Ghost Brings WordPress Back To It’s Roots

We all know and love WordPress, it’s a fantastic CMS (Content Management System) that allows users to create stunning websites very quickly indeed. However, over time WordPress has moved away from it’s core values of providing a simple platform for publishing content and it’s now morphed into a full blown CMS for websites. Enter Ghost, a WordPress fork that’s set to revitalise those core values…



What is Ghost?

At the moment Ghost is nothing more than an idea forged by WordPress evangelist John O’Nolan. John first came up with the idea for Ghost back in November 2012 and created a concept page on his blog that outlined the details of his new idea for Ghost. After a few days, and nearly 100,000 hits on his website. It was clear that Ghost was a good idea that was worth exploring further. This then spurred another post from John titled Ghost: From Fiction To Function“.

Knocking together a concept page is one thing, but starting work on a whole new blogging CMS is quite another, even if you are tagging yourself on to the back of an established system like WordPress. With the Fiction To Function post, John elaborated on what the viability of starting work on Ghost would be:

The concept page was a way for me to test demand and interest. To see if anyone actually agreed with my frustrations and, more importantly, my solutions. I plucked a random figure of “10,000 pageviews” out of the air before I hit the publish button. If it got less than 10,000 pageviews, I would surrender to the fact that it would only ever be an idea. I’ve now exceeded that goal 9 times over, so yes, I’m looking at how Ghost can now be made into a reality.

Ghost is intended to bring WordPress back to it’s roots in that it won’t be a full CMS, it will a blogging CMS. Users will have the ability to easily view what is important to them like social followers, popular posts and site hits, all from one admin console. By default Ghost won’t even have a commenting system as this is deemed unnecessary. Which let’s be honest, it is, as most blogs only get around 1% of their visitors actually leaving a comment. Here at RefuGeeks the vast amount of the commenting takes place on our social networks rather than natively on the site, so I can see why this has been done. John does go on to say however that commenting systems like Disqus can be easily be integrated into Ghost.

Ghost Dashboard

How will Ghost work?

In his secondary post on Ghost, John said there were three different ways that he could go about implementing Ghost. Each with their own advantages and disadvantages. They were as follows; a completely re-designed CMS built from the ground up, a plugin for WordPress that replaces wp-admin with Ghost, and finally a stripped down version of WordPress based on the same code. In the end John opted for a staged approach which encompasses the plugin and complete re-design options. Ghost would start life as a plugin to replace wp-admin then, once adoption takes of, John will use the plugin as a basis for completely re-designing a new CMS for blogging.

What’s next for Ghost?

John openly admits that Ghost is a tall order and a hell of a lot of work to take on, and since the posts back in November there haven’t been any updates. However, there is a site where you can add your email address to the Ghost newsletter in order to be kept up to date with developments. At the moment it’s not all that clear if work has begun on Ghost, or if in fact Ghost will ever see the light of day. One thing is certain though, Ghost would fill a very large niche for users who want the flexibility of WordPress but the simplistic nature of having a blogging CMS instead of a website CMS.

Would I personally move RefuGeeks over to Ghost if it were to be released? Possibly. I’d have too see what it can and can’t do first, however, I do think that I would move my personal blog over to Ghost if the opportunity came. Would you move your WordPress blog over to Ghost? Why not tell us your thoughts in the comments section below…

Ghost Brings WordPress Back To It’s Roots
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