How the Website Was Born

In order for the reader to understand the purpose of this website, a short story is in order.

After I graduated UW – Madison I was left with an intellectual hole in my head. I had a lot of excess creativity that needed to be gotten rid of.

While scouring YouTube for cryptocurrency information, I stumbled across an user who made his own cryptocurrency. It is called “learncoin,” meaning an educational coin. It’s purpose is to teach users how cryptocurrency programs work. Anyways, he hosted his currency, or some part of it on DigitalOcean. He shared a $10 coupon on the video description. I quickly pounced on the freebie opportunity.

I went to work on a website. Websites need servers.

In case you were wondering, a server is running this webpage. *gasp*

You may be asking, “How? And what kind? What details can you share with me?”

I’m glad you asked.


Image result for digital ocean sharkDigital Ocean’s mascot, Sammy the Shark^^

Shortly after failing to create my own cryptocurrency, I realized I still had a  free 2-month access to a 20 GB server. What would it be used for…file storage? A cloud backup drive? An expensive email alarm clock? The possibilities were endless.

I ended up taking a “path of least resistance” approach. I wanted a technical challenge, but something within my reach. I decided to make a WordPress page my goal. These pages take some work in the terminal and some configuring of Apache2 and MySQL. It also meant hiring a domain name host, configuring a ServerName Virtual Host file. However, it did not require me to make up any of my own codes.

WordPress logo

I chose WordPress because of it’s community support and literature, it’s adaptability, and well, because it’s free.

As the project moved forward, I formulated more exact specifications for the website.

My goal was to have:

  • A named domain (, not a server IP address to access the website.
  • The server hosted by Digital Ocean.
  • The server running Ubuntu 16.04.
  • A LAMP stack (Linux, Apache2, MySQL, and PHP) loaded onto the server.
  • The website secured with open-source software Let’sEncrypt.
  • Only allowing https access.
  • An SSH connection to the server from my laptop (no password access).
  • A mailbox such as
  • A budget of $5/mo for server costs, and the cheapest domain name I could find.


After five failed attempts, I achieved the goal. Sixth time’s the charm, as they say.


Map of Melbourne Australia

Building Footprints in Melbourne Australia (Test Map)

This was created on, courtesy of a free student package through

I set up the map to show a histogram of the build year of the buildings. The map was mainly a quick test run through’s builder. It has a very intuitive GUI and easy database access. I like it.