Ghost

Will the blogging platform “Ghost” be successful?

Ghost” is the newest player in the field where blogging platforms compete. It’s creator John O’Nolan’s blog post explains why he saw the need for a new platform. Basically, he created Ghost because his ex-favorite blogging platform WordPress is no longer just a blogging platform. He still loves WordPress as a platform on which advanced websites can be created, including blogs, but for someone who want something for “just blogging” he thinks WordPress is too much; So he created “Ghost”.

I tried Ghost

The self hosted edition of Ghost has been out for quite a while, but I received an invitation to try out the hosted edition yesterday.

Invitation to try out

Invitation to try out

I clicked on the get started link and it took me to the login page.

Ghost Login Page

Once you’re logged in you can start a blog hosted in Ghost’s servers, or download a copy of Ghost to install on your own server.

Ghost Home Page

I wanted to try Ghost on their server, so I clicked “Start a New Ghost Blog” button, and I was given the choice to select a plan.

Ghost Select Plan Page

There was an option to try Ghost for free for 30 days; I choose that. And I got your typical screen to set a blog name and (sub) domain.

Creating a Ghost Blog

Once that is done, a page with the list of blogs I have created on Ghost, is presented.

Ghost Blogs List

This is how a Ghost blog looks like just after it’s created.

Front end of a Ghost blog

Following is the page where you can see all the posts you have written in your Ghost blog.

Ghost Posts List

You have a menu to access account settings in the top right.

Ghost Account Settings

When you click the “Settings” button, you’ll get a screen where you can change settings of the blog.

Ghost Blog Settings

You can change your profile too.

Ghost Change Profile

Ghost Change Profile

You can change or view details of posts by clicking on the gear icon at the top right corner of posts.

Ghost Post Details

When you click on the “New Post” button, you get an empty screen like the following. You write on the left side while you can view a live preview on the right.

Ghost Post Details

This is how you write posts in Ghost.

Ghost Post Details

You can set vanity URLs for the posts.

Ghost Post Details

There are no categories, but you can tag posts.

Tags in Ghost

You can save drafts and publish them when they’re ready.

Tags in Ghost

This is the homepage with a recently published post.

Tags in Ghost

And this is the single post page.

Tags in Ghost

I like Ghost

Just like Medium, Ghost is so minimalistic, and I like that. It is very writer friendly and inviting to write. It indeed is distraction free. If you are familiar with markdown, you can easily format your writings in Ghost; you can use the universal keyboard shortcuts like “Ctrl+B”, “Ctrl+I” as well. Just like John O’Nolan wanted it to be, it is just a blogging platform; no more – no less.

But…

Will it succeed? Ghost have all the functionality to be the one thing it intends to be – just a really simple blogging platform. But will it be able to reach writers without technical knowledge or financial back up?

First of all, there are no any free plans for their hosted platform. When WordPress.com and Blogger are offering free hosted blogging platforms, why would someone choose Ghost paying 5USD per month for the cheapest plan? For the simplicity of Ghost you say? If you don’t make it complicated with plugins and more, WordPress is simple enough out of the box. Of course you can’t install plugins in the hosted edition of WordPress, either.

The self hosted edition is free. But you won’t be able to run it on your typical Apache, PHP shared hosting account. You’ll have to buy a VPS (Virtual Private Server) and install Node.js to be able to install Ghost.

Neither is the cheapest way for someone who is looking to start a blog on a low budget. The latter requires some proficiency in technology to handle a VPS; someone who is comfortable with that will be very very very comfortable with using WordPress and won’t find it as complex as Ghost people say, and they’ll even appreciate the extendability of WordPress.

What do you think? Will Ghost be successful?

12 comments

  1. For me it is a bkit hard to tell, I don’t really understand too much about this, to give a meanigful statement. But it sure sounds interesting to me. There is jusgt too much I still need to learn :-)

  2. Pingback: Will the blogging platform "Ghost" be...

  3. L. D. Nordstrom

    There’s certainly no need to purchase a full VPS to get a Node.js app running—it’s a popular web app engine with simple and affordable platforms to host on (some even have free plans, especially if you keep your stuff open source). Comparable to Heroku for Ruby apps, for example (as in, you don’t need to set up a VPS to run Rails). I hope no one disregarded the idea of running Ghost or Node.js because of this.

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