What a treck. Everytime I decide to use Ghost as a platform it's quite a journey. I've setup some basic sites on WordPress and on Drupal before, which tends to be easier but also overdone. Ghost is a neat alternative. I like the free marketplace, I like being able to easily (well, kinda...see below) edit the way that pages are built within the app. Sometimes you need to support the little guys, just to keep them around. Sometimes you just really want an RC Cola instead of a Coke or Pepsi. RC wouldn't still be there if it weren't for people wanting the other option.
I've been working at this for a couple hours, re-reading documentation and editing config files. In some ways I think it'd be easier to use a pre-built site or a common platform, but that is not in the spirit of this blog. I enjoy doing things the hard way because I can, because I learn, and because I can do it again and again until it's easier. In many ways I think my webdev work is similar to a woodworking hobby. Sure you could go and buy a dresser, but making it is fun and using one that you made can fill you with pride.
It took a while when I set up jazzandtea for my wife, but that was about a year ago. I know that because I renewed the domain while I was registering this one. It took more than a couple hours because I was a real novice at using cloud services to host a reactive website with a blogging platform. I'm glad I didn't track it, because I'd be embarassed to admit how long it took me to get it together but I finally did!
Let's get into those details a bit more in another post.
The easy part
I think I'll keep this post to just the easy, stuff. I'll save the rest for my next post.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is definitely the easy part in this full-stack setup. I've been taking classes on AWS infrastructure engineering the past few weeks and I've come to love their simplicity.
I knew I needed to setup a Linux image to run the Ghost service so that I can actually login and make posts. Basically, if you want anything on the web other than a static, un-changing html file you will need something to compute with. That's where the Elastic Cloud Compute service comes in (EC2). Between Amazon and Bitnami I had a functioning Ghost image in just a couple minutes, with a public IP4 address and very secure SSH access.
All that was left was to register a domain and forward it to the provided IP address. EZPZ.
January 2018 Update
Due to my AWS Free-Tier expiring and me not wanting to setup a new account with a new email address, I have moved my blog off of AWS EC2. I setup ghost on my home server and am hosting images on an S3 bucket (AWS but cheap) and InstaGram. It's a great lightweight option for right now, until I actually start to get some traffic here.