New Year New Blog

Trying something new is important. Last year I learned two new programming languages: Python and PHP. This year the first thing I’m going the check out wont be a new programming language but a new blogging platform.

Since this year my blog runs on the ghost platform. I’ve already tried ghost a while ago and I was impressed. However at this time my blog ran on Wordpress and I didn’t want to switch, partly because at this time ghost was still in a very early phase.

In the beginning of 2016 my Wordpress hosting contract ran out and I decided to try something new, just for the sake of it. Since I always like the simplicity of Ghost it was obvious to give it a try.

Some of the reasons why I switched were that Wordpress becomes more and more difficult to manage, I experienced it as slow and a bit too much for my needs.

Because Wordpress is way more that just a blogging platform it felt a bit too complex for your “just” a blog. Also the admin site was really slow compared to ghost. I didn’t look for any benchmarks but the fact that Wordpress is a PHP app and Ghost is a single page Javascript app should be reason enough to make Ghost faster than Wordpress.

I also really like the split editor of Ghost. You can write your post using Markdown for formatting and you immediately see how it will look like. This makes writing really easy and your mouse becomes almost completely unnecessary while your write. As a developer, who always tries to make the mouse as unnecessary as possible (since it takes a lot of time to use it), this is a huge plus point.

Of course, Wordpress isn’t that bad and Ghost the ultimate tool for solving all blogging problems. There are some things that ghost doesn’t ship with. For example you have to setup an email service you want to use in your app; I used mailgun for that. You also have to setup a commenting system for your blog. As you can see below I use disqus.

If you are a developer both these things are a no brainer and there are good tutorials for both these tasks. However if you are a blogger without a technical background these tasks can be hard and will probably hinder you to use Ghost.

Another thing that I’m still missing is a dashboard for my blog. I have to gather all the data from different places, such as my commenting system, Google Analytics, etc. Although you maybe don’t need a dashboard for a blog it is still good to have all necessary information on one page.

As said before Wordpress is definitely not dead and I also don’t think Ghost will replace Wordpress. The redesigned wordpress.com site is definitely a step in the right direction. It became a lot faster since it is now a single page Javascript app, too. Additionally you can also manage multiple sites at once (which was possible before the redesign, too) which can be very helpful if you have to manage multiple Wordpress instances.

However there are still some things that aren’t perfect such as the automatic reformat of your text if you switch from the HTML view to the text view; this can be really frustrating, especially if you have code listings on your site.

For now I will enjoy the simplicity of Ghost.