With nearly a million blogs started since 2014, positive reviews by Mashable, Forbes and WIRED, and users that include Codestarter, Bitcoin and NASA, Ghost is praised for a fast, friendly, and highly-efficient blogging experience.
While WordPress continues to provide the online community with advanced website design capabilities, Ghost is an open-source project made to be its polar opposite: a very simple, nothing-but-the-basics blogging tool anyone can use. Bloggers can implement the program with the web hosting plan they already have (At A Small Orange, you’ll find that Ghost is already included in your cPanel under Software), or they have the option to host through Ghost starting at $10/month. Regardless of which option, adding a blog to your site is worth the cost. All proceeds go to Ghost Foundation, the organization responsible for the project.
Because Ghost is uniquely different from its competitors, it offers a variety of neat features that may make this streamlined software your best blogging buddy! Here are just a few factors that set it apart.
It’s Easy To Get Started
If you already have web hosting, Ghost is 100% free to use; however, if you don’t already have web hosting, or if you want to give the program a test-drive without messing around with whatever blogging tool that you already have set in place, Ghost offers a free 14-day trial. Signing up for the trial really couldn’t be less of a hassle. With a username, password, and email address, you’re in. There’s no credit card information to type and there’s no tricky policy you have to remember to cancel before a certain date. Your dashboard will remind you how many days of your trial period are left. Unlike some other trial periods you may have signed up for before, Ghost’s trial period provides you access to just about everything you’d have if you downloaded the software, so you can truly get a sense of its capabilities before you make a commitment.
It Provides Help
Ghost follows through with its simplistic theme and back-to-basics atmosphere by providing easily-accessible technical support. From the moment you first arrive at the dashboard, you’ll have the option to begin a five-step setup process that includes written directions as well as clearly shot and well articulated video tutorials; though, tech-savvy users can take comfort in knowing that they’re free to skip these steps should they suspect they can figure things out on their own. In addition to the step-by-step walkthrough, Ghost also offers an online user guide, an online forum, an FAQ page, developer instructions, and an email address to contact someone for additional help. Like WordPress, Ghost is beginning to develop a community of everyday users and skilled developers who are open about their experiences online, and are willing to extend a hand.
It Has A No-Nonsense Design
There’s a reason TechCrunch referred to this software as “so darn beautiful.” Ghost doesn’t have a bland tech-y appearance that could put you to sleep, nor is it crowded with too many links, buttons and bells. Its dashboard keeps things pretty straightforward with a concise main menu at the top, access to your blog (or blogs) in the center, and some helpful information at the bottom. The link to write a new post is made pretty obvious with its light-up blue hue and pulsating borders, and you’ll find that by clicking on the button, you’ll be taken to an equally refreshing page to compose: title at the top, content in the center – which leads to Ghost’s next awesome feature.
It Saves Time With Split-Screens:
Anyone who’s blogged before has dealt with the frustration of spending more time formatting an article than actually typing the thing, or worse, accidentally posting the article before you’ve had a second to get a look at its…um, eccentric spacing. Ghost completely eliminates these issues by offering a split-screen. On the left side is “Markdown” or the space where you write your blog post. On the right side is a live preview of what you’re actually creating, so there’s no extra step in between composition and publication, and certainly no clicking back and forth. Ghost also makes use of a split screen with its content organization. Similar to an email account setup, the program allows you to view the titles of your articles on the left side, with a preview of the article on the right side. A search bar is also included, making it a quick and easy way to locate past posts.
It Supports Multiple Users
If your blog has multiple contributors, if you work with a freelance writer, or if you plan to develop an online newspaper or magazine, Ghost allows you to add and collaborate with team members. You can add team members by sending them an invitation – all you need is their email address. Their invitation will include a link that allows them to create and activate their team member account. Their account will allow them limited access to your blog. (They’ll be able to create and publish posts on their own as well as view past posts they’ve written.) Should you decide you no longer want a team member to have access to your blog, you can revoke them at any time with the click of a button. Ghost makes it evident that this feature will eventually become more developed and offer more capabilities.
Ghost is a program with personality, which is always a welcome benefit whether you’re hurrying to get your next article out the door, or you’re twiddling your thumbs at a loss for words. Despite its simplicity, it delivers a strong brand through its relaxed appearance and conversational tone. When signing up for a trial, you’ll be reminded to appreciate the “no jibber-jabber,” referring to its ease of implementation, whereas you’ll find that deleting your account, you’ll be asked if you’re crazy. Ghost’s casual vocabulary style throughout the software will make it truly feel as if you’ve found your new best blogging buddy.