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Tip 24: Why Ghost is better than WordPress for blogging in 2023

Out of frustration with WordPress, Ghost was born. Learn why Ghost is simply the best solution for growing a blog.

Graeme Tidd
Graeme Tidd
6 min read

Table of Contents

This post is for you if you want to run a blog and nothing else.

An introduction to

WordPress doesn't know what you want to use it for, so it allows you to do pretty much anything - from a huge e-commerce website to a microblog and everything in between. It's a jack-of-all-trades 🤷🏻‍♂️

If you only want to blog, WordPress may be overkill and doesn't include the essential tools you need.

You can use WordPress plugins to add functionality to a WordPress website, but this comes at an additional cost, and plugins need maintenance.

Ghost (intro below) squarely focuses on its users building an online publication and membership base.

Note: you can sell on Ghost using add-ons such as:

and Ghost is built for monetising a membership base. Read on to find out more!

If you want a blog that's really (and I mean really) going to impress, build a readership, and allow you to turn members into money - use Ghost. It's as simple as that.
Ghost: The Creator Economy Platform
The world’s most popular modern publishing platform for creating a new media platform. Used by Apple, SkyNews, Buffer, OpenAI, and thousands more.
  • Ghost themes look beautifully modern
  • Ghost has SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) functionality baked in and is highly optimised for SEO
  • Ghost is significantly faster than WordPress
  • Ghost has much tighter security
  • Ghost themes focus on users subscribing to content, thus becoming members
  • Members can be labelled, so you can segment your members when posting
  • You can write a post (as a standard post or a newsletter) and send it directly to your members when published
  • You can connect Ghost to Stripe and charge members for your content
  • You have the option of adding multiple payment tiers, starting at free
  • You can give users a free trial on premium content
  • You can hide content from users to encourage them to subscribe
  • Ghost doesn't charge for taking payments (Stripe does, but any payment gateway will charge, and it's only a tiny percentage of each sale)
  • Members sign in to your website with only their email address - a 'magic link' is emailed to them. No passwords needed
  • There is a dedicated members dashboard in Ghost, and you can watch the growth trajectory of your members, which is highly motivating
  • Ghost has a minimalist editor, so there is no clutter and therefore a more enjoyable writing experience

WordPress provides none of this out of the box.

Ghost: The simple, powerful WordPress alternative
Trying to find out how Ghost compares to WordPress? We’ve put together a full rundown of Ghost vs WordPress and the differences between them.

WordPress is just so WordPress

WordPress websites look very WordPress. Boring. Dated 🥱

Check out WordPress themes from StudioPress, a leading theme supplier:

WordPress Themes by StudioPress
The world’s most popular mobile-responsive themes and design framework for WordPress.

And now look at the Ghost themes on the Ghost theme marketplace:

Ghost Marketplace
Open source technology for fiercely independent publishers. Use Ghost to run a modern publication where you own the platform & control your content

Sure, good design is subjective - to a point. If you think the WordPress themes look better and have a better UX, there is no hope for you 🤣

My favourite Ghost theme developers

Premium Ghost Themes by fueko
Find the premium Ghost themes that are easy-to-use with a creative touch. Each theme is carefully crafted with a unique and modern design for any kind of ideas.
Premium Ghost Themes
Ghost themes that save time and money are simple and easily customizable. Choose a theme for your blog, newsletter, portfolio, or news website.
Premium Ghost Themes
Premium Ghost CMS Themes. We create practical yet powerful Ghost themes with membership and newsletter support. Our templates are simple to use, fast and beautiful, with great support and regular updates. Create a professional blog, newsletter or membership site.

The cost of running a Ghost site vs WordPress

Never go cheap when investing in a website. You get what you pay for. I recommend managed hosting, which eliminates the hassle of getting involved in host maintenance and security.

Ghost costs approximately £260 for one year of hosting with the Creator plan on Ghost's hosting service, Ghost Pro:

Ghost(Pro) - Official managed hosting for Ghost
The best Ghost managed hosting from the creators of the open source publishing platform. Spend less time on your server, more time on your site.

For WordPress websites, I recommend Flywheel, which costs the same as Ghost hosting at approximately £260 per year for the equivalent plan (Starter plan):

Managed WordPress hosting pricing and plans

Additional costs:

  • Theme (approximately £60-£99 as a one-off payment)
  • Email (I recommend ProtonMail at approximately £80 per year)
  • DNS management (I recommend ClouDNS at approximately £30 per year for the Premium S plan)
  • Domain name (I recommend 123-Reg at approximately £40 per year for .com and domains. I always advise buying both to protect your IP)
  • If you're serious about protecting your IP, you could apply for a UK trademark for £250, which includes one class. A trademark is renewed every 10 years

The total approximate cost (excluding trademark and website installation/design services):

  • Theme cost as a one-off payment (let's say £99)
  • Annual costs of £410

💡 The costs are the same for both WordPress and Ghost installations.

Moving from WordPress to Ghost: key considerations

  • WordPress allows unlimited staff members, such as administrators and editors. Ghost does not and limits you to 2 staff members on the Creator plan. If it's only you writing (or you and another person), this is not an issue. Ghost does allow unlimited contributors
  • Ghost updates require some technical ability, which is very straightforward. I will be posting about this shortly
  • Ghost provides a free migration service if you are on an annual plan (excluding the Starter plan):
Official guide: How the Ghost Concierge service works
Everything you need to know about working with the Ghost professional publishing platform.

Try Ghost for free, for 14 days

Ghost offers a free trial for 14 days. You need to add your card details, but you will not be charged unless you buy a plan after your 14 days, so there is no auto-renewal 👍

Freelance tips

Graeme Tidd

I write inspiring tips for anybody who wants to work freelance, in any discipline. Learn what they don't teach you and make progress 🚀

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