Behind the Scenes: Infrastructure

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Since I haven’t published for a few weeks because of moving—and I’ve cited finishing my setup—I thought it’d be fun to write a two-part series describing what powers HyerOCD. Today, I’ll lay out the software and services powering this page and its content.

I am not endorsed by, nor obtaining any financial gain from, the products listed below.

Hosts

WordPress is a great hosting platform for websites. WordPress is Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS)—which I’m a dedicated fan of. In brief, FOSS is a movement about creating software code that anyone can use and improve upon. If you want to host your site on your own computer, you can freely download WordPress and do so. When you pay for WordPress, you pay for them to host your website, provide IT services, and easy access to plugins and monetization. HyerOCD uses the Business tier plan as it means I can remove all branding and advertisements so you get a clean reading experience.

gSuite provides numerous apps for business applications. For HyerOCD, it really is just used for the HyerOCD branded email (username@hyerocd.life) and online data storage. If HyerOCD grows, it has many useful tools for organizing remote group work.

Tresorit is an end-to-end encrypted online data storage service. I hate to use this analogy, but it’s like Dropbox except it doesn’t share your data and the company cannot see anything you store. I use this for my documents, applications, memes, and HyerOCD content. I cannot recommend Tresorit highly enough.

Optimization

Grammarly is an AI-driven writing assistant. As with most companies using the term “AI,” they oversell it. Mind you, I use it because I find it useful, but just be mindful of its limitations if you choose to use it. Like any word processing software, it corrects spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Grammarly’s power comes from it tone and audience setting that take into account complex grammar issues and commonly paired words. Since I write both academic-style and story pieces, I use Grammarly to help maintain a consistent tone.

Imagify makes websites faster by optimizing images for web purposes. Specifically, it converts images to WebP format—this creates much smaller pictures of similar quality. They have a WordPress plugin, so all photos uploaded in articles are automatically and seamlessly processed. Many photo editing programs export directly to WebP format, so I will likely stop using Imagify. They have a wonderful payment plan where you can purchase a block of photo edits, e.g., $10 will process the next 1 GB of photos you upload. As a result, its low investment—making it easy to test and decide if the convenience is worth the price.

Here’s a list of WordPress plugins I use to improve the HyerOCD reading experience:

  • Merge + Minify + Refresh: packages and compresses many of this sites resources so it loads and navigates more quickly
  • OneSignal Push Notifications: the orange bell in the bottom left of the page that can send you notifications whenever a new article is published
  • Reading Time WP: displays the estimated read time at the start of every article
  • Shortcodes Ultimate: adds tons of little features such as expanding texts and improved YouTube embeds
  • Swap Google Fonts Display: prevents the Flash of Invisible Text
  • WPForms: used to create and save forms such as the Guest Article Submission Form

Media

DaVinci Resolve 16 is the workhorse behind all my video production. This tool is not simple, but does everything from cutting footage to color grading to animation to audio processing. Color grading is the true hallmark of Resolve and it can create beautiful videos from even awful footage with enough skill and care. It really is an all-in-one program that even has a free version. The paid version does give you some powerful tools including removing noise and creating amazing slow-motion footage.

RawTherapee is a FOSS RAW photo processor. I use it to process all my photos and apply some basic effects on occasion. If I need to edit the photo further, I use the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). As another undesirable analogy, GIMP is the FOSS version of Photoshop. It even pipes photos from and to RawTherapee, creating an easy photo processing workflow. On the note of FOSS media software, I use Audacity to clean up audio and Inkscape to create logos and graphics. I really like these latter two programs and frequently use them on projects.

Advertising

I am really conflicted about advertising this blog. I hate advertising and take enormous steps to prevent advertisers from tracking me online. Thus purchasing advertising time feels deeply hypocritical. I justify advertising by switching on all anonymous options on Facebook and Google Ads and because this site itself has no advertisements and aims only to help people. 30.6% of my permanent readership first came to this site through Facebook ads. That being said, I still constantly debate the ethics of purchasing ad time. Independent of the ethics, advertising is expensive, so I only purchased ads for my first few articles.

Wrapping Up

I hope you all enjoyed this break from mental health articles and learned about what makes HyerOCD tick. Come back next week to learn about the physical infrastructure behind this site. If you are considering writing your own blog, I am always happy to answer questions!

Have a great day and always practice self-compassion!

A Fantastic Friend of Mine

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