Why I chose Ghost as my new blog engine

When I decided to go on the road with a new blog I had couple of options on the table.
My requirements were: Simplicity and flexibility.

Pretty quickly I found myself fascinated with Ghost.
Their stated goal is to create a simple blogging platform for, you know, blogs, without the kitchen sink.

After using Ghost for a while now, I assure you, they deliver on this promise.

Setup & Upgrade

Pretty simple setup & upgrade instructions for all platforms (check it out here).
I set it up at first on my windows machine for experiments and later on a linux server where you all can see it.

The admin system is great and helpful by hinting you what you are missing in the configuration and how to fix it. I love explanatory platform which doesn't send you to a mile long documentation to solve configuration issues.

UI

Very neat and clean UI (which improves on every version), which allows you, dear reader, to focus on what I'm writing.
I also went deeper and investigated the generated HTML and its so simple to read and understand it.

I'm using the default Casper theme, but there are many themes in the marketplace and you can also create a theme of your own pretty easily.

The Editor

The markdown based editor is the crown jewel of Ghost.
Simple. Elegant, and way WAY better then WYSIWYG editors, by making you think about the structure of a page that is targeted for web experience. And, as I said before, it generates a clean and understandable HTML which complies with the industry standards.

Its also very flexible by allowing you to write HTML if you need it. This is very helpful when you need to embed resources from other sites, like YouTube videos or Vine which are not supported in the markdown.
Its very different from other engines, which makes you to use plugins or edit the HTML source of your post.

You can read a thorough review on the editor here.

Mobile

Ghost looks great on mobile devices. An even cleaner and smoother UI pops up when you look at the site via your favorite smartphone.

What surprised me was the editor is also designed for mobile use which is amazing. It's easy to edit and preview your content at least as much as in a desktop browser. This encourages you to write even more in very weird places then you usually do...

Open Source

Since Ghost is open source, you can understand the inner workings of the system and even add stuff of your own (I initially fixed some stuff I wanted, but before I had a chance to do a pull request, the Ghost team already fixed these).

The codebase by itself is well built, and you can understand it pretty easily.

Ghost is a live project with many forks and a large community working on it (besides the Ghost foundation), and you can see it in the progress the team is doing.

Conclusion

This was a very high level review of the reasons which encouraged me to chose Ghost as my new blog engine.

Next I'll go into the details of the architecture I chose for the blog as well as how I exported all the content from my previous blog.

Yossi Shmueli

Technologist, enjoy solving technical challenges for real world applications. Keeping it Green since 1995

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