From Blogger to Ghost (Part 3)

Finding a suitable hosting solution for my Ghost blogging platform could have been easier if I searched in the right place first. That’s life.

My idea was to get an provider for virtual private servers. Cloud would be nice. First choice was Amazon Web Services (AWS) with their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It seemed to be promising: Easy login (credit card needed), easy setup. Or lets say, it seemed to be easy. Shortly after creating my first instance (a virtual server) I had to get into the nitty gritty details: Configuration of permission groups, public IPs and the allocation of those to the my virtual server instance. I got it all up and running. After that I logged in via SSH and started to configure Ghost using their instructions for Linux and deployment. After all I got it all right.

The next day I told my girlfriend proudly about my new blog and that I’m using AWS for it. She asked how much will it cost. I have to say … I did not really care. AWS has a free contingent of service in the first year of use. But I started to wonder … what will come after it? I calculated the possible costs. It would be at least about 16 USD. My girlfriend told me that I could get a private virtual server cheaper, e.g. at Prgmr.

After some research I found these alternatives to AWS:

I aimed for the best cost-benefit ratio, so I chose DigitalOcean (10 USD per month). I logged in (you need an credit card or PayPal account for that) and started to create my first virtual server, called droplet. I got it all up and running, logged in via SSH and started to configure everything needed for Ghost. It didn’t mention it before, you need to …

  • … install node.js and the node package manager (npm)
  • … install nginx
  • … configure Upstart if you are using Ubuntu

That’s all. But this time it did not work out as easy as on the AWS’ EC2 instance. I just did not manage to get it up and running. I tried everything.

Frustrated I deleted my droplet and started over. But what did I see? There is a fully configured image for Ghost using Ubuntu! Was the solution after all this easy? The answer is yes …

Conclusion: If you want a really easy way to get your self-hosted Ghost blogging platform up and running, just visit DigitalOcean, create an account and create a droplet using the Ghost image. For details see this manual.

One last thing: There is also an easy manual for importing your posts from Blogger. You just have to take care of your images yourself, sadly.

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