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Ghost 0.3.2 launched on 10/14/13 (Monday) to the public
Ghost.org supplies an open source blogging platform. Sound familiar? To name a few existing platforms: WordPress, PivotX, LifeType, and Google has their platform (blogspot). We will be exploring why this platform is different, certain issues they are facing right now, and whether Fireant will be using or recommending this software to its clients.
What Makes Ghost Different
Founder of Ghost, John O’Nolan, after years of using existing platforms and Content Management Systems (CMS), conceptualized a platform to end all platforms: “a fictional platform that would be once more about online publishing rather than building complex websites” –http://ghost.org/about/. Within a matter of months, this concept became a reality.
Beyond a return to the writing and simplifying online publishing, here’s a list of the main reasons why Ghost is different than your blogging platform:
- Ghost uses Markdown. Markdown is a text to HTML converter, created by John Gruber, whose main project is this company. After researching this syntax tool that was created in 2004, here is my favorite ‘cheat sheet’ for it. Websites such as github.com and reddit.com use Markdown.
- Live Preview. Displayed directly next to the markdown section shows a live preview, bringing something a little different to a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, unless you are using Adobe’s Dreamweaver. If you have ever used WordPress, you know as you switch between ‘Text’ and ‘Visual’ the browser might display something very different.
- Customizable Dashboard. Using an easy ‘Drag & Drop,’ the Dashboard of Ghost allows you to view traffic, social stats, content performance, and more. All in a visually pleasing and manageable view.
- SEO & Social Ready. No plugins are needed for optimizing and connecting with your social media. As more functionality will be desired, Ghost has partnered with Woothemes, who will be creating themes and other plugins.
- Ghost is responsive. Always. From desktop to tablet to phone, Ghost “works where you work.”
Paranormal Theme Options
All the available ghost themes are very simple, basic, and clean. Some are free on github.com. Ghost.org uses the ‘Casper’ theme. ‘Spectre’ and ‘Ghostwriter’ are other cute, ghostly themes available. As mentioned before, Woothemes is a launch partner with Ghost and will be designing more themes for them.
Installation & Usability
Currently Ghost is most easily implemented with Digital Ocean, an innovative cloud server. Many techies have figured out how to implement the blogging platform, but for the average user it stands a bit difficult to install and start using. This poses a problem, as they are marketing towards the writing community who probably don’t have the programming knowledge to get Ghost up and running. O’Nolan promises ease in the near future as hosting providers catch on and make it available server-side with the one-click install.
O’Nolan has already created a WordPress Plugin to transfer an existing blog over to the Ghost platform. With over 9,000 followers on Twitter and a good amount of forum activity, they see good support from the writing/tech community. Due to this and their impressive list of launch partners, it is likely more added functionality and use of the platform will render it a player.
Will Fireant use Ghost?
Here at Fireant, we take on clients of all shapes and sizes and budgets. We pride ourselves on our interactive design and development, and make sure we can offer an array of digital services a client might need. With as much development and interactive sites we are currently working on, we need a CMS (content management system) more than a blogging platform.
Ghost was created to bring back a writer’s platform that was up-to-date, responsive, and user-friendly. That being said, if Fireant acquires a client who needs what Ghost is supplying, we would be excited to implement and support this platform. We are interested to see where this nonprofit takes its ideas, and how it grows within the community using it.