Nice to see another one man company avoiding k8s.
I've been planning zero-downtime upgrades for my Elixir app (https://bernard.app) which makes heavy use of live views and long running background processes and zero downtime is not something which is super easy to do with bare podman, and I didn't want to reimplement half of k8s in bash.
Long story short, after one week of research, I have changed my mind and decided that writing a custom, half-baked crappy solution with Caddy, podman, a bash script and effort is still a couple orders of magnitude easier than buying into the k8s circus.
In fact, I like the k8s philosophy, it does make sense to someone that has managed services for almost 2 decades. K8s is wide because the problem is complex. What makes no sense whatsoever is the bullshit that lives around and outside it: Helm, YAML, templating systems which feels as flexible as COBOL, Argo, Flux, certificate rotation, etcd, k3s, k0s, RKE2, and I could go on for half an hour.
Yeah, bash script, podman and systemd it is for this one man business. I just wish I could throw Ansible into the flaming sun.