Self Hosting A Ghost Blog On Digital Ocean Is Surprisingly Easy

Nov 19, 2019

Welcome to Genevish Graphics, where we specialize in Arts & Entertainment - Visual Arts and Design. In this article, we will guide you through the process of self-hosting a Ghost blog on Digital Ocean, showcasing just how easy it can be.

Why Choose Ghost?

Before diving into the details, let's briefly discuss why Ghost is an excellent choice for bloggers in the visual arts and design industry. Ghost is a powerful and flexible blogging platform that offers a clean and intuitive interface, designed specifically for writers. It provides all the necessary tools to create and manage an engaging blog, allowing you to focus on what you do best - creating visually stunning content.

Getting Started with Digital Ocean

Now, let's move on to the first step - setting up your Digital Ocean account. Digital Ocean is a reliable and user-friendly cloud infrastructure provider that offers affordable hosting solutions. Follow these instructions to get started:

  1. Go to the Digital Ocean website and sign up for an account.
  2. Create a new Droplet (Digital Ocean's terminology for a cloud server) with your desired specifications (such as RAM, storage, and location).
  3. Choose a suitable operating system, such as Ubuntu, for your Droplet.
  4. Once your Droplet is created, you will receive an email with your server's IP address and login credentials.
  5. Access your Droplet via SSH using a tool like PuTTY (for Windows) or Terminal (for macOS and Linux).
  6. Congratulations! You now have a functional server ready to host your Ghost blog.

Installing Ghost on Digital Ocean

With your server set up, it's time to install Ghost. Follow these steps to install Ghost on your Digital Ocean Droplet:

  1. Access your Droplet via SSH.
  2. Update your server's packages by running the command sudo apt update followed by sudo apt upgrade.
  3. Install Node.js, which is required by Ghost, by running the command sudo apt install nodejs.
  4. Install the Ghost CLI (Command Line Interface) globally by running the command sudo npm install -g ghost-cli@latest.
  5. Create a new directory for your Ghost installation by running the command mkdir ghost.
  6. Move into the newly created directory by running the command cd ghost.
  7. Follow the Ghost CLI prompts to set up your blog's URL and other configuration details.
  8. Finally, run the command ghost install to install Ghost.
  9. After a few moments, your Ghost blog will be up and running on your Digital Ocean Droplet!

Customizing Your Ghost Blog

Now that your Ghost blog is installed, it's time to customize it to match your brand and style. Ghost offers a powerful theming system that allows you to create a unique and visually appealing blog. Here are some customization options to consider:

  • Choosing a Theme: Explore the wide range of Ghost themes available online or create your own using Ghost's built-in theme development kit.
  • Adding Custom CSS: Tailor your blog's appearance further by adding custom CSS code to modify colors, typography, and layout.
  • Integration with Digital Ocean Spaces: Utilize Digital Ocean Spaces, an object storage service, to store and serve your blog's media files.
  • Enabling SEO Optimization: Optimize your blog for search engines by configuring essential SEO settings within Ghost, including meta tags, URL structure, and XML sitemaps.

Improving Performance and Security

A fast and secure blog is crucial for both user experience and search engine rankings. Consider implementing the following optimizations to maximize your Ghost blog's performance:

  • Enabling HTTPS: Secure your blog with an SSL certificate, ensuring encrypted communication between your server and users.
  • Caching: Set up a caching mechanism, such as Varnish or nginx caching, to deliver content faster and reduce server load.
  • Image Compression: Compress and optimize images before uploading them to your blog to minimize file size without sacrificing quality.
  • CDN Integration: Utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve your blog's static assets, such as images and CSS files, from servers located closer to your visitors.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to self-host a Ghost blog on Digital Ocean. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you have taken control of your blog's hosting, ensuring optimal performance and flexibility for your visual arts and design content. Remember to regularly update your blog, create engaging content, and utilize SEO best practices to attract and retain your audience. Happy blogging!

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