WordPress vs Ghost – Full Review 2023

September 8, 2023

WordPress vs Ghost – Key Differences Explained in 2023

As 2023 unfolds, website builders have a tough choice to make when deciding which platform to go with for their blogging or business needs. Two platforms garnering significant attention are WordPress and Ghost. Both have grown in popularity due to their robust features, customizable design, and scalability. However, understanding the major differences between the two can help you make an informed decision for your specific requirements.

WordPress, initially a blogging platform, has evolved into a versatile content management system and is highly favored by professionals and beginners alike. On the other hand, Ghost is an open-source platform designed for simplicity speed and focused primarily on blogging. It has a clean user interface that is easy to navigate, even if you’re new to content management systems.

Key Takeaways

  • WordPress and Ghost offer unique features catering to different user needs.
  • Customization and versatility make WordPress a popular choice for various businesses.
  • Ghost’s clean and straightforward interface appeals to blogging enthusiasts seeking simplicity and speed.


When it comes to installing WordPress and Ghost, there are noticeable differences in the process and requirements. Understanding these differences can help users choose the platform that is best suited for their needs.

WordPress holds the advantage of being quick and easy to install. Most web hosting providers offer one-click installation of WordPress, meaning users don’t have to worry about complex technical details. The minimum requirements for WordPress are PHP version 7.4 or higher, MySQL version 5.6 or higher, and HTTPS support. Although WordPress can be installed on a variety of devices and platforms, users should keep in mind that they may need to manage updates, backups, and security on their own.

On the other hand, Ghost requires a bit more technical knowledge for installation. The platform is built on Node.js, which means users must first install the Node.js environment on their server. Then, they can follow the step-by-step installation guide provided by Ghost. However, for non-developers and those seeking a simpler installation process, Ghost also offers their managed hosting service, Ghost(Pro), which handles the installation and maintenance of the platform for a monthly fee.



While both WordPress and Ghost can be installed locally for development purposes, it’s important to note the different technology stacks required for each platform. WordPress uses PHP, MySQL, and Apache/Nginx, and Ghost uses Node.js, SQLite, and Nginx/Apache.

Here’s a comparison of the installation requirements for both platforms:

Requirement WordPress Ghost
Web server Apache or Nginx Nginx or Apache
Programming language PHP Node.js
Database MySQL SQLite
Installation One-click Manual (or Ghost(Pro) service)

The choice between WordPress and Ghost largely depends on the user’s comfort with the installation process and maintenance. Those who prefer an easier installation process and a platform with various hosting options might lean towards WordPress, while developers or those with technical expertise may appreciate Ghost’s modern architecture and flexibility.

Themes And Design

In 2023, both WordPress and Ghost continue to offer a wide range of themes to help users create visually appealing websites. However, there are some key differences in how these platforms approach theme and design.

WordPress is well known for its expansive library of themes, both free and paid. These professionally designed layouts cater to various industries and website types, from blogs to e-commerce sites. Users can easily find themes that suit their needs using the search filters on the WordPress theme repository. With the launch of the Gutenberg editor, WordPress themes have become more flexible and responsive, offering greater customization options to users.

Ghost, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity and minimalism in design. It offers a smaller selection of themes compared to WordPress, but they are tailored to provide a clean and user-friendly experience. Most Ghost themes are designed to prioritize content, which is valuable to bloggers and publishers. By default, Ghost follows modern conventions like mobile responsiveness and fast page-loading times.

When it comes to design customization, WordPress has the upper hand with its vast array of plugins and widgets. Users can easily enhance their website’s functionality and appearance without needing to touch a single line of code. These modular enhancements allow WordPress to cater to a larger audience and adapt to different needs.

In comparison, Ghost’s design customization relies more on the user’s technical expertise. While users can still modify their themes using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, this process requires some coding knowledge. This approach aligns with Ghost’s goal of creating a focused and streamlined platform for content creators while reducing unnecessary bloat.

To summarize, WordPress offers a wider range of themes and design customization options, which is ideal for users who want control over their website’s appearance. Ghost focuses on clean, minimal design, making it a strong choice for content creators who prioritize readability and user experience.


When it comes to blogging, both WordPress and Ghost offer user-friendly interfaces and features to make the process enjoyable. While WordPress has been a popular choice for years, Ghost has also gained traction due to its focus on simplicity and performance.

The writing experience in both platforms caters to different preferences. Ghost provides a sleek and clutter-free interface, which allows bloggers to concentrate on their content. Its Markdown-based editor is loved for its simplicity, and it includes features like automatic saving and version control. On the other hand, WordPress permits users to switch between the visual editor and the text-based editor, providing more customization possibilities.

Regarding content organization, WordPress utilizes categories and tags to help bloggers manage their posts. This is particularly useful for blogs with various topics or contributors. Ghost, meanwhile, supports tags but lacks a category system. Instead, it relies on internal tagging and carefully curated menus to structure content.

From a performance standpoint, Ghost is lighter and faster than WordPress. Ghost is built on Node.js, which requires fewer resources and provides quicker page-loading times. WordPress, which is based on PHP, might experience slower loading times, especially when numerous plugins are installed.

Considering the ease of use, WordPress is known for its vast range of themes and plugins. This makes it simple to tweak the appearance and functionality of a blog without needing to write code. Nevertheless, Ghost focuses on offering a clean, content-first experience. While Ghost may have fewer themes and plugins available, this can be seen as an advantage for those who want a straightforward, no-fuss blogging platform.

Here are a few key points that differentiate the two:

Feature WordPress Ghost
Writing Experience Visual and Text-based editor Markdown-based editor
Content Organization Categories and tags Tags
Performance PHP-based might be slower Node. js-based, faster
Customizability Vast range of themes and plugins Fewer themes and plugins, simpler design

In conclusion, both WordPress and Ghost cater to different blogger preferences. Those who seek a highly customizable platform with numerous features may lean towards WordPress. In contrast, bloggers who prefer a minimalistic and performance-oriented option may find Ghost to be a better fit. The choice ultimately depends on individual needs and goals.


WordPress and Ghost both offer membership options for website owners, but their approaches differ in a few key aspects. In WordPress, memberships are mainly managed through plugins, while Ghost has a built-in membership feature. This distinction can have a significant impact on the user experience and functionality of your website.

In the case of WordPress, there are several plugins available for managing memberships. Some popular ones include MemberPress, Paid Memberships Pro, and Restrict Content Pro. These plugins offer a wide range of features, such as payment gateway integrations, content restrictions, and various membership levels. However, the reliance on plugins means that website owners must carefully choose and configure these third-party solutions to suit their needs. Additionally, the cost of premium membership plugins can add to the overall expenses of running a WordPress site.

On the other hand, Ghost’s built-in membership system is designed to be simple and easy to use. By integrating directly with the platform, it offers a seamless experience for website owners and members alike. Ghost supports member sign-ups, free and paid plans, and email newsletter management. The platform only supports Stripe as the payment gateway for handling subscriptions, but it provides a smooth checkout experience and timely payouts to website owners.

In terms of customization, WordPress has an advantage over Ghost due to its flexibility and wide range of plugins. This makes it possible for website owners to create a unique membership experience and tailor it to their specific requirements. However, with this level of customization comes the potential for a steeper learning curve and increased complexity in managing the membership system.

Ghost, being a simpler and more streamlined platform, offers fewer customization options but provides an easier-to-manage membership system. This makes it ideal for those looking to focus on content creation and community engagement without getting bogged down by a plethora of settings and configurations.

In the end, the choice between WordPress and Ghost for membership management comes down to your own personal preferences, goals, and technical abilities. If you value greater customization and don’t mind the learning curve, WordPress might be a better fit. However, if you prefer a more straightforward approach with a focus on simplicity, Ghost’s native membership system could be the way to go.


When comparing WordPress and Ghost from an SEO perspective, several factors come into play. Both platforms offer their share of advantages and disadvantages.

WordPress is well-known for its extensive plugin ecosystem, which includes numerous SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Rank Math. These plugins simplify the process of optimizing your content for search engines, allowing users to focus on producing high-quality content. Additionally, WordPress themes often come with built-in SEO features, further enhancing the performance of your site in search rankings.

One potential downside of WordPress is that it may require manual optimization to achieve optimal page loading speeds. Since search engines value fast-loading websites, users must ensure they use the appropriate plugins and other techniques to improve loading times.

Ghost, on the other hand, is built with SEO in mind from the ground up. The platform boasts of a lightweight and efficient structure, which results in significantly faster loading times. Ghost supports automatic SEO features like meta tags, canonical tags, and Google AMP without the need for extra plugins. Additionally, its built-in content management system (CMS) has a clear focus on producing quality content, which is essential for effective SEO.

However, Ghost lacks the extensive plugin library available for WordPress. Therefore, users might find it more challenging to customize and expand upon the provided SEO features.

In summary, both WordPress and Ghost prioritize search engine optimization with differing approaches. While WordPress leverages its plugin ecosystem and adaptable themes to enhance SEO, Ghost opts for a streamlined, built-in approach bolstered by faster page loading times. Users should consider their requirements and preferences when selecting the best option for their SEO needs.

Email Marketing

In 2023, both WordPress and Ghost have made significant advancements in email marketing integrations, making it easier for website owners to connect with their audience. When comparing WordPress vs. Ghost in terms of email marketing, several key differences emerge.

WordPress is known for its wide range of plugins that cater to many email marketing providers, making it extremely flexible for users. Popular plugins like MailChimp, SendinBlue, and ConvertKit allow website owners to easily set up email lists, create campaigns, and automate their marketing efforts via the WordPress dashboard.

On the other hand, Ghost has a more streamlined approach to email marketing. It has a built-in integration with Mailchimp, which is an excellent choice for getting started with email marketing. Moreover, Ghost offers native integration with its subscription feature, allowing for hassle-free management of email lists right from the Ghost dashboard.

For users who prioritize customization, WordPress may be the better choice due to the vast selection of email marketing plugins available, allowing for a tailored experience. However, Ghost’s simplicity and native integration also present a great advantage for those who prefer an out-of-the-box solution for email management.

In terms of cost, WordPress can be more affordable since email marketing services are often provided by third-party plugins with various pricing tiers. Ghost, on the other hand, requires a higher-cost membership if you want to access more advanced email marketing features such as subscription-based content.

To summarize, WordPress and Ghost bring different strengths to the table when it comes to email marketing. WordPress offers more customization options through its extensive plugin ecosystem, while Ghost provides a simplified, built-in solution for those seeking a more streamlined approach. Ultimately, the choice will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the website owner.

Affiliate Marketing

In the world of affiliate marketing, choosing the right platform is essential for success. WordPress and Ghost both offer distinct advantages for content creators looking to monetize their websites.

WordPress, being the more popular and established platform, has a vast ecosystem of plugins and themes specifically catered towards affiliate marketers. Many of these plugins are designed to simplify the process of adding affiliate links, managing disclosures, and tracking conversions. Additionally, WordPress’s extensive user base means that there are countless communities and resources available to help guide marketers in their journey.

On the other hand, Ghost provides a streamlined experience for those who prefer a minimalistic and clutter-free approach to content creation. While its affiliate marketing capabilities may not be as extensive as WordPress, Ghost does offer integration with popular third-party tools such as Zapier and Stripe, which can be configured to facilitate tracking and payouts. Ghost also boasts a faster loading time, which can be advantageous in terms of user experience and SEO.

Here are some key differences between WordPress and Ghost for affiliate marketing:

Feature WordPress Ghost
Built-in Affiliate Marketing Tools Extensive selection of plugins and themes Limited, relies on third-party integrations
Ease of Use Flexible, but can be complex for beginners Simplified and focused on content creation
Community and Support Large user base, numerous resources available Smaller community, fewer resources
Loading Speed It can be slower due to additional plugins Faster loading times thanks to minimalism

Ultimately, the choice between WordPress and Ghost for affiliate marketing will depend on individual preferences and needs. For content creators seeking a wide array of tools and a robust community, WordPress might be the ideal choice. However, for those prioritizing a clean and minimalistic interface, Ghost could prove to be the better option.

Price Options

When comparing WordPress and Ghost, it’s important to consider their pricing options. WordPress offers a free, open-source software version called WordPress.org. Users can download and install it on their own server, meaning they only need to pay for hosting and a domain. However, WordPress.com, the managed hosting version, offers various pricing plans, starting from a free limited plan to premium ones with more features, such as business and e-commerce plans.

Ghost, on the other hand, also provides a free, open-source version that users can download and install on their server, similar to WordPress.org. For those who prefer managed hosting, Ghost offers pricing plans starting from a basic plan for small businesses to more feature-rich plans suitable for larger businesses.

Here’s a quick overview of their pricing plans:


  • Free: Limited features and storage
  • Personal: $4 per month, billed yearly
  • Premium: $8 per month, billed yearly
  • Business: $25 per month, billed yearly
  • eCommerce: $45 per month, billed yearly


  • Starter: $9 per month, billed yearly
  • Creator: $25 per month, billed yearly
  • Team: $50 per month, billed yearly

When selecting the right platform for their website, users should consider their needs and budget, as well as any possible hidden costs. For instance, purchasing additional themes and plugins or hiring developers might increase the overall costs. Both WordPress and Ghost cater to users with different budget ranges, but WordPress is generally known for offering more flexibility and customization options, while Ghost is straightforward, with a focus on content creation and simplicity.

In summary, whether a user chooses WordPress or Ghost depends on their specific requirements, budget, and desired level of customization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which platform is more user-friendly in 2023, WordPress or Ghost?

Both WordPress and Ghost have made significant improvements in their user-friendliness over the years. In 2023, WordPress continues to offer a plethora of options and customizations, making it a great choice for those who need flexibility. However, this flexibility can make it more complex for beginners. Ghost, on the other hand, focuses primarily on simplifying the user experience, making it a more user-friendly option for those who prefer a minimalistic interface.

Q: How does Ghost’s performance compare to WordPress in 2023?

Ghost has gained a reputation for its fast performance compared to WordPress. Because Ghost is built on Node.js, it provides quicker page loading times than WordPress, which is built on PHP. However, a well-optimized WordPress site can still achieve good performance, especially with the right hosting infrastructure and caching mechanisms.

Q: What are the differences in customization options between WordPress and Ghost?

WordPress is known for its extensive customization options. With a vast library of themes and plugins, users can tailor their websites to their specific needs. Meanwhile, Ghost offers fewer themes and plugins by comparison. However, Ghost focuses on offering a clean, lightweight platform that’s easier to customize through code, making it an excellent choice for developers who want more control over the design and functionality of their websites.

Q: Are there significant pricing differences between Ghost and WordPress?

WordPress provides two options: WordPress.com, which is a hosted platform, and WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted platform. WordPress.com has tiered pricing plans, while with WordPress.org, users bear the cost of hosting, domain, and other related expenses. In contrast, Ghost operates solely as a hosted platform with its own set of pricing tiers. Overall, pricing can vary depending on the user’s needs and chosen platform.

Q: How do their content management systems differ in 2023?

WordPress features a powerful content management system (CMS) with a comprehensive range of built-in tools and third-party plugins to manage content effectively. Ghost’s CMS is designed to be minimalistic and straightforward, focusing primarily on a simple writing experience. In 2023, both platforms offer a modern editing experience, with their block editor (Gutenberg for WordPress and Koenig for Ghost) providing an intuitive way to create and manage content.

Q: What are the pros and cons of using Ghost over WordPress and vice versa?

Ghost provides a streamlined experience with a focus on simplicity, performance, and ease of use. It is ideal for users who require a clean, fast-loading website without the need for extensive customizations. However, Ghost may lack some advanced features, making it potentially limiting for feature-heavy websites.

On the other hand, WordPress is known for its flexibility, with a vast library of themes and plugins to cater to different user needs. Its widespread popularity also means extensive support and resources are available for users. However, its flexibility can result in increased complexity and slower performance if not properly managed or optimized.

Q: What are the key differences between WordPress and Ghost?

A: WordPress and Ghost are both popular blogging platforms, but they have some key differences. WordPress is a versatile publishing platform that can be used to create any type of website, while Ghost is specifically designed for blogging. WordPress offers a wide range of themes and plugins for customization, whereas Ghost focuses on simplicity and minimalism.

Q: Which is better, Ghost or WordPress?

A: The answer to this question depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for a powerful and flexible platform that can handle different types of websites, then WordPress might be the better choice. However, if you are primarily focused on blogging and value simplicity and a minimalist design, then Ghost could be the better option.

Q: Can I use Ghost as a WordPress alternative?

A: Yes, Ghost can be used as an alternative to WordPress. It is a powerful blogging platform that offers simplicity and a streamlined writing experience. While it may not have the same level of versatility as WordPress, it is a popular choice for bloggers who want a dedicated platform.

Q: Is Ghost an open-source platform like WordPress?

A: Yes, Ghost is an open-source platform, just like WordPress. This means that the source code is available for anyone to view, modify, and contribute to. This allows for a more collaborative development process and gives users more control over their websites.

Q: How does Ghost compare to WordPress in terms of themes?

A: WordPress has a vast selection of both free and premium themes available, catering to various styles and purposes. On the other hand, Ghost offers a more limited selection of themes, focusing on simplicity and minimalism. If you prioritize design customization, WordPress might be a better choice.

Q: Is it easy to migrate from a WordPress website to Ghost?

A: Migrating from a WordPress website to Ghost can be a bit more complicated compared to other platforms. While it is possible, it may require some technical expertise or the assistance of a developer. There are tools and services available to help with the migration process, but careful planning and testing are necessary.

Q: What hosting options are available for WordPress and Ghost?

A: Both WordPress and Ghost offer various hosting options. For WordPress, you can choose between shared hosting, managed hosting, or self-hosting. Ghost also provides options for self-hosting or using their official Ghost(Pro) hosting service. Each option has its own advantages, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget.

Q: Which platform has a larger community, WordPress or Ghost?

A: WordPress has a larger and more established community compared to Ghost. This means that there is a wealth of resources, support, and third-party plugins available for WordPress. However, Ghost’s community is growing steadily and also offers support forums and documentation.

Q: Can I use WordPress plugins with Ghost?

A: No, WordPress plugins are not compatible with Ghost. Since Ghost is a separate platform with its own ecosystem, it has its own set of plugins and integrations. If you decide to switch from WordPress to Ghost, you will need to find alternative solutions for the functionalities provided by your WordPress plugins.

Q: What makes Ghost a powerful WordPress alternative?

A: Ghost is considered a powerful WordPress alternative due to its focus on blogging and its streamlined writing experience. It offers a distraction-free editor, built-in SEO tools, and the ability to publish content quickly. For bloggers who want simplicity and a dedicated platform, Ghost can be a compelling choice.

Final Thoughts

When comparing WordPress and Ghost, the key differences in 2023 lie in their objectives, user experience, and customization options. Both platforms have their advantages and serve different audiences.

In terms of objectives, WordPress remains a highly versatile content management system that can facilitate blogs, e-commerce, and corporate websites. Its vast ecosystem of plugins and themes continues to cater to a diverse range of users. On the other hand, Ghost focuses on simplicity and performance as its primary goals, providing a straightforward content publishing experience.

Regarding user experience, Ghost offers a clutter-free editor with a minimalist approach that many writers find appealing. The user interface promotes efficiency without distractions. However, WordPress provides a richer set of tools and customization options through the Gutenberg editor, which may be more suitable for those seeking extensive functionality.

Customization capabilities also show distinct contrasts between the platforms. WordPress’s extensive library of plugins and themes can accommodate various requirements, creating virtually limitless possibilities. However, Ghost’s streamlined options offer a more consistent experience for developers, who may prefer a more focused set of tools to build their websites.

Finally, pricing differs significantly between the two. WordPress, an open-source platform, provides more affordable options for individuals and businesses alike. Ghost, as a premium service, charges a monthly fee for its features and performance optimizations.

In summary, the choice between WordPress and Ghost depends on the priorities of the individual or organization. WordPress offers greater versatility, while Ghost focuses on simplicity and a refined writing experience.

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