Ghost vs WordPress: Which is Right for Your Website

Brenda Barron

Written by Technology Writer

January 10, 2023
Ghost vs WordPress: Which is Right for Your Website

Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your website is critical. Your CMS will be responsible for powering your website, managing your content, and more. So it makes sense why taking your time during the selection process is imperative.

To assist with this, today we'll be comparing two popular CMS options side-by-side -- Ghost and WordPress -- so you can make the best decision for you and your website.

But before we get down to the comparisons, let's take a moment to introduce both of these platforms to the uninitiated.

What is Ghost?


Ghost Dashboard

Ghost is known as "the creator economy platform", bringing with it a focus on blogging and content creation that makes it stand out from the competition.

It's powered by a modern technology stack, including Node.js and Handlebars.js, making it lightning-fast compared to other CMS systems. It's also open-source and fully customizable, making it easy to tailor the platform to meet your exact needs.

And What is WordPress?


WordPress Dashboard

WordPress is by far the most popular CMS option on the web today. It's used by more than 43% of all websites, from small personal blogs to large corporate sites. It's also open-source, allowing for a great deal of customization, and includes the power of plugins that can extend its functionality in any number of ways.

Who is Ghost Meant For?


Ghost is ideal for content creators and bloggers who want a platform that's streamlined for content creation. It has a clean interface, an integrated editor that makes it easy to write posts, and an emphasis on SEO best practices. You can also use Ghost as the basis of your entire website, publication, or newsletter, or integrate it with other platforms.

Who is WordPress For?


WordPress is best suited for website builders and developers who want a platform that's both powerful and flexible. With WordPress, you can quickly create just about any type of website, including eCommerce stores and membership sites. It's also great for content creators since it comes with built-in blogging capabilities and countless plugins that can extend its functionality.

Now that we know a bit more about both these platforms, let's dive into our comparison.

Ready? Let’s go!

Ghost vs WordPress: Side-by-Side


Let's recap all we've learned about Ghost and WordPress now in bite-sized form.

WordPress

Highly customizable with themes and plugins

Great third-party security measures

Requires more maintenance

Self-hosted option available

Comprehensive eCommerce capabilities

Free to use, but may incur additional costs for premium features or support

Ghost

Customizable with themes and plugins

Robust security measures

Less maintenance required

Self-hosted option available

Limited eCommerce capabilities

Subscription based platform, starting at $11/month

No matter which CMS you choose, you can be sure that both WordPress and Ghost offer great features for creating an amazing website.

Ghost vs WordPress: Detailed Comparison


Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, both WordPress and Ghost offer user-friendly experiences. That said, many users find that the WordPress dashboard takes a bit longer to get used to compared to Ghost's more straightforward setup. However, once you have the hang of WordPress’s more intricate features, the amount of customization options available become worth the effort.

It all depends on your preferences and what you're looking to get out of your CMS. If you want something that’s easy to set up but with fewer bells and whistles, Ghost might be a good choice. If you're looking for more in-depth customization options, WordPress is the way to go.

Interface

WordPress has a very "busy" look. With multiple navigation bars, content areas, and other features, things can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, this is also one of the major benefits of using WordPress as you have access to tons of features right off the bat. But for an outright newbie? This could be intimidating.

On the other hand, Ghost offers a much more minimalist approach to design. It has fewer features than WordPress and makes for a simpler interface overall. This could be great if you’re looking for something simple but effective – and that can still be expanded upon at a later date.

Design

Ghost vs WordPress Detailed Comparison

Ghost is an open-source publishing platform that provides plenty of options for designing your site. It's a great option for those who want to create an attractive and powerful website without the hassle of learning coding or using complex page layout tools.

Ghost offers a range of design choices to help you make your website look professional and attractive. You can choose from a variety of themes, customize your site’s colors and fonts, add images and galleries, create custom menus and sidebars, integrate social media accounts, and more. With Ghost, you have the power to craft an engaging, visually appealing website with ease.

wordpress themes

As far as design options, however, WordPress is the definite winner here. With a robust WordPress theme repository, you have nearly unlimited options for free themes to customize the look and feel of your site. And that's to speak nothing of the huge secondary market of premium themes available from individual developers as well as marketplaces like ThemeForest.

Customization

When it comes to customizing your site, both WordPress and Ghost offer a huge range of options. However, the two platforms differ in their approach.

Ghost is built with developers in mind and is therefore more flexible than WordPress when it comes to coding customization. Additionally, Ghost offers an API that can be used to make customizations to the platform.

Meanwhile, while WordPress is still highly customizable, its strength lies more in its wide array of plugin options than anything else. From security plugins to social media integration and beyond, there's a plugin for almost anything you could ever need for your website. And just as with themes, there's also a huge market of premium plugins available for purchase.

Security

Security is an important factor to consider when choosing a CMS, and both WordPress and Ghost offer secure experiences. WordPress does offer regular updates and a large community of developers who work hard to keep the platform safe from attack. But you still need to procure third-party security plugins and tools to fully lock down your site.

Ghost also offers robust security measures, including secure API calls and regular code audits. It also has a dedicated security team that works to identify and fix any potential weaknesses in the platform.

Both platforms prioritize security, but you will need to take secondary measures to ensure any site you create is fully secure. Just something to keep in mind.

Maintenance Needs

When it comes to maintenance needs, WordPress and Ghost both require some upkeep. WordPress is slightly more demanding in this regard, as regular updates are necessary to keep the platform secure and running smoothly.

Ghost is a bit lighter on the maintenance side of things, with fewer updates overall required for the platform.

Keep in mind that you can always opt for managed WordPress hosting, so your server is taken care of by a team of professionals while you focus on your business needs.

Self-Hosting Options

One of the great benefits of both WordPress and Ghost is that they can be self-hosted. This means you can select your own web hosting provider and install WordPress or Ghost on its server with ease.

WordPress requires a web server running PHP and MySQL, while Ghost requires Node.js and a database like MySQL or MongoDB. For those who want more control over their hosting environment, self-hosting is the way to go with either platform.

verpex hosting

We at Verpex Hosting actually offer several hosting plans specifically for WordPress users. These plans include one-click installation of the WordPress CMS as well as a free domain name, daily backups, and many more features.

eCommerce Capabilities

When it comes to eCommerce capabilities, WordPress is the clear winner here. Not only does WordPress offer a wide array of plugins and themes specifically designed for eCommerce sites, but it also offers easy integration with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.

Ghost also has some limited eCommerce options available via third-party integrations, but it's not nearly as comprehensive as WordPress. Even so, the platform does allow you to set up full business sites and accept payments for memberships, which if you’re in the content business, might be a more streamlined option to pursue.

Cost

As for cost, both options are relatively affordable. WordPress is available for free and you can use it without having to pay any additional fees. That said, if you want access to more advanced features, you’ll likely need to pay for a theme and some premium plugins. Plus, you’ll need to pay a bit for a WordPress hosting plan as well.

Ghost is available on a subscription basis, with the cheapest plan starting at $11/month. This can be pricier than WordPress in the short term, but it offers access to all of the platform's features and an active community for support. Plus, you pay based on the number of members your site has, so as your business grows, you’ll need to pay more. The entry price point is low, however, which is nice.

Ghost vs WordPress: The Winner?


This is a tough question to answer as both WordPress and Ghost have their own strengths. When it comes down to it, the best CMS for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you're looking for something with comprehensive eCommerce capabilities or broader customization options, then WordPress may be the better option for you.

However, if you're looking for something with more flexibility and fewer maintenance needs, then Ghost may be a better choice.

When Weighing Ghost vs WordPress, Consider Your Needs


Both WordPress and Ghost are popular CMS platforms with a lot to offer in terms of design options, customization, security, maintenance needs, hosting options and eCommerce capabilities. In the end, the platform you choose will depend heavily on your individual needs and preferences, so take some time to consider what's important for your website.

If you go with WordPress, our hosting plans can act as the perfect foundation for your new web presence. We even have managed hosting plans that provide a more hands-on level of service.

Regardless, once you've made your decision, you can be assured that both WordPress and Ghost will help you create an amazing website.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best CMS?

Everyone has their own favorite CMS, but the best one for you is the one that matches your business requirements.

Is a CMS hard to use?

No. CMSs can be used with minimal training, and you don’t need a programming background in order to use one.

Do I need a MAC or a special PC to use a CMS?

No, you don’t. Any computer with a web connection and an installed browser should be just fine.

Is WordPress free?

All you need to do to use WordPress is to invest in a web hosting plan since the software itself is free.

Brenda Barron
About the Author
Brenda Barron

Brenda Barron is a freelance writer and editor living in southern California. With over a decade of experience crafting prose for businesses of all sizes, she has a solid understanding of what it takes to capture a reader's attention.

View all posts by Brenda Barron
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