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Ghost Blogging CMS Review

Ghost the “next big thing” in blogging or not?

If you are a blogger, web developer or tech enthusiast probably you have already heard about Ghost open source publishing platform. There were many reviews on blogs and magazines, so I decided to check it myself. I prefer writing positive reviews, but let's call review of Ghost neutral.

The project have started at Kickstarter with original goal of £25,000, though the project have exceeded the expectations and have gathered £196,362.


Ghost – The Technical Part

Ghost is written in JavaScript, it rely on Node.js framework. This is one of the main advantages and at the same time the main disadvantage.

Ghost work with SQLite3, templating engine is based on Handlebars.js

As you can see all these are new technologies, that are not wide supported currently. The first problem you will face is related to web hosting. There are probably just 2-3 shared hosts that support Node.js. So practically you a looking at least mid-level VPS to run super-simple blogging CMS.


Getting Started with Ghost – Options

Everything looks very much straight forward at first, but options are very confusing, you can choose between:

  • Hosted

  • Self Hosted

  • Virtualbox Vagrant

If you don't have Node.js installed, then self-hosted solution is not for you. You can have trial on hosted Ghost and setup will take no more than 3 minutes.

Probably the best testing option is provided by Bitnami. You can simply deploy Ghost there.

Ghost at a Glance


The slogan of these CMS is “just for blogging” and this is very accurate. The platform is build with one idea in mind – lightweight blogging platform that is easy to manage. Snapshots in this review are from hosted platform of Ghost, version 0.4.

Sign up and set-up took approximately 2 minutes. There were two options – to use sub-domain and to use own domain name.


Then I've started blogging with Ghost.

Themes, cover photo, logo

You can upload theme from the marketplace and your own cover photo and logo. All these looks very similar to social media profile cover photo and avatar. Actually using the same as on your Facebook page can be a good idea.



That's what it's all about, at hosted platform. There is no WISIWIG editor. This was a bit of shock for me.


Ghost Review

I personally don't understand why there were so many superlatives and I personally don't understand how this project have gathered £196,362. It is still very early version, but I serious doubt that blogger that uses WordPress now will abandon it start blogging with Ghost.

On second thought, buying special hosting to support Node.js, make the idea even worse.

Commenting system is mentioned in features, though I could find one in hosted platform, this is a big minus.

Hey, we have Blogger, Ghost isn't much different, but actually you have much more options at Blogspot for free that Ghost can offer you for $5/month.

It is still early version and things might change, but I personally don't see how. Honestly, expected a lot from Ghost and feel disappointed. It seems that things based on latest technology, doesn't always offer you what you really need. Ghost have long way to go to be any kind of competition for WordPress, Blogger or any other blogging CMS.

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