Ghost - A Content Management System built to focus on Writing

The Ghost Content Management System (CMS) was built by ex-Wordpress developers who re-created a CMS to focus on writing and less about managing a website. The result is a CMS which main focus is content creation.

Website - Ghost Website
Ghost on GitHub -
Official Ghost Docker Image -
About Ghost -

Episode Transcription

Right. In this episode, we're going to talk about Ghost CMS. In the previous episode, we talked about how my blog,, went a bit viral and the platform under it, which I use, is Ghost. And in front of Ghost, I use CloudFlare, which is also mentioned in a previous episode. Now, Ghost is one of my ... actually, it is my favorite content management system by far. And before I started this show, I actually looked and I wrote a Ghost article five years ago about how I migrated from WordPress to Ghost. And in this article, which I'll put in the show notes, I was just frustrated with WordPress. The number of times I have to upgrade, all the plugins, the issues I had, the security vulnerabilities. And, and, and. It was just an endless headache of issues that are happening.

And it was really frustrating because I just want to write content. I don't want to worry about somebody hacking my site and turning it into a crypto mining site or something like this. I just want something simple, and that's really what drove me toward Ghost. Ghost is aimed towards writers, it's not trying to overcomplicate this process. And Ghost started off as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013. A very successful Kickstarter campaign and it turned into a very nice product. I mean, it's very simple. I mean, it's just a very nice UI for writing. You write down a markdown and it has just a limited amount of plugins, it's starting to open up different APIs and things. 100 percent open source to the point, actually, it's an organization, it's not even a company. And they share all the profit information, the user churn, the show everything about the company as well as the road map.

So as this goes, it's very transparent as to what's going on with the company. But what I like about Ghost is it's extremely lightweight. Not only the UI and everything for writing content but actually how the Ghost CMS is created. It uses Node JS and Sequel Lite. Very slimmed-down stack, I mean, just very bare, bare minimum. And it's lightning-fast when compared to WordPress, and I did this a long time ago, I had exact same content WordPress, exact same content in Ghost, and I measured the load between the two and obviously WordPress, as more users came on, I mean, the database started going crazy and it just took a long time to load this information.

Whereas on the Ghost side, it just cranked it out. No issues as it kept on serving, and the response time, it was just remaining quite low up to 100 users at a time, and obviously this load test, I wanted to see where it broke. So I cranked it up to about 5000 users a second. And that's when WordPress started 404-ing and Ghost was still able to handle this load. I haven't done this test in a while, so I can't really officially say that's its current state with WordPress. But I am extremely happy with Ghost. I know a lot of people in the docker community use it. A lot of docker captains use it, and I used it for a long time as a Docker container, and I manage it myself. And about, I would say a year and a half, two years ago, again, that's another article I wrote.

I decided, you know, I don't want to manage this anymore. I really ... spending a lot of time managing all my different websites, I had about seven or eight websites at the time, and that's when I decided I'm going to move my website to Ghost, the company as a SAS and let them manage it. So believe it or not, I paid the 19 bucks a month, extremely happy with the service, never an issue. Support is just right on top of issues if have anything, and it just runs like clockwork. So I have no qualms whatsoever paying for this service because it saves me headaches for support and maintenance and things like this, which I did in the past. Now, I just focus on the content side and I don't worry about maintaining it.

As far as Ghost is concerned, I mean, there are some nice themes that they offer. There are open-source themes, there are premium themes, obviously, like every other content provider. It also provides a lot of integrations, like MailChimp and Zapier, so every time you get a subscriber, you can automatically put it into your MailChimp list or something like this. It has a lot of nice integrations inside of it. There's a labs feature where you can enable things. But again, their focus is on a very clean user interface, so you can write content and produce nice content. And on the theme side, it's also geared towards this. It's content first. So it's not going to be crazily overdriven, like some of these WordPress sites and themes that are just really over the top. It's basic. It's content. Some bells and whistles around this content, but generally, just that.

If you're looking for a very fast, clean content management system, I can recommend Ghost hands down. I've been using it for the last five, six years. Very happy. I've moved a lot of my websites over to it. My site has been on the front page of Hacker News two or three times. Never an issue of going down. The previous site, when I was on WordPress, it was crashing all the time when I'd get like, a few hundred users. It was really frustrating.
So that's what was my main consideration when I moved to Ghost, is you know ... worry about all these user issues and it handles performance. is the website. They also have, try ghost, /ghost. And on DockerHub, it's an official Docker image, so Ghost. All these sources I'll put in the show notes, but have a look, give it a try, open source or the SAS version, either one. It's a great product. Thank you for listening, and we'll talk to you later.
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