The Haunting of One Man & His Blog

One Man & His Blog is now running on Ghost - and here's why.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

It's been rather quiet around these parts, hasn't it?

There's a reason for that. I made the decision a few weeks ago to make my long-planned move from WordPress to Ghost. Yes, after 15 years, OM&HB is now on its fourth blog platform (Blogger, Movable Type, WordPress and now Ghost).

I've been interested in the platform since John O'Nolan's first pitch, I backed the Kickstarter, and I've been tracking the progress of the platform ever since. When the platform hit 1.0 back last summer, the clock was ticking until I made a move.

Farewell, WordPress

I'd never been entirely happy on WordPress, and I knew that I wouldn't be there forever, even when I shifted to the platform nearly three years ago. It's a powerful, useful and substantial tool that I would unhesitatingly recomend — but it's never quite been to my taste. There's something in the aesthetics that puts too much emphasis on the publishing cruft and not enough on the content itself, and when I'm writing, I like to write.

Ghost is beautifully optimised for a writing experience.

In fact, I'm enjoying writing this blog post more than any I've written in quite a while.

Haunted helping hands

This move wouldn't have happened without a whole bunch of practical, hands-on help from both John O'Nolan himself and, in particular, Sarah Frantz from the Ghost support team, who have gone above and beyond to get everything working here.

The export file that came out of WordPress was in an interesting shape, the legacy of multiple platforms, and multiple versions of those platforms, that this blog has lived in. It needed some serious wranging to get up and going over here, and I took the opportunity to slightly rationalise the odd URL scheme I was using. They did that work - and I'm very grateful to them.

For the last few weeks they've been helping with regular expressions for URL rewriting, getting all the images safely across and, in at least one case, gently talking me out of something that wasn't necessary or a particularly good idea.

It's exactly the sort of help you need during a big project like this.

The Ghost community is still small enough that you can reach out for help from key players, but big enough that there are other companies out there providing services, like Just Good Themes who provided my theme, and some support on getting it working the way I wanted it to work.

Meet my new (pro)host

Also, for the first time in its history, OM&HB is now on a hosted platform - Ghost(Pro). Much as I enjoyed the FTP wrangling and file permissions games of the old days of blogging, I just don't have time between my work and my daughters to handle that any more. And besides, those hosting fees are one way that I (as a non-coder) can support the on-going development of the platform.

There's still a few jobs to do. I need to fix the Disqus URLs to reconnect the old comments. There are some old posts that need attention. But things move on, and this blog has moved on.

And I'm really, ridiculously happy about it. I'm looking forwards to getting blogging again here.

Welcome to the new Ghostly One Man & His Blog. I hope you like it.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.