Moss blog

Free wildcard DNS services for IP addresses

Free wildcard DNS services for IP addresses

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When you host multiple websites on a same server, your server needs a way to know the website it must return when an HTTP request arrives. The most widespread solution is to rely on the Host: header the client (usually the web browser) includes in the request. When HTTPS is involved, the SNI extension (Server Name Indication) is used to determine the certificate that must be used to secure the connection. The web server will employ the given hostname to serve the appropriate website.

The former implies that the hostname must resolve to the IP address of your server. But what if you’re creating the website on your local development machine? What if you’re just testing a tool like Moss to see if it fits your needs? Most likely you don’t want to create new DNS records yet, so there must be a more convenient solution.

Meet wildcard DNS services for IP addresses. A domain name like www.10.0.0.1.xip.moss.sh resolves to IP address 10.0.0.1. You don’t have to set up anything, just choose the appropriate domain name based on the IP address of your server. We encourage our users to use a wildcard DNS service while they’re trialing Moss, because it’s the fastest way to get started.

In the remainder of this article I’ll briefly review and compare the most relevant free wildcard DNS services you can use when you don’t want to mess with the DNS records of your own domain yet.

Automatic zero-downtime GitLab deployments

Automatic zero-downtime GitLab deployments

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Last week we supported GitLab as a first-class citizen in Moss. If you host your application code in GitLab.com repositories, you can now enjoy all Moss features that previously were only available for GitHub and Bitbucket. As in the latter cases, you just have to authorize Moss to access your GitLab account and it’ll be able to deploy your GitLab-hosted repos.

In this way you can trigger automatic deployments after pushing your code, or deploy manually with just one click. In either case, your websites will benefit from a zero-downtime process. Want to know the details? Please keep reading 😀

Changelog 2018-10-31

Changelog 2018-10-31

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Sites

    • Full GitLab support. Native integration with GitLab – link your GitLab account and let Moss deploy your web applications easily. This enables push-to-deploy in all your GitLab repositories.

Servers

    • Default HTTPS site. Requests for websites that don’t exist on the server will be directed to a default (blank) page. This behavior was already implemented for HTTP, now it also applies when the website is requested over HTTPS. Existing users may force this configuration by provisioning an existing site or creating a new one on the server.

UX

    • Several minor bug fixes and improvements in the web application.
Changelog 2018-10-17

Changelog 2018-10-17

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Servers

    • Override Postfix configs with user-provided files. If you need any custom Postfix configuration and don’t want Moss to override it, just put your configuration files under /home/moss/.override/postfix/ and Moss will use such configurations instead of its own’s.
Web hosting models for software development agencies

Web hosting models for software development agencies

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In order to choose a web hosting solution for a project, what criteria do you take into account? Prefer managed or unmanaged services? Shared or dedicated environments? In this article I explore the alternatives from the viewpoint of a web development agency and argue why a website per cloud server is our preferred option as of this writing.

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