There are many blogging platforms out there. For the folks who are still trying to figure out which one to use, I recommend trying Ghost. Creating a beautiful blog that can be scaled based on requirement is a dream for bloggers. It took me less than an hour to configure and deploy this blog using Ghost on a $5 Digital Ocean droplet (Yes, it costs $5 per month). It comes with all the required security, SEO optimization and because of the node.js server, it is really fast.

Why Ghost?

If you notice the popular trend, you will see a lot of content websites that are being built on top of CMS frameworks such as WordPress, Drupal, etc. They are only going to grow in the future (PHP is not dead folks!). But my motivation for suggesting and using ghost is because it is not exactly a CMS solution. Ghost is a publishing platform, and it is very good at it. The content editor it comes with is straightforward to work with and is very fluid. External integrations are also reasonably easy to figure out and are completely seamless.

It is easy to develop your theme for your Ghost blog if you follow their guide. The best part is you can integrate it easily with Gatsby.js (react.js fans) or Gridsome (vue.js fans). Using ghost as a headless CMS. Ghost also comes with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) inbuilt and the integration is just a matter of configuration.

Why Digital Ocean?

Digital ocean is a fantastic cloud hosting platform. It is cheap, easy to use and is an excellent alternative to the bigger and more expensive cloud hosting services such as aws, azure. The cheapest droplet comes with 1 GB ram, 1 vCPU and 25 GB of SSD storage which costs $5/month. It comes with a one-click Ghost deployment and a console, through which you can manage your deployment. If you opt for backups, they charge $1/month for weekly backups, and they give you a $100 free credit once you register your payment method.

Deployment Process

The one-click deployment is very seamless. The only issue I had was with the ghost setup where the MySQL user wasn't created automatically for some reason. All I had to do was create a new user on MySQL and add the details to ghost and voila! It worked like a charm.

Themes and customization

There are a lot of paid themes, for ghost and a very few free ones, unlike WordPress. But if you are like me you would develop your theme anyway (I'll post a guide soon). But for others, there are very well prepared themes available in the ghost marketplace you could always choose one.

Conclusion

Ghost is not the perfect solution for everyone. It is a publishing platform for a specific set of users that are looking for a fast and reliable solution for blogging/ publishing content. If you are looking for a solid content management solution that can be customized to suit other purposes like an e-commerce website or something, I'd still recommend sticking to WordPress or Drupal.