Ghost.io is an open-source blogging platform that allows you to publish your best work and make money through blogging or running a newsletter. The CMS platform was created as a lightweight WordPress alternative, making it very popular among many users. Many leading brands such as Nasa, Apple, Mozilla, and DigitalOcean use it for their blogs.
By using the Ghost CMS blogging platform, you manage to create a professional website for your business without hiring a professional to help you build one. The only times you may require the services of a professional website builder are if there are issues that you cannot fix or need help maintaining the website. Below is a detailed review that will help you understand the CMS platform better.
Ghost mainly focuses on writing, and that's why it has an excellent editor that helps you focus on what you're writing. In addition, it allows you to embed videos, images, and raw HTML code. Its user interface is nicely designed, allowing you to open a dashboard that displays all essential features on one side while the other displays publishing SEO features.
Ghost.io comes with inbuilt SEO features that eliminate the need to add extra load to the platform.
These SEO features include:
- Mobile-friendly themes- with the increased use of mobile devices to access websites, Ghost provides responsive and mobile-friendly themes that allow you to optimize your site for mobile devices.
- Structured data- the platform supports structured data by default, hence displaying beautifully on the search results.
- AMP- Ghost supports AMP, which allows web pages to load at lightning speed.
- RSS supports RSS feeds, making it easy to share your content on various social media sites.
- Sitemap- has an inbuilt sitemap generator that auto-generates and updates your sitemap with every new update.
With these features, Ghost makes the ideal platform for minimal blogging.
Themes and Customization
These are meant to help your site stand up against the crowd and grab the attention of your visitors. Ghost has a good variety of interactive and good-looking theme designs that allow your readers to go through your content without distractions. Whether you're starting blogging or switching to Ghost, you can try these free themes:
- Ghostium- it's an excellent choice if you're looking for better text alignment. It's most suitable for writers and programmers who want to share their thoughts on the content aspect without losing readability.
- Editorial- the theme focuses on news websites. However, you can use it for blog space and take advantage of its numerous features.
- Dawn- the theme adheres to the latest trends and regulations of web designing, allowing you to create a unique blog.
- Ghostwriter- this theme is most suitable for startups that want to use their blogs for product announcements. The theme is built following AJAX principles, which give you a sleek experience of browsing other sites. In addition, it features excellent styling through SASS, content support and works seamlessly on mobile devices.
These are lightweight plugins that allow you to add several other features to your site. Ghost comes with inbuilt integrations and leaves room for you to add third-party plugins. Using this CMS, you can include plugins such as Stripe for payment, Google Analytics, AMP, Disqus, and Slack.
As mentioned, Ghost is a lightweight alternative for WordPress that focuses on blogging. That said, the platform can run on modern technologies such as Node.js, which makes it ultra-fast. With that speed, it's easy to scale up your site to millions of users.
Being an open-source platform, Ghost CMS provides free-to-use core programming. However, you'll need to buy the domain name and the hosting solution. Alternatively, you can have the Ghost developers host your website, though it'll be costly.
The platform offers the following pricing plans:
- Personal- for only $19/month, you can host one blog, enjoy 50,000 views per month, and unlimited transfer and storage. However, the views are pretty small for any blogger who wants to make it big in the blogging sphere.
- Advanced- for $39/month, you can host three blogs, enjoy 200,000 monthly views, and unlimited transfer and storage. But like the personal plan, the plan lacks support.
- Team- in this plan, you'll pay $79/month and can host up to 10 sites, get 500,000 views, unlimited transfer and storage, subdirectory installations, phone support, and a dedicated environment.
- Business- the plan goes $199/month and supports unlimited sites, 2 million monthly views, unlimited transfer and storage, phone support, account manager, 99.9%Uptime SLA, dedicated environment, and subdirectory installations.
Whichever plan you choose, there's a 14 days trial period. In addition, you'll require some basic coding skills, but if you don't, you can hire a freelancer or a development company, all of which are expensive.
Pros and Cons of Using Ghost CMS
- It's based on modern technologies
- SEO optimized
- Has hundreds of integrations available
- Perfect platform for blogging
- Easy to customize and create themes
- Lightweight and a minimalist design
- Good documentation.
Despite these benefits, Ghost has a share of its disadvantages, which include:
- It has limited themes
- Lacks native comment functionality
- You need technical skills for self-hosting
If you are considering Ghost.io as your CMS, you may also want to look at its alternatives. When researching the alternatives, you need to consider essential features such as user-friendliness, user community, internationalization, email, and content. In consideration of these features, here are a few Ghost competitors.
The platform allows you to create a beautiful website or blog for free or at an affordable price. The CMS is more accessible to admin but slower to reach ROI.
Substack is a popular newsletter platform that offers a suite of features for writers to publish and even monetize their work using a simple website and email newsletter.
The CMS takes away the pain of managing your site, allowing you to focus on the experience you're providing to your customers. It's easier to do business with, but it has a lower ROI and is very expensive.
The CMS is flexible and future-friendly. It allows you to create and manage your content into mobile and web applications. It's easy to admin but costly and harder to reach ROI.
If you have basic coding skills and are looking for a simple and great blogging experience, then Ghost is your best content management program. With it, you can publish your content, monetize your site, and amass an extensive viewing.