Adopting Ghost

I've wanted to give my website an overhaul for a long while now. My last website refresh was during college, and it was pretty ugly. My last blog died with Posterous.

Actually, has been a big, fat 404: Not Found message since my generous friend and vps provider replaced his server with shiny new hardware. That was too long ago. I've been lazy.

The time for laziness has ended. I need something at this address (mostly because the URL is on my business card). I also want to force myself back into the habit of writing every day, and getting back to blogging a few times a week should be a great first step.

The Hard Question

Once I'd decided to set up a blog, I had to ask myself the classic web-developer-goes-blogger question:

"Do I roll my own, or use WordPress?"

Now, I really don't like WordPress - it's great software, but it's huge and I don't need the features it offers. I also don't care for the idea of implementing plugins or modifying templates in PHP.

I don't like to adopt a web technology without thoroughly exploring the landscape, and I'm not interested in most of what WP brings to the table, so I just try to avoid it.

Unfortunately, writing my own blog software is something I've done before - and I'm not keen on doing it again. It's pretty mundane work and I just want to get writing.

So... Ghost, then?

There have always been a lot of alternatives to WordPress out there, but none of them ever seemed right. The popular options, like Drupal, are whole content management systems and suffer from the same disadvantages WordPress has for me. Others just seemed obscure or lackluster.

Luckily, there's finally something I'd consider a "WordPress Killer" out there, and it's damn fine.

I heard about Ghost from a friend and colleague, Anthony, a few months back. It wasn't even out yet, but it looked impressive. It's beautiful, has all the essential features a blog needs and none of the bloat and cruft I'm trying to avoid.

Confession: part of me was just excited because John O'Nolan and Hannah Wolfe, of the now defunct ExplicitWeb podcast (I miss your show!), were involved.

I decided to take a closer look today - to see what Ghost had to offer and whether it would suit my needs.

Huge Success

thumb's up

Ghost is just a blogging platform. That's it. It will never be a CMS, and it's way more fun to use than WordPress. It's a little light right now as far as features are concerned (hey, it's pre-1.0), but the roadmap looks ambitious and their proposed feature list has everything on it that I could want.

On top of that, it's written in Node.js, which is rad.

I'm excited to be using Ghost as it grows up, and hope I'll get the opportunity to contribute to the project myself after Pycon in April (Until then, my focus is on digging into the Pyramid web framework).

The team that's building Ghost is revisiting every aspect of blogging software, and they're meeting their goal of revolutionizing the way people blog.

Let's hope this gets me to write more often.


Jeff Szusz

I'm a professional web developer, a novice videography nerd, and I love a good book or games with friends. I'm @jeffszusz on twitter!