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Notes from setting up Ask, Coral Project’s first app

Spent some time this weekend running Ask through its paces. Went great, wanted to share some notes and demo links.

If you’re not familiar, here’s the official description of the product:

Ask lets you easily create embeddable forms, manage submissions, and display galleries of the best responses.

I followed the official instructions with very few bumps along the way.

One of them was my unfamiliarity with AWS Virtual Private Clouds – EC2 instances setup on a VPC (as is required for all new AWS accounts) require an Internet Gateway, otherwise they are self-contained and not accessible through the net. This is less a Ask issue than an AWS, but I have suggested it as feedback already (the Coral Project is dog-fooding by using Ask for its own feedback form).

I ended up using an EC2 t2.micro so I stayed on the free tier, but Coral recommends at least a t2.medium. So if you’re doing this for work, uh, I’d probably do that.

Another was a slightly out-of-date URL reference in the docs, but I’d expect the Coral Team will have that fixed shortly, as they’ve already responded to my pull request.

The most amazing part of the setup was SSL, making the site available at HTTPS instead of HTTP. Coral uses another project, Caddy, to make this happen, and it truly could not have been easier. All I did was point the subdomain at the server and Coral took care of the rest. Beautiful.

I skipped over the actual S3 configuration (though I did configure a bucket) but like SSL and Google Analytics, that would have been just a few more answers during Ask’s interactive configuration process.

The below sample form/gallery are embedded using the non-iframe option (which is nice because then styles get inherited) but there are also iframe and standalone options. Here’s the standalone form and standalone gallery.

Sample form

Sample gallery

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Here is a copy of my presentation and prepared remarks from WordCamp for Publishers 2019 in Columbus.

Chris Gethard & Mal Blum – Crying At The Wawa (Official Video)

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