Blogging made easy for beginners with the Ghost blogging platform.
If you’re reading this article, it’s because you’re considering using the Ghost blogging platform to share your content online. Why wouldn’t you?
Ghost is one of the latest blogging darlings in town, sleek and sexy to the core. Ghost has that live-preview prowess that makes it a must-have for the have-not bloggers. What’s there not to like?
A lot of my pals in the blogosphere are moving to Ghost, after years of sailing the internet while aboard the WordPress ship. I, also, have taken that path.
WordPress gave us everything—endless plugins, efficient templates functions, and the ability to do as much as we can.
But, recently, WordPress is proving that its CMS isn’t just for blogging. As we type, the platform is steadily moving in the direction of a full, blown Publishing framework. That means you’ll get to do much work to get your content in the right frame you want it.
Bloggers don’t have all the time to spend doing many things at once.
So, I, like many others out there, have come to the point where all that I want is a goddamn platform/software that blogs, period!
I just want to craft down my posts straight in a Markdown. Then type in some helpful keywords, add one or two images, and hit the publish button. Then sit back and forget the whole thing.
The platform that offers such down-to-earth simplicity is none else but Ghost.
The brains that created the Ghost blogging platform have gone to extreme lengths, stripping out all of the unnecessary cruft we incorporated into the blogging process. The result of that brainwork is a natural, speedy and lovely publishing platform, one that does the job in a time-conscious manner.
The operation philosophy of the Ghost platform is premised on the notion that a CMS designed for blogging should do so in the most simple and effective way. Using Ghost for activities like launching magazines or for extreme customization would defeat that philosophy.
So, you’re not wrong to have made this decision. Ghost is a blog, and here is how you can get started with it.
Getting started with Ghost for blogging
Install Ghost on your System
To start using Ghost, you need to install it. However, you will need to be tech-savvy to be able to install Ghost, which requires two separate file installations, and isn’t the easiest of tasks.
But, thank goodness, the tech experts at Bitnami have made things easy by creating graphical installers for Mac, Linux and Windows. So, just follow these steps:
- Go to https://bitnami.com/stack/ghost/installer and download the installer that’s appropriate for your system.
- Run the installer and provide this information:
- The place you want the file installed
- The login info that you will use on the blog
- What is the IP Address that you would prefer for testing? (I’m recommending 127.0.0.1.)
- Run the installation and enjoy its beautiful control panel.
Ghost CMS is built on the Node.js technology, and the installer comes with all the necessary components, including a mini-server. This makes it the file directory a bit complicated for a beginner.
You will need to open the file folder where you have installed Ghost. Then locate app/ghost/htdocs. You just found the real Ghost installation.
Setup your Ghost Account
To start using Ghost, you need to create a new user account. You will need to provide an email address, your full name and a password to start.
After you have signed up, a verification link would be sent to the email address you provided. Go to your email and click the link to return to Ghost.
Once you do that, you have activated your account.
Click on “Test it Out” to view your brand new account and choose whatever title you deem fit for your blog—you can always come and change it.
You also have the option to invite and start working with members of your team at this junction, or you can just start doing work on your own.
Free or Paid Ghost Plans?
If you just want to use the Ghost code, then Ghost is free, and you will not be required to pay anything. But, if you intend to get additional features such as running and maintaining a live blog, a host, or automatic backups, you will have to pay a fee.
Visit the site to check out the prices for the paid plans.
Publishing your First Post
Ghost is the best platform for bloggers who wants to publish content. Navigate to the sidebar, locate and click on “New Story.”
Use the Title space to give your blog a name and start blogging and posting content right away. At the bottom of the Ghost scream page, you will find several options you can use to format and improve your word. With the “Write Now, Edit Later” feature, you can remove backspace and decide to use it later if you want.
You can also add tags, key in your blog URL, amend your publication time and date, select excerpts, add an image and designate one or more authors. You will find all these options at the top of your post.
Take Notice of the Ghost Amazing Side-by-side Preview Function
Do you know you can write clearly in markdown and see your work’s result at the same time? That’s what the side-by-side preview offer.
To use it, click on the square you’ll find at the down end of the page. When you type your work on the left with markdown, the final format of your texts will appear on the right side of the function.
How to Add Images on your Blogs in Ghost
You can upload and also display images on any content you create. Simply locate and click on the picture icon, you will find it downside the area of your draft. It will take you to the image folder on your system. Select the picture you want to use and upload it.
The Unsplash option also allows you to add quality royalty-free pictures by clicking the camera icon located below your draft area. You will see a page that contains many images. Chose the one you want to add to your blog, and you are good.
Lastly, you can use the drag-n-drop feature to add images to your blog from your computer file image folder.
What are the Themes I can Get Access to on Ghost?
Ghost allows you to download many themes from online and include them to your blog. If you are good at designing, you can create some of these themes.
Besides, there are free themes online that you can get as well. However, top-quality themes will cost you some money, but you don’t have to pay always for every theme you want.
With just one payment, you can have access to a wide array of themes.
The Ghost dashboard makes it easy for you to create and install themes as quickly as it gets.
How Do I Go About Running Ghost Based pn Self-Host?
If you intend to run the Ghost platform using your own host, here are the things recommended by the Ghost Foundation:
- Ubuntu 16.04
- Node46 (that must be installed through Node Source)
- A tool like a non-root or similar user for running Ghost commands
Ghost is king for anyone who wants serious blogging straight out of the box. The themes are lovely; the interface is well focused, an excellent option for a blogger who wants something dependable for quick publications.
If you have been searching for the platform that delivers one-touch blogging experience, you may want to consider Ghost today. The above tips should get you up and running with ease.