Want to know the differences between WordPress vs Ghost? Then, follow this article to the end.
Here’s a fact: the blogging industry is dominated by WordPress.org. However, some other platforms also provide stand-out blogging features. And Ghost is one of them.
So here, we’re comparing Ghost vs WordPress performance based on various criteria. Let’s see if the Ghost platform can come out as the WordPress blog alternative.
Let’s start with a short introduction to both Ghost and WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) that strongly supports blogging. It comes in 2 different flavors: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is a free and self-hosted platform that requires you to manage a domain, hosting, and other requirements by yourself. Whereas, WordPress.com is a fully-hosted version of WordPress with everything managed for you. You can check our WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com article for more details.
Here, we’re going to talk about WordPress.org, also known as the core WordPress. Started as a blogging platform in 2003, WordPress.org can now host eCommerce, business, forum, portfolio websites, and other dynamic sites.
It provides powerful software that you can download from their official site. WordPress.com, the hosted version, also uses the same software but as a paid model. It provides some limited free service too.
To start with WordPress blogging, you have to install the software in a web host. In the beginning, you’re provided with a default WordPress theme. You can change it later as you like the collection of responsive and customizable themes.
Plus, there are some built-in blogging features and publishing tools in the beginning. However, WordPress provides add-ons called WordPress plugins. Using those, you can add individual blogging functions to your site.
Ghost is a blogging platform developed by past WordPress worker John O’Nolan in 2013. It’s a free platform built with Node.js, a programming language that enables fast page loading. Due to that reason, Ghost has been claiming to have faster page speeds.
This platform clones the 2 hosted models like WordPress: 1. self-hosted and 2. fully-hosted. Of course, we’re going to talk about the self-hosted version of Ghost here.
Ghost is a simple and plain blogging platform that’s free to download and use. Unlike WordPress, Ghost is solely dedicated to making blog sites. Accurately, Ghost can be used for blogs, magazines, podcasts, and photography websites.
The Ghost is a good platform for beginners. If you’re starting a blog for the first time, you might find Ghost sufficient. The dashboard is direct and straight to the point. With that, blogging becomes easy as 123.
Being a blogging platform, it obviously has in-built post-editing and publishing features. Plus, it offers integrated social buttons, SEO, analytics, and other functions. So, it might lower the need for extra add-ons.
Also, you can’t expect a wide range of functionalities with Ghost.
From the description above, it’s pretty much clear that both platforms provide good blogging features. Also, they are similar in the sense that they both provide 2 models of blog building. You can either opt for the fully-hosted version from ‘.com’ version or self-hosted ‘.org’ version.
To talk about their differences, there’s a lot. Firstly, Ghost can be used if you want to create only a blog channel. While WordPress can be used for different sorts of websites. So, you can create an individual blog site or merge your blog into a business, eCommerce, or other websites.
Also, WordPress can be used to create very complex blogs. With the help of plugins, WordPress becomes extensive and can hold any functionalities. Opposed to that, Ghost makes blogs quicker and simpler with limited capabilities.
Read our detailed guide on how to start a blog using WordPress. You will get all the necessary ideas for making a blog.
Now, let’s see the differences between Ghost and WordPress based on some important factors.
Both platforms provide excellent design options for your blog. The blogs are provided with default simple themes at the beginning. However, both platforms provide multiple selections of themes along with customization possibilities.
In WordPress, the theme selection is quite large, in fact huge. WordPress alone provides 8000+ free themes and templates. Not to talk about other providers like Themeforest, TemplateSell, etc. From there, you can get more lots of good premium WordPress themes. Also, you can use a custom-made theme if you like.
The WordPress themes provide an astonishing level of customization and design of your site without any coding required. Being open-source, it allows changing the code for more modification of your site.
Besides, you can design your homepage, about us, and other static pages with the help of various drag-and-drop editors. Some of them are Gutenberg (default), WPBakery, Elementor, etc.
Ghost also has a wide range of themes, from developers and other providers. It’s not quite as large as WordPress, but you’ll find what you need.
Customization is quite limited with Ghost themes. Of course, you can make changes in the code if you want. But not everybody has coding knowledge. In that case, you’ll be stuck with fewer customization that the Ghost theme provides.
Besides, making changes in web pages is easy. With a live customizer, you can edit your page and preview changes in real-time.
One of the reasons why people are fans of WordPress is its extensively large features and flexibility.
Being a publishing platform, WordPress has tons of in-built blogging functions like editing, formatting, drafting, scheduling, editing metadata, managing comments, etc. If they’re not enough, you can add more features with the WordPress plugins.
You can use more from thousands of plugins on the WordPress official plugin repository. Some of the useful features that you can add with plugins are social share, spam control, SEO, security, etc. And that’s not it. You can do a lot more with WordPress plugins.
On the other hand, Ghost has a little different approach. Since it focuses entirely on simple blogging, there’re built-in editing and publishing tools available for easy publishing experience. Plus, a lot of great in-built features like SEO, social sharing, etc. That avoids the need for add-ons and extensions.
Actually, the inability to add extensions is a downside to the Ghost blogging industry. It’s because you’ll have to carry on with what the developers provide.
Page speed is an important factor for your blog. Firstly, faster websites provide a good browsing experience to users. Plus, it ranks higher in search engines. Matter of fact, Google has included page speed as one of it’s ranking factors.
Now, Ghost is known for its faster web page speed. As mentioned earlier, the Ghost is written in Node.js. It is an open-source lightweight code used for faster loading network applications. That’s one reason why Ghost blogs have higher page speed.
Secondly, the Ghost platform is simple and minimal. It is made with a minimum volume of codes to serve limited functions. Due to this, the site becomes light-weight, and the page loads faster.
But this doesn’t make it faster than WordPress. It’s because WordPress has made remarkable efforts in improving website speed. There are tons of speed-boosting plugins like WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, LazyLoad, etc.
Caching plugins like WP Super Cache store a static copy of web pages in your server. And then, it loads the static page when people hit the page’s URL.
Secondly, most themes started enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for loading web pages faster in mobile phones.
Simply, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy to make your website reach more people, especially through search engines. However, getting traffic from any other medium like social media, links, word of mouth, etc. is taken as SEO nowadays.
WordPress has a huge emphasis on SEO. It provides built-in SEO options like URL optimization, sites’ visibility, etc. Plus, it focuses on other factors like responsiveness, speed, security, backlinks, internal links, sitemaps, etc. from its core.
Plus, there are tons of SEO plugins to help your site rank well in search engines. Some of them are Yoast SEO, Rank Math, SEOPress, etc. They help in checking content quality, researching keywords, page redirecting, etc.
Other useful WordPress SEO plugins are Imagify, Optimole, EWWW, etc. They are used specifically for optimizing images so that the site loads faster.
In Ghost, all the SEO functions are provided in-built. i.e. there’s no need to add additional plugins. But, you can’t add other plugins even if you need more SEO functions.
Lots of SEO options like creating XML sitemaps, adding post categories and tags, editing meta information, etc are provided at default.
WordPress is the most popular website building platform. Not only for blogging but also for other niches like eCommerce, business, portfolio, entertainment, educational, etc. Overall, WordPress shares more than 35% of the total websites online on the internet.
Considering blogging only, WordPress shares 74% of the blogs worldwide. So obviously, there’s a huge established community of WordPress users. The community includes bloggers, WordPress enthusiasts, contributors, designers, and developers.
So, you can expect to get a lot of help from this community. If you face any issue with your blog, then you can engage in various forums and seek solutions. You can also find plenty of blogs and articles for various problems. That might do the job for you.
Last but not the least, WordPress documentation is always there for you. It has the solution for every possible problem that your blog may encounter.
However, WordPress software doesn’t provide dedicated support for managing and maintaining your blog. But, the dedicated support may come from the premium products and services like themes, plugins, and hosting.
Now, Ghost is a platform with a very small number of users. It only has 0.03% of the total blogs online. It’s nearly negligible in front of WordPress. So obviously, there’s a smaller community of Ghost users.
You can find a handful of documentation, discussion groups, forums, and online publications for helpful insights. However, this won’t be enough as a CMS competing against giants like WordPress.
Still, the Ghost community is evolving and could have a large number of users and a notable community in the future.
Choosing a blogging platform will firstly depend on your budget. There can be the cost of starting and maintaining your blog along with using premium themes and add-ons. So, you’ve to plan and choose a blogging platform that can be operated under the budget.
With both WordPress and Ghost, your self-hosted blog requires 3 things: software, domain name, and hosting. As, you know, the software is free to download and use. So, you’ll need to purchase only domain and hosting.
Although you can also get both the domains and hosting for free, that’s unreliable, insecure, and lacks authority. So, we suggest you against it.
Don’t worry! You won’t have to pay a lot for domain and hosting. Various cheaper providers like SiteGround, Bluehost, DreamHost, etc. are there for you. Also, some hosting providers give you a free domain if you use their service.
For instance, DreamHost offers web hosting as cheap as $2.59 per month along with a free domain. This means you can set up your entire blog by paying monthly $2.59.
But only until you use premium plugins and themes! They add additional cost if you choose to use them. But that’s not necessary at all. The free services are excellent for a start. You can consider a paid upgrade later if you need it.
Also, the hosting services offer free WordPress installation with a single click. This reflects the popularity of WordPress.
Whereas, all hosting services may not have a similar provision for Ghost. Also, you may have to make sure that your web host supports Node.js if you use Ghost for your blog.
Of course, both platforms are good for blogging and provide sufficient functionalities for beginner blogs. But, if we have to choose one, it’s going to be WordPress. No doubt about it! By the results of the comparison on various factors above, we’re sure that you’ve guessed it earlier.
In one sentence, Ghost strives for simplicity whereas WordPress provides flexibility along with total control. WordPress lets you make any type of blog and/or integrate it as a part of other websites. Think of Ghost as a subset of WordPress.
The Ghost platform can be a suitable WordPress alternative if you want to create a simple blog.
By using WordPress, your blog can do mostly everything you want. So, we recommend using WordPress for professional publishing for your blog posts and content.
That’s it. We hope that this article gives you complete knowledge about Ghost vs WordPress. Best of luck in choosing the best one for your blog.
If you’re using one of these, please share your thoughts. If not, which one would you choose? Comment below!
You can check another guide on WordPress vs. Wix to see which one’s better.