Why I changed my blogging platform to Ghost(Pro)

I seem to have committal issues when it comes to blogging platforms. I have gone from Blogger, to Svbtle, to Silvrback, and now to Ghost. I initially blogged on Blogger because I wanted a hosted blogging solution and I had interned at Google (I don't want to administer anything and I always tried Google services first, respectively). I went from Blogger to Svbtle because I wanted to write my posts in Markdown for easier inclusion of code (that was syntax highlighted without effort). I switched from Svbtle to Silvrback because support response time wasn't where I wanted it to be if I was going to pay for a service. And now there's the switch from Silvrback to Ghost (and specifically Ghost(Pro) which is the paid hosting service).

The first reason I switched was the posting experience is nicer on Ghost. They have a two-pane editor where the second pane holds a live preview of your rendered Markdown. While Silvrback has previews you can pull up, they are separate URLs and so I would have to manually refresh to spot-check formatting. I also once had a post go live when I didn't want to because I forgot Silvrback's single button is to post and not to save (and there's no prompt to make sure you want to go live). Ghost, on the other hand, not only automatically saves, but requires an explicit step to switch from "save" to "publish".

The second reason is HTTPS. While both Silvrback and Ghost have HTTPS available on their domains, I use a custom domain for this blog (snarky.ca, in case you came across this blog through the Ghost subdomain). That means I want a blogging platform that will somehow give me HTTPS on my own domain. Silvrback doesn't offer this while Ghost indirectly does through Cloudflare. While the same solution could be used for Silvrback, Ghost at least provides the instructions as well as the option to force all connections over to HTTPS. This support is critical to me not only because Google Chrome is going to start flagging HTTP as insecure, but Google also ranks HTTPS pages slightly higher. I also think HTTPS is a good thing to have in general, so it was important to me to switch to a platform where HTTPS was supported.

Everything else are perks. For instance, Ghost is working on AMP support. Ghost(Pro)'s customer service is amazing (I emailed back and forth over the weekend about a question that got resolved intra-day; Silvrback's is also very friendly but Ghost's turn-around time just can't be beat). Having Ghost be an open source project is also nice. And the availability of a desktop app is a nice touch (although not critical as I have a requirement that my blogging platform be usable through a Chromebook). Basically my only downgrades in this switch is I had to manually set up syntax highlighting -- blog post on how I did that coming, but it wasn't a big deal -- and email subscriber support isn't quite there (you can collect emails now but there's no notification sent yet).

But so far, so good (e.g. all URLs should simply continue to work, including the feed URL). Here's to hoping this blogging relationship lasts longer than my previous ones.