What is Ghost?

Ghost is a powerful platform for creating an online blog or publication. It is entirely open source which has been downloaded 2,000,000+ times by developers all over the world. Today Ghost powers an incredible range of websites; from individual bloggers who are just getting started, to large teams of writers and editors at some of the largest organisations in the world. Ghost is set up as a non-profit foundation so that it would always be true to its users, rather than shareholders or investors. Their legal constitution ensures that the company can never be bought or sold, and one hundred percent of their revenue is reinvested into the product and the community.

Why I chose it?

So, why chose Ghost over WordPress you ask?

Ghost is better for publishing and blogging. WordPress is better for building a dynamic, complex website.

Ghost makes things easy and clean. It really helps me focus on publishing, rather than managing plugins. It is really fast compared to WordPress as it uses Node.js.

  • Node.js - Node.js is super fast javascript engine for back-end. I like it more than php. As soon as I saw it runs on node, Ghost has won a big advantage over WordPress. Ghost has a very big performance improvement because of Node.js.
Ghost Performance

Image Source

  • Open Source - Ghost is an open source software, a huge advantage for developers. I was quite surprised with the stats on its github repo. I wonder, why I tried WordPress before Ghost.
  • Clean Dashboard - It’s dashboard is very easy to understand. A left side panel with the easily understandable options with a clean interface.
  • Markdown Editor - Being a developer, you write README files in markdown. So, it was easy to use markdown with a split-screen with a live preview on the right side.
  • Everything is just built-in - Everything is built-in, no need for any Cache plugins or SEO plugins or Social plugins. It is fully loaded with everything inside.
  • Awesome Default Casper theme - It's default theme is super clean and attractive. It's responsive. So no need to worry about optimizing for different screen sizes. PageSpeed Insights has a very great score for the default theme. Editing was a painless experience. I gave up on WordPress when I needed to edit its themes.
  • Hosting - There is a self-hosted version that you can use for free, just make sure your hosting provider supports Node.js. I'm currently hosting ghost completely for free on Google Cloud Engine (Another blog post about that coming soon). Another alternative is Ghost Pro starting at $29/month.
  • Awesome to use - It's just really awesome to use! Period.

Ghost has a very good comparison page which explains a lot of things: Meet Ghost - The Simple Alternative to WordPress

A few more things you should know

  1. Ghost is designed for ambitious, professional publishers who want to actively build a business around their content. That's who it works best for.
  2. The entire platform can be modified and customised to suit your needs. It's very powerful, but does require some knowledge of code. Ghost is not necessarily a good platform for beginners or people who just want a simple personal blog.
  3. It's possible to work with all your favourite tools and apps with hundreds of integrations to speed up your workflows, connect email lists, build communities and much more.

Behind the scenes

Ghost is made by an independent non-profit organisation called the Ghost Foundation. They are 100% self funded by revenue from their Ghost(Pro) service, and every penny they make is re-invested into funding further development of free, open source technology for modern publishing.

Getting started with Ghost

You can find here some comprehensive resources for Ghost to help you get started with ghost easily (All About Ghost, Ghost For Beginners, All Ghost Themes, How to Install Ghost).

Stay tuned for my next blog post about getting started with Ghost and how I'm hosting it completely for free on Google Cloud Engine.