Testing Ghost on a Free Technology Stack

I like Wordpress a lot. I run several Wordpress sites, and it's a great platform for general use. For this site, though, I just need a simple blog engine. In previous versions of this site, I spent a lot of time stripping down the Canvas theme, but I never quite got it right. There were always bugs.

I figured it was time for a change. While I was looking for a theme that resembled Medium, I came across the Ghost platform.

I wanted to get started quickly, so I looked into using Docker to deploy the app. That was my first roadblock: my server runs an older version of CentOS that isn't Docker-compatible. Upgrading the OS and checking that all the sites migrated properly was too much of a risk for a Saturday morning project. Also, I didn't want to spend $8/mo. since that isn't free at all.

I had to find a better way. That's when I found Open Shift.

Open Shift allows you to create a free, public cloud account that has a one-click install of Ghost. You'll need the following:

  • Public key. Open Shift uses SSH to transfer files between your machine and their servers. If you're on a Mac, you'll want to follow these instructions.

  • Git on your local machine. It's pretty easy to install. This is for version control.

  • A free theme. There are paid themes too, but that's not the point, is it?

Overall, Ghost is very slick and easy to use. The backend editor is great for composing (unlike Wordpress), and it's a pretty simple CMS to understand at the code level.

Some of the things that Wordpress users take for granted (such as installing plugins or changing themes) require a git push in Ghost. If you're not comfortable with code, it might be worth waiting until Ghost has more web-based features.

I really like this platform and I'm sticking with it. It's a good way to brush up on my javascript knowledge. So mark it down as a successful Saturday experiment. I'm going to play frisbee with the dog and go to bed early.

A Place to Put Things

This blog is a place for me to post things that don't fit anywhere else. I write longer-form articles about my work on January Advisors, and every so often I post a civic-focused blog on Open Houston. I'm not sure what will go here yet, but here's a song: