WordPress.com is a privately owned publishing platform for hosting blogs and websites. Not to be confused with WordPress.org, which is a free and open source content management system (CMS) for automatic hosting of WordPress.
Ghost.org is another popular blogging platform that, like WordPress, is partly free and easy to use. However, it is different from WordPress in that the software is open source, not proprietary.
Both WordPress and Ghost allow you to start a blog or website instantly, without having to install anything. Basically, they take care of hosting issues, so you don’t have to.
In this article, I’ll compare the two platforms and offer use cases where one might be a better option than the other.
WordPress vs Ghost
WordPress.org is completely free for anyone to install and use. It is also very easy to install (thanks to its widespread use), and many web hosts provide a one-click installation. This is why WordPress is considered a great option for non-technical users and users with no programming knowledge.
Conversely, Ghost is much more technical to set up on a shared hosting account, and there aren’t many web hosts that support it. Digital Ocean is probably the best platform to install Ghost on due to its compatibility. However, one downside is that you have to access it using a command terminal, which may be too technical for many users.
When it comes to flexibility, there is also some difference between the two.
Ghost is specific to a niche; is geared towards blogging. So, if you’re a professional writer or blogger looking to start a blog, write blog posts, build an email list, run paid subscriptions, and so on, Ghost is perfect for it.
But if you want to do something bigger like integrate the functionality of an online store into your blog or post paid ads on your website, then it’s best to use WordPress.
As I said before, Ghost was designed for writers and bloggers. As a result, writers have complete control over how their content is distributed to their audience. For example, as a writer using Ghost, you can choose to send your posts only to users who have subscribed to your website.
Plus, you have absolute control over the look and feel of your emails. You can change the design and customize it to your taste. Ghost uses MailGun as an email delivery service.
Conversely, WordPress is geared towards the regular online marketer because it doesn’t have any email client by default. Instead, the user has to use third party mail services such as Mailchimp and Convertkit.
In summary, WordPress is more flexible because you can use any third-party mail service of your choice, while Ghost’s built-in mail service is aimed at bloggers and gives them a lot of control over it.
Plugins allow you to add new features and capabilities to WordPress. There are so many plugins available for doing different kinds of things in WordPress. For example, you have SEO optimization plugins like Yeast SEO, database optimization plugins like WP-Optimize, and form management plugins like WPForms.
To use a plugin in WordPress, simply log into the backend and search for the plugin you want to add. After that, it only takes two clicks to install and activate it.
In Ghost, add new features through integrations. From within the Ghost admin dashboard, you can search for any integration of your choice and follow the prompts to learn how to install it. Unlike WordPress, you can’t install a Ghost integration directly from the website.
Both WordPress and Ghost have a dedicated marketplace and numerous third-party markets for purchasing themes. But the main difference between the two lies in the ease of customizing the theme.
In WordPress, theme customization is more non-technical. There is a built-in theme editor which has a drag and drop feature you can use to easily customize your site design.
However, in Ghost, the process is more technical. You will be required to know basic web design with HTML and CSS to customize your website design. Although due to Ghost’s rich selection of themes, you often won’t need to customize anything.
WordPress is very easy to set up and use. It is very customizable and can be integrated with many other third party tools. You also have more freedom with what you can do in WordPress – you can run paid ads, affiliate marketing, and so on.
Ghost was designed to be a blogging platform. As a result, many of its features, such as its email system, are tailored for writers and bloggers. This sadly places a limit on what you can achieve as a non-blogging user.
Thumbnail created with OpenAI DALL-E