Update: I’m no longer using Ghost. You can follow the journey here.
The very first post of this blog started with how I ended up building a static blog using Jekyll. While I enjoyed learning new tools and customizing my blog, it was also a lot of work. There were days when I wanted to publish a new post, but instead spent the entire time just updating Jekyll and the Heroku dynos.
I have since added easy to maintain as one of the goals for the next version of the Blog.
- Reduce friction for writing new posts
- Experiment with new web development frameworks
- Easy to maintain and upgrade
I decide to try out Ghost, a modern platform for writing and publishing blogs.
All of my posts were already written in Markdown and Ghost natively supports Markdown, so moving my posts was quick and easy (not to mention I only had 3 posts).
The default theme is nice and clean, with the option to customize it however you like. There’s also a marketplace for themes, some are available for free and some paid. I started with one of the free ones and modified it to get it just right for me.
The native app lets you write, preview and publish directly from your MacBook. It also allows you to speficy the appropriate metadata for the site and individual posts to help with SEO.
I primarily worked on blog using the native app. This was definitely the most frictionless experience yet. The app included scheduling features so new posts could be published at a later time automatically.
Ghost platform is open-source, but I opted to use their managed hosting service rather than go through the hassle of running it on Heroku like I did with the Jekyll version.
The Ghost platform has a lot of integrations with other services like analytics, subscriptions, etc. I haven’t tried them yet, but it’s nice to know I have that option with a simple click of a button and with minimal setup required.
At the time of writing, the cheapest plan is $19/month billed annually or $29/month billed monthly. This is pretty expensive for a personal blog with no intention of monetizing. However, if this gets me writing more, it may be worth it.
Narrator: "It did not"