What is Ghost?
According to their website: “Ghost is an Open Source application which allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even fun to do. It’s simple, elegant, and designed so that you can spend less time making your blog work and more time blogging.”
That’s a very accurate description. Ghost, once up and running, is a very streamlined blogging platform. It’s not a robust content management system nor was it intended to be.
I was curious enough to give it a shot after reading about its Kickstarter success. It took about an hour to setup lovepoemscycle.com. It’s not for the faint at heart (although Ghost has setup its own network and this process should be easier).
Setting up a hosting account on Digital Ocean was step-one.
Thankfully they had a hosting setup with Ghost mostly ready, but you will still need to do a bunch of command line work to get the site setup. If you are afraid of command line then you might want to stick with some simpler blogging platforms like Tumblr.
The next step in the process that might scare users even further, especially those who are spoiled by WordPress’ easy theme upload and setup, is using Git. Perhaps there is a better way to get a theme to Git, but not on Digital Ocean. The only way I could figure out how to get my theme to Ghost was to setup a Git repository and SSH the theme to the server. All changes are either done through command line or Git.
It was fun for someone like me who likes to mess around with new technology, but the setup was a chore. WordPress would have been setup in ten minutes. However, if you really want a streamlined blogging platform that is fast without all the added features then Ghost is a good choice.
It will be fun to watch how Ghost evolves–especially with the release of their new hosted platform that promises setup in minutes.