Ghost CMS

Ghost CMS

I recently moved my personal blog, personal.nerdoflinux.com, to the Ghost CMS from WordPress. So, here’s what I think about it so far:

Purpose

First of all, the purpose of the Ghost CMS is just for blogging. If you plan on running a business site, you can do it, but it’s not designed for that. You can write posts, make pages, and that’s about it. And that works just fine for the majority of blogs. Also, it’s written in node.js instead of PHP, but it’s themes are written in something else that I forget what it’s called, but it’s easy enough to make edits.

What it lacks

So, it’s still evolving, but it does lack a lot of features that are pretty darn essential on a blog. The biggest three I encountered were: search, comments, and email subscriptions. Many themes have support for Disqus, but then you need to trust someone else with all of your comments, unlike WordPress which hosts it all for you. The solution to this is the isso commenting system, which you self-host, and similar to Disqus, you just paste a bit of javascript in your site and you’re good to go. The next thing was search, there is no search widget, or widgets at all for that matter, so you can use Google Custom Search, or if you want to self-host, you can simply use Ghost Hunter, a project that adds search functionality. It takes less than five minutes to set up, and is definitely worth it. Lastly, email subscriptions. It is being added, and you can currently have an email form to collect emails, but notifications for new posts are NOT yet available. My self-hosting solution for this was mailtrain with its RSS campaign and widget feature. Just set up mailtrain, paste a bit of javascript in a page, and you have email subscriptions working.

What it’s amazing at

Aside from the three features it lacks, it has everything else, without the need for plugins. Want to add Google Analytics? Just use the code injection feature without editing any theme files. Need a sitemap? Ghost does that automatically for you. Love markdown? Ghost has that built-in. Need live previews while you write? Ghost can do that for you. Don’t have MySQL? Ghost supports SQLite.

Conclustion

For 9/10 blogs, Ghost works fine and is 100 times simpler to manage than WordPress. But, if you need more than just a blog, WordPress is still the best. I’m even considering moving this blog over to ghost just because of the editor 🙂

After using Ghost for a few days, I switched my personal blog back to WordPress. You’re supposed to run Ghost on > 1GB of RAM, and as I only have 512MB, my VPS was swapping too much 🙁

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