We all knew even though Ghost is free & open source, in order to use it for production, we will need to shed some dollars for the hosting. We can either choose the rock solid service from Ghost itself (the Ghost Pro) or use any third party hosting providers like DigitalOcean to get it ready.

But, there's a catch, you guessed it right! the cost. If someone is trying Ghost for the first time, and especially if it's for a personal blog, most of them don't want to spend their hard-earned money on things like casual personal blogging. And, in fact, many of them might end up leaving it in the midway when they lost their initial hormonal temptations :)

So, for those folks who want to try Ghost without spending a dime, hold tight, I have a great news for you.

Folks at PikaPods offers a great hosting service at an unbelievably cheap price, starting from just $1 per month!

What's PikaPods actually do?

PikaPods - Instant Open Source App Hosting

PikaPods is an instant open source app hosting that gives you the ability to run open source apps for a dirt cheap price.

How are they different from other services?

  • Pricing - of course, PikaPods service is much cheaper than competitors.
  • Privacy - PikaPods doesn't track user data or run ads based on it. In their own words "We only sell hosting services and not your data or ad".
  • Simple UI - You only have a very limited things to configure there, and they are pretty simple as well, and the UX is nice as well.
  • Secure and confidential - Every pod runs in isolation and connections are always encrypted.

Though $1 per month is dirt cheap for a Ghost blog, we are actually here to start a Ghost blog for completely free, right?

Yup! you can start a Ghost blog for completely free, even without a credit card!

PikaPods will give you a $5 credit when you sign up there. For a normal blog, it would easily get you 2 or 3 months!

Let's see how you can setup a Ghost at PikaPod:

1- Go to PikaPods.com, create an account there. Once you verify your email address, you will get a confirmation that your account is created. The process is almost instant.

2- Once you logged in, you can see all the supported apps there

PikaPods available apps

You can also see each app's average cost per month there as well.

Click the "blog" filter option, then you can see Ghost app listed there:

Ghost App on PikaPods - starts $1.9 per month

Click on the "RUN YOUR OWN", and it will popup a modal with some options

Ghost is preselected in the option, you can add a relevant name for "Pod Name". Then you can either choose either "EU" or "US" for the Pod Region (datacenter location).

Use "US" location here to save some money on taxes, with "EU" region you will have to pay some extra as VAT

Then, on the left side, you can see a tab called "Resources", here you can pick how much resources you requires for the current pod.

The tool will be automatically set to minimum required resources for the selected app, that would be enough for us as we will only have a little to none traffic for the new blogs.

Then click on the "ADD POD" button, then you will get a pod ready instantly.

Congratulations! your Ghost blog is ready, you will get your blog with a sub-domain like onix-spoonbill.pikapod.net

You can browse that URL and finish the Ghost setup.

Wait! PikaPods also allows you to add a custom domain as well 😍

If you have a domain with you already, just go to your domain registrar, and add a new CNAME entry there pointing to the newly subdomain you got from PikaPods.

Your custom domain will start pointing to your new blog in no time. You will also get a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt as well.

That's it, without even spending a dime, you have a beautiful Ghost blog ready for you. Now go blog your heart out!

P.S: This blog is also hosted on PikaPods! though it's just a few days, it's been awesome till now. With just some clicks, you can get your blog up and ready in minutes, a big shout-out to the PikaPods team, it's really a wonderful tool ❤