Ghost vs. WordPress

WordPress and Ghost are both popular content management systems (CMS) that can be used to create blogs, websites, and online stores. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms.

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, powering over 40% of the web. It is a free and open-source platform that is known for its flexibility and customizability. WordPress has a wide range of features and plugins that can be used to add new functionality to your site. However, WordPress can be complex to set up and manage, especially for beginners.

Ghost is a newer CMS that is designed specifically for blogging. It is a more lightweight and streamlined platform than WordPress, making it easier to use and manage. Ghost also has a focus on performance, and it is known for being one of the fastest CMS platforms available. However, Ghost is not as feature-rich as WordPress, and it has a smaller community of developers and users.

Which platform is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. If you are looking for a powerful and flexible CMS with a wide range of features, then WordPress is a good choice. If you are looking for a simpler and more streamlined platform that is easy to use and manage, then Ghost is a good option.

Here is a more detailed comparison of WordPress and Ghost:



  • Free and open-source
  • Wide range of features and plugins
  • Large community of developers and users
  • Extensive documentation and support


  • Can be complex to set up and manage
  • Not as fast as some other CMS platforms
  • Security vulnerabilities can be a problem



  • Lightweight and streamlined platform
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Fast performance
  • Focus on security and privacy


  • Not as feature-rich as WordPress
  • Smaller community of developers and users
  • More expensive than WordPress

Ultimately, the best way to decide which platform is right for you is to try them both out and see which one you prefer.

There is no doubt that WordPress dominates the blogging and online publishing world for many years. WordPress as a CMS powers nearly half of the Internet’s websites. So what’s the point to compare WordPress against Ghost, a new, free, and open-source blogging platform?

In this review, I’m going to through the details and the points what Ghost is worth a look into. And why it should be your next content management system of choice for your new blog or project. And I think there is no exception that WordPress is popular.

Please note that all of the websites and blogs we host and develop are based on WordPress.

How to build ultra-fast blog with Ghost

Ghost Content Management System (CMS)

What’s it? “Ghost is an open-source blogging platform that helps you easily create a professional-looking online blog. Ghost is a robust content management system (CMS) with a Markdown editor, an easy-to-use user interface, and beautiful themes. It is easy to install and update with Ghost-CLI.”

Installing Ghost on a local machine

I can confirm that it’s easy to install Ghost (14.x (Node v14 Fermium LTS) on your Mac machine. It’s simple and straightforward. I also tried to set up a local environment for testing a Raspberry Pi 4 (Ubuntu), but I struggled to get the compatible Nodjs version. I’m sure I’ll go back to this again.

After all, this local Ghost on my MacBook Pro laptop is the first time I can see how Ghost works at the back end. Simply, it’s beautiful and neat. Or I’d say: less is more.

Running a Ghost static site

You can install a local Ghost on your laptop, push your site to GitHub repository, and host it on GitHub page (with or without your custom domain), you can follow this easy-to-follow instruction: Hosting a Ghost Blog in GitHub. With small sites, you can have this nice setup for free. It’s ideal for students and those who want to learn Ghost and Jamstack.

Installing Ghost on a Linode virtual private server (VPS)
What you need:

  • A VPS (at least 1GB RAM)
  • MySQL
  • Node.js and NPM
  • Ghost-CLI

I think it has taken me quite a while to get things right. Why? Well, because I want to re-use the existing VPS I have for Ghost installation. You can read the full installation guide here: How to install Ghost on Ubuntu. And Linode also has a documentation section on how to install Ghost CMS on Centos, Debian, and Ubuntu (and with Docker).

Compared with WordPress installation, Ghost takes on a different approach. While WordPress has its famous 5-minute installation, you mostly use Linux commands. But what I really like about Ghost CMS installation is that if the first attempt fails you, you can start it all over again. Ghost doctor, Systemd, and Ghost uninstall are most often used.

If you install Ghost CMS on a 1GB VPS, you should be able to set up a few blogs. Each setup consumes about 300MB. After installing 3 basic blogs, it’s getting difficult with insufficient RAM available.

Hosting several Ghost instances on one single VPS? You should read this method of using one VPS to host multiple blogs.

Install Ghost on your local machine

It’s just a few minutes to set up Ghost on my MacBook Pro. There are many tutorials available to do so.

Install Ghost on Raspberry Pi? There is a good blog dedicated to this. Ghost Pi blog covers all you need to know to do the same, such as using custom domain names and a CDN to optimize your blog. Check it out if you want to learn how to test it: GhostPi.

Moving to Ghost from WordPress?

There is a WordPress plugin to export your WordPress database and files for this. But after downloading the Export file of this site (just under 100MB), the import tool on the Ghost dashboard cannot really handle it.

It says: Import failed. The request is larger than the maximum file size the server allows

But it’s not the end. When exporting your WordPress database, you also have the option to download it as a JSON file format. The reason is simply that Export to Ghost means downloading all the content (posts, pages, and image files). This is usually impossible with a lot of files. The JSON file is different. It’s like an XML file. It’s way smaller because it contains only the text content, no images. So, if you’ve got a huge WordPress site, it’s not yet simple. It would need extra work.

With a modern cloud-based server designed for WordPress, you can easily get a lightning-fast, safe and secure blog. We love this setup, which is the best performance optimization for a VPS to host WordPress sites for our clients: OS: Ubuntu Server 64-bit, latest packages of Nginx, PHP, MySQL/MariaDB, and Redis, Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate. Essentially, with this kind of setup, it takes much less memory consumption to run WordPress blogs efficiently. You can actually read our in-depth review for Linode vs. Vultr vs. DigitalOcean, using SpinupWP to manage WordPress sites.

Blogs and sites powered by Ghost CMS

  • Buffer’s social media and marketing library, Unsplash blog, OpenAI, DigitalOcean Blog, Cloudflare Blog, The Standford Review

My takes:

Why should you consider using Ghost in the first place? Well, if you want to use an open, stable platform, and it’s fast and SEO friendly. Not PHP. If you’re an experienced blogger who wants to learn something new, you should look into Ghost as your next CMS after WordPress. “Ghost is the fast, modern WordPress alternative, focused completely on professional publishing.”

Get quick access to all the WordPress resources at kokitree including knowledge base articles, in-depth learn guides and the latest from our blog. Over the years, we’ve kept adding useful how-to guides available from around the web. As we’ve been using WordPress as software for over a decade, we still love a lot of things about it.