Lawton Pittenger

Portfolio & Blog

How I Built this Website

For my first write-up, I have covered the details of how I built and hosted this website.

Web Server Configuration - Amazon EC2

For the web server, I deployed a t3.medium Amazon EC2 instance with an elastic IP address. I chose this instance type as it balanced performance and cost-effectiveness. To keep costs as low as possible, I purchased a (3) year savings plan with the all upfront payment option.  After provisioning the instance, I installed the necessary software, including Apache for the web server, PHP for WordPress, and MySQL for the database. I used WordPress for hosting the site to simplify the web development process.

Web/SSH Server Hardening - Security Groups and Mod Security WAF

I configured the instance security group to allow inbound traffic on port 22 (only from my IP) for SSH and 443 for HTTPS website access. I enabled SSL/TLS using certbot to get a free HTTPS certificate. To further harden the security of my web server, I followed these guides on hardening Apache and hardening WordPress. Most notably, I compiled and installed Mod Security to protect against common attack types like XSS, SQL injections, and protocol violations.

Domain Name Registration - Amazon Route 53

I purchased my custom domain name,, from Amazon Route 53 and connected it to my WordPress server. I registered the domain, created a hosted zone in Route 53, updated the domain’s nameservers, and configured the DNS records to point to my WordPress server’s IP address.

Contact Me Page - WPForms Plugin & Brevo

To allow users to contact me directly via the Contact Me page, I used the WPForms plugin to create the contact form, and WP Mail SMTP/Brevo to send the contact form data via email. This allows users to be able to contact me directly, without needing my personal email address.

Website Customization - Elementor and Codestar Framework Plugins

For my WordPress site theme, I used this Personal CV Resume theme. To add my own content and further customize the site, I used Elementor and Codestar Framework plugins.

Search Engine Optimization - Yoast SEO Plugin

I used the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin to optimize the SEO of my site. The plugin provided me with real-time analysis and suggestions to improve my on-page SEO, such as optimizing meta tags, headings, and keyword usage. It also allowed me to create XML sitemaps, which made it easier for search engines to crawl and index my site. Overall, the plugin’s user-friendly interface and powerful features significantly boosted my site’s visibility and organic search rankings.

Website Caching - WP Fastest Cache Plugin

I optimized my portfolio website’s performance by implementing the WP Fastest Cache plugin, which significantly improved loading speed of my web pages. The plugin generated static HTML files and cached them on the server, reducing server load and enhancing overall performance.


Overall, this was a rather simple and straightforward process. I highly recommend using WordPress for anyone looking to make their own Portfolio/Blog website. If you don’t want to worry about managing your own web server, I’d suggest using Amazon Lightsail. Amazon Lightsail provides a user-friendly interface and pre-configured WordPress environment, making it convenient for users to quickly build and manage their WordPress sites. It also offers additional features like automatic backups and scaling options, allowing users to easily maintain and scale their websites as needed.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding my website, please leave a comment down below or reach out to me directly via the Contact Me page.

3 thoughts on “How I Built this Website

    October 29, 2023 at 3:39 am

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly
    informative. I am going to watch out for
    brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing.

  • best gold ira companies
    December 23, 2023 at 5:29 am

    Howdy! I understand this is kind of off-topic but
    I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website such
    as yours take a massive amount work? I’m completely
    new to writing a blog but I do write in my diary
    on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so
    I can share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me
    know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand
    new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

    • lawtonpittenger
      December 27, 2023 at 2:03 am

      Hello, it does not take very much work! But if you’re not familiar with website hosting, there is definitely a learning curve. I would recommend something like or Amazon Lightsail if you’ve never worked with hosting a website before.

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