Using Ghost as a headless CMS

Using Ghost as a headless CMS

In a previous post I described how I investigated hosting ghost for free using Heroku and how this will allow me to potentially pull data from Ghost and build it into a static site which I can also get hosted for free (or at least a lot cheaper than what I am currently paying). I did spend some time investigating various site scrapers that would pull the ghost content directly and build a static site and though I could get these (mostly) working locally I couldn't find anyway to run them simply/cheaply in the cloud so that I could automate the process and make the effort of getting the scraper work properly worth it.

Ghost however refers to itself as a headless CMS and so I thought that I'll look into what the community is doing in this space and this is how I came across Gatsby and the deployment/hosting platform called Netlify, as I had a few false starts I'll describe how I got it to work.

Installing and running Gatsby

First download the Gatsby CLI tool using npm and then prepare the starter project that is pre-configured to pull data from Ghost via its API.

npm install -g gatsby-cli
gatsby new gatsby-blog-ghost

This will create a folder called gatsby-blog-ghost and inside it will be, after a little configuration, all that is needed to build a static site from the Ghost platfrom.

  1. From the Ghost admin portal create a custom integration
  2. Update the production entry in `.ghost.json` (found in the gatsby-blog-ghost folder) with the supplied API key and API URL
  3. Test the settings work by and navigating to the supplied URL e.g. http://localhost:9000
gatsby build
gatsby serve

Work in progress...

Your feedback is appreciated