Because I wanted to include a contact form, I knew the site would need to have a real backend. Plus, being a collection of articles, I figured it would be easier to manage them with a database, rather than hard-coding everything.
Seemed like an excellent excuse to teach myself how to set up a LAMP stack.
LAMP stands for Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP; it's a short and sweet acronym for the technologies used in this common web tech stack. A Linux computer running the Apache webserver, with a MySQL database, using PHP to render web pages.
Turns out, setting up a LAMP stack is pretty simple:
sudo -i apt-get update apt-get upgrade -y apt-get install tasksel tasksel install lamp-server
Using the tasksel utility really dramatically simplifies the whole process. It prompts you for a little bit of information along the way, then in a matter of minutes, you've got a server set up.