Hey there! Considering switching to Ghost? If so, you’re probably trying to figure out whether it will be the right decision for you – and we wanted to help make that process a bit easier.
Scroll down and you’ll find as many details as we can squeeze onto a single page to help give you an overview of Ghost vs WordPress compared. We’ll also give you a straight-up comparison of features, customer experiences, pricing and performance.
|Pricing||Managed hosting from $29/mo||Managed hosting from $35/mo|
|Native SEO||✅ Yes||❌ No, extra plugin - $199/year|
|Memberships||✅ Yes||❌ No, extra plugin - $199/year|
|Paid subscriptions||✅ Yes||❌ No, extra plugin - $199/year|
|Global CDN||✅ Yes||❌ No, extra service - $12/month|
|Email newsletters||✅ Yes||❌ No, extra app - $10+/month|
|Secure||✅ Yes||❌ No, very regular vulnerabilities|
|Fast||✅ Yes||❌ Absolutely not|
|Modern design & technology||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Native REST API in core||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Open source||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
Why should I consider Ghost over WordPress?
If you’re looking for a platform that increasingly attempts to do everything and don’t mind cutting through the noise to make it work for your publishing needs, then WordPress might be suitable for you.
But if performance, security, cost to run and a good publishing experience are important to you, keep reading. If you’re sick of wading through menus and navigating complex options that you never use, we’ve got news for you: So were we.
Let’s be real here: WordPress is a popular tool, used by many people to achieve a vast number of things. But if you’re a serious publisher and you care about the experience you and your team has every day at work, you can probably do better!
So what does Ghost do better?
Let’s start by talking about what Ghost does the same. One of the most loved features of WordPress is that it’s open source and flexible, and Ghost has the exact same setup. The main difference is that Ghost is explicitly focused on doing one thing really well: Publishing.
Everything revolves around your content!
Our rich editor is designed solely around providing the best possible writing experience. It makes formatting posts a lot more flexible.
You can accomplish more with dynamic cards that allow you to work with image galleries, embeds, Markdown, HTML and more – without distractions.
Ghost comes with all the tools you need to develop direct relationships with your audience and even generate predictable revenue from your work.
Registration forms, member management, payments, subscriptions and email newsletters are built-in: without any additional plugins or fees!
"I wrote my first post on Ghost this weekend and it was a real joy. I love the markdown editor, it is exactly what I need and perfect for how I write my posts. Excited about where this will lead, Ghost feels like a great platform."Joel Gascoigne, BufferSwitched from Tumblr to Ghost
Ghost is more affordable
We’ve built the best hosted service in the business, called Ghost(Pro). It’s comparable to running WordPress on a fully-managed hosting service with a dedicated Content Delivery Network.
You get the same incredible infrastructure and fantastic support, whether you currently receive a few thousand views or you’re already up to tens of millions. But, you get all of it at a rather more affordable price-point:
With Ghost, the fee structure is simplified into a single monthly cost based on the scale of your publication. Since the software has most (or all) of the features you need to run a modern publication, you won’t need to pay for additional premium plugins like you would using WordPress.
"We're using Ghost's Pro service to host the blog for us. Works really well. Great writing experience compared to WordPress. WordPress is an incredibly powerful framework but because it supports the needs of so many websites and demands, it has grown into a sizable and cluttered tool."Lee Munroe, MailgunSwitched from WordPress to Ghost
Ghost has SEO & social built-in
What’s the point in publishing if nobody reads your content?
Ghost has the best support for search engine optimisation and social sharing features of any blogging platform in the world. You don’t need any extra plugins or extensions, and you don’t need to write any extra code. It just works.
There are built-in XML sitemaps, Google AMP pages, canonical tags, optimised URLs, microformats, Facebook Open Graph tags, support for Twitter cards and clean semantic markup. All of this is done for you automatically, with no plugins needed.
Thousands of businesses choose Ghost to run their websites:
Ghost is faster
Because Ghost is powered by a modern technology stack using Node.js – it’s fast. Really, really, really, ridiculously fast.
Independent tests have found Ghost to be up to 1,900% faster than WordPress. What does that mean? In the amount of time it takes WordPress to respond to 1 request, Ghost will have already responded to 19 of them. The speed of your blog impacts everything, from search engine rankings to mobile user engagement.
Automated publication setup with Ghost
Getting up and running with WordPress, for the uninitiated, can be a long process. You have to download the software, find a hosting company, sign up for a new account, and then get all your files uploaded over FTP and setup a new MySQL database before you actually get to the install process.
Because Ghost offers an official hosted service, you can have a new blog up and running in the space of about 3 clicks – with exactly the same level of control as if it were hosted anywhere else. Powerful automation simply saves you a lot of time.
Full-featured subscription commerce
Transform anonymous viewers into members, and your most valued members into paying subscribers with Ghost. Our native memberships and subscriptions features unlock potential new revenue streams and give your more ways than ever to develop meaningful relationships with your audience.
Best of all, there’s no extra downloads or fees and we don’t take any transaction fees — so all of your revenue is entirely yours to keep.
- Access all content
- Weekly newsletter
- Members-only comments
- Access all content
- Weekly newsletter
- Members-only comments
- Support indie publishing
Doing more than the basics
If you’re a developer or a business trying to build more than just a basic blog, and integrate your content and publication with other tools and workflows — Ghost has the tools you need.
At its core, Ghost is a fully baked RESTful JSON API with a flexible architecture and carefully considered client applications and services to go along with it. This means it can be extended, modified and customised for your needs in an unlimited number of ways.
Want to bring your favourite tools along? That’s no problem. In fact, Ghost integrates with just about anything, without the need for bloated plugins slowing down your site. It’s worth checking out our extensive directory of integrations as well as beautiful themes and the official Ghost migration plugin to get you started.
tl;dr: The skinny
Cut to the chase? Ghost is better for publishing and blogging. WordPress is better for building a dynamic, complex website.
Ghost is best if…
- You care about a well designed interface
- Your content needs to work well for social and search
- Speed and performance are important to you
- You want to build a sustainable membership business
You might be better off with WordPress when…
- You want a full business website, without a blog or publication
- Extra advanced functionality like ecommerce, is needed
- You want to build your own custom features with plugins
One last thing you should know
Ghost is an independent non-profit organisation. We build publishing tools for modern journalism & publishing because we believe freedom of speech is important. Our software is released under a free open source license, our business model is completely transparent, and our legal structure means that 100% of the money we make is reinvested into making Ghost better.
We’re building a socially responsible, sustainable business which empowers people to share important stories and ideas. We’re in this for the long haul.
"I've been a blog minimalist from the start, and finding a truly open source platform which reflects that minimalism and focus is incredibly refreshing."Jeff Atwood, Coding HorrorSwitched from TypePad to Ghost
You’re now armed with knowledge! Hopefully this guide was useful to give you a general overview of WordPress compared to Ghost.
We can help you migrate to Ghost from WordPres, for free! Save time and let the Ghost team do all the work on your behalf; no coding, no configuration, no worries. This migration is included with any Ghost(Pro) Standard Annual plan or higher.
Still researching? Head back to the alternatives page.