There are many ways to build a website, manage a membership, and publish a newsletter. There are fewer ways to do it on a single, integrated platform. That's why I use Ghost for the Wiser! newsletter and community.
One of the big advantages with Ghost is that it does not take a %age share of your revenue, unlike Substack, Beehiv, Gumroad or Patreon. Ghost is open-source, which means it is highly customisable and flexible without requiring expensive or expert technical skill.s
What is Ghost CMS?
Ghost is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that is designed specifically for blogging, publishing and member management. It's flexible and easy to customise to reflect the brand, style and tone of voice for each publication.
Some of the strengths of Ghost include:
- Simplicity: Ghost has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to use, even for people who are new to content management systems.
- Performance: Ghost is built on top of Node.js, which is a lightweight and fast runtime environment. This makes Ghost fast and responsive, even when managing large amounts of content.
- Customisation: Ghost offers a range of customisation options, including the ability to use custom themes and templates. This allows users to tailor the look and feel of their site to their specific needs and preferences.
- Security: Ghost takes security seriously and has a number of measures in place to protect user data and prevent unauthorised access.
- Community: Ghost has a large and active community of users and developers who contribute to the platform and share best practices and tips.
Five key website competitors to Ghost
There are many content management systems (CMS) available on the market, and Ghost competes with a number of these platforms. Some of the main competitors of Ghost include:
- WordPress: WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and has a wide range of features and functionality. It is suitable for a variety of websites, including blogs, e-commerce stores, and business websites.
- Joomla: Joomla is another popular CMS that is known for its flexibility and wide range of features. It is suitable for a variety of websites, including blogs, forums, and e-commerce stores.
- Drupal: Drupal is a powerful CMS that is often used for large and complex websites. It is known for its advanced features and customisation options, but can be more challenging to use than some other CMS platforms.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a popular web-based platform that is known for its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface and beautiful templates. It is well-suited for small businesses and individuals looking to create a professional-looking website quickly and easily.
- Weebly: Weebly is another web-based platform that is known for its ease of use and beautiful templates. It is well-suited for small businesses and individuals looking to create a simple website without needing any technical skills.
Ghost is an open-source content management system that was created by John O'Nolan and Hannah Wolfe in 2013. The company behind Ghost is the Ghost Foundation, a non-profit organisation responsible for the development and maintenance of the platform. Ghost Foundation is funded through donations, sponsorships, and paid support services.
In 2020, Ghost was acquired by Automatic, the company behind WordPress.com, which is the hosted version of the popular open-source content management system WordPress. Automatic has committed to supporting the continued development and growth of Ghost as an open-source platform.
Five key features of Ghost
- Customisable and responsive design: Ghost offers a range of customisable templates to choose from and a simple and user-friendly design editor to help you create a unique look for your website.
- Markdown editor: Ghost uses Markdown, a simple and effective markup language, to create and format content. This makes it easy to create beautiful posts and pages with no HTML or CSS required.
- SEO optimized: Ghost is built with SEO in mind, so your content will be optimized for search engines right out of the box. It includes features such as meta descriptions, title tags, and clean URLs to help improve your visibility in search results.
- Member management: Ghost allows you to manage multiple members and control access to your site, making it ideal for team blogs and online magazines.
- Mobile-friendly: Ghost is designed to be mobile-friendly and responsive, so your website will look great on any device.
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How Ghost is different to Medium, Wordpress, Substack and Patreon
Five reasons to use Ghost instead of Substack for newsletters
- Customisation: Ghost offers a lot of customisation options, which allow you to create a unique look and feel for your newsletter that sets it apart from others. In contrast, the Substack editor is limited in terms of customisation and design options.
- Mobile-friendly: Ghost is designed to be mobile-friendly and responsive, making it easier for your audience to view your content on any device. Substack does not offer mobile-friendly options and may not display well on smaller screens. Instead, Substack relies on users downloading the Substack app to mobile devices.
- Advanced publishing and analytics tools: Ghost offers a range of advanced newsletter publishing and management tools, such as the ability to segment the email membership, send mailshots without them being listed on the website, amend broken links in sent newsletters, display who has opened emails and the links they have clicked, insights about the readership. In addition, Ghost has the features for creating reusable newsletter templates and manage multiple newsletter campaign, features that are not available in Substack.
- User-friendly interface: Ghost has a user-friendly interface and simple, intuitive design editor that makes it easy for you to create and manage your content. It is possible to create inline-CMS code that will change the look and feel of the newsletter. Substack does not have a similar interface, and may require more technical know-how to navigate and use effectively.
- Open-source: Ghost is an open-source platform, which means that you have the freedom to customize, extend, and improve the software to fit your specific needs. Substack is a proprietary platform and does not offer the same level of flexibility and control.
Five reasons why you should use Ghost(Pro) to run your Ghost site
Ghost(Pro) is the best way to run your Ghost website because it provides a simple, reliable, scalable, and fast hosting environment with expert support. This makes it easy to focus on creating great content and building your online presence, without having to worry about the technical details of running a website.
Ghost(Pro) is the managed service offered by the Ghost Foundation that provides hosting and support for the Ghost content management system (CMS). It is designed for users who want a hassle-free experience when running a Ghost website, as the Ghost Foundation takes care of the technical details such as software updates, backups, security, and performance optimisation.
Here are five reasons why Ghost(Pro) is the best way to run your Ghost website:
- Simplicity: Ghost(Pro) makes it easy to set up and run your website, as you don't have to worry about technical details such as server configuration, software updates, and security.
- Reliability: Ghost(Pro) uses a network of cloud-based servers that are managed by the Ghost Foundation to provide a fast, secure, and reliable hosting environment for your website.
- Scalability: Ghost(Pro) is designed to grow with your website, so you can easily add resources such as bandwidth, storage, and processing power as needed.
- Performance: Ghost(Pro) is optimized for performance and is designed to ensure that your website runs smoothly and quickly, even during periods of high traffic.
- Expert Support: Ghost(Pro) comes with 24/7 support from the Ghost Foundation, so you can get help whenever you need it. The support team is knowledgeable and experienced in running Ghost websites, and can help with anything from technical questions to troubleshooting.
Customise your Ghost look and feel with a 'Theme'
A Ghost CMS theme is a design template for the Ghost content management system (CMS) that determines the look and feel of a website. Themes provide a pre-designed layout, colour scheme, typography, and other styling elements to help you create a professional and unique website.
Think of a Ghost Theme as the interior design of your house. They are easy to use because they are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. They often come with a visual design editor that allows you to make changes to your website without any coding experience. Additionally, Ghost themes are often optimized for mobile devices and have built-in responsive design, which means your website will look great on any device.
Additionally, Ghost themes often come with pre-designed templates for common website elements such as headers, footers, and post styles, making it easy to create a cohesive and professional-looking website without having to start from scratch.
Overall, the use of Ghost themes makes it possible for anyone, regardless of technical skill level, to create a professional-looking website with ease. The themes save time and effort, allowing you to focus on creating great content and building your online presence.
Use Biron Themes to suit your presentation style
These are the current themes from Biron to suit a range of content presentation styles:
Ghost Themes Bundle — Lifetime Access
- Auden — Magazine & Membership Ghost Theme
- Dashi — Community & Platform Ghost Theme
- Fumio — Project & Portfolio Ghost Theme
- Joben — Subscription & Multipurpose Ghost Theme
- Nikko — Membership & Newsletter Ghost Theme
- Rinne — Resources & Directory Ghost Theme
- Tuuli — Personal Blog & Writing Ghost Theme
- Voice — News & Magazine Ghost Theme
- Yoffa — Minimal & Lightweight Ghost Theme
Ghost is a powerful, user-friendly, and customisable content management system that offers a range of advanced publishing tools, SEO optimisation, and mobile-friendly design. These features, combined with its open-source nature, make it an excellent alternative to Substack for professional bloggers and digital publishers.
Well-known sites built on Ghost include:
Bubble no-code platform
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