So, for my first post, I have decided to write about why I chose the Ghost platform for this blog.
A little background first. I have tried to start a few blogs in the past but have never been able to keep up with writing posts for any of them(hopefully this time it will be different!). All my previous blogs have been on wordpress and to be completely honest I was very happy with all of them.
Fastforward to today, I needed a nice convenient platform for this blog that did not overcomplicate things. My basic requirements were:
I wanted it to be completely open source so that I could run this on one of many available VPS's that I had bought in the past and don't really use.
I wanted good markdown support so that I could keep my blog posts as readme's for the github repositories of various projects.
Modern Programming Language
As a developer, I knew I would be getting down and dirty with the code and I did not want to deal with an ancient and annoying programming language(Ahem, PHP).
I actually did not want comprehensive CMS system, just a simple blogging platform!
Wordpress fulfilled the first 2 requirements(though I have never actually used the markdown support before!), but miserably failed the last 2. Even though my familiarity with the platform did add some weight to my decision, I could not ignore the fact that I will have to be coding in PHP for any customization, and that immediately got it thrown out of the window!
For a hacker like me, there is only one way forward after this step. Set them up!
I have alot more experience with Ruby on Rails, so I decided to start with Publify, and so the set up began. My environment is already pretty solid for RoR development so I was actually up and running in just a few seconds. And just as soon as I loaded it up in my browser, the disliking began. I noticed how it did not really have ANY finesse, my first impression was that I can probably cook up something similiar myself in less than a day! Though, once I started getting into it, I saw some complexities and realized that it would be a really good starting point IF I wanted to create my own blogging platform. Another BIG dealbreaker was that the themes available(both paid and free) were VERY LIMITED. And this scared me a little bit. Now, I know that you must be thinking "But you're a developer! Why do you need themes!". The answer is pretty simple, I am not the best aesthetic designer, and I find the whole process painfully time consuming and not worth the hassle. I usually look for good looking themes and then start customizing like crazy.
So the final opinion of Publify was that even though it would be a great starting point for building an all new custom blogging platform, it was not really what I was looking for and that it would be more of a last resort!
Then, I setup Ghost. I needed a little bit of magic from NVM to get started but once that was done, it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. I immediately fell in love with the simplicity, it was nice and clean. It did not have alot of the niceties of Wordpress(or even Publify) like Plugins etc, but I liked it and thought that it would be pretty perfect for my current use case. Then, I googled for some themes and was amazed by the number of results. I was not expecting a platform that hasn't even reached 1.0 to have such a large community!! That was the icing on the cake, so I figured, why the hell not!
And that brings us to now!! A blog that took me all of 10 minutes to set up(not including the 2 hours it took me to find a nice and simple theme). And so far(a few hours in!), I'm pretty happy with it!