Setting up a self-hosted Ghost blog in 2021

A lot has changed since I set up this blog back in 2017. Now, DigitalOcean has created a way to get started much faster and with less hassle.

See how I did it manually back then at This blog post replaces the whole section entitled Docker.

Creating a VM with the Ghost image

After finding the Ghost droplet, I clicked Create Ghost Droplet.

Ghost Hosting | DigitalOcean Marketplace 1-Click App
Ghost is a fully open source, adaptable platform for building and running a modern online publication. It powers blogs, magazines and journalists from Zappos to Sky News.

It redirected me to the regular Droplet set up page in the DigitalOcean console. I picked the cheapest setting for $5/mo. From experience it has plenty enough power, RAM and storage to host a simple blog.

Once the Droplet was created, it appeared in my list of droplets, but unlike the other droplets, it contained a link called "Get started" with the Ghost icon next to it. When I clicked it, it opened the documentation on a tab on the right.

Setting up the domain and SSL

Once I ssh'ed into the Droplet, it automatically ran an update, then asked me the two questions the doc said it would. I set up an A field on my domain with the IP of my new droplet, then typed the domain at which the blog should be hosted.

Then I gave my email address for SSL, and the setup script handled the rest.

After a few minutes, it told me the blog was set up, and I could go finish setting it up within the Ghost webapp.

Setting up users and posts

Upon opening the Ghost page on my domain, it prompted me for the owner's username and password. After which it asked me for the email of contributors. Very nice that I can easily create new users right there.

Finally, it took me to the Ghost admin view, where I can modify the site settings, posts and user permissions.

Overall, I am delighted that I didn't have to manually run a single docker command.