The Ghost of WordPress

*This post has nothing to do with paranormal activity related to WordPress. 

I was talking to my buddy the other day and I was telling him how I had decided upon Ghost as my blogging platform of choice. It checked a number of boxes for me:

  1. It was based on node.js. Whats HOTTER than node.js?
  2. It has a really great markdown-based visual post editor.
  3. Its not wordpress.
  4. Ghost doesnt seem to be in the news constantly for security problems.

Here is an accurate visual representation of my Ghost install:

Note the scaffolding of my server configuration in the foreground. It wasn’t long for this world.

Here is the haunting tale of what happened:

I went about configuring a new 128mb VPS from Ramnode using a variety of guides I had found about good Linux practices (I’ll post more about that later). Once it was all fresh and ready, I went and tried to install Ghost.

Turns out (and this is no fault of Ghost), npm (the Node.js package manager) is a huge memory hog. Long story short, despite my best efforts at getting around it, a 128mb vps is just not enough for the memory beast that is npm. No big, I’ll just upgrade my vps to 256mb and solve the memory problem.

After a few attempts at npm install, it finally worked. Great! I browsed to my domain and sure enough there was a running Ghost install.

I left it for a few days and, in the mean time, Ghost came out with a new update. I went to the Ghost documentation and found theirupdate instructions. When I was reading the install and config instructions for Ghost, I kept getting the vibe that they REALLY want you to just host your blog with them. Brewing your own server was not their ideal, nor was it a process that they had really attempted to make user-friendly in any way.

I plowed forward with their update instructions anyway and finished with restarting Ghost. I went to my domain and my page wouldnt load. No big, I’ll just restart my server. Sudo restart.

That was the last I ever heard from my server again. It became unreachable. No SSH access. No access from the VPS control panel. Somehow, during the Ghost update process, my vps instance imploded. I contacted Ramnode technical support. They were really helpful, but essentially said the best they could do was to dump the files into a reinstalled VPS image.

Heres the deal: I don’t think that I am without fault in this whole thing. I probably did something. The question in what? I actually didnt update any packages on my linux install, I just copied the core files of the newest version of Ghost into my web folder. I did run npm again and it did throw some errors my way (which it always did every other time as well). But that was it.

WordPress isnt so bad after all. Right?