Ghost

Ghost is a fully-featured and customizable publishing platform. Built for teams that need a plethora of features like i18n, advanced SEO management, membership management, email marketing, third-party apps integration, and also a robust development experience to tailor their sites to their exact needs.

Written by:
  • Fernando Gruning

    Fernando Gruning

Last update: July 4, 2021
  • Ghost logo
  • CMS type: API
  • Website: ghost.org
  • Founded: 2013
  • Total raised: $7.3M
  • Company size: 11-50 people

Last update: July 4, 2021

What is Ghost?

Ghost is an open-source, professional publishing platform built in Node.js, with a paid PaaS service for hosting and managing Ghost instances.

It was built in 2013 as an antidote for slow and complicated CMSs, bringing modern features to publishing teams that need a lightning-fast, secure, and fully customizable platform for their content. The editor allows publishers to focus solely on the content without clumsy UIs and controls. The control interface is only shown when needed and it’s simple to use but very powerful at the same time.

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Rich content like images, videos, raw HTML, and more can be added as blocks of content

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How to use Ghost as headless CMS?

By default, Ghost ships with Handlebars as its default front-end theme layer, but can be used as a headless CMS with other front-end frameworks, especially Jamstack ones.

The core architecture of a Ghost app consists of a data/storage layer, where different types of databases (SQLite, MySQL) and storage solutions (Azure, S3, local) can be plugged into the Ghost core, and the other part of the architecture, which itself is a RESTful JSON API split into content and an admin API.

Ghost can be integrated with the most popular Jamstack frameworks like Gatsby, Next.js, Hexo, 11ty, and many more. Docs are available from the Ghost site for getting started on working with

Ghosts and these frameworks.

Support

The Starter and Basic Ghost(Pro) plans include basic email support, while the Standard plan has priority support. The Business plan comes with a dedicated account manager available to assist the team with anything Ghost-related.

Also, Ghost has thorough developer docs with guides and tutorials, a developer forum, and a help center for common questions.

Ghost Pricing

Ghost is first an open-source publishing tool, meaning that you can clone the repo and deploy an instance to your own servers for free. Alongside that option, Ghost offers several paid plans for managing your instances on their own infrastructure, called Ghost(Pro).

Ghost(Pro) comes with some added benefits like automatic weekly updates, server maintenance, backups, worldwide CDN, enterprise-grade security, and product support ranging from basic email support to a dedicated account manager.

In short, Ghost has wide-ranging pricing options for publishers of any size, be it a small startup looking to build an audience or a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of thousands of active clients and members.

Ghost Pros and Cons

  • Lighting-fast speed.
  • Feature-rich editor with a focus on the content.
  • Built-in subscription and membership management.
  • Integrated analytics and SEO tools.
  • Huge library of extensions, themes, plug-ins, and integrations.
  • Ships with a default templating engine for the front-end.
  • More expensive than other platforms, especially for casual bloggers.
  • Self-hosting is really only possible for teams with technical skills.
  • No native commenting functionality.
  • The free open source is more limited than the PaaS version.

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