Free at last, free at last!
From the quagmire of WordPress to the clarity of Ghost.
I was able to finally click the “destroy” button on our old WordPress site at IPO Candy. What a relief!
It was a decent fit years ago and served us well for a long time, but it’s grown into a monstrosity of complexity that has eaten up time and money in the last few years.
WordPress started as a blogging/writing platform and ended up powering some crazy high number of internet sites. Then everyone wanted to do more, and a thousand plugins and add-ons for WordPress sprang from the demand. It’s an industry of its own.
We compounded our problems by using developers over the years who added some of their legacy elements that became hard to remove without hiring another developer. Most quotes I got to make some changes and streamline the site on WordPress came to several thousand dollars (at least) and would have taken three to six months.
Our business is not that complicated. We produce content and have members. That’s where Ghost.org comes in. It does all that without any plugins or additional costs.
How it gets F*&3@! up.
It starts with wanting to advance the design and create a more professional site. To do that, you end up with some extra scaffolding in the form of “builder tools” like Beaver Builder or Elementor. You can do more now with the built-in editor, but many developers still rely on these tools.
Then you might want paid memberships which gets you into a paid plugin like MemberPress. Want to be able to email subscribers with some flexibility? That get’s you into something like WPMail SMTP as a plugin, but you need a service like SendGrid to connect to it.
What about SEO? Yoast is very popular, so there’s another one. Want to do fancy tables? One of the tools I’ll miss is TablePress. That’s the only plugin that I enjoy.
You’ll need Akismet for SPAM prevention. An analytics plugin also helps. You’ll need a forms package and some assorted little point plugins.
All the plugins have to get updated, as does WordPress. This creates compatibility snags from time to time. But this worsens because plugins keep “improving” by adding more functions. That begins to create overlaps and conflicts.
So you end up spending more and more time dealing with creeping complexity just to manage your site. It’s hard to put a price tag on the time lost dealing with issues that should not be part of our business.
Although the numbers are low compared to the fees we pay for financial data, they still add up. The annual subscription fees add up to $1,970 for WordPress. Our Ghost.org plan that covers our current size is $480/year and comes with free migration and setup!
Our full database requires our proprietary app, which relies on MongoDB for rapid and flexible navigation. This offering is aimed more at investing professionals and is hosted separately at IPO Candy Pro.
I am looking at ways to deliver more of the data in different ways, including email, text, and folders.
I’ve added a YouTube Channel, and we will also be publishing some content via podcast since these are formats people have been asking for. These are in the early stages, but by the end of 2022 should be going full tilt. I’m trying Rumble since we did a long note on it.
Social media will continue to be a place to share content as are some “FinTwit” sites like Seeking Alpha and StockTwits.
We will use Discord for beta testing on real-time sharing and interaction. WhatsApp is pretty popular so we may be stuck with both, but so far, I think Discord is better.
Even though we could use Ghost to send out our free weekly Candygram, I am sticking with ConvertKit for now. In part because the Candygram is a way we can tie many of these things together and keep everyone well informed!