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Creative Tim
Creative Tim

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Ghost vs. Wordpress: Which One to Choose?

Have you been wondering which one is better, Ghost vs. Wordpress? Or are you looking for Wordpress alternatives? You've come to the right spot. In this article, we will compare two of the most popular blogging platforms, and in the end, you will know which one fits your needs.

The internet is full of showcasing solutions for your business, and these two seem to be ideal for those who don't have coding skills necessary. People have been using Ghost and Wordpress for a while, and the opinions are divided, but they are definitely powerful tools.

Now let's take a look over what each platform means:

What is Ghost?

Ghost is an open-source platform for creating online blogs or publications aiming to be the best open-source tool for independent journalists and writers worldwide. It is also known as the best headless Node.js CMS for professional publishing.

The idea behind Ghost came after the former deputy lead for the WordPress User Interface team wrote a blog post where he expressed his frustration with the complexity of using WordPress as a blog rather than a content management system. After that, in 2013, the first public version of Ghost was released.

Why use Ghost:

  • It is open-source.
  • It is fast: Ghost is built on a stack of modern technologies and is a headless CMS, which allows a faster loading time, improvements related to the quality of animations that can be developed, etc.
  • It is very flexible and secure.
  • It has an extensible rich editor: you can add images, embeds, videos, Markdown, and HTML.
  • You can invite your whole team to collaborate with dedicated public user profiles for everyone.
  • It has native Search Engine Optimisation.
  • It has native registration forms, member management, payments, subscriptions, and email newsletters.
  • It has integrated AMP support that will help you rank higher in Google's mobile search.
  • You have full control over what data to get thanks to Ghost's JSON API.

If you want to learn more about Ghost, you can visit the official website here.

What is Wordpress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system used for creating websites and blogs. It is written in PHP, and if you are not a developer, do not worry! There's no need for programming skills to begin using Wordpress. If you want to create your own layouts, though, you need to understand HTML, CSS, and PHP. It is also one of the most popular website creation and management tools around the world and an equally powerful CMS. This CMS has a long history, and it first appeared in 2003.

Another thing you should know about Wordpress is the fact that there are two options for starting a WordPress site: and The differences between them refer to the difference between hosted and self-hosted websites. Shortly, if you want to have full control over the design, management, and name of your website, you will choose with self-hosting. Developer skills are a must here. On the other hand, if you want to publish a site easily and quickly, without dealing with design, ongoing site maintenance, or other technical issues, you will choose, a hosted site.

Why use Wordpress:

  • It is free for use and open-source.
  • You can choose your web host.
  • It is easy to use - you don't have to be a developer to use it.
  • It adapts so you can make any type of website.
  • It supports all major media types (text, images, and videos).
  • You have a vast range of free or premium themes where you can choose from.
  • Thanks to its large number of plugins available, your website can have more specialized functions (e.g., e-commerce functions).
  • It has a large support community where you can find help.

If you want to learn more about Wordpress, you can visit their official website here.

Why is Ghost compared with Wordpress?

Ghost calls itself a "simple, modern WordPress alternative." You can say it's a smart marketing move, but it's so much more than that. They both started as blogging platforms, even though Wordpress aimed to evolve into something bigger. They are also open-source, have common features, and are among the most popular blogging platforms. Both WordPress and Ghost have a self-hosted and hosted option.

What is the difference between Ghost and Wordpress?

Now that you've seen what platform is and why they are compared let's summarise the differences between them. It will help you make a decision regarding what solution is best for you.

  • Ghost is written in Node.js while Wordpress is written in PHP.
  • Ghost focuses on creating content (posts), whereas blogging has become a smaller part of the WordPress ecosystem.
  • WordPress has a wider range of functionalities and is more adaptable for any kind of website you want, whereas Ghost is more straightforward, and it isn't trying to do "too much."
  • Ghost has native SEO & social. Wordpress requires plugins installation.
  • Ghost is faster than Wordpress. Especially if you tend to install many plugins in Wordpress, then the nightmare begins.
  • WordPress has a larger and more established community than Ghost. Therefore if you have any problem, you will easily find help.
  • There is a greater variety of Wordpress themes than Ghost themes. Also, the first ones are more customizable.
  • Ghost has Markdown support, whereas Wordpress does not.
  • Wordpress is more popular than Ghost.



  • Self-hosted version: free (just make sure your hosting provider supports Node.js). We recommend you Bluehost and Digital Ocean.
  • Hosted version on Ghost's own servers: start at $29/month.


  • Self-hosted version: free. We recommend you Bluehost and Digital Ocean.
  • Hosted version on Wordpress's own servers: starts at $4/month. You will most likely need the Business Plan - $25/month

Conclusion: Is Ghost better than WordPress?

There are two possible answers to this question:

  • Yes, if you are a blogger or a publication looking for a faster, cleaner, and more appealing publishing experience. Ghost is mainly a blogging platform that can help you develop a direct relationship with your audience and generate sustainable, recurring revenue from your creative work; on your terms. I'm sure some of you are tired of WordPress's loading time, the large number of plugins that must be installed, the platform's buttons that you never use, and the updates that Wordpress continually does. Also, you should know that Ghost can be used for creating a standalone site, too, thanks to its developer-friendly experience. If you want some examples, check out these three websites built with Ghost: Made with React, VueJS Expo, AngularExpo. Cool right?
  • No, if you are a business looking to create a more complex website without coding skills. With Wordpress, you can make almost any kind of website imaginable, thanks to its functionalities. No wonder why it is so popular. Using this platform, you will have access to thousands of free and premium themes that can be easily customized. Thanks to its integrations, plugins, and extensions, this platform can make your website very modern (testimonials, bots, e-commerce solutions, etc.). Also, Wordpress keeps improving continually!

We, at Creative Tim, have tried both Ghost and Wordpress. When it comes to the publishing experience, Ghost is, for sure, way lighter, faster, and with better SEO performance than Wordpress. Using the latter one, we've encountered some errors and long loading time. It became frustrating, especially when you have to update your blog weekly. On the other hand, Wordpress has some cool features, such as its plugin marketplace, which still encourages us to use it. For example, the SEO plugin that has more advanced functionalities than the built-in SEO from Ghost.

At the same time, please remember that the general development trends worldwide tend to go towards asynchronous programming languages, such as JavaScript, making PHP look more like a technology from the past, which will steadily lose terrain in front of the more modern technologies.

Finally, I hope this post will help you decide what CMS solution is better for you. If you are already using Ghost, take a look over this list of free and open-source Ghost themes.

Do you have any inputs here? Shoot them in the comments.


If you are among the Ghost's fans or considering switching to Ghost, you may take a look over this free and open-source Ghost theme: Material Kit Ghost. It is brand new, beautifully designed, and comes packed with a large number of features than can help you create amazing blogs. Check it out!

Download |   Live Preview 

Top comments (8)

moisesj profile image
Moisés J

I'm more a Ghost's guy but I think Ghost's installation is a complete headache unless you use docker. Trying to deploy Ghost in plesk, for example, is completely crazy. As soon as different platforms easy the installation, Ghost will conquer the world.

sm0ke profile image

Thanks for writing! My vote goes for Ghost.

patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

Any guide to theming of the frontend of headless CMS? Being headless totally kills me.

royalfig profile image
Ryan Feigenbaum

Ghost can be headless, but it doesn't have to be, and some features work better in its monolithic configuration (like the subscription feature).

Building a custom theme works by making templates with Handlebars. Check out their docs for more info.

If you wanna go the headless route, I have had success using Gridsome.

nfrankel profile image
Nicolas Frankel

Both use runtime rendering, which has been superseded by build-time rendering. I'd advise everybody to check Jekyll, Hugo, and similar static blog platforms.

mououthed_sneh profile image
mouti eleniyan

My vote goes to wp

erhankilic profile image
Erhan Kılıç

I didn't see Ghost as an alternative to wordpress.

mitya profile image

Unfortunately, all cool themes for Ghost is paid. And they are not cheap.

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