How To Setup A Ghost Blog

Ghost is a blogging platform written entirely in JavaScript. That alone is enough to pique my interest (and, I suspect, yours too :) ).

When I actually started to use it, I found I liked it a whole lot better than WordPress.

The UI is minimal and clean. It regularly auto-saves as you write. Formatting is done with markdown instead of HTML (though you can write HTML in your posts if you want or need to).

And the feature I like most so far, the editor has live preview. You write your post in an editor on the left side of the page, and see what your post will look like on the right. I can't tell you how much faster I write because of that immediate feedback.

ghost.org offers a 14-day free trial, but after that you have to pay 19 bucks a month to keep blogging. I don't know about you but I don't have that kind of money to throw around.

It takes a little more work but there is another option. Host your Ghost bloc on digital ocean for $5 a month. Digital Ocean is a great hosting service. I can't recommend it enough.

Here's how to get up and running. If you haven't already, go to digitalocean.com and create an account. Then go to cloud.digitalocean.com/droplets and click on "Create Droplet".

Right below the words "Choose an image" you'll see two tabs. Click on the "One-click Apps" tab.

Among the many choices you're given, you should see a selection for a Ghost blog. Click that sucker.

For "Choose a size", the $5 monthly plan is just fine to start out with.

Go all the way to the bottom, change your host name to something you'll remember, then click the big green "create" button.

At cloud.digitalocean.com/droplets you should now see your blog's droplet. If you click on your droplet's name you should see it's ip-address.

You can copy and paste that address into your browser window and see your fancy new blog. If you add /ghost to the end of the address you'll be guided through setting up your blog, it's super easy.

Of course you'll want a domain to go with your shiny new blog. I highly recommend going with hover.

Once you've purchased a domain, you can configure it at hover.com/domains. Click on the domain name and change the name servers to ns1.digitalocean.com, ns2.digitalocean.com, and ns2.digitalocean.com.

Next go to cloud.digitalocean.com/networking and click on the "Domains" link on the left. In the "Add A Domain" section, put in your domain name and the ip address of your droplet and click on "Create Record". Finally, click on "Add new A record".

You should be all set at this point, though it will probably take a few minutes before you can go to your blog using your domain.

Once that's done, you can get to blogging at yourdomain.com/ghost. If you run into any problems or need more information I recommend looking at digital ocean's own docs, particularly How To Use the DigitalOcean Ghost Application and How To Set Up a Host Name with DigitalOcean.

Have fun!

--Edit!

I neglected to mention how to setup your home link. I've addressed that in a new post, How To Setup Your Home Link In Ghost.

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