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Some alternatives to Ghost: Roon & Draft

While trying to find some time to play with Ghost (after its 0.4 release; still no plugins/themes API there though) – I decided to share with you 2 other possible alternatives with a bit different approaches but with the same minimalistic dashboards.

Roon – The easiest way to blog

Roon.io seems to be rather young project (like Ghost, actually), but this service (yep, no downloadable and self-hosted source code) is very nice and promising. Here is how it looks after the quick registration and with several posts already written.

Actually, this screenshot is the only page that you have in Roon’s Dashboard. Plus 2 popups with some settings (see tabs):

Blog Settings

Profile Settings

And a page in development called Profile. It’s not ready, as tabs are not working.

Roon has a clear payment solution:

  1. the main (writing) service is free – you will get a subdomain [username].roon.io;
  2. there are 2 (two) additional features to buy ($24/year in total).

You can look through some real world examples of blogs that use this service using google search. Here is the blog of a co-founder of Roon – Sam.

So Roon is for “solo” blog, mainly.

Draft – Write Better with Draft

Another solution that you can use to easily share your posts with a super minimal design and great writing web-experience is Draft. As stated on a site: Easy version control and collaboration for writers. And that’s true, as I’m using Draft and it’s pretty awesome for ideas and collaboration.

There are a lot more features there, and it would be foolish to copy-paste them all from official listing to this post, so just go ahead and read everything on one page. So sum up that all:

  1. all your articles have versions (like in git, or revisions like in WordPress)
  2. others you granted access can edit and you will see in clear diff all their changes
  3. you can deploy all articles to lots of site (including WordPress)
  4. articles can have in-line comments, attachments, footnotes, transcriptions, can use markdown and analytics
  5. and lots of other things.

Every article that you write there can be “published” by sharing the link with the world (or exporting). But the main purpose of this service is actually collaborative writing – versions and team. Everything else is just a sugar.

Draft is free to use, but you have an ability to support the developer by buying a subscription. Quite a reasonable price ($4/month or $40/year) for such a useful in certain circumstances service. And one more thing from Nathan Kontny, developer behind Draft:

Draft is as secure and stable as software from places like Microsoft or Google.

Summary

It’s up to you what service to choose. All 3 services – Ghost, Roon, Draft:

  • provide a little bit different but sufficient set of features
  • have really nice minimalistic design
  • fully focused on actually creating written content

Everything depends on your needs. You may even use all three services for different purposes.

P.S. I will consider to create a plugin for Ghost when its plugin API will be ready. That plugin will connect Draft articles and Ghost blog posts.

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