Ghost is an open source blogging platform for writers and other digital publishing content creators. Ghost’s initial focus was on blogging, and they have kept the interface and features simple on purpose. This makes their site easy to use for beginners and keeps their interface clean and free of clutter.
More recently, Ghost has added membership and newsletter features that are perfect for content creators who are looking to monetize their following. Creators can add a payment gateway and sell access to their content. Ghost also allows users to send out beautiful, professional-looking email newsletters to their subscribers.
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- Ease of Monetization
- Platform Stability
- Integration with Self-Hosted Blog
- Publishing Tools
- Writer Support
Date Founded: 2013
Ghost was founded in April 2013 by John O’Nolan, who set up a Kickstarter campaign to develop the platform. Nolan piggybacked off his knowledge of building WordPress websites and being part of the WordPress team to create Ghost. The idea for Ghost has since produced thousands of bloggers.
This section contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Ghost.
What is Ghost?
Ghost is a simple digital publishing platform for your blog, membership group, or newsletter.
With its beginner-friendly interface and thousands of themes and advanced integrations, Ghost is one of the easiest ways to set up your own blog or website.
Ghost’s initial focus was on blogging, and they have kept the interface and features simple on purpose. This makes their site easy to use for beginners and keeps their interface clean and free of clutter.
More recently, Ghost has added a membership feature that is perfect for content creators who are looking to monetize their following. With the membership feature, you can add a payment gateway and sell access to your content.
Ghost also allows users to send out beautiful, professional-looking email newsletters to their subscribers. This allows users to ensure that their blog is automatically seen by the people who are interested in their new content, without relying on a complex email marketing system, social media marketing, or manual content promotion.
What are the best Ghost alternatives?
Ghost is a powerful digital publishing platform, but it has several primary competitors that offer similar features (and in some cases, some of the same features at a lower price). This article contains Blogging Guide’s overview of the best Ghost alternatives.
How much does Ghost (Pro) cost per month?
Much like WordPress, Ghost comes in two variants:
- Self-hosted version that is technically free to download and use. This option is significantly cheaper, but it is really geared toward a more technically sophisticated user. Note: Even if you can figure out how to run the self hosted version, you will still need to pay for your domain name and webhosting (which is typically at least $5 per month).
- Hosted version on Ghost’s own servers (Ghost Pro). Ghost Pro is equivalent to using managed WordPress hosting. And much like managed WordPress hosting, Ghost (Pro) is much more user friendly than its self-hosted counterpart. It is also more expensive, and pricing varies based on several factors, but Ghost(Pro) pricing starts at $9/month (with the 20% annual discount):
Note: While Ghost (Pro) is not free, there is a completely free 14 day trial available to new users.
How much does Ghost charge users who operate membership sites or subscription newsletters?
Your Ghost site is connected directly to your own Stripe account and Ghost does not charge any extra transaction fees. The only fees you’ll need to pay are Stripe’s own processing fees (2.9% + 30¢). Beyond that, all of your revenue is yours to keep.
How exactly are Ghost(Pro) "views" and "staff users" calculated to determine pricing?
When using Ghost, Views refer to the number of requests to your site each month. These are tracked much like an analytics ‘pageview’ – and are incremented with each page or API request. Ghost never disable sites for traffic spikes. If you exceed your limit consistently on a 3 month rolling average, Ghost will let you know that you need to upgrade.
Staff users refers to the total number of team members invited to Ghost Admin whom you collaborate with. For the purposes of billing, Ghost only counts users who have logged in at least once in the last 30 days.
What roles does Ghost allow users to assign to members?
Ghost allows users to assign members various roles to help manage or contribute to their website.
This is the base user level in Ghost. Contributors can create and edit their own draft posts, but they are unable to edit drafts of others or publish posts. Contributors are untrusted users with the most basic access to your publication.
Authors are the 2nd user level in Ghost. Authors can write, edit and publish their own posts. Authors are trusted users. If you don’t trust users to be allowed to publish their own posts, they should be set as Contributors.
Editors are the 3rd user level in Ghost. Editors can do everything that an Author can do, but they can also edit and publish the posts of others – as well as their own. Editors can also invite new Contributors+Authors to the site.
The top user level in Ghost is Administrator. Again, administrators can do everything that Authors and Editors can do, but they can also edit all site settings and data, not just content. Additionally, administrators have full access to invite, manage or remove any other user of the site.
There is only ever one owner of a Ghost site. The owner is a special user which has all the same permissions as an Administrator, but with two exceptions: Owners can never be deleted, and in some circumstances the owner will have access to additional special settings. For example: billing details, if using Ghost(Pro), and members settings in Labs.
What payment methods does Ghost accept?
Ghost accepts all major credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express. For annual pre-paid accounts on Business or Enterprise plans they also accept bank transfers or Bitcoin. Ghost does not accept PayPal.