Avatar of Christopher Wray

Christopher Wray

Web Developer at Soltech LLC
Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

For my personal developer website, I chose Netlify for the static site pages for the ease of use and deployments. In their free plan, they provide up to 100gb of bandwidth per month, custom domains, SSL, and much more. So far, I am super happy with the results.

For the backend API, I am using Heroku, because I am statically generating the site, and I don't need my server to be running all the time. For this, I could use their free plan as well! It has worked wonderfully, and running deployments is easy. They even have deployment paths so that you can release staging sites, and easily configure zero-downtime deployments.

The database is on MongoDB Atlas. I am using their free plan as well! I don't have a lot of experience with MongoDB, but there were a lot of tutorials online to help with the release and set up, which made it pretty straight forward.

Images are hosted on Cloudinary, and once again, I was able to utilize their free plan for this! Since I am using Strapi for the API/CMS, I was easily able to configure a plugin that connected to Cloudinary for hosting images uploaded.

In total, everything is hosted for free, and I am super happy with the results. Feel free to check out the site here.

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Hey, I'm Chris! (chriswray.dev)
15 upvotes·4 comments·2K views
Kundan Baliga
Kundan Baliga
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October 5th 2020 at 6:26PM

The front-end is absolutely amazing!

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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October 5th 2020 at 11:13PM

Thank you! On the design, I have to give all the credit to Tailwind UI. (:

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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October 7th 2020 at 12:29AM

I am looking for a job with a great company, so if you know of any leads I would love your help. (:

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Jean-Luc KABORE-TURQUIN
Jean-Luc KABORE-TURQUIN
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January 19th 2021 at 1:19AM

Hi Chris. I find your portfolio webpage design sleek and corporate-looking.

Moreover, the content looks special to me as, riding on the path to Full-Stack, I've recently set my hands on Gatsby's Docs tutorial and excitment is growing while picturing the look and specs of my soon-to-be plugin.

I hereby congratulate and aknowledge your hard work.

All the best for the rest of your carrer !

:smile:

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

This week, we finally released NurseryPeople.com. In the end, I chose to provision our server on DigitalOcean. So far, I am SO happy with that decision. Although setting everything up was a challenge, and I learned a lot, DigitalOceans blogs helped in so many ways. I was able to set up nginx and the Laravel web app pretty smoothly. I am also using Buddy for deploying changes made in git, which is super awesome. All I have to do in order to deploy is push my code to my private repo, and buddy transfers everything over to DigitalOcean. So far, we haven't had any downtime and DigitalOceans prices are quite fair for the power under the hood.

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Search for Plants and Nurseries | NurseryPeople (nurserypeople.com)
14 upvotes·8 comments·91.8K views
Kamal ABOUNAIM
Kamal ABOUNAIM
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April 24th 2020 at 4:08PM

Great i just wanna learn about trick how to auto deploy after pushing to Git

thanks to your comment i ll see about Buddy

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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April 24th 2020 at 4:25PM

Buddy is amazing man. And for our site it is free, which is incredible.

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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April 24th 2020 at 4:25PM

I will say that last week DigitalOcean had an outage for a little. Didn't last very long, but something to think about.

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Joshua Kapellen
Joshua Kapellen
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April 30th 2020 at 2:28PM

Nothing has 100% uptime; you should always design and plan for outages as well. This lets you at least have some say in the user experience even during an outage.

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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April 30th 2020 at 2:48PM

How do you design and plan for outages if the server is completely down?

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

For our company website and for most simple company sites, we have chosen the Webflow CMS over Wordpress. We have many reasons for this, but a couple are security, updates, ease of use, and ease of customization. Many times, a customer will ask for a simple design change, or feature, that with Wordpress is difficult to maintain, and accomplish. With the cms set up with Webflow, we are easily able to make changes. Another huge benefit of Webflow over Wordpress is the ease of use for our customers. Webflows editor makes it easy to keep design separated from content, while also making it very easy for customers to make edits to their website. We are very happy with Webflow, although there are some features it lacks in a cms, it is a perfect fit for most publicity/marketing websites as well as small to medium sized blogs.

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Soltech LLC | Website Design and Management (solmediaco.com)
13 upvotes·3 comments·5.7K views
BJ Teriba
BJ Teriba
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April 7th 2020 at 5:30PM

Agreed. For the no-code/ low-code tech movement, marketing professionals and companies who are more comfortable with content than code, this tool gives them the ability to create beautiful and highly customized website from scratch.

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chriscodes17
chriscodes17
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April 7th 2020 at 11:33PM

Site looks awesome too!

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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April 16th 2020 at 8:27PM

Thanks Chris!

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·
Recommends
Laravel

Hey, I have found Laravel to be a great first web framework for me. Mainly, I would look at what you want to build, and go with the framework that will help you get there. It is not about learning a certain framework, but about building apps that help people solve problems. So you should start with a small project that helps people, and find a framework that can help you build that.

I am sure that others will disagree, but this is my opinion.

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12 upvotes·2 comments·35K views
Daniel Osorio
Daniel Osorio
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March 30th 2020 at 5:33PM

Christopher Wray, I am planning on building an educational platform that is computationally intensive and data-intensive. Would you please give some insights into what framework would be more efficient to handle this type of idea?

Thank you,

Daniel

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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April 16th 2020 at 8:26PM

Hey Daniel, I am sorry for not replying earlier. To be honest, I am not the best person to give you the best answer on that. Maybe Django or Rails? I have heard that Python is great for that, but I don't have more for you that way. Good luck!

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

Hi Whitney, I would recommend using Webflow to design the marketing website, and use Laravel for the customer portal. You can also use Webflow for the design of the customer portal area, but as far as the marketing goes, I would keep your marketing site separate from your customer app, as you won't want marketing people to have access to customer info easily, and you will want to separate concerns to keep things easy to manage.

Your desire for employees to easily update site content is easy to do with Webflow, and will be the best cms for the marketing side.

Reason why I recommend Laravel for the customer app, is that it is secure, highly scalable, well designed, and you will easily find people to help with future development of the site.

If you would like help with any of this, I would be happy to help. I have a small web development and design company.

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Soltech LLC | Website Design and Management (solmediaco.com)
7 upvotes·1 comment·16.7K views
Whitney Collins
Whitney Collins
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July 3rd 2020 at 6:11PM

Thank you for your response Christopher I look forward to learning more about your services and find out if you can help us with our needs. Have a great 4th of July weekend.

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

I recommend checking out Algolia.

They have a very affordable entry-level plan and even a small, free level plan for new websites.

Their JavaScript API is pretty simple to implement as well.

I’d be happy to help set this up for you if you would like some help. I am booked through middle of February but I open up later next month.

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Chris Wray | Full Stack Engineer | Dreamer, Father & Husband (chriswray.dev)
7 upvotes·12.8K views
Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

When I started on this project as the sole developer, I was new to web development and I was looking at all of the web frameworks available for the job. I had some experience with Ruby on Rails and I had looked into .net for a bit, but when I found Laravel, it felt like the best framework for me to get the product to market. What made me choose Laravel was the easy to read documentation and active community. Rails had great documentation, but lacked some features built in that I wanted out of the box, while .net had a ton of video documentation tutorials, but nothing as straightforward as Laravels. So far, I am happy with the decision I made, and looking forward to the website release!

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6 upvotes·4 comments·161K views
John Akhilomen
John Akhilomen
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March 23rd 2020 at 7:52PM

Sounds good that your website is being released soon. Laravel is a PHP framework. The mistake people make sometime is that they learn the framework without the language. I'd advice that you try to spend time learning PHP. You never know, you may need to scale the application later in the future, and PHP could come handy then.

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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March 23rd 2020 at 8:43PM

Definitely. Actually, I have wrote a bit of php as part of the project and I think it has helped me get a better understanding of object oriented programming in general, due to the way Laravel is structured.

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Zaijo
Zaijo
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March 19th 2020 at 3:36PM

Could you, please, elaborate on "Rails had great documentation, but lacked some features built in that I wanted out of the box"?

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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March 19th 2020 at 4:16PM

Hey Zaijo, yes, so one thing Rails didn't have is authentication built in. This requires a ruby gem, which isn't hard to integrate, but as a new developer, I wanted to simplify everything as much as I could. Hope that makes sense. Also, their documentation is really good. I am sure a lot of people would disagree with me on my choice, but that was just my perspective as a total newbie. (:

I actually like the Ruby language better than PHP, but Laravel comes with some wonderful methods built in that have made the development time much faster.

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·
Recommends
Laravel
at

Hey there, so if you go with React Native, you are going to need something to serve the data and run the backend, so there is no reason why you couldn't build the website with Laravel, and the backend API for the React Native application with Laravel as well.

But, if you are only wanting a website first, then you will need to go with a web framework and if you have Laravel experience then I would definitely recommend that.

If you are only wanting to build a mobile app, then you will use React Native coupled with a backend API and you could build that with Laravel.

Either way, stick with laravel for the backend if you already have experience with it. (:

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6 upvotes·2 comments·4.1K views
Benjamín Cáceres
Benjamín Cáceres
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September 10th 2020 at 2:00PM

Thank you very much Chris! :)

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Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray
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September 10th 2020 at 5:31PM

For sure! I wish you the best of luck. Btw, the website dev.to is built with open source social media software called forem that they built, so you may want to check that out before you build everything from scratch. Their platform is built on Ruby on Rails I think.

https://github.com/forem/forem

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

Hey there! I admire you because I was in your shoes about 3 years ago. Congrats at having a dream and wanting to do it. That is awesome. Keep going.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend trying to do this on a no-code platform. I would use webflow for the design, and building of the html, and css, but then I would build your rating/review/forum platform on Laravel.

Laravel simplifies the application process and there are a ton of resources out there that can help you with development and learning the basics.

No matter what, you will have to learn some code for this project if you want to pull it off. In my opinion, setting up your project on a great web framework will set it up for success, especially if your app is used by a lot of people.

If you set it up on bubble or webflow, and then you get a lot of users, you are going to have to move to a web framework. Taking the hard road now will save you a lot later in the long run.

I just happened to write a blog about this very thing this morning, which is linked below.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you would like help with this! and good luck!

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Don't believe the No-Code lies. | Soltech LLC (solmediaco.com)
6 upvotes·1 comment·3.3K views
Imastudent26
Imastudent26
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July 23rd 2020 at 8:42AM

Thanks for the tip! I'll check out Laravel for sure.

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Web Developer at Soltech LLC·

I am not sure if I can recommend one or the other without knowing your exact needs and what plugins you are using. Is this just a company publicity website, or more of a web application with login functionality and a store?

But, Sharepoint doesn't seem like the best solution in my point of view for a public-facing website.

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4 upvotes·3.5K views