Wordpress vs Ghost CMS

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Wordpress Vs Ghost CMS. Which one is better for blogging?

Wordpress is the most used and widely popular CMS that powers millions of websites worldwide. It is a flexible CMS that allows users to build various types of websites including e-commerce and services websites with ease. It boasts of thousands of additional plugins and themes that can be used to extend website functionality.

While Wordpress is definitely good and suits various purposes when it comes to making a website, it might not be your best shot in all conditions. Sometimes, you just want a simple blog with a clean interface where you can focus on writing. Wordpress provides a lot of functionalities beyond simple blogging.

Several more platforms have also risen recently which offer excellent features for bloggers. Most of them are especially very fast because of being built using node.js or another very fast framework.

Today, we are going to discuss the Ghost CMS and how suited it is for people with simple blogging needs and how it compares with Wordpress in this regard.

Ghost CMS and WordPress are both popular content management systems (CMS) used for creating and managing websites, but they have some key differences. Here’s a comparison between Ghost and WordPress based on various aspects:

  1. Focus and Purpose:

    • Ghost: Designed specifically for blogging and content publication. It aims to provide a simple and clean writing experience. The focus of Ghost is on Blogging and written content. However, it offers some excellent themes that are particularly suited for written posts. You can include images, videos, social media posts and other types of embeds into your posts and yet they will look absolutely clean and stunning.
    • WordPress: Originally a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a versatile CMS capable of handling various types of websites, including blogs, e-commerce, and business websites. Wordpress has also added a Gutenberg editor with various types of blocks to create awesome posts.
  2. User Interface:

    • Ghost: Known for its minimalist and user-friendly interface, focused on content creation and publishing. Ghost has a user interface that looks very clean and easy to use. All the important features can be easily accessed from the main interface.
    • WordPress: Offers a more extensive interface with a dashboard that accommodates various features. While it provides a lot of functionality, some users may find it more complex. Sometimes, a few features may be hidden under layers of functionalities and new users may need to learn about them.
  3. Content Creation:

    • Ghost: Prioritizes a distraction-free writing environment, making it an excellent choice for bloggers and writers who want a seamless content creation process. Blog writing is the main focus of Ghost. The post editor is easy to use and settings are excellent for creating written content.
    • WordPress: Offers a rich content editor with a wide range of formatting options. The interface can be more feature-packed, which is suitable for users who require a robust content creation platform. However, not just blogging, but you can use it to format other types of content and design stunning posts and pages.
  4. Themes and Templates:

    • Ghost: Has a smaller selection of themes compared to WordPress, but they are often designed with a focus on aesthetics and readability. The overall number of themes in Ghost is limited compared to Wordpress but some themes can be really excellent for having a blog that looks like it was designed by an expert. The casper theme which is also the default theme in Ghost is fast and has a stunning home page as well as archive pages. The posts include avatars and look stunning.
    • WordPress: Boasts a vast library of themes, catering to various industries and needs. The availability of third-party themes is extensive, offering high customization possibilities. There are some really fast and customizable themes like Astra and Generatepress. However, while you have so many customization options, it may take some time to learn about these features and some knowledge of CSS may come handy.
  5. Plugins and Extensions:

    • Ghost: Has a more limited number of plugins compared to WordPress. While it supports custom integrations, the ecosystem is not as extensive. You will find Ghost limited in this area. For example, you cannot develop just any kind of website using Ghost. However, it does have inbuilt SEO features and other options to add html inside the post and into the template in header and footer. So, you would not need any SEO or speed plugin with Ghost.
    • WordPress: Features a massive repository of plugins, allowing users to add functionality and features to their websites easily. This is one of WordPress’s major strengths. You have just so many types of plugins that can help you create just any type of website including an ecommerce website. Plugins and widgets can be used to develop websites with ease. It is also why the use of headless Wordpress for designing websites ( by combining Wordpress for backend and another framework for the front end) has increased.
  6. Performance:

    • Ghost: Tends to be faster and more lightweight because of its focus on minimalism. This can be advantageous for sites prioritizing speed and performance. Ghost is made using node.js which already tends to be very fast. You can achieve awesome load times using Ghost CMS. Ghost is also awesome for creating subscription websites and you will not need to install an additional subscription plugin.
    • WordPress: Performance can vary based on the theme and number of plugins installed. However, with optimization efforts, WordPress sites can also achieve good performance. You will need to optimize performance using a good caching plugin and cdn. If you have to use too many plugins, they can considerably slow your Wordpress down.
  7. Community and Support:

    • Ghost: Has a growing community, but it may not be as extensive as WordPress. Support is available through forums, documentation, and official channels. However, you can also find information and help about Ghost from other bloggers using the platform through Reddit.
    • WordPress: Boasts a massive and active community, making it easier to find solutions to problems, access tutorials, and get support. It is easier to find tutorials, guidance and support using either official or unofficial channels.
  8. Cost:

    • Ghost: Offers a hosted solution with pricing plans. Self-hosting is also possible, but it requires more technical expertise. You can get started with just $9 on Ghost Pro which includes up to 500 subscribers for your blog.
    • WordPress: Being open-source, WordPress can be self-hosted for free, but users incur costs for domain registration, hosting, and premium themes/plugins. Users have plenty of options including premium and affordable options when it comes to hosting. They can also opt for managed wordpress hosting if they want to freely focus on creating content without any worry about hosting and managing their Wordpress installation. Managed hosting can be slightly costly compared to self hosting.

In summary, Ghost is a specialized CMS focused on content creation, particularly for bloggers and writers who value simplicity. WordPress, on the other hand, is a versatile platform suitable for various types of websites, offering a vast ecosystem of themes and plugins. The choice between Ghost and WordPress ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

About Wordpress

WordPress is a widely-used open-source content management system (CMS) that powers a significant portion of websites on the internet. It’s known for its versatility, ease of use, and extensive ecosystem of themes and plugins. Here’s an overview of WordPress CMS and its tech stack:

WordPress CMS:

  1. Content Creation and Management:

    • WordPress provides a user-friendly dashboard for content creation and management. It includes a visual editor for creating and editing posts and pages, making it accessible to users with varying technical skills. You can use the Gutenberg editor for adding written content, images, videos, embeds and for styling your content.
  2. Themes:

    • WordPress allows users to choose from a vast library of themes to change the look and feel of their websites. Themes control the overall design and layout, providing flexibility for customization. Themes affect the look and feel of your website and there are multiple options with several pre built templates to help you design an awesome blog or website.
  3. Plugins:

    • One of the key strengths of WordPress is its extensive plugin ecosystem. Plugins add functionality to the core system, allowing users to extend their websites with features such as e-commerce, SEO optimization, social media integration, and more. Wordpress does not have inbuilt SEO features so a SEO plugin is a must for Wordpress users. Plugins and widgets can help maintain performance and security as well as add functionalities like social sharing and subscriptions.
  4. Community and Support:

    • WordPress has a large and active community of developers, designers, and users. This community contributes to forums, documentation, and third-party resources, making it easier for users to find solutions to problems and get support. Plugin developers provide support through the Wordpress forum to the plugin users. Users can also rate plugins in the repository. Moreover, Wordpress users can find sufficient support from both official and unofficial channels including several online forums and theme creators.
  5. Multisite Functionality:

    • WordPress offers multisite functionality, allowing users to create a network of interconnected sites managed from a single installation. This is useful for organizations managing multiple websites.

Tech Stack:

  1. PHP:

    • WordPress is primarily built using PHP, a server-side scripting language. PHP is responsible for generating dynamic content, handling database connections, and executing server-side logic.
  2. MySQL:

    • WordPress uses MySQL as its database management system. MySQL stores all the content, settings, and user data for a WordPress site. Nearly everything that you add to your Wordpress site is stored in the MySQL database. From plugin data to theme data and the content you create, it all gets stored in the mySQL database.
  3. JavaScript (jQuery):

    • JavaScript is used on the client side for dynamic and interactive features. jQuery, a fast and lightweight JavaScript library, is often included in WordPress themes and plugins.
  4. HTML and CSS:

    • WordPress generates HTML for content presentation, and CSS is used for styling. Themes control the layout and appearance of the website, and customization is often done through CSS. You can customize theme colors easily from customizations. However, you can make additional changes by adding your own css.
  5. REST API:

    • WordPress introduced a RESTful API, allowing developers to interact with WordPress data in a standardized way. This API enables the integration of WordPress with external applications and services. Used extensively in the development of headless Wordpress websites. Some plugins also depend on the REST API for functionality.
  6. Web Servers (e.g., Apache, Nginx):

    • WordPress can run on various web servers, with Apache and Nginx being two common choices. These servers handle requests, serve static files, and manage the communication between the WordPress application and users’ browsers. Apache is the most used server. However, the use of Nginx has also increased in recent years and some hosting providers favor Nginx over Apache.
  7. JSON and XML-RPC:

    • WordPress supports JSON for data exchange and uses XML-RPC (though it’s becoming less common in favor of the REST API) for remote procedure calls, enabling interactions with the WordPress installation from external sources.
  8. Caching Systems:

    • To improve performance, WordPress sites often use caching systems such as object caching and page caching. Popular caching plugins help optimize the loading times of websites. Apart from these caching plugins, several hosts also offer their own caching systems. Object caching can help at boosting Wordpress performance significantly.

WordPress can be self-hosted, typically requiring a LAMP or LEMP stack (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL, PHP), or users can opt for managed WordPress hosting services provided by various hosting companies.

About Ghost

Ghost is an open-source content management system (CMS) designed specifically for bloggers and content creators. It was created to provide a simple and elegant platform for publishing and managing online content. Here’s an overview of Ghost CMS and its tech stack:

Ghost CMS:

  1. Focus on Content Creation:

    • Ghost prioritizes a distraction-free writing experience for content creators. The user interface is minimalistic and designed to enhance the content creation process. The clean and simple user interface makes it easier to create content without feeling distracted by features and settings.
  2. Built-in Markdown Editor:

    • Content is written using Markdown, a lightweight markup language that allows for easy formatting of text. This makes it straightforward for writers to structure their content without the need for complex HTML. Even if you are a new user, you can write simply as you write content in any text editor.
  3. Membership and Subscription Features:

    • Ghost includes built-in features for handling memberships and subscriptions, enabling creators to monetize their content by offering exclusive access to certain posts or sections of the website. You do not need any extra plugin to convert your blog into a subscription website.
  4. Tagging and Organization:

    • Content can be organized using tags and is presented in a clean and structured manner. This makes it easy for readers to navigate and discover related content. Tags serve the same function as categories in Wordpress. You can organize your content by tags and these tags can be added to the menu to help users find the content they are looking for.
  5. Responsive Design:

    • Ghost is designed to be responsive, ensuring that content looks good and functions well on a variety of devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. It has excellent themes that look great across mobile devices too.

Tech Stack:

  1. Node.js:

    • Ghost is built on Node.js, a server-side JavaScript runtime. This allows for fast and scalable server-side execution of code.
  2. Express.js:

    • Express.js is a web application framework for Node.js. Ghost uses Express.js to handle routing, middleware, and other web application functionalities.
  3. Handlebars.js:

    • Handlebars.js is a templating engine used by Ghost for rendering dynamic content on the server side. It allows for the creation of reusable templates. Ghost themes use handlebars templating language that creates a strong separation between templates (the HTML) and any JavaScript logic with the use of helpers. The themes tend to be superfast, with a dynamic client side app, and server side publication content that is sent to the browser as static HTML.
  4. SQLite and MySQL:

    • Ghost uses SQLite as its default database, providing a lightweight, file-based database system. However, users have the option to use MySQL for larger and more scalable installations.
  5. Lexical (Editor):

    • The Ghost editor Koenig was built using Ember.js, a JavaScript framework for creating web applications. Ember.js enhanced the user experience but became a bit stagnant. Ghost switched to the Koenig-Lexical editor.
  6. Nginx:

    • Nginx is commonly used as a reverse proxy server in front of Ghost. It helps with load balancing, caching, and serving static files, improving overall performance. Ghost itself recommends using the Nginx server.
  7. JavaScript (Client-Side):

    • Client-side functionality is enhanced using JavaScript, allowing for dynamic and interactive features on the user interface.
  8. APIs:

    • Ghost provides a robust JSON API that allows developers to interact with and extend the functionality of the platform. This enables integrations with third-party services and applications.

It’s worth noting that Ghost can be self-hosted, or users can opt for Ghost(Pro), the official Ghost hosting service. Self-hosting requires more technical knowledge, as users need to manage server configurations, while Ghost(Pro) is a managed hosting solution with automatic updates and maintenance.

At last it boils down to the user’s particular needs and type of site as well as his preferences. Both Ghost and Wordpress have a nice interface for controlling various aspects of the website. However, self hosting Ghost gets a lot technical. In case of Ghost, you can go for Ghost pro and in the case of Wordpress, you can go for managed Wordpress hosting to avoid any hassles. Ghost is targeted at users and creators that simply want to create content in a distraction free environment.

Ghost CMS can be considerably fast. However,you can also optimize a Wordpress installation to load faster. Using object caching and CDN can speed up load times significantly. When it comes to speed, Ghost definitely has the upper hand since it is built using node.js. However, when it comes to the flexibility to build any type of website, Wordpress is the better option. Wordpress offers several types of plugins from security and performance related plugins to SEO and advertising plugins. Ghost has inbuilt SEO features so you won’t need to worry about SEO settings and plugins. It also has an inbuilt subscription feature that you can use if you want to create a subscription based blog. It is something that you can achieve in Wordpress with the help of a plugin.

So, based on these factors you can easily make your choice. What is the type of website you need? What is your central focus and which one better suits your needs? While Ghost might be limited in terms of functionalities, you can create a blog with a stunning design on Ghost easily. Wordpress would be a better choice if you want more flexibility and want to include additional features.