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Adding search to zola blog with meilisearch deployed on Mogenius

I deployed Meilisearch on my VPS a couple of days ago, but I’m panic, because I mess up my VPS a lot, and I rebuild my VPS a lot, so it’s not a stable environment to deploy meilisearch. So I started to browse free-for-dev, see if there are some good(and cheap) solutions for me. I saw this:

mogenius - A code-to-cloud platform to easily deploy any service, from static website to advanced microservice architectures. mogenius comes with fully managed hyper-scaling cloud resources, Kubernetes, CI/CD and security from Cloudflare. Free tier includes 1 CPU core, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB traffic, 4 GB SSD persistent storage.

The main point:

  • Free tier includes 1 CPU core, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB traffic, 4 GB SSD persistent storage.
  • from static website to advanced microservice architectures.

I think it’s enough for my blog’s search index.

Mogenius said they “from static website to advanced microservice architectures”, and they also have a decent plan for free tier. I decided to try it out. After completing the registration, it requires a mandatory mobile number verification. It’s a bit annoying, but I’m glad to have a free tier, and it’s a good way to avoid abuse. (There is a bug when you verify your mobile number, I’am using firefox, it seems the country code select can not show list correctly, so I just change a vpn to fix it. (maybe I should use chrome to test it, I almost give up because of this bug))

For those who want to see the final results, here is the final result:


Let’s see how to set it up:

Step 1: Create cloudspace🔗

Just click ADD button, and fill in the form.

Step 2: Create a new servicee🔗

Enter to the cloudspace, and click the add button to create a new service with Use a template, and search meilisearch

Step 3: Configure the service🔗

  1. Fill the servicename, for me I just type meilisearch

  2. Connect your github account(you can give it only selected repo permissions, you must selected at least one repo, it can be any public repo)

    Screenshot: 0

  3. Click Add repository, input the repo name, I input it as meili, and with public permission.



  4. set resources limit (if needed, the default value is a recomendation from Mogenius).

  5. set environment variables:

    1. add MEILI_MASTER_KEY as key vault to protect your master key. (Click create new secret to fill the secret)

    2. the following environment variables can be plain text type.


      All environment options are here



  6. optional, set custom domain. I set it to meili.owenyoung.com, I set a CNAME record meili.owenyoung.com to meilisearch-prod-meilisearch-r4efxz.mo2.mogenius.io, you will get the endpoint after the service created.



  7. Then, click the Create Service button. It may take 1 minute to build and deploy the service.

Step 5: Get your meilisearch admin key, and user key🔗

After the service is created, the meilisearch is ready to use, you can visit https://meili.owenyoung.com/ to test if everything is worked fine. At this moment, the default meilisearch template version is v0.27.0rc1, the following is the success output:

{ "status": "Meilisearch is running" }

You need to run the bash script to get the admin key and user key:

curl \
  -X GET 'https://meili.owenyoung.com/keys' \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer you-master-key" \
  | json_pp

We’ll use them in the next step.

Step 6: Setup doc-scraper🔗

We need to build search index after every updates of our blogs, I use Github Actions to build my blog, so I just add a job after the site is deployed. We’ll use docs-scraper to scrape our whole site with sitemap.xml file. docs-scraper will help us to build heading and content level search index, it’ll bring the best search experience for our readers.

The current docs-scrape is only adapted with 0.27.x, at this moment, the latest meilisearch version 0.28 is not supported, I have submitted an issue, so the default Mogenius meilisearch template version 0.27.0rc1 is fine, we can also upgrade it to v0.27.2.(I have done this by change the Dockerfile, Mongenius will monitor the updates, and automatically deploy the updates)

See the .github/workflows/build.yml

name: Deploy Site
      - main
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - run: make install
      - name: Build Site
        run: make build
      - name: Deploy
        uses: peaceiris/actions-gh-pages@v3
          publish_dir: ./public
          github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
    needs: build-deploy
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      # wait github pages publish
      - run: sleep 1m
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - name: Run docs-scraper
          HOST_URL: "https://meili.owenyoung.com"
          API_KEY: ${{ secrets.MEILISEARCH_API_KEY }}
          CONFIG_FILE_PATH: ${{ github.workspace }}/meilisearch-docs-scraper-config.json
        run: |
          docker run -t --rm \
            -v $CONFIG_FILE_PATH:/docs-scraper/config.json \
            getmeili/docs-scraper:v0.12.2 pipenv run ./docs_scraper config.json

MEILISEARCH_API_KEY will be the admin key from the previous step.

meilisearch-docs-scraper-config.json will be placed in the root of the repository, and it will be used by docs-scraper to scrape the site. Here is my config file:

  "index_uid": "owen-blog",
  "sitemap_urls": ["https://www.owenyoung.com/sitemap.xml"],
  "start_urls": [""],
  "scrap_start_urls": false,
  "stop_urls": [
  "selectors": {
    "lvl0": {
      "selector": ".detail-page .p-category",
      "default_value": "Random"
    "lvl1": {
      "selector": ".detail-page .p-tags",
      "default_value": "Notes"
    "lvl2": ".detail-page .entry-title",
    "lvl3": ".e-content h2",
    "lvl4": ".e-content h3",
    "text": ".e-content p, .e-content li"
  "strip_chars": " .,;:#",
  "min_indexed_level": 2,
  "custom_settings": {
    "synonyms": {
      "js": ["javascript", "nodejs"]
    "stopWords": ["", "", ""]

Cause I’m using Chinese and English, so I added a lot of stop words of Chinese.

Then the Github Actions workflow will run docs-scraper to scrape the site after the site is deployed.

Step 7: Setup the frontend🔗

See my search template, basically, you need to include the docs-searchbar css and js, and add an <input type="search" id="search-bar-input" placeholder="Search" /> to whereever you want to include the search bar. And add the following script to init:

  hostUrl: "https://meili.owenyoung.com",
  apiKey: "your-user-api-key",
  indexUid: "owen-blog",
  inputSelector: "#search-bar-input",


You can see the all source code on my blog source code.

As a programmer, it’s not a big deal to setup those things with mogenius, sometimes their UI prompts are not very friendly, for example:

  1. Firstly, I tried to create meilisearch without the template, the git address I entered at the beginning was https://github.com/meilisearch/meilisearch, then I can’t create the service, the error message is: This field is required., finally I tried another git url with suffix .git, then the form is valid, and I can choose the git branch. I don’t know why they don’t allow me to choose a tag branch, only the normal branches are allowed, luckily, Meilisearch has one normal release branch, so I can choose it.
  2. Their log UI is broken on Firefox browser, the edge browser is okay.
  3. Even in Edge browser, the CI/CD monitor UI is broken, with an always refreshed page.

Update: 2. it’s not their fault, it’s my default broswer settings that disabled the canvas rendering.

I don’t know if they will offer a config file to setup those form, like vercel.json or netlify.toml, if so, it’ll be easy for other non-programmers to setup those things.

Finally, I’m appreciate that they can offer a so decent free plan, I hope I don’t need to migrate it to another service. Let’s see.

Category: Random 
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