Bloggers July 4, 2020

WordPress or Ghost: Which blogging platform should I use?

Dinesh Thakur @Dinesht

I need help with which one shall I use.

For Ghost, I read there is not much support and limited resources. If you want to use plugins for various purpose you can use them only with Zapier.

For WP I read blogs get slow with time and It's an easy platform for spammers.

Which platform has advance for long term game?

  1. 6

    Not the answer you probably want to hear - but either. If you're just using it for blogging and content marketing, it doesn't really matter. Both are good platforms. What matters most is the content you write.

    PS. I personally use WordPress and have since 2005 :)

    1. 1

      Thank you. Sound like wise man words 😊

    2. 1

      ^yeah, I think they're both very strong. Perhaps trial both and see what feels best for you.

  2. 6

    If you want to focus on Blogging with minimal plugins and features then Ghost is the way to go. I have it on my dev blog (https://blog.michaelbrooks.dev) and absolutely love the speed and simplicity.

    I've been growing the Lyra theme and added my own search, syntax highlighting and more and the experience has been great.

    I used to have a blog with WP and the theme I used broke, I couldn't work out how or why and I didn't want to fix it myself, so I moved away.

    1. 1

      Thank you Michael. If we use Ghost, How easy it’s for non coder guys to set up mailchimp and plugins related to leads capture. Also if we want features like someone has to unlock post or content by sharing the tweet or follow us back on twitter or provide us his email, are all these things possible with Ghost ?

      1. 2

        Most tools such as Mailchimp offer embed code that you can easily copy/paste onto where you'd like them to appear. You can take a look at https://ghost.org/integrations/ to see everything that can integrate into Ghost.

        I'm not sure about the "Share to unlock" feature, I think that might be outside of Ghost. However, they do have a built-in membership platform and you can read more on that here https://ghost.org/members/ you don't have to use charge members, but that is also an option.

        Their Ghost Pro hosting has a 14-day free trial. You will have to enter card details, but you won't automatically charge you when the trial runs out which means it's risk-free. https://my.ghost.org/signup/

        1. 1

          Thank you again Micheal. I find if we need to use any plugin it should be done through Zapier and I don’t like it. Is there any resource where I can find code I need to add for mailchimp. Their membership ( not relevant to me) and hosting plans are quite expensive so so don’t prefer to use the

          1. 2

            There is no plugin support in Ghost, so it's not possible to do this yourself.

            Ghost is not for you. They're building a platform for independent journalists now, the original vision of "just a blogging platform" is dead. I was a big fan and contributor in the early days and I have a lot of respect for the people behind it, but their focus has shifted. A lot.

            1. 1

              Ohh, bit surprised to hear this. If the same is true, yes then I agree Ghost needs to avoid.

              Thanks again

              1. 2

                WP is clunky, a haven for spam. Ghost is 100% for blogs or article writing. However, I suggest you do more research. Personally, Ghost suits my needs as I only want to publish content.

  3. 3

    Ghost 3.0 launched recently, it seems to have a lot more integrations if you scroll down the page, including Mailchimp that you're looking for; not everything is through Zapier now. They also added member support like Substack or Medium so you could eventually make money from your blog if you want. I'd say try it out and see how it goes.

  4. 3

    Depends on your goals. If you want to make the blog and your content the center of your product (perhaps having memberships for accessing the content) then Ghost is a pleasure to use compared to WordPress. Memberships were introduced with Ghost 3.0 John O'Nolan the founder of Ghost came on the IH podcast to talk about the release: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/139-john-onolan-of-ghost
    However, if you want to setup an ecommerce store, then you will want WordPress as that's not what Ghost was intended to be.

  5. 3

    WordPress is way better in my opinion(and I'm using Ghost on my project).

    After using ghost for more than 1 year now, I'm not happy with my decision. Problems that I found:

    • Lacks search functionality - This is huge, how can a CMS does not have a search solution? Even if it's something basic(MySQL Text search for example). Many themes implement search on the frontend, but as you can Imagine is not scalable and requires downloading ALL the posts every time, just for the search functionality to work.
    • The editor is very opinionated towards people that like writing with Markdown. The problem is, the editor lacks basic functionality like centering text and can be very unfriendly for people that don't like writing with code.
    • Lack of plugins - Ghost does not have a way to extend itself with plugins, so if you need more functionality you need to code it yourself, sometimes having to change the code of Ghost itself as It does not have an easy way to insert functionality(like WP Hooks).
    1. 1

      Seems that with Ghost 3.0, it does have plugins now, scroll down the page (https://ghost.org/3/) and click the integrations banner.

      1. 1

        Everything is done through Zapier, so I would not call it plugin in the same sense that there are plugins on WordPress.

    2. 1

      Thank you for proving the real experience insights. All of these pro and cons will be highly valuable for all of blogger communities.

  6. 2

    I think WordPress is still mostly fine and you will achieve what you want. Personally I did not use Ghost.

    My main gripe with Wordpress was blogging about programming as I was always fighting WP to have nice code blocks. I switched to Jekyll and I prefer it by far.

  7. 2

    I've just switched to Ghost (with the help of @dr who has helped me self-host & has been brilliant), and I'm loving it. I run a blog with free/paid tiers.

    They're constantly improving, too, and I hear they have more additions planned. I've been v. impressed with their support (re: a tricky issue I had, their CEO - John - stepped in personally with a lengthy response), and their forum community has been helpful, too. I feel their features + ecosystem/resources will only go from strength to strength; granted, they still have some way to go before they match WP's ecosystem, but from what I've experienced Ghost's is good enough for me.

    Never expected to come across a Wordpress contender (I've used WP before).

    I've also found their UX/functionality simple (& I'm not a developer).

    1. 3

      Thank you for your valuable feedback Jas

      1. 1

        np!

  8. 2

    I totally recommend WordPress. If your page really should get slow hire a developer to do some spring cleaning. You can easily find developers, there are many great plugins, etc.

    1. 1

      Thank you, your suggestion makes lots of sense. "there are many great plugins" agree, I find here WP is miles ahead of Ghost

  9. 1

    WordPress is no longer good for blogging, if ever was, lol. It's too slow, vulnerable and risky.
    However, it is ubiquitous. So I would still stick with WP for a time being. Just be careful with plugin updates.

  10. 1

    Good question @Dinesht. I personally use Wrodpress and have done so for many years.

  11. 1

    In my opinion, WordPress. The Wysiwyg editor is gold.

    99% of the time you're going to spend time on the Wysiwyg editor, you need something that will make your writing life easy. WordPress does it right there.

  12. 1

    You should try substack

    Sivasankaran.substack.com

    1. 1

      Thank you for suggestion. I want to avoid Medium and Substack or any other third party blogging platforms

  13. 1

    I’m working on https://panakit.com/
    It’s a blogging platform that combines the best of both worlds. You can publish your blog with your custom domain to a CDN using static files so it’s blazing fast. No need to worry about managing servers or writing code.

    1. 2

      Panakiy looks simple and clean, I am curious what is the price you are planning ...

      1. 1

        How much would you pay for it?
        I’m thinking I will charge depending on number of views your blogs gets. One plan for 10k views/month, another plan for 100k views/month etc.

  14. 1

    I like Ghost for maintaining the content and use that content in a GatsbyJS based frontend as an API.

    You can read more about my setup here Ghost Gatsby Blog

  15. 1

    Hey Dinesh! My team recently started a cool blog platform that is easily deployable and easier to host. We are working on an official launch. But, you could definitely try it -- unote.io
    ALSO, it is completely free :)

    1. 1

      Congratulations, Just checked, looks cool. I will check unote.io

  16. 1

    Wordpress has lots of resources, themes, plugins and people offering services for it. But unless you have someone taking care of it (or use a hosted service) it's just a bad idea on so many levels.

    https://www.cvedetails.com/product/4096/Wordpress-Wordpress.html?vendor_id=2337

    How many plugins do you need and why? People argue it's cheap - until their hoster does no longer support the PHP version of their ancient wordpress install, or shuts down their site because it got affected by malware. If you are talking long term - that's also something to think about.

    There are ways to work around its flaws - but it's not common to find it setup like that.

    I usually use Static Site Generators (with Cloud Functions if necessary)

    1. 1

      Thank you for suggestion. How easy static site generator with cloud functions to manage and how much it cost

      1. 1

        I am afraid there is no simple answer. It depends on your skills, and the hosting and cloud provider you use - and there is overlap. It also depends on how much changing/dynamic data you have on your site.

        Static Site Generators: Which depends on your skills and personal preference, or that of your developer. I'd suggest to check out hugo and 11ty. They also have a limited set of themes. For some more application heavy sites you could check out gatsby or nuxt.js. But the skill level quickly rises for those.

        Once setup, it can be as easy as editing markdown files in a dropbox folder. But you don't get the plugin ecosystem you might expect.

        Hosting: You might have some webserver you already pay for. Then there is netlify, firebase, github, gitlab, AWS (and more)

        Cloud Functions: netlify, firebase, AWS lambda

        AWS, netlify, firebase - all come with a free tier, and then are pay-per-use.
        With github and gitlab you might even get away with free. Cost is probably not the factor here as it usually is very cheap, skills are.

        1. 1

          All of your suggestion make lots of sense here. Thank you for explaining pro and cons of each things again 🙏

  17. 1

    We built http://versoly.com/ to replace WordPress.

    We have customers who used Wordpress for 10 years swap because they were sick of spending hours and a ton of money for a website/blog that didn't perform (slow, crashing, caching issues and so much more)

    Because we're early you get access to the founders :) and get to shape the product.

    The platform is stable and we host our own site on it.

    1. 1

      Hey Volkan, How is Versoly different from Wix? The video demo on your site looks similar to how you setup sites on Wix.

      I've not used Wix very much, but definitely curious as to how you differentiate yourselves from Wix.

      1. 1

        Good question.

        At this stage we have three major selling points

        • Websites load faster (better for conversions)
        • We allow you to build custom sites easily using HTML (we have a code editor built in, don't have to "upgrade" to Wordpress)
        • Websites are built on Bootstrap, an opensource library used by millions of developers.
        1. 1

          Thanks for sharing that info!

          Seems like those particular USPs are directed toward developers mainly.

          Is that your main customer? Developers looking for a platform to bring up client's sites rather quickly?

          1. 1

            Once a website hits a certain point a developer will need to get involved.

            I'm hoping to make that happen later on.

            But if it does happen I don't want them to have to swap to Wordpress.

            Also a lot of our customers are marketers who know a little HTML.

            They don't want to learn a new tool and Versoly gives them complete freedom without having to worry about hosting, plugins, security, pagespeed etc.

    2. 1

      Sure, I’ll go through the versoly

      1. 1

        Thanks :)