/ Front-end Development

Shifting SPIDer from WordPress to a Ghost Blog

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions are my own. As of now, I have never been involved professionally with Ghost or Wordpress Team.

It's been almost three months since this blog has been migrated to Ghost. Previously, it was managed with WordPress which had been the "De-Facto standard" for maintaining self hosted blogs. Recently, technologies like Ghost, Medium, Jackyll,etc have been developed as an alternative platforms.

Ghost is targeted for a very niche crowd. The sheer simplicity of this blogging platform intrigued me when it was started as a Kickstarter campaign. After running a test blog on my local machine for a couple of months, I made a decision last year to migrate this blog from WordPress to Ghost.

Moving from a Shared host to a Cloud host:

Installing Ghost has been a very big learning experience for me. I have never configured a VPS or Cloud Server.
Having heard of Digital Ocean from many developers, I thought to give it a try. I must say the documentation and support team is flawless.
My requirement was quite precise. I needed PHP, Node, Nginx and a Ghost blog. I found following topics useful while installing and configuring my server.

  1. Recommended Steps for New Ubuntu 14.04 Servers
  2. Installing LEMP (Linux, nginx, MySQL, PHP) Stack
  3. How To Create a Blog with Ghost and Nginx on Ubuntu 14.04
  4. How To Manage Content Using the Ghost Blogging Platform

All About Ghost

Blazing Fast

WordPress loads tons of CSS, Javascript, and assets. Ghost, on another hand, uses very few resources.

Simplicity

A lot of functionality has been stripped away in favour of simplicity. This platform is aimed at publishers who want to simply publish their content with least amount of features, gimmicks, and plugins. The Ghost Editor is quite eloquent as well.

Markdown

Content in Ghost blogs is managed with the help of markdown. It's a very popular way of writing down plain text with some symbols like #,*, etc. Ghost has an astounding text-editor which works smoothly even on handheld devices.

No Media Library

One of the features that I miss from WordPress is the "Media Library". Having a media library was a very convenient way to add images to posts.

Limitations and Workarounds

There are many core functionalities that are not included in the technology as of now. For instance, there is no search or commenting functionality by default.
However, this can be achieved by adding Google Custom Site Search and disquss respectively.

Looking At Future

Ghost backend is built using NodeJS. Building Themes in Ghost is quite simple for front-end developers who are well aware of HTML5, CSS, Handlebars, and JavaScript.
I will be releasing a custom theme for this blog next month.
As for the platform is concerned, I have really high hopes for the team. Hopefully, we will have a built-in search/comment system and an elegant dashboard in place soon.

Ghost Alternatives

  1. Medium Custom Domains : Medium.com Team has recently opened up itself to be used under custom domains
  2. Jekyll Static Websites
  3. Tumblr
  4. WordPress ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Prashant Sani

Prashant Sani

A freelance HTML5 developer & an absolute Apple & #Trance Music lover, Prashant loves to blog expressing his views on Web Technologies. He also loves attending events & meeting like-minded people.

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