Ghost Blogging Engine: First Look

This course serves as an introduction to Ghost by showing how to set it up, install it, customize the default theme, and write your own theme. This course builds from no knowledge and ends with a good understanding of what you will need to customize the blog for your needs.
Course info
Rating
(13)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Mar 14, 2016
Duration
3h 32m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(13)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Mar 14, 2016
Duration
3h 32m
Description

Other blogging engines have become more than just a blog, often they are complicated CMS systems. Ghost is a simple alternative that focuses on blogging. It uses Node.js, JavaScript, and Handlebars to provide a powerful blog. This course serves as an introduction to Ghost by showing how to set it up, install it, customize the default theme, and write your own theme. This course builds from no knowledge and ends with a good understanding of what you will need to customize the blog for your needs.

About the author
About the author

John Brown is a Software Craftsman continually looking for intuitive designs, agile architectures, and streamlined processes. With degrees in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins and Aerospace Engineering from Purdue, John is always up for a challenge, especially in his areas of interest in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hello everyone, my name is John Brown and welcome to this first look at Ghost, the simple blogging engine. I'm a software developer, trainer, and author, and as such, I should be a prolific blogger, but I've found many of the blogging software available to be overly complicated to set up and use for what I was looking for. That is, until I found Ghost. It is simple to use, easy to set up, and easy to customize. In this course, you will learn the following. You will learn how to use markdown to quickly write blog posts in Ghost. You will learn how to set it up through a provider and how to set it up locally using Node. js. You'll also learn how to customize a theme through mash-ups, adding comments and search to an existing theme, and you'll also learn how to create your own theme using Handlebars and the Ghost API. Before beginning this course, you should be familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You do not need to be an expert in these areas, though the more advanced your skills, the more complicated theme you will be able to create. I hope you will join me on this journey to becoming a prolific blogger by learning how to use and customize Ghost.

Setting up a Local Copy
Hello, this is John Brown, and welcome to this module on setting up your own local copy of Ghost. In the previous module, we saw how easy it is to get started with Ghost using a hosting provider. But what about setting up a copy of Ghost running locally? Or how about just getting access to the source files from the website host so we can make our own customizations? Before we do that, let's talk about Ghost's dependencies. Ghost has only one real dependency, Node. js. Node. js allows us to write JavaScript code and run it on the server instead of the browser. Node. js wraps up Google Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine into a nice package that is easily installed and able to run on many platforms. To install Ghost, we first need to install Node. js and the Node packaged modules. Luckily, these are already wrapped up into easily installed packages. To get it started, let's install Node and Node package modules.

Customizing Ghost
Hello, this is John Brown again, and welcome to this module on customizing your Ghost blog. Now that we have seen how to run Ghost locally in a development mode, we can take a good look at how to customize it to meet our needs. We saw in the earlier modules that though Ghost is very user friendly, and is pretty powerful, there are some clear limitations out of the box as of the version we are using today. We have identified some missing features. On our blog, we would like to enable a commenting feature, so that your visitors can interact with our site. As we develop more and more content, we also want to be a able to search that content and keep the user focused on our blog. The static pages are useful for creating a page that we want to keep around longer than a typical blog post, so we need to add a menu to navigate to them throughout the site. I also want to encourage visitors to integrate the blog with their social platforms, so they can be easily updated when a new post is published. Along with some missing features, I also want to personalize the blog a bit. I'd like to include a favorite icon, which is displayed on the tabs in your browser, and also displayed next to your bookmarks. By default, the homepage currently only shows excerpts of the recent blog posts. I would like to show the full content on the homepage for the recent posts. And if all of this customization is not what you're looking for, we can explore just downloading and installing a custom theme instead. Let's take a look at adding all of these features to the current casper theme that we installed by default.

Maintain Your Blog
Hello, this is John Brown and welcome to the last module in this course on the Ghost blogging engine. So you've set up a blog and got the theme customized, you've been blogging away. Now you realize that you need to maintain this blog. First off, you might need some help, so let's look at adding additional users to the blog, which includes the various roles they might fill. Next, you know you'll need to backup the content, because no matter how good your provider is, you need to prepare for the worst. So we'll talk about putting into place a backup strategy. Ghost is still in the beta stage, and as such, they are frequently upgrading the engine to access new features and fixes of errors you are going to need to upgrade. We will talk about some of the pitfalls in the upgrade process. And finally, as your blog as matured, there are a few advanced configurations that may help you take your blog to the next level.