Life, the Universe and Everything

Life, the Universe and Everything

No, this will not be a book review. To be fair, I haven't even read (=listened to the audiobook) Douglas Adams's third book in the "trilogy of five".

But, it was a very fitting title for a post where I just wanted to babble a bit.

I have always seen this blog and newsletter as the place where I share some more-or-less "behind-the-scenes" of building Magic Pages. And maybe you're already bored of that – but I hope you're not.

Well, here's the thing. I feel like Magic Pages is growing up right now. It's growing into a healthy, calm, side-business. And something that teaches me a lot – both about tech, but also about doing business itself.

The past 2-3 months, I have faced some challenges that I have always pushed aside before.

"Ahh, I'll deal with scalability when it becomes a problem."

"Oh, the tech stack I am using can't deal with more than ~120 websites? Well, let's get to that first." (That one's actually pretty interesting. If you're into Docker, read this discussion.)

"Sure, I'll deal with the fact that Docker Swarm is a pretty dead project, when I meet its limitations."

Oh well. I have met the limitations.

So, now it's time to put Magic Pages on a completely new tech stack: Kubernetes.

For all the non-techies reading this: Kubernetes is basically the cool buzzword everybody has been throwing around over the last few years. It's THE hot shit. It makes it super easy to scale (= fancy word for make something available for more people) services. But it also has a pretty steep learning curve.

The usual route for someone to deploy their services on Kubernetes: take a bunch of money, throw it at cloud providers like Amazon's AWS, Microsoft's Azure, or well…Google's Google Cloud, and enjoy smooth operations (at least, that's what they tell you).

Movie gif. A toddler on Our Gang carelessly tosses a handful of money out an open window.

My approach? Well, why the hell should I pay a bazillion dollars just for one of the big three spinning up a few small servers? 😂

Enter, hetzner-k3s. An open source project that takes the technology underneath Kubernetes and simplifies it – by a lot. Running your own Kubernetes cluster gets from "THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS" scary to only "this" scary.

And all at a fraction of the cost of the "big players" – since everything is running on our own servers.

I just love open source projects for that. It literally saves me hundreds of $$. Every month.

So, to give back, Magic Pages is now sponsoring the project on a monthly basis.

The Magic Pages Github profile with a fancy "Sponsor" badge attached to it.

The next few weeks, will be spent migrating all Magic Pages websites to the new Kubernetes setup. But first, a bunch of things need to be adapted. Like, how new websites are created. How domain changes work. How plan upgrades are handled. And so on, and on…

Another aspect of Magic Pages growing up: I am investing back into the business on all fronts. That also includes some boring things like a not-so-inexpensive accounting software (rather than the free light version of their competitor), and a proper bank account (rather than using Revolut – which I couldn't connect to said accounting software).

By now, around 25% of Magic Pages's recurring income goes towards expenses. And well, according to some googling, that's a healthy number. Let's believe these SEO-optimised blog posts trying to sell me more accounting software. Right?

Anyway. To end this rambling, here's one last thought: isn't it funny how perspectives change? A year ago, I never thought that Magic Pages could – at some point – replace my full time job (in terms of income).

Now – even though we're still far away from it – I actually think, this could be a possibility.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!