How to Deploy a Website Using Docker?

Deploy Docker

Docker is a containerization tool that can be used to deploy a website. This blog post will show you how to deploy a website using Docker. We will deploy an Nginx image and write a script in an HTML file to Display the Container Status. First, we will create a Dockerfile for our website. Next, we will build our Docker image. Finally, we will use Nginx Web Server to run our website.

1. What is Docker?

Docker is a containerization tool that enables developers to package applications with all the necessary dependencies and ship them out as self-contained units, This makes deploying and running applications much easier, especially in distributed and cloud-based environments.

Docker containers are lightweight, stand-alone, executable packages of software that include everything needed to run an application, such as code, runtime, system libraries, system tools, etc.

Docker containers are built on top of Docker Engine, a lightweight runtime and packaging tool. Docker Engine is the underlying client-server technology that builds and runs Docker containers, Images, Volumes, and Networks.

Deploy Docker

Docker containers can be run on any platform that supports Docker Engine, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and cloud-based platforms such as Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud Platform. 

Please visit the official docker page here to download docker to your local machine:  

https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-windows/install/

In this Project, we will be Creating a Docker image using Dockerfile for Deploying Static Website. 

2. What is Nginx? 

Nginx is also an open-source software for web serving, reverse proxying, HTTP cache, load balancing, media streaming, and more, Nginx can function as a proxy server for email ( POP3, IMAP, and SMTP) and a load balancer for TCP, HTTP, and UDP servers and reverse proxy, It is well-known for its high performance and low resource consumption. 

In this Project, we will use Nginx to Deploy our Static Website. 

3. What Are the Benefits of Using Docker for Deploying Websites? 

Docker is a containerization tool that can help you deploy websites quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the benefits of using Docker for website deployment: 

1) Agility and Efficiency – Docker enables you to package and deploy applications in a lightweight and efficient way, This not only speeds up the deployment process but also reduces the amount of time and resources needed to maintain your applications. 

2) Scalability – Docker containers are portable and can be run on any platform, which makes them ideal for scaling your applications. 

3) Greater Flexibility – Docker allows you to run multiple applications on a single server, which gives you more flexibility and scalability. 

4) Improved Security – Docker helps to improve the security of your applications by isolating them in their own separate containers. 

5) Reduced Costs – Docker can help you to save money on your hardware and software costs. 

6) Faster Deployment – Docker can help you to speed up your deployment times by isolating your applications in their own containers, but This means that you can have multiple containers running on a single machine and that each container can be started, stopped, and restarted without affecting the other containers. 

7) Ease of Use – Docker is also designed to be easy to use It has a simple Command Line Interface (CLI), and can be run on any machine that has the Docker engine installed. 

8) Portability – Docker containers can be run on any machine that has the Docker engine installed. This makes them ideal for testing and development environments, as you can easily move them from one machine to another. 

If you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and easy-to-use solution for website deployment, Docker is a great option. 

4. How Do You Deploy a Website Using Docker? 

Docker can be used to deploy websites easily. This guide will show you how to use Docker to deploy a website. 

Prerequisites 

Docker installed on your machine. 

A free Docker Hub account  

Step-1: Pull Nginx image from Docker Hub 

Deploy Docker

To start things off, we first have to pull the Nginx image to our terminal so we can build the custom image from it, To do this, go to the Nginx page on the Docker Hub, and copy the command to pull the Nginx image from the hub. When you want to build a Docker image, whether a custom image or just a standard one, you want to head over to the Docker Hub webpage to look for the image you’re trying to build and then find the command to use.  

For Nginx, we used the following command: 

$ docker pull nginx: latest 

Step 2: Create Dockerfile to build an image and index.html file to check the container deployment status.

The next thing we will do is create a directory and cd into that directory to hold our Dockerfile and index.html file (we’ll get more into this later). Once you are in the directory, create a file called Dockerfile and index.html file. It is important to have a Dockerfile already established before you build your image because when you get to the next step, your Docker build command will look at your Dockerfile as instructions on how to build your image, Let me explain what each part of my Dockerfile is: 

A Dockerfile is a text document that contains all the commands a user could call on the command line to assemble an image. Using a Dockerfile, users can create and deploy new images. 

Link to the Dockerfile: https://github.com/DevLearnkarts/static_web 

FROM Nginx 

COPY ./index.HTML  /usr/share/nginx/html/index.html 

FROM: We are using the FROM command to tell Docker to use the image Nginx. This image comes pre-installed with Nginx, 

COPY: COPY takes our index.html file from the local directory where we are working on and moves it into the  /usr/share/nginx/html/index.html root directory in our container. 

Deploy Docker

Make sure your index.html file is in your working directory. 

We will now use our text editor to add code to that index.html file. This step is also important since it provides a script for Nginx to follow when displaying our webpage. I will use the script to display the default “Welcome to Learnkarts” page on our static Nginx webpage. 

<!DOCTYPE html> 

<html> 

    <head> 

    </head> 

    <body> 

        Welcome to Learnkarts! 

    </body> 

</html> 

<!DOCTYPE html>: All HTML documents must start with a DOCTYPE declaration, and it tells the browser that everything inside it is HTML. 

<html>: This tag represents the root of an HTML document. And it tells the browser that everything inside it is HTML. 

<head>: The head tag contains information about the website. And it’s also where you load CSS and JavaScript files. 

<body>: The body tag is the main content in the webpage. Everything that you see on the page will usually be in the body tag. 

Step-3: Build Docker Image 

Deploy Docker

Now, You have a Dockerfile for your static site. Let’s build our docker container using the docker build command, which will pull from our Dockerfile instructions. 

But what is a docker image?: 

A Docker image is a read-only template that also contains a set of instructions for creating a Docker container, It includes everything needed to run an application–the code, a runtime, dependencies, environment variables, and configuration files. 

To build an image on docker run: 

docker build -t <name> .     

For example docker build -t webserver . 

But before we build this image, let’s go over what makes up the command.  

-t : It is shorthand for “tag,” which essentially names the image you are building. And please do not forget the “.” at the end of the command.  This “.” specifies that the path is in the local directory. 

Step-4: Deploy your Container with Port 8080. 

Deploy Docker

Now, you also have a docker image now Use this docker image to launch a new container on your system, To run your Docker container using the newly created image, type 

docker run -it -d -p 8080:80 webserver 

-it means interactive mode, which will give us the option to log in and run commands to the inside of the container

-d This specifies the container runs in detached mode and  

-p It tells Docker to map the ports exposed in the container by the NGINX image to the specified port on the Docker host. 

Now, the final step, let’s see if our static website is working, which should show from our index.html file. You could use your local IP address:8080, which will show the same web page. So We will use the IP address:8080 ← hostname we set in the port mapping stage.

Step-5: Access Your Application 

When the container is up and running, all the port 8080 of the host machines will be redirected to the container’s port 80. 

To view the build static web page, open your browser and navigate to your port on the local host (http://localhost:8080). 

Deploy Docker

If build is successful, you will see Welcome to Learnkarts!!!! 

Let’s clean up our environment and run the following commands to stop the containers, remove the containers, and delete the images. 

NOTE: I am deleting my entire environment because I DO NOT RECOMMEND RUNNING THESE COMMANDS IN A WORK/PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT. Please be careful in running these commands if you have containers you would like to keep. 

  1. Stop all running containers. 

docker stop <name of container or id>  

  1. Remove all containers 

docker rm <name of container or id> 

  1. Remove all images 

docker rmi  <name of image or id of image> 

5. What Are Some of The Challenges of Using Docker for Website Deployments? 

Docker is a great tool for containerizing web applications and makes deployments much simpler and more efficient. However, there are some challenges that you should be aware of when using Docker for website deployments. 

One challenge is that web applications often have complex dependencies, and it can be difficult to containerize all of these dependencies using Docker.  

Another challenge is that web applications can be very resource-intensive, and you must ensure that your Docker hosts have enough resources to run your containers. 

Finally, you need to be careful when using Docker in production, as it can be easy to accidentally delete or change files that are important for your website. Make sure to back up your files and configurations before starting any Docker deployments. 

Overall, Docker can be a great tool for automating web application deployments. However, you need to be aware of the challenges and plan accordingly. 

6. What Are The Future Prospects For Docker in Website Deployments? 

There is no doubt that Docker has revolutionized the way we deploy applications also By packaging applications into self-contained units called containers, Docker has made it possible to deploy and manage applications much more efficiently. 

However, Docker is not just limited to applications. In fact, it can be used to deploy entire websites. Using a tool like Docker Compose, you can define your website’s components (such as the web server, database, and application) in a single file and then deploy it with a single command. 

This approach has a number of advantages. First, it’s much easier to manage a website that is deployed as a set of containers. Second, you can easily scale your website by adding more containers. 

So, what are the future prospects for Docker in website deployments? 

Well, it’s clear that Docker has a lot of potential for website deployments. In fact, it’s already being used by some of the biggest names in the business, such as Netflix, Buzzfeed, and Yelp. 

As the technology continues to evolve, we’ll likely see even more companies adopting Docker for their website deployments. After all, there’s no downside to using Docker. It’s easy to use, efficient and can help you save a lot of time and money. 

Summary

In this blog post, we learned the basics of the Docker and Nginx tools and also understood the benefits and the challenges of Docker for deploying websites using containerization. Also, We deployed a static webpage using Docker and Nginx web servers, and in the end, we understood the future prospects for Docker in website deployments.   

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