Good to see the Ghost team are steadily adding features to my favourite blogging platform. This it's the addition of the vast library of Unsplash images which is now available from the Ghost editor.
It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. A couple of weeks ago the first major update to the publishing platform Ghost was released.
I was on holiday at the time so I decided to leave upgrading until I got home. It's been a few days now since I got back but this morning I decided to upgrade the two sites I have running on Ghost, this one and my DigitalBothy website. The upgrade process itself was straight-forward. Warnings were provided to indicate deprecated helpers in the themes for each site, but aside from that I didn't have any trouble upgrading.
The new UI is a welcome change and includes a number of beneficial changes but perhaps the most important change is the editor itself. Gone is the side by side editing and preview panes (although you can still use this if you need to) and instead there's a single pane for writing that is editable and displays your writing in a better format. Bigger, bold text for headings, links highlighted and many other improvements.
This is a welcome update to the publishing platform and I look forward to spending more time writing for my blog than I have done recently.
Over the last few weeks I've been looking at themes for Wordpress and Ghost.
Now it's easy to say that Wordpress has a clear advantage over Ghost. It's a CMS that's used by millions of people all over the world. Wordpress has been around since the early days of the Internet and it's still the goto CMS for many people and rightly so. It's extensible, stable and has thousands of themes available for it.
The Wordpress marketplace for themes is huge. There are thousands of themes available for all different types of sites. From minimal themes for bloggers to highly customisable themes for organisation sites. There's something for everyone.
Ghost is still relatively new when compared to Wordpress and while it is more specifically a blogging platform as opposed to a CMS like Wordpress, it's still gathering a steady number of fans.
The Ghost marketplace for themes isn't so big but that doesn't mean there should be a shortage of themes.
There are a number of themes available but there's two problems I see with most of the themes available for Ghost:
Image heavy themes - It seems that most themes for Ghost see having images as a neccessity in their theme. While looking for a theme for my own blog I found it difficult to find a theme that didn't feature a full width banner and images for every post. Their themes probably do allow imageless posts but they never show that in their previews.
Out of date themes - Ghost is on version 0.11 but many of themes available are falling behind in terms of compatibility.
It seems there's a gap in the market for Ghost themes that don't need images everywhere and stay compatible with the latest versions of Ghost.
The number of people using Ghost isn't in the same realms as Wordpress but I do find it much easier to use as a blogging platform. Ghost as a product is generating revenue and with an open source option available, there's definitely a growing number of people using it.
With the right marketing a designer/developer could do well with a number of themes that focus on minimal blogging rather than images.
I released a new version of the Ghost theme I use for this blog last night.
In an effort to kickstart the blogging habit again, I looked at my blog and ways that I think it could be improved in terms of readability.
The previous version of Daring had a default font size that was far too small. Even on my MacBook Pro at 1280px wide the font size difficult to read. I've bumped the default size up to help.
I've also made the width of the content area slightly wider and reduced the padding of the content area. I'm trying to use as much width as I can without pushing the sidebar column and the content column too close together.
More themed elements
I've also included a number of themed elements for the blog. The bar at the top is nothing more than a bit of decoration on the page and there is additional styling for submit buttons you might have on a contact form.
This is just another step towards producing a quality Ghost theme for people that don't want to use huge banners and images for their blogs.
After a week of considering closing this blog and starting afresh elsewhere I've decided against this move. I'm trying to kick-start the blogging habit for October and so this week is a spell of light blogging to get me started. Expect more frequent writing here from now on!