Why Ghost? Or better yet, what is Ghost? Like WordPress, Ghost is a Content Management System ("CMS"). That is, it's a software program run on a server, allowing for content development and distribution.
Content can be anything seen or heard on the Internet; from music to podcasts to images to articles. Specifically, WordPress and Ghost were developed for Blog content; blog posts.
So, why am I using Ghost and not WordPress? WordPress is a top-rated application. In fact, WordPress' market share is 43% of all websites. Conversely, Ghost is estimated to be used by about 0.1%.
But that misses the point. The issue is not about market share, as the well-used idiom states; the issue is about "using the right tool for the job." And, when it comes to blogging with an associated email list and newsletter, Ghost is "the right tool."
I love WordPress, and I continue to be a WordPress loyalist. For many applications, it's the perfect platform - everything from presenting the face of a business to running a web-based store.
It even works well on Blogs; as previously stated, it was developed for Blogs. Ghost, however, is better for Blogs.
To understand why this is true, it's necessary to comprehend WordPress' shortcomings in running a Blog. For WordPress to be available for so many different purposes, it had to be developed as a core concept to which other applications or plugins could be attached. Although the core of WordPress continues to improve, the availability of free and paid plugins is what really gives WordPress its power.
However, the availability of this power is not without some offsetting costs. To run a website correctly, you will probably need many of the paid vs. free versions. Just to operate the site, you will need caching, SEO, backup, anti-spam, security, and analytics. You will need an email subscription service, STMP, membership, credit card payment, and a comment system to manage the Blog.
Adding all these systems to your site is complex and expensive. They can easily conflict with one another and ultimately slow down your site. This is where Ghost comes into play, and it is why I've switched to Ghost to run my Blog site.
Since my goal in operating a Blog site was to produce meaningful content and not spend inordinate amounts of time tweaking the backend of WordPress, Ghost was the perfect solution. Most of the applications requiring separate WordPress plugins are natively included in Ghost. Additionally, other applications are easily integrated, yet the overall speed continues to be stellar. Finally, several free and paid themes are available, which can relatively easily be customized.
Understandably, systems that natively coordinate multiple offerings also have their built-in offset of limiting your choices, but I've not felt constrained. In fact, sometimes, not having too many choices is actually freeing. I have used systems that were so limited that I couldn't wait to abandon ship; Ghost is not that. In fact, I've been pleasantly surprised by how much flexibility is afforded.
Ghost is an open-source program and can be run on several servers. The originators of Ghost offer hosting, which is tied to the number of members and starts at $108 a year. This includes all the native features of Ghost plus hosting and themes. Other third-party services are also available that offer hosting. The most prominent of which is Digital Press. [As a point of interest, Digital Press seems to offer a better price point; however, you will need to add an STMP facilitator, whereas Ghost has this built in.] Both have excellent reviews, and my experience with each has been great.
If you are interested in using Ghost as your blog platform, this site is reader-supported, and you can help by using this link. Thank you.