Ghost CMS Review 2022: Is This Open-Source Platform Worth It?

Updated September 15 2022
Sophie Leah
Sophie Leah
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Ghost CMS

8.6
Ease of Use 8.5
Features & Flexibility 8.6
SEO & Mobility 8.6
Support and Resources 8.5
Pricing 8.6

Pros

  • Open-source, so it's from free
  • Offers regular backups
  • Free trial on Ghost Pro

Cons

  • Requires a bit of coding knowledge
  • No built-in eCommerce capability: requires a third party app

Introduction to our Ghost CMS Review

Welcome to your Ghost CMS review! Today, with the commodification of blogs, the challenge now isn’t so much to express yourself, but more like how you can earn good money.

How does the Ghost CMS perform and, unlike many platforms that have come and gone, can the Ghost blogging platform sustain its momentum?


Overview: Presenting the Ghost Blogging Platform

That’s where the Ghost platform comes in. Since 2013, the Ghost blogging platform has gained quite a following in the international blogging community and is now on version 4.0 (released Q1 – 2021.) Ghost website owners currently include independent writers and online publishing hubs, prompting several Ghost vs WordPress comparisons.

Visit ghost.org


Ease of use:

Let's evaluate Ghost CMS's ease of use.

Simple and powerful are the words that are usually banded around where the Ghost blogging platform is concerned. You can simply download it off the Ghost website and start working ASAP. However, don’t expect so much from it: Ghost CMS was created for one thing and one thing alone – blogging. If that’s what you need, all well and good; if you need bells and whistles for a more elaborate site, though, we suggest you look elsewhere.

Get a 14-day Ghost trial


Features and Flexibility:

Next in our Ghost CMS Review we evaluate its features and flexibility.

Out-of-the-box:

A decidedly minimalist UI is what you’ll encounter when you log onto the Ghost CMS. Everything you need is listed on the left-hand side of the CMS dashboard: all you need to do is point, click, and away you go.

Customisation Tools:

Need to create a custom look for your Ghost website? No problem: the 4.0 edition of the Ghost CMS offers a nifty templating app built on the Handlebars templating language. You can use it to create custom templates to give your little plot on the web its own unique visual identity. Running your template through Handlebars also helps your Ghost website pages load a lot faster.

3rd Party Integrations:

Ghost editor users can easily maximise the use of nearly 100 third-party applications to transform their blogs into a money-making content channel. Options include online and social media marketing tools such as MailChimp, internal communication tools like Slack, as well as integrations with payment portals like Stripe.

Hosting/Backups/Migration:

The open-source nature of the platform means you can self-host it via its preferred service Digital Ocean – and you can continue to do so even when you decide to shift to a paid subscription. However, it also has a fully managed hosting in Ghost Pro. Ghost Pro subscribers benefit from 24/7 technical support.

Ghost server maintenance and regular backups are included across all subscription plans, but free basic site migration is only available beginning with the Basic Subscription.

See more Ghost features


eCommerce Tools:

Ghost CMS can actually integrate with eCommerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce to help transform your blog into an online store. However, this can be challenging as you need to create a separate user account on either platform. Likewise, you need to know a bit of coding to be able to integrate Ghost with your ecommerce platform of choice.

See more Ghost eCommerce features


SEO and Mobility:

Next in our Ghost CMS Review we evaluate its SEO features.

SEO:

Ghost offers native SEO functionality in its user interface (UI, makings it much easier for users to make their blogs more SEO-savvy. Ghost websites can also access a built-in social media widget, so you don’t need to download a separate app.

Mobility:

Since 2016, Ghost blogging platform has been maximizing the use of Google AMP technology to help optimize its blogs for mobile devices.

See more Ghost SEO features


Support and Resources:

As we stated earlier in this Ghost CMS Review, technical support is offered across all subscription packages and is available 24/7. Also, when it comes to resources, Ghost Pro is no slouch.

Along with a selection of tutorials that show you the different nuances and functions of the Ghost blogging platform, you also get a walkthrough of Node.js, the Javascript framework upon which Ghost is built. In doing so, it gives you a better look overall at the platform.

See more Ghost Support features


Ghost Pricing:

Is Ghost Free? No but Ghost Pro pricing is not bad, we think.

ghost-pricing
ghost-pricing

Depending on your subscription package, you can have anywhere between one to 15 staff users at any given time, along with managed hosting and a whole roster of tools and integrations to make for a meaningful blogging experience.

Ghost Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee:

There is a free 14-day trial for Ghost Pro, after which you have to subscribe to one of the premium plans. Unfortunately, Ghost terms of service page states it does not offer a refund in the event that you want to cancel your subscription.

>>Check latest Ghost pricing and discount details<<


Conclusion and Recommendation to our Ghost CMS Review:

Wrapping up our Ghost CMS review;

What is ghost blogging platform best for?

Ghost is definitely a blogging and online publication platform, so it works best for writers, authors, and journalists.

What is it not best for?

Even with the eCommerce linkage to either Snipcart or BigCommerce, this probably wouldn’t work best as an eCommerce site builder.

Ghost Website Builder Alternatives:

Here's a list of the best Ghost alternatives to create a website;

Rank Software Our View
1 Squarespace Best for Design & Creatives and Best Overall
2 Shopify Best for eCommerce Solution
3 Zyro Best for value
4 Webflow Best for advanced design tools
5 Weebly Best for ease of use
6 Wordpress.com Best for blogging
7 Carrd Best for single page websites
8 Wix Good for general use

Ghost CMS Review Final Word:

If you’re looking for a viable alternative Content Management System, Ghost CMS just might be the platform you’re looking for. However, you need to carefully go over what this has to offer before committing, as some aspects of it will call for some knowledge of coding either HTML or CSS.


FAQ:

Can I use Ghost Pro for free?

Yes, but only for fourteen days; afterward, you need to subscribe to a premium plan.

How much does a Ghost subscription cost?

Depends on what you need. The basic plan is just $9 monthly, but those gearing up towards more complex publications would do to get the $199/mo business plan.


That's all for now:

Thank you for reading our Ghost CMS review! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms, website builders, and more such as;

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