November 28, 2015 · ghost

why I chose ghost as a blogging platform

I used to run several blogs over the last fifteen years. Most of them just on an occasional basis and about all sorts of different topics like cars, travel, gaming and of course coding.

Like most bloggers, I tried many different platforms from handwritten static pages, over hosted platforms like tumblr and posterous to fully-fledged CMS applications and frameworks like drupal, django of course the almighty WordPress, which remains my favorite platform, if you want to crank out something quick yet customizable.

You can see, I am not a friend of hosting with a third-party. I prefer running my own servers.
One for obvious technical reasons, since I am an IT guy. My customers want tailored solutions and I have to provide.

But a much more important reason is privacy - for my own and my customers sake.
I can't stand the thought of a company using my data for whatever they want. What if their database gets compromised? What if they shutdown?

Of course my own services are prone to the same fate, but at least it would be my own fault. Regardless, it is the only way to keep the usage of data transparent.

But why ghost?
So much for a short introduction. But why did I pick ghost for my new endeavor?

I had a few constraints:

I had a look at static file generators like Jekyll and pelican first. They follow a great concept, promise fast site delivery and have a cool way of generating content via markdown files, which appeals the hacker in me and is just great.

But I had the feeling they required too much work upfront till you were up and running. Also they left me with a feeling, it would be hard to just pick up any device and publish something, as publishing required a git push or ssh/ftp access. Something that is not always available, believe it or not.

Well, so no cool hacker's diary for me. So what am I left with? Lame WordPress clones, that just pretend to be same thing, lacking your favorite features? No thanks, I'd rather write static html instead, like our fathers did.

But then I looked closer at ghost. Node.js backend? Yes please. Lightweight sqlite database? Not quite a nosql approach, but one shouldn't go full hipster anyway. Slick and lightweight UI and writing posts in markdown? Let your wannabe-hacker flag fly free.

Combine those features with a strong community and a surprisingly large plugin repository and you have the next big thing.

After the installation I was surprised how mature ghost for its age. It reminds me a lot of the early days of WordPress but has learned from its mistakes.

So I am excited to use ghost and learn more about it.

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