Bloggers August 4, 2020

Any alternative to Ghost?

Giancarllo Rojas @GiancarlloRojas

When I first used Ghost, I thought it was so good, clean, had an API with a JS SDK, etc

But after using it for a while I started to resent a lot my choice to a point where I'm a hater now. Wish I've read this post before I made the choice:

Anyway, I decided it's enough and I'm going to migrate, anyone knows a good alternative? I'm using Ghost as a headless CMS, a need something that has:

  • Custom fields
  • Search(can be basic)
  • Good editor

I'm considering using WordPress since it has a lot of plugins and I can extend it easily. What do you guys think?

  1. 2

    Hi! Cool name 😅

    I am using Eleventy + Forestry. If you don't mind writing some code, it's a good combo!

    1. 1

      Hi friend, the cool name also. My girlfriend calls me GC which is funny 😅

      Nice Stack, didn't know about Forestry, looks so cool. The thing on this project, though, is that the people producing the content are not dev, so it should be easy for them.

  2. 2

    I highly recommend taking a look at the new Statamic version. Although beta it‘ll accomplish all your requirements. I‘m using it in a new project I‘m currently working on.

    Coming from a CMS love/hate relationship I‘ve never had such joy in that field. After reading a couple of minutes the documentation you can dive in right away.

    If you have any questions in terms of Statamic. Feel free to ask. :)

    1. 1

      Wow, Statamic looks really cool. I think it can solve everything I need from what I've read on the documentation.

      I'll install it locally and play a little bit. Thanks for the recommendation.

      1. 1

        Nice. If you have any questions ping me. I‘m not an expert at all but did work the last four weeks intensely with Statamic. :)

  3. 2

    What do you need to do with custom fields?

    1. 1

      Custom frontend features based on the fields. We started the blog before the product was made, at the beginning the posts were simple and only targeting keywords.

      But now we're making more content and we need some snippets for some posts. The way we're doing now is ugly, we're using the meta field and putting a JSON there, and using the excerpt as a meta, very ugly.

      Also custom blocks, for example, imagine I wanna put a snippet inside a blog post, something like a subscribe form, a CTA for my product, etc

      Ghost promised these things but then these took a completely different direction in the development, I'm thinking WP is the way to go since it has plugins for about anything I can think.

      1. 1

        Did you ever find a solution? :)

        1. 1

          Kinda, we ended forking Ghost and implementing the features ourselves. Not the prettiest solution though.

          Why? Does Versoly support all these features now?

          1. 2


            • Custom blocks
            • Search
            • Good editor (depends what you mean, but it is powerful especially if you want to do use it for marketing)


            I should most likely add custom/global blocks to the list as that is one of the reasons we rebuilt the editor.

  4. 1

    Use AMP mate, first of all, your pages will rank better in search engines, your pages will load under 1s, have all elements that a website need. Just keep it clean and fast 👍

  5. 1

    Coming from a wordpress environment I was also really excited about Ghost, but glad I kept on researching to end up finding out about most of this. Not having any basic support of custom fields is a massive dealbreaker.
    Wish to find something as fast, self hosted, good looking content-driven backend and community-supported as ghost, but with custom fields :P

  6. 1

    Any static site generator + Netlify forms?

  7. 1

    Have you tried ButterCMS? It's a headless CMS with a preconfigured blog engine. It has support for dozens of new technologies so you can plug in a blog and be up and running in minutes.

  8. 1

    Definitely not a fully fledge ghost replacement, but if you are looking for a tiny blog replacement, have a look at, I'd happily give you a key if you want to try. Here are example of blogs on it:

    1. 1

      Interesting idea but I don't quite get it. Some kind of twitter 2.0?

      The contrast from the design is kind of hard on my eyes :D

  9. 1

    It's probably not the answer you're looking for.
    I've been using Ghost for a while and then I discovered JAMStack with Gatsby. I never looked back and very happy. It's so much better than any CMS I worked with.
    You can use something like Contentful as CMS but it's too much hustle IMO compared to simple Markdown/MDX (if you need advanced stuff)

    But of course, it's not CMS and requires some work.

    1. 1

      I'm familiar with Gatsby, JAMStack looks cool. One problem, though, can I make a setup that is friendly to non-dev users? In my case, I need it since the people creating content are marketers/specialists in the area.

      Contentful looks cool also, but the price is scary. Thanks for your suggestion.

    2. 1

      Just what I was going to suggest. Likewise, I've been using Gatsby with a few sites of late. I love the immediacy of it. True, if you want the CMS features, then you're gonna have to do some additional work and it may cost (Contenful seems to have a steep price curve).

      One consideration on that front, if you want a data source but don't need anything too substantial like a full CMS, I hooked mine up to a Googlesheet. Works a treat. This allows me to update the googlesheet at my pace (I do it via a Glide app) and then I deploy the site whenever I want to publish. You can of course set it up to dynamically pull this data, but that is more work, and personally I like this step as a publish gate.

      1. 1

        An alternative for CMS might be to build your own backend with the likes of Firebase. (disclaimer, I'm a Firebase fanboy. Other backend platforms may also be suitable)

  10. 1

    enjoyed this article. i recently went kinda the opposite direction – was running a hybrid ghost/ (headless CMS) gatsby app for, and started to feel the pain of a pretty big multi-headed mechanism for deploying or changing anything on the site.

    ended up moving 100% to ghost and for my site, it's been a good move for the very small amount of custom stuff i need (events as a custom post type via ghost's taxonomy feature). that being said, all the points you raise in that blog post are 1000% valid — the product direction is pretty opaque and i think i've just been lucky that the decisions that have been made have lined up pretty well with the kind of things i'm trying to figure out (memberships specifically).

    will watch this thread as i'm always interested in alternatives that are easier than a fully custom setup but allow more flexibility than ghost!

    1. 1

      Hi Kristian!

      Bytesized looks incredibly well-made, congrats. How did you implement the search? It's on the frontend?

      Yeah, I used to love Ghost, but things went in a different direction than I was expecting.

      1. 1

        hey, thanks! i use the dawn theme pretty happily - there's a few things i'd like to change, so i'll probably end up forking it and doing a custom theme, but things like memberships and search came for free w/ it, so it was like 80% there without me having to do too much work :)

  11. 1

    I use Contentful as my headless CMS with Gatsby and host on Netlify. It's worth checking out.

    1. 1

      Just checked it, looks good, but the price is crazy for me.

      1. 1

        I'm able to get by on free tiers. I'd replace Contentful if I needed a paid feature. Both free plans are pretty generous though.

    2. 1

      That’s hardcore

  12. 1

    Hey, I am building something that might be of interest. Astrola - It's a tool for early-stage web apps that lets you add blogs, roadmaps, changelogs, feedback voting and documentation from a single dashboard.

    Just posted a quick peek at the blog editor -

    While your last points are ticked with Astrola, we won't have support for custom fields. It's something I'm open to though. How complex do you need the fields to be? Would they simply be text areas to help separate out data?


    1. 1

      Hey Scott!

      Astrola looks pretty cool, but it's way more than I need right now. I can see myself using it on my next projects though, I'll follow you.

      1. 2

        Hey @GiancarlloRojas !

        Sure thing. I'm building this as a self-funded indie hacker, so it'll be nicely priced for us :)

        Thanks for following. If you are on twitter, let's connect - @scopeak.

        1. 1

          Sure, just followed you!

Recommended Posts