Ghost is a new blogging platform. There are many 'new blogging platforms' nowadays but Ghost is the one I like most. Why? There are a couple of reasons...
But what are the benefits of all that stuff?
Ghost for sure will be a very solid Open Source project in the future.
2. Ghost is a Node.js app but there are many one click hosting solutions.
This is a very important aspect. It’s a platform for non technical people too, so it must have many simple options to run your Ghost blog. As we know Node.js apps is something new and there aren't many cheap and good hosting solutions, but in the case of Ghost there are some cool ways to host your blog.
For me, it’s important to run my own server and install my own Ghost instance on it. It’s very simple and completely free if you have server with Node.js installed.
But there are also paid and 'one click' solutions like the Ghost self hosted platform: http://ghost.io or for example the Ghost app droplet on DigitalOcean. The Ghost self hosted platform is called Ghost PRO now, and it is the fastest and simplest way to run your Ghost blog. You can run it with a couple of clicks and then upload your theme. Ghost PRO is a paid option but Ghost is a 'not for profit' organization which means that all the money raised must be spent on developing software.
There are also many small Ghost hosting initiatives like for example ghosted.it or ghoster.io which are proof that the nature of the Ghost platform is very friendly for such solutions and there will definitely be more. I think it’s a good sign.
3. Very simple theming.
This is what I like the most. It’s what I do all the time. This blog uses one of my free themes. (You can download it here: https://github.com/juliancwirko/abc)
If you want to write your own theme, it’s very straightforward. All files are located in the 'themes' folder. You will use standard HTML with Handlebars tags/helpers.
There is a good documentation on the Ghost website.
I’m going to write some articles about Ghost theming here so stay tuned. You can also take a look at my Ghost themes on ThemeForest.
4. UI and Markdown
I am a big fan of Markdown language. Ghost offers Markdown editor for writing your posts. There are also post image covers, tags, and meta tags options. It is a standard minimum for a blogging platform. With version 1.0 there will be much more, but even now we have an intuitive writing tool.
The Ghost standard theme and admin UI are also designed very well. It is responsive of course so you can write and config your posts from your phone or tablet.
Is Ghost able to dethrone WordPress?
I really believe it will do that someday despite the fact that it is promoted as something slightly different (only a simple blogging platform). It’s also is really fast and well designed. But that’s a long way away and WordPress is here to stay for now. Ghost lacks of many functionalities but soon that won’t be a problem. It is still being developed and needs some time. So of course someday it will have all that what Wordpress has, if not in the core, in many packages and plugins (Ghost Apps).
What is the current status of Ghost?
You can always check this on the Trello roadmap
Big companies have started migrating their blogs too. For example Envato or MailGun. Ghost is very well promoted on the Internet. There are many Ghost themes too, ThemeForest or Ghost Marketplace
Main new blogging apps which can be strong competition:
I think all blogging platforms based on static files are worth looking into. There is Jekyll or Harp but the most well-known player is of course Medium and some similar services like Svbtle. Services like Medium or Tumblr are great for bloggers but not so good for developers. I think Ghost is a very good choice for both sides.