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Using Let's Encrypt SSL With Your WordPress Project
May 24, 2016 @ 12:53:11

The TutsPlus.com site has posted a tutorial for the WordPress users out there about using Let's Encrypt and SSL certificates to easily secure your installation.

For years, purchasing, renewing, installing and managing SSL certificates overwhelmed me with expense and complexity. Now, Let's Encrypt makes it fairly simple and free.

Let’s Encrypt is an emerging, free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you by a California public benefit corporation called the Internet Security Research Group—it also has nonprofit status. [...] In this tutorial, I'll walk you through installing Let's Encrypt on a few of my websites, including my WordPress consulting website, http://lookahead.io, soon to be https://.

You'll need a be a bit comfortable working at the command line to use the Let's Encrypt client, but they walk you through each step of the process explaining everything along the way. They start with a basic list of features the Let's Encrypt service provides and the requirements you'll need to get started. Screenshots of the setup wizard are included and the "one small difference" you'll need to make when using it with WordPress. They link to the SSL Labs site to help you verify the certificate is working as expected and finish with setting up the auto-renewal of the certificate via a simple cron job.

tagged: wordpress letsencrypt install setup configure ssl certificate free

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-lets-encrypt-ssl-with-your-wordpress-project--cms-22303

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How Can the ELK Stack Be Used to Monitor PHP Apps?
May 12, 2016 @ 10:42:36

The SitePoint blog has posted a new tutorial from author Daniel Berman about using the ELK stack to monitor PHP applications. The ELK stack is made up of Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana to make for effective log storage and searching.

A modern web application environment consists of multiple log sources, which collectively output thousands of log lines written in unintelligible machine language. If you, for example, have a LAMP stack set up, then you have PHP, Apache, and MySQL logs to go through. Add system and environment logs into the fray — together with framework-specific logs such as Laravel logs — and you end up with an endless pile of machine data.

Talk about a needle in a haystack. [...] The ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) is quickly becoming the most popular way to handle this challenge. Already the most popular open-source log analysis platform — with 500,000 downloads a month, according to Elastic — ELK is a great way to centralize logs from multiple sources, identify correlations, and perform deep-data analysis.

They walk you through the full installation of all three tools starting with Java (they all require it) followed by instructions for each piece. Once they're all up and running (and playing nice together) they help you configure it to pull in Apache access logs and search on the results. They then populate it with quite a bit more sample data and share some basic tips on searching using the custom searching "language". Finally they talk about the visualizations Kibana offers complete with an example showing browser percentages from users of the site.

tagged: elk stack tutorial monitor elasticsearch logstash kibana setup configure apache log

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/how-can-the-elk-stack-be-used-to-monitor-php-apps/

Freek Van der Herten:
How to setup and use the Google Calendar API
May 10, 2016 @ 12:10:32

In this new tutorial posted to his site Freek Van der Herten shows you how to connect your application to the Google Calendar API, complete with screenshots for a step-by-step process.

For a project I’m working on I needed to interact with a Google Calendar. I’ve your ever worked with some API’s by Google then you know their documentation can be very confusing. It’s not that they don’t have documentation, but code examples of common use cases are simply not present. You must wade through a lot of pages to learn basic things such as how to make an authorized request let alone how to fetch calendar events. In this post I’d like to explain in a human readable way how setup and use the Google Calendar API.

He starts on the Google side with the setup of the application and getting the credentials you'll need for the connection. Next up is setting up the calendar itself and the permissions to allow access to all event information. The post then finishes with a PHP example using the "google/apiclient" library to make the Calendar connection and get all events currently on the calendar. As a bonus he also points out a library he's creating to make it easier to work with events in Laravel-based applications.

tagged: google calendar tutorial api setup configuration connection

Link: https://murze.be/2016/05/how-to-setup-and-use-the-google-calendar-api/

Mohamed Said:
The magic behind Laravel Valet
May 09, 2016 @ 10:34:19

One of the latest offerings in the Laravel ecosystem, Laravel Valet, was released this past week. It makes setup of new applications simpler and even allows tunneling back from the public web to a local system for easy sharing. In this post to his site Mohamed Said takes a look at the "magic" behind Valet and how it does what it does.

So yesterday Taylor Otwell and Adam Wathan released Laravel Valet, it's simply a tool that helps OS X users easily run their websites locally for development purposes, without the need to configure anything each time a new project needs to be created.

The idea behind valet is that it configures PHP's built-in web server to always run in the background when the operating system starts, then it proxies all requests to a given domain to point to your localhost

He starts by helping you get the tool downloaded (via Composer) and what happens when you run the valet install command. He gets into the detail of each piece that valet sets up:

  • the OS X daemon to run the PHP built-in server
  • the Valet configuration files
  • Dnsmasq (a DNS server)

He then talks about how handles the requests for your local ".dev" sites and the "drivers" it uses to decide which site to serve up.

tagged: laravel valet setup magic install behindthescenes daemon server dnsmasq

Link: http://themsaid.github.io/magic-behind-laravel-valet-20160506/

James Wade:
Getting started with Docker and Wordpress
May 06, 2016 @ 11:57:31

James Wade has posted a tutorial to his site showing you how to combine Docker and WordPress after some experimentation of his own.

I’ve been meaning to get started with Docker since hearing about it in 2014. Having really enjoyed working with Vagrant, I’ve struggled to make a leap into the Docker realm. [...] My understanding at the moment is that docker takes up less resources, which for me is becoming more and more of an issue as I attempt to expand my development environments. Also, I’ve recently inherited a number of Vagrants that I discovered have varying operating systems and application versions, that vary from production.

This has unravelled a dependency hell when I came to build a continuous integration process. In light of this, at this stage, a complete rewrite of the architecture seems to be emerging as the most sensible way to being all the services in to line. I’ll be looking whether I can solve these problems (amongst others) with Docker.

He starts by helping you get all the tools you'll need installed with examples for multiple platforms (OSX, Windows, Unix-based). With those in place he helps you set up a VM as a Docker machine then get WordPress installed (complete with its database). He also shows how to use Docker Compose, using an existing WordPress instance and creating a custom image from the results (including database, environmental settings and hostname configuration).

tagged: docker wordpres tutorial example compose setup configure vm virtualmachine

Link: http://wade.be/development/2016/05/02/docker.html

Laravel News:
Announcing Laravel Valet
May 06, 2016 @ 09:46:28

The Laravel News site Eric Barnes has a post about the latest addition to the Laravel ecosystem (that includes the framework, Envoyer and Homestead) - Laravel Valet.

Laravel Valet is the next generation development environment for Mac minimalists. No Vagrant, No Apache, No Nginx, No /etc/hosts file. “I wanted to have the convenience of php artisan serve without ever having to run php artisan serve“, Taylor said when asked why he created it.

Valet works by hooking into your Mac’s built-in PHP server then it utilizes DnsMasq to proxy all requests to the .dev TLD to sites on your local machine.

The post links to the official documentation and an article he's written up with a "first look" at the new tool.

tagged: laravel valet tool setup configure website simple opinionated

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/05/announcing-laravel-valet/

Loïc Faugeron:
Super Speed Symfony - nginx
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:48:49

Loïc Faugeron has continued his series about speeding up Symfony applications and getting the best overall performance you can. In this new post he gets into more detail about tuning a Nginx web server (with PHP-FPM) and the web server's own caching features.

HTTP frameworks, such as Symfony, allow us to build applications that have the potential to achieve Super Speed.

We've already seen a first way to do so (by turning it into a HTTP server), another way would be to put a reverse proxy in front of it. In this article we'll take a Symfony application and demonstrate how to do so using nginx.

He starts by helping you get Nginx and PHP-FPM all set up and running on a Unix-based system (installed via apt-get). He provides a simple configuration including the user to run as and a virtual host for the application. There's a few command line checks to ensure it's working correctly and a bit of benchmarking as a baseline for the performance testing later. He then gets to the caching functionality and gives some of the basics on how it works inside of Nginx itself. He includes a basic caching configuration (caching to files) and adding this to the already created virtual host. Finally he includes sample Symfony code to send the "Cache-Control" header with every request and runs the benchmarks again (resulting in about 140x faster than without the cache).

tagged: tutorial nginx performance symfony speed phpfpm setup configuration cache cachecontrol

Link: https://gnugat.github.io/2016/04/20/super-speed-sf-nginx.html

Adam Culp:
Using an SSH tunnel to step debug through a firewall
Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:54:28

Adam Culp has followed up some of his previous posts about the setup and configuration of remote debugging in PHP applications (more specifically in Zend Studio) with this new post. In it he shows how to use a SSH tunnel to allow debugging to happen through a firewall for those cases when direct access isn't possible.

In a previous post I covered how to set up step debugging in Zend Studio. But if that doesn’t work there may be a firewall in between the server and the debugging client, or IDE, preventing the connection. Here is a possible way to get around that.

He assumes that you already have the SSH server and connection available to you (he doesn't cover the install of that part). He then steps you through the setup of Zend Studio to add a new server, configure the SSH tunneling and remote/local ports to use. In his case he was using Zend Server so switching on debugging was as easy as turning in debugging via the toolbar. It's also worth noting that another popular PHP IDE can handle SSH-based debugging as well - PHPStorm - as seen here.

tagged: remote debugging ssh zendstudio setup configure tutorial phpstorm

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/1242

Geeky Platypus Blog:
Dockerise your PHP application with Nginx and PHP7-FPM
Apr 06, 2016 @ 11:57:58

The Geeky Platypus Blog has a new post showing you exactly how to Dockerise your PHP application with a PHP7-FPM and Nginx setup.

The goal that we will try to achieve is to run a simple PHP application using the official Docker repositories for both PHP and Nginx. There are several docker repositories combining PHP-FPM with Nginx, but depending on the official repositories gives you several benefits, like using a service which is configured by its maintainers and you can always choose between the latest and greatest or different versions of both services, instead of relying on someone else’s choices.

The tutorial assumes you already have both Docker and Docker Compose installed, so do that first if you don't. Then you can follow along with the rest of the steps:

  • Setting up Nginx
  • Adding PHP-FPM
  • Setting up a mount point (in the filesystem) to your code

If all goes well you should have a complete setup of PHP 7 and Nginx running your application. If you'd like to see the complete project for reference, you can find it over on GitHub.

tagged: docker nginx php7fpm tutorial setup configure

Link: http://geekyplatypus.com/dockerise-your-php-application-with-nginx-and-php7-fpm/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Crash Course into Continuous Testing with Sismo
Mar 29, 2016 @ 12:03:54

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial posted helping you get started with Sismo, a simple component that can help you with the continuous testing of your PHP applications. Sismo is a project from SensioLabs, the same group behind Symfony and Twig (and several other popular tools).

The PHP community started to adopt the testing culture relatively recently. Despite there being some debates on how to achieve this, nobody can argue the importance of having your code fully covered by tests. In this article, we’re going to explore a tool that will help you in a major part of the testing culture called continuous testing.

Sismo is a small component which you can easily integrate with your projects to make the process of continuous testing easier. Sismo's main focus is to run your tests and send you status notifications.

They help you get the tool installed (either from GitHub or directly) and configure your project with a simple PHP file. They also include instructions on how to execute the tests for the project and an example of the resulting output. The tutorial then shows how to set up a project using the remote repository handling, setting up notifiers for failures, storing the build information and using it in a git hook.

tagged: continuous testing sismo sensiolabs tutorial setup configuration phpunit test

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/continuous-testing-with-sismo/