First Look at Ghost - A blogger review

It is been one week now, since I have moved my blog from Wordpress to Ghost.

Not being dramatic, but I haven't blogged since 4-5 months now, mostly due to work and family priorities. So we take this journey forward by talking about this 'New kid on the block'.

Ghost blogging platform review

  • What was wrong, till now?
  • Why Ghost?
  • I wish...

Wordpress has grown from a simple blogging CMS to full blown website CMS all this years. So wordpress is..

Web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog

I don't mean to curse wordpress for this progress, infact it makes me happy to know that wordpress is been backbone and first choice for most of the people who want to get a corner on the web. It is free, damn simple to use (my Granny can designed one) and seemlessly extensible.

So the question is what's wrong here, why the need to ride along with Ghost.

I can summarize my reasons as:

  • Kitchen-sink feeling.
  • It is a website making CMS and not a blogging platform.
  • Editor sucks (big time).
  • Everything can be achieved via extensions / plugins. Not cool man !!
  • Not so straight and easy site content backup process.

I would go crazy and keep slapping a dead cow if I am asked to keypress a single stroke in that lousy editer.

An post writing pops in my mind as a kick-ass thought, grows creatively as I start clicking for "new post" and ends up in crazy, not so funny endless head banging content aligning and formatting.

On the other hand, Ghost is not made of unicorns but it is fresh and satisfactory.

Just a blogging platform

John O'Nolan and the foundation team promises to keep Ghost a blogging platform and not try to breed website maker unicorns from ghost. It started as a kickstarter project.

Support of people who backed up this idea show what people expect from a blogging platform.

I remember my first glance at Ghost around version 0.2 and I was impressed by the experience in first 10 minutes of fiddling. The feeling of "yes, this is what I want" came to me so strong, but not being hasty I decided to wait for few releases before I can put all my faith into it.

Things that haunts me, in good way for Ghost:

  • Open source and will remain so (from what I read).
  • The web requires a platform that is to and for blogging. I am not alone.
  • Persuasive learning curve to extend things in Ghost (not much options yet but good start) - with handlebars.js
  • Build using all new stuffs node.js, handlebars.js, markdown and more.
  • I can dare to create a theme if I know how to throw some HTML, CSS and some Javascript if beer on the side. It worked for me. Lots of cool themes by ghost lovers you won't regret.
  • Post editor. "Shut-up and take my money" feeling.
  • No more mousy situations, editor shortcuts in Ghost. Write without those click-clicks.
  • Road-map is promising, (hey, ghost people - please don't screw it).
  • Good forum to discuss your problems, report bugs, ask stupid questions and figure things out.

Quite a list, but I say this is just the beginning (or hope so). Still long way to go.

Initially there were only few early adapters - hosting providers for ghost but now there are enough options to choose from - for hosting Ghost blog.

People who started their writing from Ghost will be happy enough, but for those who has lived with Wordpress and other platforms will expect more.

I wish to see:

  • Sitemaps (no kidding, no hello world, extensive and easily manageable sitemaps. From post and especially tags).
  • Handlebars for menus (but not so important till I am using my own theme, I can hack around for this).
  • Handlebars for {{pages}} like the one they have for {{posts}}.
  • Archive page, I miss the most right now.
  • Some handlebar for search through keywords, tags and what not.
  • Editor preview with currently selected theme formatted (looking forward to see it soon).
  • Extend the {blog}/ghost/debug content backup option for scheduled backups (on the same machine for starters).
  • Integration for analytics (strongly recommend) and adsense (good if feasible / possible).
  • Biggest problem I felt with wordpress is attack and attempts made accessing {blog}/wp-admin by random people from china. Please save Ghost from this by providing a flip - Enable / Disable sign-up page. I completely appreciate the idea of using Disqus for comments.

Bye bye Wordpress and hello Ghost !!