Why We Chose Ghost to Take You Behind the Scenes at Envato

by Collis Ta'eed, CEO, Founder, Reformed Web Designer.

CEO Collis Ta'eed at His Desk

If you're into business, work and technology, then a lot of the most interesting things about companies are the things you never get to hear about. The pro-tips from the staff, the workflows and processes that are behind the products you use, the personalities who work there, the statistics and the stories. Today we're launching our new Inside.Envato blog with an all-access pass behind the scenes of Envato.

Like proper technologists, a big part of the Inside team's discussions was not about what we would publish, but how we would publish it. We uhm'ed and ah'ed on WordPress or Tumblr, took a side step towards Jekyll, and then landed on the barely-released Ghost. They are all great products, all great for different things, but ultimately Ghost felt like the right choice for what we want to do here.

A Focus on Reading and Writing

Inside.Envato has only one purpose - publishing stories. It's our company blog so it'll never have to pay for itself with advertising. It's not going to publish often, so there's no need to think about big magazine style layouts. It's not going to be home to any non-story content, so it doesn't need much of a CMS. We're looking to write great content that people want to share and read, so we're less worried about things like signups and calls to action. Really, we're only serious about two things - reading and writing.

For those two things, Ghost won out. It's super simple. First there's a huge focus on improving the writing experience by eliminating distraction. The admin interface is really just a post manager and editor, with only a few settings dials tucked away here and there. The editor works on Markdown which suits our internal workflow of using iA Writer for drafting. And the side by side screen is a novel approach.

We're launching using Ghost's default theme, a modern, gorgeous take on focused reading. It has some of the best ideas from the exciting, but closed, Medium platform, and is making them available through open source.

Open Source Platforms

As the operators of ThemeForest, the largest web themes marketplace online, we're advocates of open source platforms. Not only have we built our business on open source, we also have the simple business logic that open source platforms create open markets for themes.

But in recent years I've observed very few new open source CMSes getting traction, while simultaneously there's been wave after wave of closed, hosted platforms. It may simply be the tide of consumer interest, or possibly the more lucrative business opportunities. However you look at it, there are simply more Tictails, Mediums, Wixes and Weeblys than there are Ghosts. Now there's a weird sentence.

So when a promising new platform comes along, we're excited to support it in whatever way we can. Ghost is not only open source, it's one of the first Node based systems, and it's got a novel viewpoint that sets it apart from its peers. Most importantly there's lots of excitement and interest, which is critical to an open source project.

Along with backing the original Kickstarter campaign, we've been publishing Ghost tutorials on Tuts+, and seeding a new Ghost Themes category. And when the opportunity came up to be one of the first companies to launch a blog on Ghost, we jumped at the chance.

I'd like to thank John O'Nolan and his crew for putting us up on their new servers, and letting us beta test the system. And I both wish Ghost the best of luck as it gets cranked up, and cheer for every yet-to-be-dreamed open source CMS project. I hope the next few years sees many more Ghost's to round out the wonderful lineup of WordPresses and Drupals.

And on that note, I hope you all enjoy Inside.Envato. We'd love to hear feedback from you about the blog and what you'd like to see us cover so please hit us up on Twitter or Facebook!

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