Blogging Expedition - It's an Experience!
In the late 2000s, I was into blogging using WordPress. I had a site and two sub-domains as well where I used to host photo sites. I was having my kid's photos on a monthly basis put up there and made it available for my extended families to have a look at.
Later things changed and I got so busy that I wasn't able to maintain three sites. Eventually, I had to shut them down because I was drowned in work. It was challenging times where I was learning and implementing many new things at work. You know, the kind of times, where you feel 24 hours isn't enough in a day!
Fast forward to 2021 and I'm into a management role now. Like one might think, the management job isn't easy. There are so many decisions that you have to make at work which you're responsible for, decisions that you own up. That is when it dawned on me that I need to have a place to vent out my thoughts. My wife advised restarting blogging.
I wanted something different this time. I was willing to experiment, didn't want to go down the WordPress route. In my opinion, WP is a lot of work. For everything, you depend on the plugins, updates, security fixes. It can get overwhelming at times. Research brought me to Ghost and I was impressed the moment I saw the UI designs. Getting into it, I realized that this platform is built for writers. One wouldn't get drowned with the bells and whistles of nice-to-have features. It is very well thought out with the only intention to provide a better platform tailor-made for writers.
I checked out the pricing at Ghost(Pro) and the starter version was at 9 dollars. It was a little much for me because of the dollar conversion rates. So I started looking around for alternatives. Found out FastComet and they were probably the only ones supporting the Ghost via CPanel on their servers (with one click installation). I subscribed with their offer for straight three years. Setup my blog, tied with a custom domain name and all of those.
Well, eventually into it I started seeing the problems. I started off at the Ghost 4.0 version and I was able to update up to 4.4. Then I realized that they by default run Ghost in the development mode and not Production. It took quite a lot of communication with them to get it moving. Come June, Ghost reached 4.7 and I wanted to upgrade it. Owing to the dependencies on the node.js upgrade, I had to reach out to them again. They tried updating and they said something unbelievable to me!
Remember, I was running the site for a little over a month by now and apparently, their existing tier doesn't support Ghost upgrades owing to resource constraints. I was in their Fast Cloud Plus plan. It allegedly comes with 4 core of CPU, 3 GB RAM and 25 GB of Storage space. A blog running with just 25+ posts needs more resources was something the network engineer in me can't comprehend. They wanted me to update to a VPS solution. Mind you, this is a personal blogging site and not meant to do the heavy lifting of a business site. If I get members in the future, well and good. However, I am not looking really to monetise this platform. This is a second start for me and I want to keep writing.
I decided to try the Ghost (Pro). I checked on a couple of things ahead of time. One of them was the upgrades that will come to me if I were to select the Starter pack. Their reply was quick and to the point. I then subscribed to their Starter pack and tied it with another custom domain. Bought the domain from Namecheap this time. Logged into FastComet and redirected the old domain to this host. All of that happened in a little less than an hour and I had the blog site up and running with all my posts, images and everything! Literally everything, including the favicons and customised theme with GraphComment integration.
Now, this is technology. I am really thankful to the team at the Ghost for making it a very pleasant experience for me. See, I do not have much time to spend researching around nowadays; considering my day job. All the time I get is on the weekends.
If you happen to read this and wish to start a blog, consider trying Ghost. It is an amazing platform.