This blog post is in no way meant to either describe the process of creating, using or editing anything on either Ghost or Azure. Beware.
I decided to finally create my own Ghost blog. I figured since I have some credits on Microsoft Azure, I might as well host it there. I thought I would have to set up a virtual server and configure everything manually, but that was not the case.
The only thing you actually have to do is to to search for Ghost in the Azure portal and create a new App service. When you create the app service you get to fill in all the standard fields for a regular Ghost setup; you barely have to think about that it runs on a server!
For the more nerdy of you, go and checkout the actual code which describes this.
Huh? I get a weird domain :S
Azure provides a lot of space for configuration. It defaults to a standard Azure domain
yourwebapp.azurewebsites.net. This can easily be overwritten with a different domain by adding a TXT record and an A record to the DNS zone file.
What about custom themes?
Well, I am glad you asked. In the setup there is no way to configure file uploads, and since Ghost does not yet support theme uploads, we have to do it another way. When you create a new Ghost application you generate a new virtual machine. If you are somewhat familiar with Azure, you know that virtual machines provide a very convenient FTP setup. Just write a username and a password. Voíla! Now log in with your favorite FTP client and upload a good-looking template.