Ghost is an open-source, content management system designed specifically for online publications, blogs, and newsletters.
First launched in 2013 via a Kickstarter campaign, Ghost has seen a steady rise in popularity over the past decade as a modern alternative to WordPress.
In this Ghost review, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at this blogging platform in 2024 to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your website.
Overview of Ghost Blogging Platform
Ghost is often described as a simplified, user-friendly version of WordPress geared towards bloggers, writers, and publishers. Some of the key features that set Ghost apart include:
- Built-in SEO optimization
- Integrated subscriptions and memberships
- Powerful publishing and content tools
- Intuitive, clutter-free interface
- Speed and performance
- Scaled pricing
While Ghost lacks the vast library of plugins and add-ons you get with WordPress, its core offering focuses on fast performance and elegant design to create a pleasant user experience.
Key Benefits of Using Ghost
Writing and Publishing Features
Ghost provides a streamlined editor optimized for writing blog posts and articles. With markdown support, keyboard shortcuts, and inline styling, it aims to remove distractions.
Other beneficial features for publishing content include:
- Post scheduling
- Multiple author support
- Customizable excerpts
- RSS feeds
- Blog tags and archives
For anyone running a blog or online publication, these tools can help increase writing productivity.
Out of the box, Ghost automatically optimizes pages for SEO best practices like meta descriptions, alt text, clean URLs, sitemaps, and more. This removes the need for extra plugins required by WordPress users.
Optimized pages result in better search engine rankings and organic traffic without added costs or configuration.
Speed and Performance
Ghost is one of the fastest blogging platforms available. With its Node.js architecture, Ghost sites load significantly faster than traditional WordPress sites.
Quick load times keep visitors engaged on your site and are also favored by search engines like Google.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Monetizing your work is easy with Ghost Pro plans. You can accept recurring payments from subscribers who pay for exclusive access and content. Integrations with Stripe also allow you to instantly activate paid subscriptions.
Email newsletters help you engage subscribers and promote your latest content.
Navigating Ghost is simple and distraction-free. The uncluttered dashboards and settings make it easy for beginners to find their way around and start using the platform quickly.
Hosted Ghost plans start at $11 per month for the basic package. Compared to hosts optimized for WordPress sites, Ghost provides exceptional value. All core features are included, so you avoid the extra costs of crucial plugins.
For small blogs and starting publishers, Ghost won’t break the bank.
Ghost CMS Alternative Options
As an open-source CMS, WordPress offers maximum flexibility and control through plugins and customization.
The wider ecosystem provides millions of free and paid themes, web hosting, and support resources.
WordPress is ideal if you want to fully customize your site beyond what Ghost allows or run an online store.
Just be prepared for some more tech knowledge and potentially slower performance.
Medium lowers the barrier to start blogging quickly thanks to its simple editor and built-in audience.
You don’t need to worry about design, hosting, or promotion.
However, Medium is most effective as a paying member.
Medium also lacks customization options.
It’s free to start and monetization options open up as you grow an audience.
It’s optimized primarily for email newsletters rather than long-form blogging.
Getting Started With Ghost
Ready to give Ghost a test drive? Here are a few tips to kickstart your experience:
Sign up for a free trial
Ghost allows you to test drive their platform for free during a 14-day trial period. This gives you access to all features on a temporary subdomain before committing.
Take this time to experiment with Ghost’s tools for writing, publishing, and design to see if it suits your needs.
Pick a starter theme
Browse Ghost’s theme marketplace for free and paid themes across various niches. Themes handle your site’s design and layout.
For new sites, it’s easiest to start with a pre-made theme before customizing further. Casper is Ghost’s default blogging theme.
Migrating posts from WordPress or other platforms? Use Ghost’s import tool to automatically transfer your content. This preserves your work while still taking advantage of Ghost’s speed and SEO.
Set up a custom domain
Link your own domain name to permanently replace the Ghost subdomain after your trial ends. This adds credibility and brand recognition to your site.
Connect useful third-party integrations like email marketing, analytics, payment processors, and more. Extend what your Ghost site can do without coding.
Upgrade to paid plans
When you’re ready to launch, upgrade to one of Ghost’s affordable Pro packages. This provides managed hosting and unlocks additional features.
Ghost Review 2024: Final Verdict
In the past 10 years, Ghost has proven itself to be a formidable WordPress alternative for beginner-friendly blogging.
For serious bloggers, journalists, creators, and independent publishers, Ghost simplifies building a professional online presence.
The curated set of features streamlines publishing content that looks great and performs well.
I find the platform to be a great choice for both personal sites and small publications in 2024.
The sustainable pricing, constant innovation, and helpful support resources show the care put into a product made by creators for creators.
So if you need a straightforward CMS designed for online publishing that skips the clutter, bloat, and legacy code weighing down WordPress – Ghost is worth your consideration.
Sign up for a free trial today to see it in action ↓