Can Ghost replace CaringBridge?

I needed a CaringBridge-type site, and decided to use Ghost. How'd it go?

Can Ghost replace CaringBridge?
After CaringBridge cut me off, I switched over to using Ghost. Dogfooding at its best?

Hey folks, and sorry for so long between posts. I've been tied up with my spouse's medical needs and then trying to clear the subsequent backlog.

So I started out thinking I'd make a CaringBridge page, because I'd seen people use it before, figured at least some of our friends & family would already be familiar, and if I needed to reply to one more concerned text or email, I was going to lose my literal mind. It was OK for the first couple days, although having to individually approve sign-in requests sometimes felt like the exact sort of emotional labor I was trying to avoid. Still, better than individually-sent texts, right?

Then the site vanished. Out of the blue. The post-mortem (a full 36 hours later) was that a member of our extended family had tried to leave a comment but had somehow instead made an entire new site, realized her error, and contacted support to request that they deactivate it. At which point they deactivated my older CaringBridge page (with 30 subscribers and half a dozen updates) instead of the minutes-old one with no subscribers. So... yeah.

That's when I decided it was time to switch over to Ghost, which is you know, what I should have done in the first place. I spun up a quick Pikapod install, wrangled it into talking to Mailgun for transactional email, got it domain name, and was back up and running, aside from needing to tell everyone there was a new place to check for updates.

Things I've wished for, as I try to use Ghost in this way:

  • An easier way to make parts of a post restricted to a subgroup of readers (other than just public preview)
  • A way to send a message out to multiple newsletters at once.
  • A unique "click this link to make an account" link that could be sent to friends and family by email. I didn't want to individually invite everyone. I didn't want the site to let anyone who stumbled upon it register. I needed something in the middle. I'll probably build that, if anyone else is interested....
  • Tiers that aren't paid. I wanted to be able to make some posts that only closest friends could read, and others that anyone registered could read. There's no smooth way to do that in Ghost.

There's probably more, but that's what occurs to me today.