I'm leaving Wordpress behind, moving to Ghost

I have been using Wordpress for Blogs and eCommerce for years. But I've always been unhappy about the speed, so now I'm moving to Ghost (Pro) indefinitely

I'm leaving Wordpress behind, moving to Ghost
Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk / Unsplash

Yes yes yes YES!!!! I know, I have been moving my Blogs around a lot! But the reason is still the same... I have a love hate relationship with Wordpress. As a Blog framework Wordpress is great but it sucks!

Wordpress is a one size fits everything! And that Sucks!

Wordpress started as a great bloging platform. It is beeing used by milions of people around the world.

Wordpress also opened up by letting people install plugins. And the plugins became bigger and bigger. Addition to your Blog here.... adding functionality there... you can even build your eCommerce platform on it right now with Plugins like WooCommerce.

That is Great! A multifunctional platform for everybody to use!

Wordpress is bloated and Sooooooo slow!

And that is where it all goes to sh!t. It's getting bigger and bigger adding all these extra's to Wordpress. Don't get me wrong, wordpress out of the box without extra's is snappy, not fast, but snappy enough. But when installing plugins, it will slow down. A lot! And plugins is what you want, as you always want to spice up that blog!

There a hundreds, yes hundreds of articles about speeding up Wordpress. Even Hosting parties have tips and tricks to speed up Wordpress with the use of other plugins. And it doesn't stop there, NO! You can use Redis caching, Varnish, even Nginx to make Wordpress faster!

Next to taking a bigger and faster server to host everything on.

And there is what makes me think.

Constant working on Wordpress make you a bad blogger!

I was constantly working on my Wordpress site. No no no! I was nog writing articles, like I do now! No I was updating (yes they have auto update, but I like to test my site before updating) and trying to get my site faster! Better PageSpeed! Beter GTMetrix! Better Yslow! But not blogging... nope I wasn't writing one single blog. Lot's of ideas, but nothing on my site.

So it made me think.... should I leave Wordpress. Problem is, I'm a techie... so I started thinking, maybe I should create a static site with Jekyll (done that in the past a few times), I'm a python lover so why not use Pelican (a Python static site generator), or Gatsby or Ghost of my own digital Ocean Server (had that in the past also).

So I exported my Wordpress site to an XML file and wrote some script so I could use it for all kind of static site generators. I tried, Pelican a good and fast static website creator, I also tried Gatsby and I tried Jekyll once again. I even tried Hugo and came a long way in setting my site to my needs. I searched for great themes for these static generators.

After a week I stopped and saw no good would come from this. It just to much work. I do not want to think about pipelines, theme adjustments, updating the static generator environment. I just want to blog!

Then I thought about Ghost.

Ghost

Ghost is one of the most popular open source projects in the world - the #1 CMS on GitHub. It's easy, its fast it is blog focused only!

So I spun up some dockers with Ghost and started importing my Wordpress export. It really cost me some time so import it in a good matter. Than I started on adding excerpts, meta data to all my articles. Yes... it would not export with Wordpress :-(

Then I created the right tags, wrote text for them, added images and connected them to my articles.

I was thinking about putting everything on Digital Ocean, but I want to write. Not update servers, hoping there are backups, updating Ghost itself and have all the hussle when the server goes down.

So I desided to pay, not for a Ghost Pro account, if you want a bit of flexebility they will let you pay 25 dollar a month! No I created my Ghost Blog on a Vultr machine! The cheapest, I'm still the only writer and I'm not counting on paying readers (no offense).

Free default Ghost Themes only

So one of the less great things of the cheapest pricing model within the Ghost Pro environment is that is comes with Free default Ghost themes only.

You cannot upload your own and you cannot connect to any other plugins then provided by Ghost.

I like the Casper Theme.... but there where some minor stuff I did not like about it. Luckily for me, you can still add javascript and css to your site and so I did.

I tweaked and twirrled just as much as I could and made the custom and default Casper theme just the way I like it (as much as possible).

So I now have an On and Off switch for the light and dark mode. I've got my own fonts in the headers and I have a comment system (privacy based!)

So... once again I'm changing my blog, but this time I'm convinced it is the right choice!

I tested everything on a Ghost Pro account for a few days, just to check if everything would work as I wanted and then I moved to the Vultr environment.

Still happy with the Casper theme, and I use GhostBoard for analytics.