I love WordPress, and 80% of my blogs still run on the legend. But sometimes it's just too heavy, which was the case with my personal blog. Simply managing all the writing, SEO and performance optimizations is too much of a hassle to deal with on a weekly basis just to keep my simple corner of the web healthy.
Well. The day has officially come. It wasn't too many posts ago that I wrote about why I love WordPress and how, it would always be my go-to blogging platform! Today that changes.
Was I worried about diving into a relatively new platform that doesn't quite yet have the tremendous popularity or support that WordPress does? Yes and yes.
It's not like I've just used WordPress just for writing in the past years. I've pushed it, with custom post types, stores, handling downloads and a whole range of plugins that used to keep my site and all it's cool nitty-gritty features running.
Giving all that up was a tough choice to make, both technically and in terms of my freedom to create. But the fundamental purpose of a blog is the content, and as of lately WordPress has become a general content management systems that requires almost a team of people to manage and operate properly. I could say I used to spend an equal amount of time editing and optimizing WordPress as much as I have been writing on there.
I want to write. Forget the rest.
WordPress runs on PHP, whereas Ghost runs on Node.js (released 2009) which is very new compared to PHP which came out in the mid-1990's. So setting up shop on your own hosting does mean very few one-click installs, less support and compatibility from hosting providers. Expect some troubleshooting both with getting Node.js up and running, and then Ghost.
But do note that if you're just starting up, you could go with the self-hosted service provided at Ghost.org. Ghost without the hassle of setting up.
I can't tell you how easy or hard it's going to be to migrate over to Ghost. It differs with every hosting provider, for example DigitalOcean has a one-click install which takes less than a minute to install, whereas it's a very different process setting it up on a Dreamhost VPS. Just remember to take a complete backup of your current site before anything.
There're plenty of tutorials to help you figure out how to make the switch, it took me in total about four hours to figure out and put everything together to get this new site live. Exporting over all my posts look less than 15 minutes, including moving all the media files over to Ghost. So I'd say it wasn't too much of a hassle given the lifetime of minimal writing I get to enjoy afterwards!
So far, Ghost is already doing what it should – making me write. It's looking good, but I won't be giving any final judgment yet. But hey! If you want to hear about my in-depth review down the line, simply subscribe.