Really nice and cozy here. Everything seems so well organized. I’m not used to forums like that anymore.
A general question to all: Which publishing platform did you use before you switched to Ghost? And, if you had to give only one reason that made you switch, what would it be?
WordPress. I switched for many reasons. But mainly because I wanted and something fast and reliable.
#1: the bloat they add to the core
#2: overall non secure
#4: gutenberg instead of just text and images
#5: no free or otherwise good option for charging money for content
I’d say simplicity, both to write in and administer. The deployment scripts are done right, and the UI is clearly designed first for content.
I still use Hugo (previously Jekyll, et.al) for my 15+ year personal blog, but I’ve hosted all the usual suspects for other people before going to Ghost. I still have a soft spot for TextPattern too, but Ghost is the default dynamic blog platform for me now unless I have a compelling reason otherwise.
If I may be so cheeky as to flip it back to you @sherold, what features are you looking for? Are you considering giving Ghost a spin, or looking to move from another platform?
Performance, because fast software is the best software.
(and also because some functionality I need is built into Ghost - no need for expensive premium plugins)
Coming from a static website made with Gatsby + Contentful.
It was ok (and really fast ) but Ghost is simpler and easier to write on and maintain.
Ghost encourage me to post more, so it’s more valuable than any other reason to stay with Gatsby
Oh, someone else here following the thought processes of Craig Mod. Sweet!
I used a self-hosted WordPress for frickin 19 years. And to this day it is still a mystery to me how I put up with it for so long. @thebear.dev nailed it and I have pretty much the same reasons. New updates for plug-ins were often a nail-biter for me. And it happened more than once that I spent whole afternoons trying to figure out which plug-in was not compatible with something.
So I turned to Medium for quite a long time. To some degree, I still enjoy publishing there. Especially as an advertising platform to make people aware of my blog. I don’t see it as an either-or decision at all. Rather, it complements very well with a separate publication. The only concerns why I do not completely embrace Medium and have always remained skeptical:
It’s Ev’s platform. He decides the business model. He decides on the design. And if for some reason the Medium makers don’t like you continuing to publish there, you no longer exist there. That was the main reason why I want to move from Medium to Ghost.
I want to be more autonomous for my publication, to be the master of my content myself. And to have the possibility to change everything the way I want it. But the best thing about Ghost so far: the simplicity with which everything works. And oh boi, is it fast. (cough WordPress cough)
Keep it simple. Keep it minimal. Make it just work.
The Ghost core development team’s approach is to provide a writer-focused, open-source, online publishing system that is extraordinary for its speed, efficiency and simplicity. This is Ghost’s opinionated “superpower”.
A freshly installed Ghost site is truly minimal right out of the box, so there is no need to remove and disable and replace features that are not wanted or needed. Building a site with Ghost is purely an additive process.
If you just want to write somewhere online, in your own space, you can simply do that. Ghost stays out of your way. No technical challenges. No visual clutter. No wasted time.
These days, every capability or feature we might want to add or build into our workflow is available online in the form of subscription-based hosted apps that natively share and exchange data, and can be embedded into a website. The array of options is dizzying.
In this regard, Ghost provides a most refreshing and elegant core extension system.
Other site-building platforms such as Wordpress and Drupal can only be made to accept code injections through third-party plugins and modules with questionable stability and no guarantee of future support.
Another powerful feature of Ghost, available right in the editor, is the ability to create and re-use content snippets and templates.
Snippets and Templates are a useful way to quickly store pieces of content on-the-fly that you’ll want to re-use in other posts or pages. For example, images, a company logo, a newsletter layout, third-party embeds, some HTML or blocks of text can all be simply highlighted with the mouse, named and saved right inside the editor for future use.
By combining Code Injections, Templates, and Snippets I can create some pretty tasty site recipes where all of my customizations are contained within my custom theme. This way I can simply upload my custom theme to a new, default Ghost instance and all of my customizations are imported in one simple upload.
That’s really the key!
Sites like Medium (and Facebook etc) have been so successful in convincing people that they need to surrender their ideas and writing to a third-party with dubious Terms of Service, otherwise you Can’t Make It. The centralisation of the web, and surrendering of control have been so destructive (and aligns with the public decline of RSS, which I don’t think was a coincidence).
I don’t use Ghost’s Subscription features, but it’s probably one of the more exciting things to come out for independent creators in a long time. You don’t need to go to a third party system like Patreon et.al, you can take subscriptions and send emails from your Ghost install.
We can discuss all the technical, performance, infrastructure benefits (of which there are many, and @denvergeeks did a stellar job enumarating too) but I’m most happy to see more people taking control and ownership of their content again. We don’t need Medium.