Making Ghost blog production ready

After I set up my Ghost blog, I did the following to make it more presentable and "production-ready". You can probably figure these out easily by yourself. But you don't need to, because I have done it!

This was done for Ghost version 0.3.3.

Run Ghost as a service

The simplest way to get Ghost up and running is to run npm start --production on command-line. That means the blog will not be available once the process stops running, e.g. due to server restart or process crashes.

The official deployment guide has detail instructions on how to keep the Ghost blog alive continuously, in the Making Ghost run forever section. There were 3 suggestions:

  • Use a node package called Forever
  • Use Linux tool called Supervisor
  • Use OS init scripts.

The Forever tool will not survive server restart. That's a concern for me. Supervisor sounds alright, but I think using OS init scripts should work just fine. I would prefer to keep things simple without using another tool. I chose to use init scripts and it worked fine for me.

Allow blog visitor to comment

By default, Ghost blog does not allow visitors to make any comments. I thought commenting will be added as a built-in feature in a future version of Ghost. I was wrong! The Ghost team does not plan to include this as a built-in feature. If user wants it, it has to be added via a third-party service provider.

That didn't quite make sense to me initially. Interacting with your readers is so core to what blogging is all about. It surprised me that Ghost doesn't want this feature built-in.

After some research, it made sense to me. How many great commenting platform have you seen? Not many. It actually requires a lot of effort to build a great commenting platform. It makese sense to leave it to an entire separate team/company to build it.

Comment service provider: disqus vs moot

So, after a little research there are two contenders: disqus and moot. There are probably others but I didn't spend the time to research them all. Disqus seems to be the leader in this area. Moot is a new comer with similar but different objectives.

I tried Moot, UI looks cool, but there's a deal breaker for me: visitor has to either sign-up and sign-in as Moot user, or sign-in using Facebook, before they can comment. That is too restricting, especially when compared to disqus which allows sign-in using Google plus, Twitter and Facebook.

So, here is the well-written tutorial on how to add disqus by Christoph Voigt. Great docs, I've nothing to add!

Setup email

By default Ghost is not able to send emails. If I forget my password, I don't really have many options but to start all over, or to tweak the database somehow to reset the password.

I followed the instructions from Ghost docs about setting up email. Great docs, I've nothing to add!

Add Google analytics

Yes, I want to know as much as I can about... you! I followed instructions in these docs below. Don't really have much to add!

Customise theme

Using just the default theme could be a bit dull isn't it. I found and tried additional themes in http://marketplace.ghost.org .

I also further customised the theme that I liked. Enough has been said in other places about how to do that. You can figure it out!

Making Ghost blog production ready
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