Fuck It, Let's Go With Ghost

Details on yet another change-up in my website, this time involving the CMS platform Ghost.

Fuck It, Let's Go With Ghost

Eleventy (Billion Problems)

After the quick win I achieved from switching my static website from Jekyll to Eleventy, I made up for it over the following week by hammering my head against the proverbial wall.

While viewing my blog on a mobile device, I discovered that images were not responsive: on mobile portrait mode, they displayed at full resolution & overflowed to the right, but looked fine on all other screens (desktop, mobile landscape).

I had made a bad assumption: that if Eleventy advertises a project (basically a theme) on their website, that each project properly handles all markdown and images.

It turns out that the starter project I used (eleventy-base-blog) was problematic:

  1. Its sample blog post used a demo image that was specifically sized smaller than the viewport.
  2. While the eleventy-image plugin was packaged with the project, its {{% image %}} shortcode was implemented in a different fashion than the documentation example, and itself was missing theme-specific widths & sizes media queries.
  3. Once I got eleventy-image working, the browser correctly selected the right-sized image for the media .
  4. Its cascading style sheets (CSS) were missing the necessary CSS classes for ensuring that img elements are constrained within their divisions (special thanks to the Eleventy Discord community and this blog post for helping me fix at least this portion)
  5. None of the above was documented. I did find an old GitHub issue where someone reported something similar, but it was never marked closed / solved and its suggested solution was irrelevant. The issue also hadn't been updated in months, so I didn't want to wait months to fix all of this!

By switching from Jeckyl to Eleventy, I didn't gain anything — instead, I just swapped some problems for a completely-different set. Instead of spending time writing, I was instead spending time trying to get a website running. I had better things to do.

So I said, "Fuck it, let's go with Ghost!"

Why Ghost?

Ghost has been out for awhile, but it came to my attention as part of the Substackers Against Nazis affair, which led many users to migrate from Substack to alternatives such as Ghost. I liked how their new publications were operating, so I checked Ghost out myself & enjoyed the UX.

I soon learned I could cheaply operate my own Ghost instance on a solution like PikaPod. I originally left WordPress because I didn't want to pay a monthly fee to essentially park my blog, but the cost differences between PikaPods vs. WordPress ($2 or less per month vs. $5 / month) made it a no-brainer to at least try.

I really dig how my content looks & pops on the default Source theme, especially collection pages like for my Time Capsule. Although I miss the tinkering that came from composing & building from raw Markdown, I'm glad to finally be off the web dev / maintenance path — and instead, I'm now on the writing path!