Just yesterday, the Ghost Blogging Engine released to the general public. This is a huge landmark in the development world as:
- Some people have predicted that it is possibly a competitor to the well established Wordpress blog engine
- It has been created with NodeJS, a server-side implementation that many believe will become a large part of the development workflow
It was tempting to go and try it out, see what kind of capabilities it had, so I ran a local instance, made a sample post, and I'll be honest, I liked it. I really enjoyed:
- It's Markdown formatting capabilities, which I had yet to see in a self-hosted blog engine by default
- It's lightweight SQLite dependency
- It's clean, minimal, content-first design that was heavily inspired by the good things from Medium and Svbtle
Despite all of that, I still didn't want to make it something I use often when creating blogs. Firstly, I'll admit that part of it was the fact that it wouldn't work on Heroku without PostgreSQL or MySQL, and uploads would also not work, all due to Heroku's ethereal memory which SQLite's flat files would not be compatibile with. That wasn't all of it, though, and I found a few more things that made me choose not to use it.
Also, Wordpress will not be overtaken for a while. If I remember correctly, a majority of the world's sites today are created in Wordpress. On job boards, half the jobs I encounter require Wordpress development. Many 'developers' get away with calling themselves that because they know how to install a theme on Wordpress. It's the dominant platform today, and probably will be for quite a while. Sure, Ghost can dominate the niche that sites like Medium and Svbtle target in terms of self-hosted blogs, but it starts to get quite cookie-cutter.
Medium and Svbtle are two easily recognizable sites due to their unique minimalism and typography; from what I have seen in Ghost, it seems to follow almost identical patterns. The same font stack, similar layout, it's really obvious. Just like the 'Bootstrap' look is now easily recognizable and seen in many sites, the 'Medium/Svbtle' look is going to be seen in most blogs you (or at least I) will encounter. This kind of ruins the Internet's creativity and design sense, as sure, the design is good, but it's the same everywhere, the uniqueness is lost. Sure, people will create themes; but the boilerplate theme is already so polished and good-looking that I feel like many developers will stick to it.
Overall, to me there are many good features in Ghost, and I would actaully recommend it to people as well, it just doesn't seem like something I would use for personal or commercial use due to a lot of reasons. This blog is currently running on HarpJS, and so far, I'm enjoying it.
~ Krish DholakiyaHelp Me Fund College