Setting Up This Blog

I'll summarize how I set up this blog, and why I chose to use this one so that anyone reading this may run their own.

Why This Platform?

I have been planning to get a blog running for some time now. Didn't want to use Tumblr or any other service, though. I wanted to build my own, but didn't have the time to casually add all the features I may want. Then I started looking into existing open-source solutions. Chyrp(PHP) and Ghost(Node.js) were the popular options. Though I am more familiar to PHP than I am to JavaScript, I chose the latter one. I was more interested in the (seeming) simplicity of the platform. Also, working on the one coded with JavaScript could get me out of my comfort zone. If at some point I get fed up with the non-existent or faulty features, I could try and solve the problem by getting my hands dirty (thx open-source) and learn a new programming language and a significantly popular JavaScript framework doing so.

Endorsed Options

That said, I looked into the official site that contains docs for walking you through various installation options. Not that I am cheap, but I still admittedly do not have a credit card on my name and I am usually concerned about forgetting to pay a yearly or monthly fee for a hosting service. (stupid, I know. will get a card, though, hopefully soon) The official site had a few free options. Amazon was the most notable, but even though it was free for a year, I didn't like the idea of providing the info of a credit card I didn't have. The rest of the free options were not as easy-to-use as what I ended up doing, and soon deemed not useful by my laziness.

Heroku, which I had in mind since the first time I heard of Ghost, sadly had problems with non-textual content such as images, etc. I needed something that supports Node.js, something free, and after running some queries on Google I found OpenShift by RedHat. Neither I am qualified to inform you about OpenShift(not yet, at least) nor it is the focus of this post, so I'll leave you to reading about it on your own. But what RedHat offered didn't seem to have the problem with the images Heroku had. All I hoped for, now, was being able to set it up without wasting hours of time. Thanks to the ones who came before me to the conclusion that OpenShift is a fantastic and free spot for Ghost, I set it up in about 10 minutes. All I then did was to redirect the blog subdomain of my domain name to the URL generated by OpenShift, and done. By done, I mean go and look for how to do the initial login to the admin panel yourself, on Ghost Docs. (i.e. RTFM)

Domain Redirection Issue

For those of you who did exactly as I did and redirected a domain/subdomain to the URL given by RedHat, I want to mention an issue. When I used the domain I redirected, I tried logging into the admin panel and failed. (Prompted with an "Unknown Error") I tried logging in using the application URL by RedHat, and it worked.

I am guessing the error has something to do with the redirection, or perhaps even the type of redirection. (HTTP 301 vs 302) Anyways, don't panic if you can't login through the redirected URL, and try the actual one. I'll also update here if I find a fix to this issue.

Edit: I looked into this, but it seems I can not generate the error again. So, it will have to remain just a caution for people using the same setup.

Next?

There are tons of themes available on Ghost Marketplace and you are free to pick your own. I am quite overwhelmed by the amount of them, so I will not be changing the default theme until I find the time, perhaps in a week or two.

Developers of the platform seem to be working on a dashboard with stats on your posts and the blog in general, so just you wait till it gets even more exciting. Or don't. If you're interested in helping build the newer version(s), here is their repo. I am sure they can use the help, as all the open-source projects out there.