Step 2: CircleCI and S3 Buckets

Jul 1

The second part took longer than usual. Part of this was because I was wrestling with DNS – I don’t think DNS changes ever go quickly – but the other part was because I was hit with another bout of depression. #yaydepression

For the second part I configured CircleCI to build and deploy this blog to an S3 bucket, which I reconfigured with the slidingdown.com URL by using Route 53 as my new DNS provider.

CircleCI

This part was pretty fun. I first setup Docker to make sure it could containerize correctly. This helped me debug a JS dependency for Middleman – something I quickly fixed with mini_racer. Next I figured out how to get it to build on CircleCI. CircleCI lets you build one project for free, which is why I’m having it run my blog, which is a private repo.

One useful piece of information was understanding how to persist data in workflows. The diagram in the article really helped and I was able to cobble the rest together using documentation.

AWS Configuration

The S3 configuration was really straightforward once I got the hang of the naming conventions and what how permission should be setup. I followed Amazon’s guide for setting up a custom domain static site. And if you’re wary about copypasta'ing the policy into your bucket’s config, you can get the same results from using the AWS Policy Generator.

Getting CircleCI authenticated was also really easy – I created an IAM user specifically for CircleCI and gave it S3 permissions.

The most annoying part was figuring out I needed to switch from my own DNS provider to Route 53. I was trying to setup my own CNAME record and it didn’t take – S3 balked at my configuration. So I made the switch and everything worked magically.

Putting it all together

And now CI/CD for my blog works! The only nice-to-have I really want to have is SSL support. It’s not necessary because I host a static site, but it’s where the web is heading and Firefox gets angry. There might be an option using CloudFront that I can explore.