A homelab offers many things for you to be able to do. You can setup Dev Environemnts for testing out your applications. You can test out infurstructure that is common in the workplace without breaking software at work, and many other things.
Really "What can I do?" is all limited by your imagination. For myself personally I use it for tinkering and learning new tools for my every day job, or to further my knowledge in tools I already know.
My personal preferrence for webhosting is Ghost. Ghost is a simple, and straight forward blogging platform with a straight forward and simple setup.
- Easy website setup
- Low management overhead
- Limited to a single provider for email services without additional work
- Limited theme selection
- Customization can be a little daunting
As someone that uses WordPress at work on a daily basis I like this hosting option for its simplicity. While it would be nice to have all of the fancy plugins, having a basic hosting application that doesn't distract with all of the features is a nice change of pace.
For those that love to look at data, and see what is going on it is always nice to have an analytics platform to review behavior on your website. In my case I decided to go with Matomo. This gives me a Google Analytics style dashboard to see user behavior on my site.
Like Google Analytics my biggest complaint is how these tools tend to track some information like bounce rate. Bounce is a single page visit on a site, but if a user stays on your page for 15 minutes and reads an article then leaves your bounce rate for that session goes up, and the time on the site for that user is seen as 0.
This is a freshly installed application so I don't have much to say about it at this time. It was fast and easy to setup, and gave me no headaches when adding the tracking code to my blog.
For databases I stick to the tride and true MySQL database for my Blobg and other internal applications that require a database for the application.
For management of my databases I decided to give Cloud Beaver a try. It is similar to phpMyAdmin, but written by the company that created dBeaver. It brings a fresh interface to the database management in a web interface, that is straight forward and easy to manage.
Other Odds and Ends
I recently started to use RustDesk as a Team Viewer replacement. Ever since the big issue back in 2016 I decided to move away from Team Viewer and have been looking for a solid replacement ever since. So far RustDesk fits the bill and was a straight forward and easy setup.
I have always been really bad about managing papers on my desk, so I decided to setup Paperless-ng. This is a great platform that I drop my document into my scanner, scan it to my computer from there, and the program automically injests it and stores it on my server. The great thing about Paperless is that I can easily search the text on these documents and find something I maybe looking for.
What is running it all?
While this isn't a full list of everything that I host, it is the items that I use on a day to day. The service that runs all of these applications is UnRaid. I have been using UnRaid since 2016, and have loved every minute of it. I manage servers every day at work, so having a server that I don't have to worry about at home is nice. The biggest selling point for me on UnRaid was the ability to have a random assortment of drives and they "just work" together. I didn't have to go out and invest in a lot of new storage I just grabbed old drives that I had laying around, tossed them into a computer, and I was off to the races.