Mental Pivot

Notes and observations from a lifelong pursuit of learning.

Tired of WordPress, Time to Try Ghost

I've used WordPress off and on for more than a decade. Recently I've been using WordPress in combination with the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. While I can't deny that WordPress is the 800-pound gorilla in the content management space and Divi is a very capable WYSIWIG page-builder, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink aspect of these two tools started grinding my gears.

I longed for something simpler. Is it too much to ask for a bare-bones CMS so I could write a few articles now and then?

Static site generators like Jekyll and Hugo seemed like great options, I wasn't all that interested in fiddling with backend code. I wanted a blog-centric engine with simple, text-centric themes that would give me a minimalistic text-editor and get out of my way.

Ghost seemed like the perfect middle-ground between the WordPress and Jekyll/Hugo.

The only issue was hosting and ease of managing the site. I'm none too keen on self-hosting (which I do for my other sites). Plug and play please. seemed promising but the monthly pricing for a small, hobby site seemed prohibitive.

Thankfully, DigitalOcean offers an inexpensive hosting solution with no long-term commitment. Sweet, sign me up. Installation was easy and the site's help documentation was clear and easy to follow. This was in contrast to a competitor's site that I also auditioned. There I found what I'm more used to in this space: incomprehensible instructions and a dearth of guidance.

My only concern with the Ghost installation now is keeping the software up-to-date. Fortunately, I've run multiple updates since installing Ghost on DigitalOcean and the process has been a breeze. I will cover this in my next post.