Recently I heard a new platform called Ghost appeared. I tried it and decided to compare how it stacks up vs WordPress, my currently preferred platform.
I’m going to cut straight to point and say after doing initial test runs on Ghost and comparing it vs WordPress, I’d say on almost all fronts WordPress is better and easier to use.
Although many themes as I saw look very similar to one another on both platforms, the thing that differentiates them is the ability to customize. Now this is a first impression as I haven’t been able to fully grasp the Ghost platform completely and a huge reason for that is because I had some difficulty using it as I’ll explain below.
The sign up to Ghost is relativity simple. Unfortunately, there is no free option of trying it other than a 30 day trial which is what I signed up for. Compared to WordPress which can be installed for free on websites and/or be used as a free blog, I’d say (for now) WordPress is better to use cost wise. In fact here is the pricing chart of Ghost:
Notice that in each pricing plan, there is a number of traffic that you are told you’ll get to the blog. This I believe is nothing more than a made up number to get you to buy a higher pricing plan. There is NO way to predict traffic #’s monthly before a blog is up.
As for the number of blogs you receive per plan, I’d say the price is decent for now. Usually a domain name will run you about $10 a month + hosting (which I believe Ghost covers).
Now that we’ve signed up, it’s time to start building the blog. In Ghost’s case, you are immediately sent to an edit page where you can start creating your first blog post. In WordPress, when you enter the editing area, this is called the “Dashboard”. You can then select the option to create a new post.
First impressions would show that Ghost is easier to use here because there’s less options, but after playing around with it for a bit, I changed my mind. It was surprisingly easy to get lost there. I like customization options (and simplicity). Ghost gave me simplicity, but not much on the customization front. Here is a preview of what the editing area of Ghost looks like:
After publishing the page, I didn’t know where to find the actual post online, clicked on the preview button and was shown a default post which meant I had to go back and edit the page again. I did not like this at all. With WordPress, you are given the option to view the post and go back in an edit it anytime you want. Additionally:
I could not find any place where I could post pictures. In WordPress, you can do it in any part of your post/s.
No font/color/B/I/U and ability to change the size of my text. With WordPress you get all of this and more in what’s known as the kitchen sink.
I recognize that this may be because I was using some sort of default template which may have had limited options, but if this is true, then it’s a bad way for Ghost to advertise themselves because all WordPress templates have the above options as default.
There is the question of SEO. Since I made my Ghost blog not too long ago, I can’t predict how it will rank in Google and other search engines, but in this scenario, I am going to stick to WordPress by default and this is because it’s stood the test of time. It is a well known fact that search engines LIKE WordPress and it’s easier to have your content rank through this platform.
I once compared WordPress vs Wix (another web building platform) and on the subject of SEO, I said if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, meaning, if WordPress is already a good way to rank on search engines, stick to it. I am going to say the exact same thing here.
If in the future it turns out Ghost starts to rank better, then I’ll think about switching, but I doubt this will happen as content is becoming more and more of a major force in determining what ranks. This means regardless of which platform you use, it’s your content that will inevitably determine your rank.
My final thoughts:
WordPress is my personal choice, but Ghost is still new so anything can still happen. It is true that I may have jumped the gun a bit on a few aspects of Ghost and didn’t really give it a chance, but for a platform which is trying to compete against WordPress, and probably other places, I’d say you need to make yours stand out and from what I saw, they didn’t when you really dug into it.
As I originally said the editing part of the site is pretty simple, but I want to know where I can add pictures, change colors and other decorations as well as set some other features. I didn’t find it there. Newbies to this platform will likely find it simple to make a blog, but as their experience grows, they’ll likely want to see what else they can do and if Ghost doesn’t add that feature in, they’ll likely move to WordPress.
The big picture here is convenience and in that regard WordPress is still king. SEO, customization, pricing, ect…, it’s got Ghost beat on all fronts. If you’re a fan of Ghost, I’d like to hear where you think it’s superior to WordPress.
My advice if you’re getting started is go with WordPress. It’ll take a little time to adjust to it, but the long term benefits rock. If you’ve never built websites before, you can try my personal approach where you can build a WordPress site in as little as a minute. Try it.
As for Ghost, you can certainly go that route as well. The choice is always yours, but I would recommend trying the trial version first before going any further. They give you 30 days.