Moving my blog to Ghost

When I started my coding blog, I used Jekyll. I was just starting out in web development and a Jekyll blog seemed like a simple project that I could work on and learn about CSS and templating. The free deployment on Github is also an incredible feature.

I still have a soft spot for Jekyll, and I can imagine using it in the future for creating simple static-page websites. I do wish that the default Jekyll experience was a little nicer and that the templating engine was Handlebars.js instead of Liquid, but it's generally well-suited for simple sites.

It's not you, it's me.

It's nothing inherently wrong with Jekyll, but what I'm looking for in a blogging engine has changed. I'm less interested in something to tinker on, as I'm starting to have enough other projects in my life.

Why Ghost?

Ghost is a new blogging platform created by the former Deputy Head of the WordPress UI Group. The focus is on simple blogging, rather than being an all-encompansing CMS, as WordPress has become.

As it is still brand new, setting it up requires a little more work than a WordPress installation (it runs on Node.js), but it's far from impossible and should become easier as more hosts follow Digital Ocean's lead and offer one-click installs. Additionally, Ghost will offer a paid hosting service in the future (though the project will remain open-source).

The product

The thing that is difficult to express is how nice Ghost feels when you're using it. Every element looks beautiful and the entire system can be understood in under a minute. I love writing in markdown on the left and seeing a realtime preview on the right. The typography is excellent and the whole thing just feels modern.

No php!

Perhaps this shouldn't matter for a set-it-and-forget-it blog engine, but I get a warm feeling knowing that there is no php in my life. JavaScript FTW!

If you are interested in giving it a try, I highly recommend Digital Ocean. They have a one-click install (with a little bit of an ssh follow-up to modify config files). If you're looking to have a little more control over your install, I recommend checking out this article by: Ryan Schmuckler on How to Configure Ghost.