It's responsive right out of the box!
If you've alread read Part 1 of my Ghost journey, you might suspect I've just scratched the surface of blogging and website content with Ghost.
You're right! But the folks at Ghost.org have enhanced the product without overcomplicating it.
Did I say responsive? Yes!
Right out of the gate, Ghost works well on monitors, tablets and phones, and most of the themes and templates work well on all platforms, too, thanks to the 12-column Twitter-Bootstrap environment for creating responsive sites. It looks great without a ton of work.
Of course, you need to choose a Ghost theme that really hums in a responsive way. You can find Ghost themes at Envato Theme Forest, and the Ghost.org website has its own listing of themes, which it calls Marketplace.
Once you find a theme you like, you should test it out on your tablet and phone. Use the responsive view tools provided by Firefox or Google Chrome, and don't forget to test the theme for all the major browsers.
You can test before buying a theme, but of course you need to test responsiveness all over again after you've customized things. The size of your images, logo, color choices, typeface and headings can all look different on mobile phones, which is how most of your viewers typically look at the web these days.
Here are some more major features:
- Add a simple menu - In the past month or so, Ghost added in an automated menu builder. It's so simple, I wish it would have been available for my theme when they developed it. By the way, that update and any new versions of Ghost are just like the original version -- open source, free and auto-installed on your site if you use Ghost.org hosting. Download the code free for your test site(s) any time.
- Easy testing on your own turf - You don't have to be a genius to get Ghost up and running on your home computer or laptop. Do all your testing and formatting privately. Demonstrate the content in the conference room. Then easily upload all theme, content and supporting files when you're really ready.
- Easy prototyping - With the easy-to-use test environment, there's another benefit. You can try several themes with the same basic content to find out which works best for you.
- Multi-media and social media - It's easy to use video files, picture galleries or sound files. You can link readers to your own social media and help them easily share your content with others.
- Interactivity - You can allow/monitor comments on your posts and easily set up subscription forms. If I can do this, almost anyone can.
- Easy customizing - Most Ghost themes offer at least three home page layouts, including video, parallax, full-screen slide shows or custom color schemes to fit your brand. Pluto, my theme, comes in basic black, but I re-made it blue with minor-league CSS tweaks. Look for different page and section layouts in each theme. It's just copy, paste and tweak.
- Fast client turnaround - If you've got a fast deadline for a client who needs a promotional website or event site, you can be up and running on a prototype fast. It'll be responsive, reliable, friendly to your social media and fast-loading.
It's easy on so many levels - Between the ease of use of the Markdown writing language, the hundreds of themes available, there just isn't much I wanted to do that was beyond my simple grasp.
It's a great learning tool - If you're new to blogging, have some social media going and want your first (or second or third) website to look and feel expensive without being expensive, using Ghost will not only work, it will also teach you some of the design, style sheets and behind-the-scenes file structures of contemporary websites and blogs.