About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get involved with supporting Ghost. Head over to http://tryghost.org for more information.
What People Are Saying About Ghost
Forbes - "If Mr. O’Nolan and Ghost deliver on their big idea that is now a funded project, content innovation may return to the forefront of disruptive conversation."
Wired - "Ghost aims to reboot blogging ... a combination of user-focused design, open-source code & non-profit company"
TechCrunch - "Ghost will take your boring blog to the next astral plane ... it looks so darn beautiful."
Mashable - "Is This Kickstarter Project the Future of Blogging?"
ProBlogger - "a simply, elegantly designed and useful interface ... I’m really excited to see this developed"
Ignite100, Europe's £1 million startup accelerator programme - "Awesome work."
AGBeat - "first exciting thing to happen to blogging in years"
What do You Have to Say About The World?
Ghost is a platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. It's beautifully designed, completely customiseable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even (gasp) fun to do. It's simple, elegant, and designed so that you can spend less time messing with making your blog work - and more time blogging.
Writing for The Web. Done Right.
Ghost has a smart writing screen. Markdown on the left, and a live preview on the right. Write down your ideas and format them on the fly, never pausing to click on endless formatting buttons, never having to write long/painful HTML to express your ideas. You can even theme the preview pane to match your blog's formatting exactly.
A Dashboard That Makes Sense
Ghost grabs all the important data about your blog and pulls it into one place, so you can see it all together. No more clicking through tens of browser tabs to view your traffic, social media subscriptions, content performance or news feeds. Drag and drop the widgets most important to you into your own custom dashboard, and stay on top of your blog's performance.
Simple Content Management
Ghost does something ridiculously simple when it comes to your content. It lets you browse and preview you all your stuff within a single view, just like you're already used to with your email. Save time, save energy, browse and manage your content without over-click syndrome.
Ready for Sharing and Search
Ghost comes ready to connect to your social media services right out of the box. No endless plugins required to do stuff that everyone with a blog wants to do. Connect your blog to publish to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, rank properly in search engines, and much more.
Customise it Completely
Ghost is Open Source, and it's all yours. You can write themes for it so your blog can have its own design. You can write plugins for it to add your own functionality. You can host it on your laptop, or you can host it on a public server. The code is open, and so is the MIT license. No restrictions.
We're incredibly proud to announce that WooThemes have backed us at the partner level and will be creating themes for Ghost.
"WooThemes wanted to support Ghost and see it become a reality, because we want our users to experience the same awesomeness. As such, we'll be working closely with the Ghost team to get some of our themes Ghost-ready" - Adii Pienaar
Not Just for Solo Bloggers
The first version of Ghost is focused on small blogs, but Ghost was born out of many frustrations. One of those was managing online newsrooms. Want to build the next Mashable? We're building Ghost to scale with features that allow news sites and magazines to manage editors and authors and content in a way that makes sense.
Inspiration can strike anywhere, not just when you're sitting behind a computer. So, Ghost works where you work. Ghost is a fully responsive web application that works on all devices. Not just moderating comments or token functionality. The whole thing.
Made for Love, not for Profit
Ghost is a non-profit project. If successfully funded, Ghost will be legally registered as a not-for-profit organisation. Why should you care? It means that no one owns shares of monetary value in the project. We're building Ghost because we want online publishing to be better. We want to make decisions focused on that goal, not on building a startup that we can sell to Facebook for $1billion.
Being a non-profit means that any money Ghost makes can only ever be used to re-invest in making Ghost better. Not making shareholders rich.
Use Ghost in The Cloud + Help us Grow
This Kickstarter project is all about building Ghost v1.0 and delivering it to our backers - but we don't just want to stop there. The majority of the problems which exist with self-hosted blogs, exist due to complications with hosting. That's something we want to solve.
We're setting up world-class hosted platform that allows you to set up a new Ghost blog in just a couple of clicks
You'll need hosting for your blog no matter what, but our service will be the most powerful way of running Ghost - and the easiest to get started with. You'll have the full Ghost software with all bells, whistles, themes, plugins, and some extras that are only available with us (like automatic updates and backups).
What's more by choosing to run your blog through our hosted platform, you'll be investing in the future of the software.
Every penny we make from our hosted customers will be re-invested to make Ghost better and grow the platform.
The sad thing about Open Source software projects funded on Kickstarter is that they usually have an initial flurry of activity when they launch, and then they slowly but surely die off when the money runs out because they have no business model to keep going. We want to build Ghost to be a self-sustaining open source project.
Users hosting with us = revenue = development = better software = more users = more revenue = more development = well... you get the idea.
How Does it Work?
Ghost is a Node.js application powered by the Express framework. Ghost ships with SQLite, which means it can run pretty much anywhere - however everything is connected through JugglingDB ORM, adding future support for many other database formats.
Ghost will be available via NPM, making it extremely simple (and fast!) to install on all major environments.
Ghost theming is done with Handlebars, which keeps our business and view logic separated. Mmmm semantic + sexy. If you know how to write WordPress themes, you'll be writing Ghost themes in under 5 minutes. Here's an example.
Of course there's also support for customising and extending your blog with additional functionality via plugins with helpers and data filters built right into Ghost. We'll also be supporting full international translations from the word go using Node Polyglot.js.
Finally, Ghost is being released under the MIT License. It's pretty much the most free Open Source license out there. It means you can do whatever you want with Ghost, and you can choose whatever license you want when you build something with Ghost. Want to release a GPL Ghost theme? That's fine. Want to release an MIT theme? That's fine too.
Where We Are Now
We've been slowly working on Ghost since I posted up the idea in November. As you can see from the video, we have a real working prototype - but there's still a lot to do.
With your support we can work hard to finish the first complete release of Ghost and get it out into the world. Your backing will help fund:
- Development time. We want to work on Ghost and nothing but Ghost in 2013. We want to ship the first public version of Ghost by the end of the summer.
- Legal stuff. We need to do a couple of important things like register trademarks, and register properly as a non-profit organisation.
- Infrastructure. We've got tons of work to do to complete the Ghost community website and platform to allow us to properly support users, provide hosting, and be the home of Ghost. We want to complete this by the end of the year.
The People Behind Ghost
My name is John O'Nolan. I've been building websites (but mainly blogs) with WordPress since 2005, a year after it was launched. From 2009-2011 I worked as the Deputy Head of the WordPress UI Group, where I helped to design and develop the WordPress user interface - and spoke at conferences all over the world about designing WordPress. I've designed, built, and worked on blogs for companies including Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic Airways, easyJet, MTV, Travelllll.com, Tourism Australia, Tourism Spain, WooThemes, W3 Edge and many others.
My main partner in crime, Hannah Wolfe, is a Senior Developer at Moo.com where she is currently working with a small team focused on a little site called Flavors.me. Hannah has been developing WordPress sites for over 7 years and prior to MOO - worked as a developer for a web agency, building websites (and blogs) for large household names in the UK.
Equally, this first prototype of Ghost would not have been possible without the generous contributions of many other people:
Risks and challenges
With a software development project like this, the biggest risk and challenge is inevitably shipping on time. To combat delays, we'll be setting regular milestones and making sure we hit them + keep our backers updates. We will be prioritising schedule above features.
Our other biggest challenge will be setting up the hosted platform and infrastructure to support our Ghost customers. Hosting is the area where we have the least experience, and the most to learn. This will not in any way inhibit or delay the creation of the software itself.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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