During the course of last 4 years I've tried many blogging platforms. Which includes blogger, wordpress, jekyll, octopress, ghost and few others. And In this post I'm going to summarize my experiances with Wordpress, Octopress and Ghost.
Highly customisable and lots of plugins. You think about something and you'll find a plugin for doing almost anything. But personally I also find this to be its downside. I end up screwing many of my blogs and it's not secure and updating every major release of wordpress and its plugins is a big headache. And these updates are frequent updates. Security is also an issue. And hosting it on WordPress.com is bit costly. And what it offers as default is ugly and bloated. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is using wordpress. WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. Which says that it's well tested.
I find wordpress content editor boring and cluttered. I am not a fan of wysiwyg editors or rich text editors, I prefer markdown. But there may be some plugin to change that in wordpress via plugins. And I'm not a fan of wordpress plugins and their frequent updates as stated earlier.
It looks simple and easy. And one click installers of many hosting providers makes it look even simpler but it's not actually. Design is not about adding more but about removing what's not required. And in no way wordpress is simple. To be honest wordpress is no longer a simple blogging platform, it's a full-fledged CMS(content management system) with lots of extra with stuff you may actually not need but may be useful in future. If blogging is all you need, you should skip wordpress.
It was my favorite method for few months and then I moved my data. And moving data wasn't easy as it's all static files. It was good considering I can write content in my favourite code editor atom/sublime and push it to github. Github pages hosts it for free. But then I wanted to customise certain aspects of my blog and I had to code parts of it in ruby and still the output was not something pleasing. It's a pretty simple method of blogging: write something and push code to github without opening web browser. And it's secure since there is only html files on server and it's fast, it's just static files. But it lacks ease of use and not suitable for everyone and you need to be familier with terminal, git and github.
You may also look for other static site generators like Hugo Etc.
Ghost is peace of mind. It's beautiful. It's breathtakingly simple, clean and what it offers as default is all I needed for my personal blog. Admin panel is even more beautiful. You have to understand a bit of markdown though, I already knew markdown since I used octopress earlier. So I picked up ghost as a platform. Markdown is clean and simple and not hard to learn.
Ghost is future web. Ghost roadmap. Ghost runs on node.js and community is good as well. Ghost by default offers schema.org using application/ld+json. So it's good at SEO. And most themes which I've seen are beautiful. Ghost themes. Overall Ghost is minimalistic, simple and fast. And also the fact that not everybody is using ghost makes it even more better and appealing. Just open the source code of this post and it's beautiful. I haven't tested it on very high traffic though. But considering it's node.js and node is known to handle large traffic and simultaneous users, I don't think there'll be any issue. I haven't encountered any issue with ghost so far and I'm not expecting any in future as well.
So Since, I chose ghost, and if you like my blog and if you want this sort of blog and you too choose ghost, then lets host it somewhere.
Hosting Ghost: Recommended method.
Ghost hosting is not cheap, It's way too costly. If you have blog, you obviously want to have readers and few hundred thousand visitors a month is not much, which ghost offers when you pay this much money.
Here's a pricing table for ghost at the time of writing this post.
Update: Here's updated Pricing Table of Ghost (May 12, 2020)
So I recommend that you host it yourself. And It's no big deal. I run it on digital ocean droplet. Which costs me 5$ a month. And for a personal blog that's great.
Following tutorial will guide you to setup a ghost blog.
How To Use the DigitalOcean Ghost Application
Please use following referral code for signing up at digital ocean and it'll give you 10$ as credit. This is what digital ocean says about referral system.
So, It's a win win situation for both you and me.
Use below link to sign up at digital ocean.
Sign up at digital ocean
I didn't cover much details about these platforms and I can write a lot too much about these but it'll be bloated with lot many details. And I prefer simple advice or summary. This post is a summary based on what I prefer. And It's based on my personal experience.
And thanks to Ben A. Wise for asking this question and this made me write this post here on my blog so that it'll be helpful to others as well.
I hope you liked this post. Thanks for reading. :)