December 29, 2020

WordPress VS Ghost

If you're thinking about self-hosting a blog you should really consider your needs when you're picking out your software. I'm going to go into why I've given up on WordPress and switched to Ghost.

WordPress VS Ghost

WordPress has been the go-to for me for many years, but it's always been a bit of a hassle to keep up with its ever expanding list of security holes. And let's not forget that it needs a myriad of plugins to keep it somewhat secure, speedy and good-looking.

Ghost on the other hand is a relatively sleek and extremely straight forward service that does most of the work for you. Granted, since it's a NodeJS application it can't be thrown on any cheap web hosting like WordPress. But VPS aren't all that expensive these days either.

I've made a table with my Pro/Con arguments to make your decision easier:

WordPress Ghost
✅ Tons of plugins and themes ❌ Not as many plugins and themes
✅ Can be hosted on normal web hosting ❌ Needs a VPS
✅ Easy to customize ✅ Easy to customize
❌ Needs a myriad of plugins for basic functionality ✅ Comes with a rich base install that covers most requirements
❌ Requires a lot of upkeep for base install and plugins ✅ Very little upkeep required
❌ Basic performance is lacking without plugins ✅ Blazing fast even without additional caching
❌ Installation takes quite a bit of time ✅ Ghost even sets up nginx and letsencrypt for you (see below)

The last point of ghost is what definitely sold me on it. Might be a bit petty, but I really appreciate a software taking care of a full install rather than leaving me to set up nginx, letsencrypt, systemd etc. on my own.

Just have a look at this beautiful install process:

/var/www/stukev$ ghost install
? Enter your blog URL: /
? Enter your MySQL hostname: localhost
? Enter your MySQL username: ghost
? Enter your MySQL password: [hidden]
? Enter your Ghost database name: stukev_prod
✔ Configuring Ghost
✔ Setting up instance
✔ Setting up "ghost" system user
? Do you wish to set up Nginx? Yes
✔ Setting up Nginx
? Do you wish to set up SSL? Yes
? Enter your email (For SSL Certificate)
✔ Setting up SSL
? Do you wish to set up Systemd? Yes
✔ Setting up Systemd
? Do you want to start Ghost? Yes
✔ Starting Ghost

If you'd like to set up your own ghost install just head on over here, and you'll be up in no time. The only point I can still give WordPress it's that it's a super easy way for amateurs to set up websites. But as for blogging, we've got a new king, and it's Ghost.