Amazon CloudFront with WordPress as Infrastructure as Code

There are roughly a GAJILLION articles, blogs, and documents out there that explain how to setup Amazon CloudFront to work with WordPress.

Most of them are wrong in one or more ways.

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How I've Attempted to Blog More in 2017

This post has been sitting in the "drafts" folder for a while now. Clearly, since it's August and is therefore a little late to be deciding on a plan that is supposed to carry through all 12 months of 2017. Regardless, I think it's still worth sharing how I've attempted to increase the frequency of my blogging. My basic goal for 2017 is:

Create more content in 12 months than I ever have before in order to a) significantly build up the depth and breadth of knowledge on my blog, b) increase my skills as a writer, and c) continue to build this blog and the readership as a key part of my online persona and brand.

In order to achieve this goal, I've identified a couple of tactical objectives:

  1. Reduce the friction between me and the keyboard; make it possible to "just write".
  2. Be able to "just write" anywhere. At home. On vacation. In a waiting room. On an airplane. I should also be able to start a post in one location and pick it up again in another. Indirectly this means I need to be able to write on any of my computers or mobile devices.

In order to meet these goals, I needed to improve my tools and come up with a better workflow.

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Getting the WordPress TMAC and GASP Plugins to Play Nice

Two of the WordPress plugins I use on this site are Twitter Mentions as Comments and Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. The first, TMAC, watches Twitter for any tweets that link to a post somewhere on this blog and submits those tweets as new comments on that particular post. GASP's job is to keep spammers from submitting spammy comments by placing a Javascript-driven checkbox in the comment form. A user must check the box to confirm they are not a spambot before submitting their comment.

Both of these plugins are great and work really well on their own.

However, when both plugins are in use and TMAC submits a comment, GASP inspects the comment to see if the checkbox has been marked, finds that it hasn't been, and silently rejects the comment. (Aside: the exception to this is if you are a logged-in user and you initiate a manual TMAC check, any new tweets will successfully pass through GASP).

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Enable WordPress Plugins From the Shell

As a follow-on to my previous post about disabling plugins, this script will enable plugins from the shell.

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Disable WordPress Plugins From the Shell

Lately I've been working with a separate instance of my WordPress site for development and testing of plugins, my theme, etc. I have a helper script that orchestrates the pulling of files and copying of the database from the production server into the dev server. I found that it would be nice to disable certain plugins that I don't want running in the dev instance (ie, plugins that notify search indexes when new posts are made) from within this script.

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