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Ghost CMS Review: Pros and Cons of Blogging Platform

Ghost CMS Review: Pros and Cons of Blogging Platform

I was exploring the JAM Stack world for a few days. It is no wonders that publishing stack is growing rapidly these years and we can observe a rapid shift from tradition CMS to JAM Stack in the future.

There are several reasons for the popularity of JAM Stack and it may or may not be the best option for you.

Ghost CMS is most popular headless content management system in JAM Stack. This is the best alternatives to WordPress as a light blogging platform.

However, there are some cons which you must know before even thinking to migrate from WordPress to Ghost CMS.

Here is the complete Ghost CMS Review with all its pros and cons, it will help you to decide if Ghost CMS is for you or not.

Ghost CMS Overview

Ghost CMS is a light-weight alternative to WordPress for blogging and most popular headless CMS. Many big names like Apple, Nasa, Mozilla, DigitalOcean use Ghost as their blog platform.

Ghost CMS Overview
Ghost CMS

It is a minimalistic blogging platform which lets you focus only on writing without distraction. It is good to say that the sole purpose of Ghost CMS is to create a publishing platform.

WordPress has a bulky core and it is more than a blogging platform. Ghost was launched as an alternative of WordPress to focus only on blogging. It has SEO and speed built-in.

Here is the minimalistic dashboard of Ghost CMS.

Ghost cms dashboard
Dashboard with available options on the left side.

The post editor is minimal and supports markdown. Here is the editor of Ghost CMS.

editor with post setting seo options
Editor in dark mode with post setting sidebar.

Ghost CMS Features

SEO

What is the point of blogging when nobody reads it?

Ghost CMS has excellent built-in SEO options. You do not need to install any extra load to the CMS for SEO.

Post seo setting sidebar
Built in seo options in Ghost CMS
  • Structured Data: The posts in Ghost CMS support structured data by default. It is very useful to display beautiful search results in search engines.
  • AMP: Ghost CMS also have core support for AMP. It is a revolutionary technology for light speed loading of web pages.
  • Responsive: With an increase in mobile usage, it is necessary to optimize websites for smaller screens. Ghost themes are completely responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • RSS: RSS feeds are important and need for many applications. GHost CMS have nice support of RSS feeds to share your content with various platforms.
  • Sitemap: How can we forget the tree of search indexing. Ghost CMS have inbuilt sitemap generator which generated and updates your sitemap with every new update.

These are the reasons Ghost is well suited for minimal blogging.

Themes and Customizations

A good theme grabs users attention and makes your website stand apart from the crowd. It is important to use the interactive and good looking design on your website.

Ghost has multiple themes which are completely responsive and beautiful. They are minimal and optimized for distraction-free reading.

ghost CMS available themes
In-built theme marketplace with free and premium themes

It is very easy to create your own theme in Ghost CMS. The themes use handlebars to insert data, which is easy to learn.

Integrations

Integrations are like lightweight plugin system to add several other services on our site. Ghost CMS have inbuilt integrations to hundreds of services and the best part is that you can also add custom integrations.

There are integrations for Disqus, Google analytics, Stripe for payments, Slack, AMP and many other useful services.

Available integration in the CMS
One click integrate with popular services.

Here is the complete list of services that are available to integrate into Ghost CMS.

Easy Import from WordPress

Ghost has a dedicated plugin which you can install directly in WordPress to export the data. The next part will be to simply go to the ghost admin and import the zip file.

A two-step process to completely migrate from WordPress to Ghost CMS.

Import content to ghost
Easily import content with one click

However, if you use heavily customized WordPress then there are certain which you need to manually fix by yourself after importing the content.

Speed

Ghost was supposed to be a lightweight alternative of WordPress to focus only on blogging. This has the speed advantage.

spped of duckduckgo blog using ghost cms
SpreadPrivacy blog using Ghost

Ghost is very lightweight and runs on modern technologies like Node.js, this makes Ghost CMS ultra fast.

Speed is an important factor for SEO, here Ghost gets an additional SEO benefit with speed. It is also easy to scale up Ghost CMS for millions of users.

Built-in Membership Support

With an increase in the use of the Adblockers, the membership revenue model is the best option to keep the site running.

In-built members management
Members management inside dashboard

Ghost CMS has in-built options to manage members. It supports stripe for payments and members management are built into the core of the CMS.

Open Source

The best thing is the Ghost CMS is Open source. The code is available on the GitHub.

Ghost CMS is completely free for all and you can host at services which support Node.js. There is a big community behind Ghost CMS and development is very active.

API’s

Ghost CMS has useful REST API’s which can use in any application like mobile apps or use frontend technologies like React and Vue easily.

Headless CMS

Ghost is also a headless CMS. It means you can use it with almost all static site generators to built static websites.

Static websites are getting popular day by day because of cheap (say free) hosting and very fast speed.

It will be safe to say that Static websites generators are future and we will need headless CMS like Ghost for better content management.

Ghost CMS Pros and Cons

Now enough about the features, here are some pros and cons that you can use to decide whether Ghost CMS is for you or not.

Ghost CMS Pros

  • Fast
  • SEO Optimized
  • Lightweight and Minimal
  • Based on modern technologies
  • Easy to customize and create themes
  • Perfect for blogging ONLY
  • Membership management
  • Hundreds of Integrations available
  • User Role Management
  • Good documentation

Ghost CMS Cons

  • No native Comment Functionality (Really a problem)
  • Self-hosting requires technical knowledge
  • Limited themes available
  • Very Costly Hosting

Is Ghost CMS for you?

Now, this is an important question and I will explain this in-depth. It depends on the use case or it leads to the second question What is the purpose you want CMS?

If you want to run a minimal blog with no overhead then Ghost CMS is the best option for you.

 duckduckgo blog using Ghost cms
SpreadPrivacy blog by DuckDuckGo

In simple words, Ghost CMS is suitable for blogs which only need to publish and manage posts and pages. It can efficiently manage membership sites also.

Here are some example blogs which runs on Ghost CMS, you can relate with them if you have the same use case.

If you want to create a website with multiple functionalities like forum, shop and run custom ads then Ghost CMS is not for you.

It is possible to do that but not in any convenient way, Ghost is not built for that.

Conclusion

That’s all for Ghost CMS. This is one the revolutionary system for the future that may dominate the market.

The Ghost CMS is still in a long way of development.

It should be your first choice if you have any business website and you want to build a simple blog to share anything with users. Simplicity and lightweight is the main concept behind Ghost.

It is popular among static site generators and there is a reason because it is fast and reduces the build time.

Share your thoughts about Ghost CMS.

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