Setting up a Ghost blog in production

This blog runs on Ghost and I thought why not share what steps I took when setting it up for production. There is a lot of detailed information on how to set up Ghost so this will be more of a overview of the steps i took and links to the guides I used.

First of all I have to say that I love Ghost so far! I downloaded it and installed it on my local computer following the installing Ghost documentation.

After playing around a bit with the markdown editor and trying a couple of themes I decided that this was a cool product, lets get it live so I can start blogging! :)

Theme

Ghost ships with a default theme called Casper which works perfectly fine but you can easilly change to another theme if you want to. There are a lot to choose from in the marketplace, both free and paid ones. My choise landed on Steam on which I made some small modifications. You are looking at the result :)

Tracking, sharing, analytics and comments

The Steam theme makes it very easy to add Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Disqus comments and various sharing options just by uncomment code and replace placeholders with your identifiers from the various products.

Hosting

I looked at couple of alternatives like Ghost Pro and Azure for hosting before i finally ended up using Digital Ocean. This is what I did to get it up and running.

Create a Digital Ocean Droplet with Ghost

Ghostforbeginners.com has a guide on how to install Ghost on Digital Ocean with a video showing how to create your Droplet with the handy one-click app that Digital Ocean offers.

When you create your Droplet it is recommended that you add SSH keys. Here is a Mac OSX / Linux and a Windows guide on how to do that.

Get your Digital Ocean hosted Ghost blog a hostname

If you followed the guide and got it working you should be able to reach your blog by browsing your droplets public IP address. Thats cool but you probably want to set up a host name. Luckily There is an easy to follow guide on how to do that.

Redirect non www to www

Of course you want visitors to be able to visit your site both with and without www before the domain. For SEO reasons you should make sure that one of them redirects to the other with a permanent 301 redirect. I redirected ny non www to www but you can do as you like. Here is is guide on how to do it.

Configure email

It is important to configure your Ghost blog to be able to send emails. The only thing that emails is used for at the moment is sending forgot password emails but more features using emails will probably be released in the future (have a look at the Roadmap). I used MailGun for sending emails. You can read a guide here or here on how to configure mail with different providers in Ghost.

Other useful resources

Configuring Ghost

Digital Ocean guide on how to configure and maintain Ghost from the command line

Happy Ghost-blogging! :)

comments powered by Disqus