The Admin Tax

created Apr 1, 2019

This is yet another problem, faced by people who prefer to use a server-hosted solution for managing their personal websites, instead of using a CMS-hosted solution.

It's not every week nor every month that something needs addressed when managing a server, but admin-like actions are needed at least a few times a year.

Most people have no interest in incurring the admin tax, which means they will choose to post their content at, WordPress, or similar setups that support domain name mapping. A CMS-hosted solution.

Users can still lease their own domain names and point them to, for example, their account that's hosted at WordPress. Such users will have a unique website domain name, but WordPress/Automattic will handle the server-side admin duties.

Updating Let's Encrypt certificates began to show problems in March 2019. I received the following error when trying to update my cert, used at

Creating virtual environment...
Installing Python packages...
/opt/ No module named pip.__main__; 'pip' is a package and cannot be directly executed
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/tmp/tmp.UQsyNkAZSB/", line 177, in 
  File "/tmp/tmp.UQsyNkAZSB/", line 149, in main
    pip_version = StrictVersion(check_output([python, '-m', 'pip', '--version'])
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/", line 544, in check_output
    raise CalledProcessError(retcode, cmd, output=output)
subprocess.CalledProcessError: Command '['/opt/', '-m', 'pip', '--version']' returned non-zero exit status 1

I've been using Let's Encrypt for a few years. Prior to LE, I used another service. I've used https (TLS) with, since late 2013 or early 2014.

Anyway, I have never had a problem with updating Let's Encrypt until March 2019.

I found the same problem and the solution in this March 2019 post.


rm ./certbot-auto*
chmod +x ./certbot-auto
./certbot-auto --no-self-upgrade