How to easily setup a beautiful blog with Ghost

WordPress has saved me a lot of times. I have used it in many projects and I am still getting surprised with its flexibility. So when we decided to launch our blog for Blendo it was a no brainer.

How to easily setup a beautiful blog with Ghost

At that time I remembered that I had heard for the Ghost blog platform so I decided to give it a try.

Ghost is a new blogging platform. It focuses more on content creation and presentation. It has a clean interface and can produce great results.

There are many ways to set up Ghost. You may host it at Ghost.org or host it on your own in one of the various cloud services out there. As Blendo runs on Rackspace, I decided to run it there. I also run a Windows 10 PC so I decided to write a quick and dirty guide.

Note: The instructions below will take you from zero to blog, but I assume that you have a Rackspace account.

How to setup Ghost Blog

 

Setup Ghost blog at Rackspace

Rackspace has an easy way to set it up fast. They are the software stack templates. In a few words, instead of creating a server, installing all the prerequisites like node, nginx or mySQL, you just select to Create Stack.

Setup Ghost blog

Select “Create Stack”

Then you will get a number of ready made templates. Search for Ghost

Setup Ghost blog

After you find Ghost blog. Click on it to Create Stack and select the Single Linux Server. That will get you to the following window.

Setup Ghost blog

Configure per your wish and click Create Stack.

Wait a few minutes and your instance should be up and running. You will find many links from Rackspace Knowledge center at this page. These cover: Setting up your DNS, SSH to your instance, help on your Ghost blog setup.

Setup DNS

I will not stay at this point as there are many different ways to setup your DNS and it depends on your provider.

SSH through Windows

If you a Windows user, working with ssh keys may always was a bit cumbersome. No worries!

Get PuTTY and PuTTYgen. PuTTY is a client for managing SSH sessions and PuTTYgen a tool to manage and creating SSH key pairs. You can get them both here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

A nice guide to set them up at: https://support.rackspace.com/how-to/logging-in-with-an-ssh-private-key-on-windows/

Login to Ghost for the first time

If you go to <your blog address>/ghost/signup you will be requested to setup your account. After that you may just go to: <your blog URL>/ghost/ and start writing.

How to Change Themes

If the first thing that you wanted is to change your theme then you only need some steps. This is not like WordPress though. You have to:

  1. Go to http://marketplace.ghost.org/ to find a theme (there are more places like http://allghostthemes.com/)
  2. Most of the themes have their instructions, but mainly they usually belong in two cases: a) Download your theme and unzip it in your PC, sent it to Ghost blog b) clone a git repository, directly at Ghost blog.
  3. In the first case you will need to ssh at your Ghost instance and copy the unzipped folder.
  4. In the second you will need to ssh at your Ghost instance and clone the theme’s git repo
  5. Then you will need to restart Ghost.

I like a lot the Odin theme and I used the git clone option. (you may find the Odin theme and detailed instructions here).

Setup Ghost blog

Then you will get your second theme installed.

Setup Ghost blog

You only need to (stop and start or ) restart your Ghost service.

Setup Ghost blog

go back to your Ghost blog settings in your browser at <your blog URL>/ghost/settings/general.

Scroll down at the “theme” drop down and select the theme you want. Save and Done!

A nice comprehensive guide about how to install a theme is here or here.

Of course there are many things to customize and setup. But you may start working with your new Ghost blog.

Have you worked with Ghost? Do you like it?

———

Interesting Links to read & references:

Digital Ocean + Guide

Rackspace

Azure + Ghost

AWS with Bitnami + here

How To Configure and Maintain Ghost from the Command Line

How To Create a Blog with Ghost and Nginx on Ubuntu 14.04


George Psistakis

I love technology and working with people. I am co-counder of Blendo. A platform to help you connect and remix data from multiple sources – databases, CRM, email campaigns, analytics and more – into business value.

I am trying to offer as much as I can at the local startup ecosystem. I am co-founder of Agile Greece and co-organizer of the API Athens meetup and I contribute at the Developer Economics Blog.


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