If you're at all curious about how this site came together, you came to the right place.
StephenBolen.com is hosted with Digital Ocean (← referral link) on a $6.00/mo Ghost droplet that I used from their official Marketplace. Set-up and configuration was easier than I thought - in fact, I'd say it was easier than the self-hosted WordPress droplet configuration, and even that was pretty easy.
Here's what I did:
- Point your domain to Digital Ocean.
- Create the one-click Ghost droplet from the marketplace (I'm hosting this instance with 1 GBMemory / 1 Intel vCPU / 25 GB Disk / in SFO3, which is plenty).
- Map your domain's A (IPv4) and AAAA (IPv6) records to your new droplet. Then, wait about a half hour for things to propegate. I set my TTL (time-to-live) to 200 seconds (3:33 seconds) and it worked pretty quick; default is 3600 seconds (60 minutes).
- SSH into your Droplet:
- Follow the prompts to set-up your site. You'll add your domain name and provide an email address to set up the Let's Encrypt SSL certificate.
- Log-in to Ghost at
your_droplet_ip/ghostand create your account.
It's that easy.
Afterwards, if you want to update ghost via CLI (command-line interface), just SSH into the droplet again and fire up the
ghost-mgr by typing in
sudo -i -u ghost-mgr.
We all make choices. When GoDaddy CEO Bob Parson decided that he'd go shoot elephants in Africa on a captive safari, I decided to move all of my domains.
I have all of my domain names registered via Namecheap, and I'll never give GoDaddy a dime of business ever again.
I made the decision to switch StephenBolen.com from WordPress to Ghost for a few reasons:
- System bloat with WordPress.
- Too many plugins, too many updates, too much of a Digital Ocean droplet resource pinch.
- Hyper-focus on privacy.
To be fair, there are a lot of great things about WordPress. It's generally easy to set up and use, it's 100% open source, and there's a rich tapestry of both themes and plugins to enhance the experience for site owners and visitors.
Where I really got tripped up, though, was how slow WordPress would run on that same $6/mo Digital Ocean instance that I referenced above. Ghost's marketing page "Ghost vs. WordPress" lays this pretty bare: Ghost is - thanks to running on node.js - is up to 1900% faster:
I ran a Google Page Speed test on the site - and even with a Ghost Theme that, for all intents and purposes, should slow the rendering down - still scored insanely high:
Look, I haven't done any website design or development for ages. I don't have time for that, as I detailed OnHere™ with my post "On Maintenance." With that in mind, I turned to ThemeForest and purchased the Ghost theme Arun.
It was incredibly simple to set up and customize. I really love it.