Caution: This is not another wordpress tutorial, and if you are here for that, I apologize for not making this article sooner, but you need this article even more.
Gone are the days when wordpress used to rule over the blogging space with competitors such as squarespace, medium..etc now. Wordpress is down right slow, expensive, hard to host and difficult to configure. By now, I guess you figured out, how much I hate wordpress and why you should too!!
BUT!! The other platforms are either very expensive, unmonetisable( you earn a very small comission for the quality content that you pump out) or content is not owned by you and all of these problems are quite serious. So, I set out to find the best platform which has:
- All the bells and whistles like newsletter, payments, analytics pre-configured like a professional platform
- Ease of setup or atleast one time setup
- Ownership of content is in your hands
- Clear documentation on how to use and finally,
After several days of seaching, and another several days of tinkering.....Ladies and Gentlemen!! I present to you GHOST
Lol I didn't mean literally nor did I metaphorically say you can't get all the above, let me explain
What is Ghost?
Ghost is an open source blogging platform that satisfies all the requirements I mentioned above except maybe the setup which is also easy if you know a little about Software Dev. Fret not if you don't, as I have linked an video that will take you step by step through the whole thing.
Note: If you do not have a digital ocean account, using this referral link can get you a whopping 100$ free credit. Thank me once you get your blog online!!
Even this article you are reading is hosted on Digital Ocean with Ghost and I am loving all the powerful features it gives, provided I have done my own customization abit, but even vanilla ghost has a lot of powerful features.
There are two ways in which you can host Ghost:
- Through their official platform in which the starter plan would cost 9$ per month. Pros being you are updated on the latest ghost automatically, help desk available and a few others that you can read here. But if you want to customize it more, you will have to choose the 25$ pack which would cost 25*12 + 10(domain Name Cost) = 310$ per year
- Hosting your own version of Ghost in digital ocean(a hosting service), which would cost approximately 5$ a month so for a year, your expenses would come around 5*12 + 10(domain Name Cost) = 70$ per year
Keep in mind both the methods do not include the cost of buying a domain name which would be a one time payment for a year.
In my opinion,
If you are a software engineer or any such profession and you have experience dealing with code, I recommend going down the second lane as nothing would seem new and mysterious, and thats exactly what I did. This will enable you to have more customization, and the ability to change anything you want.
But if you are not in a profession that deals with code but have time, I would recommend again going down the second lane as this way, you can explore something new, and have the thrill of figuring out and hosting your own blog which gives you both new skills and confidence.
Only if you are not in profession that deals with code and do not have time, I would recommend going down the first option as if you want to customize it you gotta choose the 25$ pack which would cost 25*12 = 300$/year + domain Name Cost.
There is another option where you go down the second option and hire a seasoned ghoster to help you deploy it which would drastically reduce the long term costs.
5*12 + 10(domain Name Cost) + 40$(Ghost developer One time cost) = 110$ for the first year and then on 70$ per year.
So for two years, it would be:
620$(320+320) - 200$(110+70+20(Maintenence)) = 420$ of savings
1.Digital Ocean Account( Referral link for 100$ credit )
2.A cup of coffee
and you are all set!!
First, login into your Digital Ocean Dashboard
Now, choose Create in green on the top navbar and choose droplets
and choose droplet. From this point on follow the below video from the 3:00 minute of the video and follow along
If you would like to customize like how I did mine, just drop me a email(firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can set you up for the small price of 40$.
If this article helped you, do consider subscribing but no matter which method you take up, host your blog and follow your dreams wherever they might take you.