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A brilliant haunt

In the spirit of Hallowe’en, I need to talk to you about this thing called Ghost. Not the kind that lives in your wardrobe, mind you, but rather this new blogging platform that’s powered by JavaScript.

Last summer I was piecing together a new portfolio in Wordpress, which oversaw two painful months of PHP. I managed to build it all with Ghost in a weekend. Granted that it literally took a whole weekend but it probably equates to a couple of months in after-work and spare time. Everything about Wordpress was sluggish and progress with Ghost was so fast.

I recommend Ghost to anybody looking to start a blog or build a simple portfolio. It’s frighteningly simple and doesn’t come with the hyper bloat found in other solutions. Better still— it’s fast. And I mean fast. It uses Node.js client and server side and those applications are renowned for performance. Quite a few developers swoon for Ghost too, when usually they groan at the hint of PHP. That must count for something.

Some designers might find the initial setup daunting but stick with it and you’ll find that theming with Handlebars is worth the learning curve. It’s named after those surrounding curly brackets which look like friendly, right-angled moustaches. Example: you want to pull in the post title? Add {{title}}! Free themes don’t cut it because you always end up hacking the crap out of them anyway.

One minor gripe is the lack of an adequate CMS for new users unfamiliar with markdown. I don’t think I could convince my other half to migrate from Wordpress without a visual editor that comes with the kitchen sink. That said, Ghost is still in the beta stage and I trust the community to come up with a beautiful solution.

If you run into any problems, message me on Twitter or head over to their Slack channel for support. They’re incredibly friendly, perhaps too friendly, but don’t let that put you off.