WordPress vs Ghost vs Medium? There are numerous blogging tools out there, of which WordPress, Ghost and Medium are the most popular ones. Anyone looking to start a new blog can be spoiled for choice here: which one is the better option, after all?
Simply put, all three of these options – WordPress, Ghost, and Medium – have pros and cons of their own. Neither of them is perfect, but each can serve a definite purpose, and depending on the nature of the goal that your blog has, you can pick the one that is ideal for you.
So, which one should you go for? This article shall answer the question. First up, let us look at each platform in detail:
Here’s WordPress vs Ghost vs Medium
For anyone who is even remotely active on the internet, WordPress needs no introduction. It’s the most popular website building platform and content management system out there, with nearly a quarter of websites and blogs relying on WordPress. Plus, WordPress can be used to power a lot more than just blogs: eCommerce stores, corporate sites, photography sites, news portals, and so on.
WordPress is available in two flavors:
- self-hosted and totally free WordPress.org,
- or hosted by WordPress.com, either as a free site with WordPress.com ads or as a paid site without ads
Wondering what is the difference between .com and .org here? In the simplest of terms, WordPress.org is what you will download and install on your own server – you can customize it with custom themes and plugins, as well as tweak it to suit your needs. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is what you run from .com servers directly – you can still change themes, but the options are severely limited, and there are no custom plugins to be installed. To learn more, check out this post on the CodeinWP blog.
WordPress is well-known for its simplicity and ease of use. If there is one platform from our WordPress vs Ghost vs Medium lineup that is guaranteed not to close its doors anytime in the near future, it is WordPress. Chances are, you cannot really go wrong with WordPress if you decide to start a blog using it. It does, however, boil down to what you intend to achieve ultimately – using WordPress.com for example, will offer you a ready-made community of users who might wish to follow your blog. However, special elements such as SEO metadata and custom content types can only be had in WordPress.org
Note that WordPress is not truly free in terms of money – if you opt for the self-hosted version, the software will forever remain free, but you will have to pay in terms of web hosting. On the other hand, the hosted WordPress.com version is free for basic usage – lots of storage and features, but if you need a custom domain or anything fancier, you will have to opt for the paid plans.
Ghost is a straightforward and simple platform that relies on a crisp and minimal user interface. Unlike WordPress, Ghost does not power a wide array of websites; instead, it is purely a blogging platform, and it is meant to be used only for blogs.
Ghost uses Markdown rather than visual WYSIWYG editing, but you can change that by means of extensions. Much like WordPress, Ghost comes in two variants:
- self-hosted version that is free to download and use,
- and hosted version on Ghost’s own servers.
However, unlike WordPress.com, Ghost does not offer a free hosted plan (there is a 14-day trial though); and furthermore, you are not limited in the hosted version in any manner. You can upload your own themes and content by means of FTP, no matter which variant of Ghost you are using.
Ghost offers SEO settings and social sharing features in the core itself, so you do not need external plugins for that purpose. That said, Ghost’s USP is minimalism, and that minimalism is visible not just in design but also in functioning: you can create and edit posts, and that’s pretty much it. Need gigantic multi-author blogs, magazines, portfolio sites? Ghost is not your winner of the WordPress vs Ghost vs Medium battle.
Medium, the third entry in this post, is less of a personalized blogging platform and more of a community-centric writing tool. In other words, writing on Medium is comparable to having your article in the college magazine or the notice-board, rather than in a journal or diary of your own.
Medium defines itself as “a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.” That’s exactly what it is – a platform meant for longform writing and expressing your views on various subjects. Medium is primarily used by serious writers, focusing on highly niche-centric topics. For instance, if you are looking for a post about the evolution of society and civilization, Medium will offer you articles that will have more of Anthropology and less of History; in other words, Medium is mostly defined by the high quality and niche-centric content that is published on its site.
Medium is purely a hosted platform, so you cannot download anything, run it on your own servers, or use a custom domain. There are no storage limits in place, and the best part is that everything else is free as of now – sub-domains, SSL, everything else. Medium also pays contributors directly through their paid membership program. The amount you earn is based on how often people “clap” for your content, providing extra incentive to publish your best work here.
So, which one wins this WordPress vs Ghost vs Medium battle?
Well, the answer is not direct or straightforward. However, if you are looking for a no-nonsense blogging tool that lets you publish posts, format them, and have a basic setup of social sharing as well as SEO, Ghost is probably the best pick for you. It works straight out of the box, requires no configuration, and is easy to master.
On the downside, you should know that Ghost is coded in Node.js and that is not yet commonly supported by many shared web hosting providers. You can, always, go with Ghost’s hosted solution, but the cheapest plan is priced at $29 per month and capped at maximum 100,000 page views in a month. This pricing model might not be affordable for many folks who might be wanting to start a hobby blog.
WordPress, on the other hand, is universally supported. You can run it on $250 / month cloud servers (or tailor-made managed hosting), as well as on $2.5 / month shared web hosting … it’s your decision where you move your blog. You can also go with WordPress.com free or paid plans. WordPress is more bloated as compared to Ghost, but you can learn the ropes with minor efforts.
Also, if you have even a remote intention of someday adding something non-blog like to your blog, say a shop or a forum, WordPress should be your first and only choice.
Lastly, Medium is a viable option if you want people to “explore” and read your work, and leave feedback. Your articles on Medium are mostly put in front of the Medium community itself, and vice versa. But there is no personal insulation in the community model of Medium. Your publications will have links to others’ articles at the end of the page, and so on.
However, if you are on a very stiff budget, Medium can be a life-saver for you. You can map your own domain, tweak the page layout, and host your content for zero fees whatsoever.
Which of these tools do you use to blog? WordPress, Ghost or Medium? Share your views in the comments below!