if you find yourself setting up the same web stack frequently.  First you setup a template for your stack, then you let CloudFormation setup your stack for you.  I’ve now used it several times for WordPress + RDS stacks, and it has saved me a tremendous amount of time!

That said, I don’t like the new example template for WordPress + RDS stack.  I find overly-complicated, because it askes for many parameters which are unnecesary and not straight forward.  If you are having trouble with the new template, I highly recommend trying the old one here.

Tip:  The example WordPress+RDS templates disallow micro RDS instances.  This sucks because it bumps you out of the free usage tier.  If you want to stay in the free, just add db.t1.micro to the allowed values of DBclass in the template.  I already did this for my template I posted above.  For small websites, the db.t1.micro works just fine!

Namescheap and DNS settings

I started using Namescheap lately as an alternative to GoDaddy.  Namescheap is awesome for how clean and straight forward it is.  I do pose a warning though:  their documentation for the DNS settings is somewhat misleading and confusing, and their default settings are probably not what you want.

The Options:
URL Redirect (default) – URL Frame Forwarding – A-address –  URL Redirect – 301

My advice:  If you want this domain to have the browser redirect to another domain, use URL Redirect.  You will notice in the address bar that the original domain you entered will change to the redirected domain.  If you are using the domain name as your primary, then use the A – address option.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog:  powered by WordPress and based on Matthew Buchanan‘s theme “Esquire”.

This blog serves as my memoir of interesting tech issues I encounter.  By documenting my experiences, hopefully I’ll be smarter next time.