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Why Ghost instead of WordPress

As a follow-on from yesterday’s post, You wouldn’t believe what I’ve gone through, I thought it would be a nice idea to outline exactly why I’ve thrown away WordPress after almost 10 years of using it, and why I’m now using the Ghost blogging platform.


The biggest reason for using Ghost – it’s fast. Really fast.

Where WordPress was taking 10 seconds to load a page – and longer if more people were visiting – Ghost takes only a second or two. As the popoularity of my blog increases, what I didn’t want to see was the responsiveness and availability of my blog decrease.

The next big reason was that there’s just too much ‘bloat’ in WordPress.

Too many features, too many functions, and too much of a reliance on a database for my liking. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), and it performs admirably to ‘manage content’. As long as you don’t care about the slowness, or about managing databases, or about managing plugins and themes and other aspects of WordPress administration, and maintaining the security of one of the most hacked systems in the world. It’s a great content management platform, but no longer is it a great blogging platform.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m good at managing WordPress, but for my personal blog I don’t want to manage WordPress – I just want to write for my blog and not have to worry too much about anything else.

The final biggest reason for Ghost instead of WordPress is that Ghost is simple.

Once it’s set up there’s nothing to manage other than the posts you write. There’s two sections to Ghost, side by side, and that’s it.

The first section is your ‘content management’ section:


In the left section is an infinitely-scrolling list of all the posts that you’ve written, and in the right section is a preview of the selected post. At the top right of the preview is an edit button. When you select that, you get the following:


In the left section of this screen is the content that you’re editing, and the right section has a constantly updated preview of what the content looks as a web page.

You get the same view when you click on +New Post and start writing.

And finally, it’s so much easier to just write your blog posts in Ghost.

In WordPress there’s an editing section (amongst many complicated sections) which shows you how your content looks on a website (under a ‘visual’ tab), and there’s also a ‘text’ tab that shows you the HTML. If something isn’t working how you want it to, or you just want to make some tweaks to it, then you can go into the HTML tab and make your changes there. But that requires you to be able to work with HTML, the coding language behind the web pages.

Ghost uses a simpler method, something called Markdown Language, and it allows you to simply focus on the content that you want to write.

When you’re writing, the standard keyboard shortcuts you’re used to in other writing tools like Microsoft Word, etc, still work (so does HTML, if you want to use it), but the resulting ‘code’ is a lot simpler to understand and use. At any time you can also click on the question mark in the top right of the editing section and get a view of the common Markdown codes:


There’s all the formatting information you’re likely to need.

It’s awesome. Simple, easy, and fast. Just what you want when you want to focus on writing without having to manage content systems.

Let me know if you want me to help you set up your own for you. 🙂 

Update May 2014: I’m no longer using Ghost, so I won’t be able to help anyone with it. Good luck!

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