- Simple blog building platform
- Free core programming
- Live editing feature
- Tools available to help promote blog
- Customization requires coding
- Expensive to host with Ghost
- Limited community support
- Limited functionality on Ghost built websites
Ghost is one of the critics most liked content management systems available on the market. It’s often compared to the other big player in the industry, WordPress. And that is no coincidence, the developer behind Ghost was the leader of the WordPress user interface team.
In this Ghost review, we will detail what we think of this content management system.
What Is Ghost?
Ghost is primarily a blogging platform that’s designed for website owners who want to have full control of their website build. The primary way to design your website is through code. So, if you have limited coding skills, then you might be at a loss with this system.
An example of this is when you’re publishing text content. On most CMS systems, when you want to format text, like amend a heading, or to underline certain text, you have to select the text and press a button on the dashboard to make the change. On Ghost, the process is completely in code. You just have to type the instruction out around the words you want formatted.
For some people this could be tiresome and for others it’s very complicated. There is some help at the bottom of the input page, but for some, this will not be enough to help them publish content as they see fit.
However, there are also lots of similarities between Ghost and WordPress, another reason why these two programs are often compared.
Designing Your Ghost Website
As with other CMS programs, you’re not stuck with a single look for your website. There are loads of templates available from the developers and third parties. Some of these are free, others are premium.
The range available is amazing and you’ll be likely to find something that matches your initial design concepts with ease.
However, there is one issue with Ghost: you can’t customize those templates as easily as with other programs. Instead, like with everything else, you have to learn coding.
There are also issues with functionality. While other programs, like WordPress and Joomla allow you to add extensions, or plugins, to improve your website, there are limited options when it comes to Ghost.
There are only a few tools for promoting your website. Though there is a good set of SEO tools that will help it rank highly on Google, if you have the appropriate skills. Social sharing is also something that is key to the Ghost experience and compared to other platforms, this is integrated from the beginning.
Other features like RSS feeds, email subscriptions and commenting are much harder to build into your website.
But, as we keep mentioning on this Ghost review, the implementation of a lot of other features will have to be done with good coding knowledge.
One of the best benefits of Ghost is the way that it changes to a page are easier to make. When you make changes, or create a new page, there’s a preview on the right. Other platforms don’t allow this and it can be time consuming to check that your work looks as you expect after saving the page.
Of course, there are some negatives to this approach. The rise of 2-in-1 devices where screens are smaller can sometimes mean smaller details are missed.
Pricing Of Ghost
One of the major advantages of Ghost is that the core programming is free to use. Though you will need to buy a domain name and hosting solution yourself. There are options for the developers behind Ghost to host your website, but this can be costly.
For instance, the starting price for Ghost hosting is $19 per month. This has limits too. You can only have 50,000 views per month. That is pretty small for any blogger who wants to make it big. The next plan significantly increases this number of views to 200,000 and allows you to host three blogs. The cost for this plan is $39 per month.
Neither of these two plans has any support though. If you need this, you’ll have to pay at least $79 per month.
There is a trial period available, but this lasts only 14 days.
The biggest cost you’ll probably find with Ghost is not with the program itself, but with the development of your website.
If you want anything but the basic blogging platform, you’ll need to know code. If you don’t have that knowledge, you’ll need to hire a freelancer or a development company to help you out. These can be expensive.
Is There A Community Behind Ghost?
Despite the web developing community helping to raise the necessary funds for Ghost in just eleven hours when it started its crowdfunding campaign, there has been a lack of community support for Ghost.
The support available is new and small-scale. If you look carefully, you can find the necessary forums, written documentation and a few guides to support your development. That isn’t to say that there won’t be a bigger support platform in the future. The community is growing, but it’s just slower than other platforms.
Ghost Review Pros:
- Simple blogging platform creates a no-frills website that suits bloggers and businesses who want a basic website.
- Free core programming you can download and use without hosting the site.
- Can see changes made to webpages before publishing them on the same screen.
- SEO, social media, email subscriptions and other key tools are included in code to make life easier for you.
Ghost Review Cons:
- For most customization you’ll need to know coding.
- Hosting Ghost can be expensive and has limits on traffic.
- Small community support.
- Those looking for ecommerce or other high functioning websites will be disappointed.
Ghost Review Conclusion
If you’re looking for a complex website, Ghost is not for you. However, if you can learn code and want a simple website with a great blogging experience, Ghost is one of the best CMS programs for you to use. With it you can get your content published, seen and monetized.