MacrosEngine Dashboard (Node.js) Deployment

Steps to deploy the MacrosEngine Dashboard (Node.js app) to DigitalOcean using PM2, NGINX as a reverse proxy and an SSL from LetsEncrypt

1. Sign up for Digital Ocean

If you use the referal link below, you get $10 free (1 or 2 months) : https://m.do.co/c/1537607f101c

2. Create a droplet and log in via ssh

I will be using the root user, but would suggest creating a new user

3. Install Node/NPM

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | sudo -E bash -

sudo apt install nodejs

node --version

4. Clone MacrosEngine Dashboard from Github

First make sure to create a folder somewhere on your server, and navigate to it!

There are a few ways to get your files on to the server, I would suggest using Git (use the ME Dashboard repo for now)

git clone https://github.com/aymenbnr/macrosengine_dashboard.git

Create a .env file in your main ME Dashboard root

Navigate to the cloned folder and create a .env config file:

cd macrosengine_dashboard
touch .env
nano .env

the nano editor will open, add/edit your .env config (following step)

App Configuration

edit the .env file with the following variables

# Main configurations
# your app name
TEXTLOGO=ME Dashboard
# the port of your app
PORT=5000
#mangodb uri, local or from atlas
MANGODBURI=mongodb+srv://user:[email protected]/test?retryWrites=true&w=majority
# change your url and app name for footer credential
MAINURL=https://www.macrosengine.com/
SITENAME=MacrosEngine
#customize the look of your app
MDBOOTSTRAP=yes
BOOTSWATCH=cosmo
#change the support email
[email protected]
# Email Configuration , use smtp/mailgun, right now only smtp is supportted
EMAIL=smtp
# SMTP Configurations
SMTP_HOST=smtp.mailgun.org
SMTP_PORT=465
SMTP_SECURE=true
[email protected]
SMTP_AUTH_PASS=123456789
[email protected]
SMTP_FROM_NAME=MacrosEngine
# BACKUPS blob/base64
BACKUP=base64

5. Install dependencies and test app


npm install
npm start (or whatever your start command)
# stop app
ctrl+C

6. Setup PM2 process manager to keep your app running

sudo npm i pm2 -g
pm2 start app (or whatever your file name)

# Other pm2 commands
pm2 show app
pm2 status
pm2 restart app
pm2 stop app
pm2 logs (Show log stream)
pm2 flush (Clear logs)

# To make sure app starts when reboot
pm2 startup ubuntu

You should now be able to access your app using your IP and port. Now we want to setup a firewall blocking that port and setup NGINX as a reverse proxy so we can access it directly using port 80 (http)

You can use CNAME to add a subdomain to your main site like (dashboard.yoursite.com) using the IP, but below you can find out how to add a domain using digitalocean.

7. Setup ufw firewall

sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw status
sudo ufw allow ssh (Port 22)
sudo ufw allow http (Port 80)
sudo ufw allow https (Port 443)

8. Install NGINX and configure

sudo apt install nginx

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Add the following to the location part of the server block

    server_name yourdomain.com www.yourdomain.com;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5000; #ME Dashboard runs on port 5000 but you can change it in the .env file
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade';
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
    }
# Check NGINX config
sudo nginx -t

# Restart NGINX
sudo service nginx restart

You should now be able to visit your IP with no port (port 80) and see your app. Now let’s add a domain

9. Add domain in Digital Ocean

In Digital Ocean, go to networking and add a domain

Add an A record for @ and for www to your droplet

Register and/or setup domain from registrar

Choose “Custom nameservers” and add these 3

  • ns1.digitalocean.com
  • ns2.digitalocean.com
  • ns3.digitalocean.com

It may take a bit to propogate

  1. Add SSL with LetsEncrypt
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-certbot-nginx
sudo certbot --nginx -d yourdomain.com -d www.yourdomain.com

# Only valid for 90 days, test the renewal process with
certbot renew --dry-run

Now visit https://yourdomain.com and you should see your ME Dashboard app