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About

SlickStack is a free LEMP stack automation script written in Bash designed to enhance and simplify WordPress provisioning, performance, and security. It is the result of several years of research and work by Jesse Nickles in pursuit of market-leading technical SEO signals.

Initially, the collection of scripts and settings were semi-private and being used solely by LittleBizzy as part of their managed WordPress hosting offering, but eventually the codebase was split off into a dedicated open source project on GitHub. Going forward, SlickStack aims to promote “free speech” just as much as “free software” in an effort to revive some of the open web values that have all but disappeared from the WordPress project lately (whose dominance among web-based CMS applications continues to grow stronger).

Our Core Values

Per that framework, we consider our core values to be:

We believe that when values like these are a real priority, it becomes more obvious why FOSS software should not be in the business of making secret “backroom” deals with strategic partners, lying about who runs their project (and websites), censoring and banning users who ask legitimate questions, selectively enforcing their self-professed guidelines, and trying to spy on users with undisclosed cookies, analytics, or otherwise.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is precisely what the WordPress project has devolved into in recent years.

Rules of SlickStack

  1. Don’t alter system files that don’t need to be altered
  2. Don’t compile core modules from third party sources… if it’s not available as a native package for Ubuntu LTS the we don’t support installing it
  3. If you do need to alter system files, make it less invasive as possible by “source” SlickStack files instead of dumping code in the system files
  4. Never prevent native Bash commands from working properly (aliases should be complementary, not replacements)
  5. Verbose filenames, code comments and bash syntax in all scripts whenever possible (be specific… what is happening?). Unlike WordPress itself, SlickStack users are expected to interact with the bash scripts regularly (and look at their contents) so we need the filenames and contents to make sense to a typical (beginner) web developer. Instead of “ss-install-wp” our scripts are divided into core packages and config for each module so “ss-install-wordpress-core” and “ss-install-wordpress-config”… which one do you really want to run? This helps users understand exactly what our files do and thus helps them to be more specific when running the scripts. Our bash alias shortcuts are easier/faster however, for advanced users who want to save time on keystrokes… thus “ss install wp” will install both WordPress core and also WordPress config in one generic command.
  6. Once and only once, unless it will create instability… see #4
  7. Defer to upstream whenever possible… if Ubuntu LTS uses MySQL and PHP 7.2 then we use MySQL and PHP 7.2, etc
  8. Self-contained whenever possible… nearly all SlickStack files are solely under /var/www
  9. Self-reliant whenever possible… SlickStack servers will still function when third party services are removed

Recent Blog Posts

Custom Cron Jobs (Unrestricted Code) Are Here

One of the most requested features ever, custom cron jobs, is finally here! A lot of developers who have come across SlickStack always say "this is awesome and super optimized but I still need the ability to add a few custom cron jobs" for a special API to import their...

Fastest WordPress Hosting (For Under $5/mo)

For over a decade, WordPress has continued to dominate the web hosting industry as small businesses and bloggers alike continue to seek out free and reliable CMS software that can easily be moved between web servers as needed, without being locked-in to any single platform...

MailChimp Banned Over Censorship Concerns

Starting immediately, SlickStack has begun warning WordPress sites that have MailChimp software installed that we will begin banning it by default at some point in the near future (Note: users are always free to install their own plugin blacklisttxt file, instead of...