The Little Book - Introduction

The internet is hard these days.

It started simply enough - for instance, all you really needed was a Geocities account and some initiative to learn HTML and you could have your own place to put whatever you wanted and make it available to the entire world. From such simple seeds, complex structures did grow..

Geocities was permanently shut down in 2009, at once both a tragedy for the loss of so much content, so much history, and yet also a wake-up call for so many of us that we needed to...

Setting up SSL on your site with Cloudflare.


You've got a new site on that is basically at the end of its development stage, and you're preparing to go live. You've decided on Cloudflare to host your DNS. Cloudflare is a good choice for smaller sites, and I recommend it often. Is has a few things going for it -

  • It has a free tier, which gives you pretty much everything you really need for a personal or small business site.
  • it has a very robust and modern global network.

One of the main features that a...

Speeding up your deploys with Yarn


You have a decent sized project and your deployments are taking a while. rebuilds your entire application from scratch with each git push so in some cases the process of downloading all those 3rd party packages can take quite a while. We can and do manage local caches of some composer packages due to our PHP heritage, which helps to make composer install a pretty snappy affair, but it's simply not possible to effectively do this with Nodejs.

Compounding this... from scratch - Laravel, Redis, and the Platform CLI

Hello, and welcome back to from scratch. In this post we'll be reconfiguring your Laravel app that we've been working on in the previous posts to use Redis as a cache and session store, rather than the default file store. We'll also install the Platform CLI and use it to SSH into our application container and get a feel for the layout of the filesystem after it's deployed to its environment.

But first, I'd like to have a brief chat about Git...

Using the tools the way... from Scratch - adding a database to your Laravel app

Hello (!) and welcome back to from scratch. In this post we'll learn about how to set up the Laravel app from the previous post to hook in to various services on Platform, starting with a database connection and moving on to using Redis as a cache and session store. Along the way we'll visit's "environment variables" feature, and we'll set up our first fully functioning deploy hook.

Prerequisites - go through the previous post and get that far...

Let's get... from scratch - setting up a Laravel app

Hi there and welcome back to from scratch. In this post we'll convert a Laravel app for use on Platform and learn a few tricks that will hopefully inform converting any app for use on Platform.

Step 1 is to get going with a new Laravel app, so follow the instructions on installing Laravel and setting up a new project. Initialize a git repo, add a new platform, and add the git remote to your local repo. All of this is documented in the previous post.

Now, at... from scratch - PostgreSQL

Hi there and welcome back to Platform from scratch. Today we're going to take a very simple Laravel application that will make use of Postgres on the backend as a database.

The complete example application can be found here -

The very first step of this will be to add in the appropriate .platform/services.yaml file. This file was left intentionally empty in the setup for this Laravel application, as we didn't have a need for a working... from scratch, part 0 - explaining Platform as simply as possible.

Hello, and welcome to " from Scratch". In this prologue to the series, I'll go over some of the very highest level concepts of so that you'll have a clearer understanding of what this product is and why it came to be. is a "Platform as a Service", commonly referred to in this age of acronyms as a "PaaS". The platform that we provide is essentially a suite of development and hosting tools to make developing software applications a smoother end-to-end... from scratch, part 1 - Basic setup.

Hello, and welcome back to " from scratch". The goal here will be to augment the official documentation with a short tutorial that shows how to set up a project for proper functioning on We'll dive into the "why" as little as possible here. For now let's dive straight into the "how".

We're going to start with a very basic application, the example Silex app on the front page of the Silex website. This will be a standard Composer based project, so we'll need a...