Where to Host Your Ghost Blog
There are many different places to host your Ghost blog. With all of these different hosting companies looking to get people to host with them, it can be hard to decide who you should choose and why.
We have done installs on over 30 different platforms, but there are two that we highly recommend. We have extensive experience with both of these platforms, and feel very comfortable recommending them because we know they have a great product, and excellent customer service.
Ghost(Pro) is the hosting that is offered by the Ghost team themselves. It seems like it may be an obvious choice for this list to just choose the company that made the product, but the Ghost team has created an amazing product at an good price for what you get.
With Ghost(Pro), it takes about 30 seconds to get your Ghost blog up and running. They give you a subdomain to access your blog that will look something like testblog.ghost.io. You can access your blog through this subdomain, or, if you own a domain name, you can point it at Ghost(Pro) and use that URL.
Like any Ghost install, you can upload a theme through the Ghost admin to make your blog look and function the way you want. Ghost(Pro) does not allow access to the core files of Ghost. This shouldn't matter for 99% of people. You should be able to do everything you need through your theme. If you are a developer and want to be using the bleeding edge, then Ghost(Pro) is not the option for you, but if you are looking to host a Ghost blog somewhere and just focus on writing, Ghost(Pro) is perfect.
The cheapest plan with Ghost(Pro) is $19 a month for a single Ghost blog. I have seen a lot of people complain about this price. For $19 a month though, you are getting a fully managed server with automatic software updates that allows you to not worry about anything except writing. This means that you do not have to worry about security holes, firewalls, or even updating your Ghost blog itself. The Ghost team is taking care of all of this for you.
TL:DR - Great for people who just want to use Ghost and focus their time on writing and creating rather than server maintenance.
DigitalOcean is the hosting company that we currently use for our Ghost blogs. DigitalOcean provides Ghost on a VPS. What this means is that you have access to the entire operating system that your Ghost blog is running on. DigitalOcean's one-click install of Ghost launches one Ghost instance, but with a VPS you have full access to all the files, you can spin up a 2nd or 3rd Ghost blog if you wanted, at no additional cost. Of course you will have to do all of this yourself and you are responsible for keeping the server up to date and securing everything yourself.
We love DigitalOcean because it offers so much flexibility. Their limit on the $10 a month plan is more than enough to run Ghost on.
DigitalOcean is great for developers, because you can always keep up to date on the latest Ghost software, or if you want to try something out, you can launch a whole new Ghost VPS, try it out, then terminate that VPS and you will only pay for the number of hours it was on. That ability to launch and terminate an individual VPS is one of DigitalOcean's biggest advantages. Since technically, with DigitalOcean, you only pay for every hour that you have that instance, you could launch a second instance to try something out for a few hours, and only pay a couple extra pennies for that time.
Even if you are not a developer, DigitalOcean can be a great place for your Ghost blog. The $10 a month plan can handle a huge amount of traffic and there is no risk to at least trying them out. Since there is no contract, if you sign up, try them out for two days and decide you want to go elsewhere, you only owe them for those two days, which ends up being like $0.50.
We would highly recommend this option as it is what we currently use ourselves.
TL:DR - Access to all system files. Great for developers or someone just looking to blog. Can have multiple Ghost instances. No risk, only pay for what you use.