Blogging Platforms, Ghost, and Discourse

(Craig Oda) #1

Continuing the discussion from Discourse blog -

I am curious as to why you moved to Ghost for your blog. Is it free?

When you say that your blog will be moved to Discourse, do you mean that the blog comments for Ghost will be driven by Discourse, similar to the Evil Trout blog?

What about using Discourse as the blog platform itself, not as the comment engine at the end of blog? I’m not suggesting that this is advisable, I’m just curious to see what you have in mind.

This interesting to me since I was just talking to a client about what blog and forum platform to use. My main requirement is to get as tight as integration between the blog and the forum as possible. The three things that I am looking for are:

  1. comments on the blog will go into the forum or somehow be connected
  2. forum content can be selected to be pushed to the blog
  3. tracking analytics within the forum so that I can see how many times links to external content have been clicked from within the forum (different views, including aggregate, by date, by person, by topic tag)

I have pretty much free control over the blog software. I am also thinking of moving my own hobby blog on teaching children to program to another blog platform to gain better management of questions, discussions, answers. I moved a corporate blog over to Jekyll and that is going fine so far. I am thinking of moving my own blog over to Jekyll or now Ghost since that is what you’re using.

(Larry Salibra) #2

[quote=“codetricity, post:1, topic:13534”]
Is it free?
[/quote] Ghost is free: GitHub - TryGhost/Ghost: The platform for professional publishers

I’m also wondering why @codinghorror went the Ghost with embedded Discourse for comments option instead of using a discourse plugin like @sam . I’m leaning towards the Discourse plugin route. I’m not seeing what Ghost offers over Discourse + a plugin besides a slightly prettier editor for blog posts and the ability to make static pages at the cost of running another server with a different technology stack and user authentication system.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

Maybe I like to support other up and coming open source projects?

Why can’t Ghost adopt Discourse as its default discussion engine in the longer term?

(Sam Saffron) #4

My blog runs that way, see: Commenting powered by Discourse

We now have 3 styles demonstrated:

  1. Static embedding as @eviltrout and @codinghorror are using.
  2. WordPress plugin as used at and
  3. Rails engine (aka. use Discourse as both publishing and commenting platform) like my blog.

Discourse is Rainbows. We don’t believe that one size fits all. We also strongly believe that if we have any features we don’t use they eventually die. A huge reason I am happy we support the three flavors here.

Reddit Style picture thumbnail on the left
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #5

Echoing what Sam said; personally I love the fact that all 3 Discourse behemoths are using different blogging solutions, which in effect is 3 moderately different ways of using Discourse. That means they all get slightly different perspectives on using their software as a complement to blogging, which is nothing but great!

It keeps you honest.

(Craig Oda) #6

Yes, I agree with this from @erlend_sh. If there were a way to like the
post by email, I would. :wink:

It’s a good strategy to take a Linux/UNIX approach of using individual
programs for specific tasks right now. Basically, one component handles
the forum and one component handles the blog, perhaps there is another
component to handle reporting at some point. People can choose the sign-in
mechanism, the blog.

Though, at some point, I think there should be a Discourse Community Stack
that pre-selects the best of breed components for new deployments.

In the meantime, it’s better to let customers choose their own blog
platform and thus it’s awesome that the Discourse big dudes are
experimenting and using different blogging platforms.

(Gabriel Mazetto) #7

What are your toughts on a ruby based blog that implements rich interface with ember and “does not want to be wordpress?”

While ghost is cool I feel the need for a ruby alternative as a strategic move for the long term…

It doesn’t mean node is wrong it just a matter of taste

(Clay Heaton) #8

I’m curious about your hosting with Ghost and Discourse… do you self-host both of them? Are they hosted separately? Is there a host you would recommend for somebody looking to stand up Ghost and Discourse together?

(zchrykng) #9

@clay I just finished setup my own (low demand) instance of each. A $20 a month droplet from digitalocean seems to be working great so far.

(Clay Heaton) #10

Ok, cool. Digital ocean gets a fair amount of love around here.

(Craig Oda) #11

@zchrykng Did you get one droplet for Discourse and one droplet for Ghost? I’m thinking of moving my hobby blog to something that can integrate with Discourse for further testing. It’s currently on blogger.

I’ve been thinking of the free hosting on GitHub Pages with Jekyll and Twitter Bootstrap. That’s what my company blog is using.

I’ve been wondering if I can or should put wordpress or ghost in the same droplet as Discourse.

@clay I think the reason for the Digital Ocean love is the great installation documentation for Discourse on Digital Ocean. Are you working for Digital Ocean? It seems like a good service.

I think that I’m going to set up another droplet for a client prototype.

(Clay Heaton) #12

I don’t work for digital ocean. I was just considering a ghost site and Discourse board for a small community I manage. However, I have concerns about the amount of maintenance it will require.

(Jeff Atwood) #13

You can also use the $10 per month 1GB instance at Digital Ocean, but be SURE you set up a swap file (I recommend 2 GB) as soon as you log in.

Should be fine for smaller instances.

(Craig Oda) #14

If you’re worried about the ongoing maintenance, there are things like
DiscourseHosting that might be lower hassle for you.

For larger communities, you can also buy the hosting from Discourse.

– Craig

(zchrykng) #15

@codetricity I got one droplet for both. I setup discourse following the standalone instructions, and setup my ghost install in /var/ghost following the developer instructions. I then used nginx to proxy both of them and setup a static file site on the main domain, and provide ssl for both processes.

@codinghorror I decided on the $20 since that is what I was already paying at linode for a much lower memory setup, though much higher storage. I may down grade to a smaller system after I finish figuring everything out :smile:

(Craig Oda) #16

@zchrykng thanks. This is useful to me. I may try to install ghost in /var/ghost inside of the same droplet that Discourse is in. It is super helpful for me to follow the path of other people and use the same setup. I am probably the least technical person in the forum. I may give it a go just for kicks.

BTW, my current blog on Blogger uses SyntaxHighlighter from Alex Gorbatchev. I would like to run this with the Ghost/Discourse setup. If anyone has experience with that, let me know. I like the line numbers of SyntaxHighlighter. Can I add this to the posts of the Discourse forum that I am running?

(zchrykng) #17

@codetricity If you want I can try to write up the steps that I followed when I have time.

(Craig Oda) #18

@zchrykng , thanks for the offer. I think I’ll give it a go by myself
first using the Ghost docs on their site. It’s just good to know that
you’re running both Ghost and Discourse in the same droplet on Digital

The thing that I’m really curious about are the steps to get Discourse
handle the blog comments for Ghost. I’ll deal with that after I install
Ghost. At this stage, it’s just good to know that it can be done.