Aiyush Gupta
Ooshimus.com

Ooshimus.com

From GhostCMS to Hashnode

From GhostCMS to Hashnode

An intrepid hike up Mt. CMS

Aiyush Gupta's photo
Aiyush Gupta
·Aug 6, 2021·

5 min read

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Introduction

I first started blogging not even 2 weeks ago, yet I spent over 5 weeks trying to find the perfect CMS. I started with Github Pages and its integration with CouchCMS, I moved onto the bloated interface that is Wordpress and found comfort in GhostCMS until I came across Hashnode.

All thoughts and opinions in this piece are my own, if you have any questions or queries of what I write below feel comfortable to start a discussion in the comments.

Ghost

Ghost is an open source, professional publishing platform built on a modern Node.js technology stack — designed for teams who need power, flexibility and performance. Every day Ghost powers some of the most-read stories on the internet, serving hundreds of millions of requests across tens of thousands of sites.

This description and explanation of Ghost makes it seem an ideal choice. Yes, I totally agree, the Ghost interface is a dream to work with. My favourite part of working in ghost was a cards that you could integrate, this is a feature I would love to see implemented in Hashnode.

ghostCard.png

I also loved how the admin was detached from the client allowing us to integrate it into any existing SSG ie. Jekyll, Gatsby, 11ty etc... The Ghost community even provides starter templates for some of the most popular of these platforms. Being 100% open-source has also led Ghost to develop into what the community needed.

Since this is a dev blog, I'll go through the stack that Ghost uses.

  1. JSON API core which is designed to create, manage and retrieve publications.
  2. Admin Application
  3. Front-end theme layer which natively supports handle bars with Ghosts' official themes.
  4. Content API - this should really be coupled with the JSON API but can be accessed read-only by any client.

Architecture

This post isn't to try and have a go at Ghost, after all they are committed in their vision to create a scalable, commercially-viable CMS. But as a developer, that didn't fit my needs. Ie. there are multiple subscribe buttons around the site which not only required for a credit-card validated service to be used MailGun but also cannot be turned of easily via the Admin client ATOW. Overall, Ghost started to drift too much into commercial territory for a simple one-man developer blog.

I'll say it again, I truly did love Ghost, its' Casper theme was a delight to work in, yet, since being the default theme it still lacked a search feature. However, the community did provide with the libelling theme.

image.png

Hosting was another thing, there was no "free" option, I know it is a company and needs to make money. Yet, I can host Wordpress for free even if it were on some slightly unreliable service but if it was a small project with only 10's of readers at the time it would have worked fine. There pro option was $29 per month (creator plan) which is extra-premium, however, its pro service is justifiable: constant support, 99.9% uptime, SLA, official themes etc...

Yet, doesn't Hashnode provide all of these for free, its' discord group has almost instant support and although ATOW we have no custom themes we can still have custom CSS through the ambassador scheme. If you are reading this and are thinking of moving to Hashnode, please paste https://hashnode.com/@Aiyush/joinme in the browser after signing up.

Overall, Ghost CMS is suitable for all-types of bloggers (dev or not) and has a great community backing it. Its' open source nature provides for an array of beautiful themes yet scales towards larger companies.

If you want to read on how you can locally host GhostCMS for free then read my post: ooshimus.com/ghost-cms-on-a-raspberry-pi

Hashnode

Hashnode is the easiest way to start a developer blog on your personal domain 🌏 for free and connect with the readers through our global dev community! 👩‍💻👨‍💻

I had started this platform not knowing what to expect, after a quick and easy setup and a free domain (which I've now changed), I have access to a community where I can talk / explore with other developers. Its' home feed provides a method for your content to appear for all the community to the read and an SSL certificate is automatically assigned towards you.

Hashnode employs an intelligent algorithm that allows readers interested in our content to follow and subscribe to you, it also deploys a simple and effective newsletter upon posting more content. The best articles are also found in the 🔥Best section and hashnode removes the need to worry about hosting and finance and provides an independent solution for developers to write and grow our audiences.

Although still in beta, Hashnode allows you to form teams to write blogs although "this will become a paid feature soon" and inject custom CSS and choose from 3 unique layouts.

When writing articles I find I can thoroughly concentrate on content rather than design which is my most appreciated feature of the platform.

I use Hashnode because:

  • Quick and Easy Setup
  • Custom Domain
  • Free
  • Custom Pages (not every page needs to be a blog post)
  • Analytics
  • Friendly Community

Conclusion

Both Ghost CMS and Hashnode are awesome blogging platforms. Ghost is more popular but caters to a much wider array of people. Hashnode is free and has a brilliant community and if you are a developer it gives you immense exposure. I've talked to some awesome people via this platform and have been inspired by the community. So ultimately, the verdict falls with Hashnode with simple markdown writing and easier code snippet implementations.

Consider Hashnode if you want to specifically write to developers on a free blogging platform. Consider Ghost if you want the widest existing general audience, and don’t mind that they will have a hard time finding your platform and have money to spend.

And don't forget... Dont' forget

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