BigTree vs. Ghost CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

BigTree vs. Ghost CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between two popular Content Management Systems (CMS): BigTree and Ghost CMS. As digital leaders and decision-makers, we understand that choosing the right CMS is crucial for your organization's success. In this guide, we will dive into the features and functionalities of both BigTree and Ghost CMS, helping you make an informed decision. From design and user experience to performance and security, we will cover all the essential aspects. Let's get started!

Foundations of CMS

Both BigTree and Ghost CMS are powerful content management systems that enable you to create and manage digital content easily. However, they have different foundations and approaches. BigTree is a traditional PHP-based CMS, built on the Laravel framework. It offers a robust architecture, making it highly scalable and customizable. Ghost CMS, on the other hand, is a modern Node.js-based CMS that focuses on simplicity and speed. It uses a minimalist approach and offers a clean writing interface for content creators.

When it comes to foundations, your choice may depend on your organization's needs. If you require extensive customization and scalability, BigTree's PHP foundation may be the ideal choice. However, if you value simplicity, speed, and a modern tech stack, Ghost CMS with its Node.js foundation might be a better fit.

In terms of development, BigTree's Laravel framework provides a wide range of tools and resources for developers, making it an excellent choice for building complex web applications. Ghost CMS, on the other hand, follows a "no PHP" approach and offers a responsive and efficient Node.js ecosystem. It also provides a powerful API for building custom integrations and extending the CMS functionality.

Overall, both BigTree and Ghost CMS have solid foundations, but your decision would depend on your organization's specific requirements and preferences.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a crucial role in engaging and retaining website visitors. BigTree offers a user-friendly admin interface with a customizable dashboard, allowing you to personalize your content management experience. It provides a drag-and-drop page builder that simplifies the process of designing and organizing your website's layout. BigTree also offers a wide range of templates and themes, ensuring that you have plenty of design options.

Ghost CMS, on the other hand, follows a minimalistic design approach. Its clean and clutter-free interface focuses on providing an exceptional writing and editing experience. Ghost CMS offers a built-in editor called "Koenig," which allows you to format your content using a simple markdown syntax. This stripped-down interface can be appealing to content creators who want a distraction-free writing environment.

Both BigTree and Ghost CMS prioritize responsive design, ensuring that your website looks and performs well on various devices. They provide responsive templates and themes that adapt to different screen sizes, enhancing the user experience across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

In conclusion, BigTree excels in providing a comprehensive design and user experience toolkit, making it suitable for organizations that require extensive customization. On the other hand, Ghost CMS offers a minimalist and efficient environment for content creators who value simplicity and distraction-free writing experiences.

Content Management

A robust content management system empowers you to create, organize, and publish high-quality content effortlessly. Both BigTree and Ghost CMS provide powerful content management features, but they differ in their approach.

BigTree offers a rich set of content management features, including WYSIWYG editing, allowing you to easily format and style your content. You can create and manage various content types, such as articles, blog posts, videos, and images. BigTree also provides advanced media management capabilities, allowing you to organize and categorize your multimedia assets efficiently.

Ghost CMS, with its minimalistic approach, focuses primarily on content creation and editing. It provides a clean and intuitive writing interface, helping you to concentrate on crafting compelling content. Ghost CMS supports dynamic content creation with its use of markdown language, making it easy to structure your content without distractions. However, if your organization requires complex content types and extensive content management capabilities, BigTree might be a more suitable choice.

When it comes to content publishing and scheduling, both BigTree and Ghost CMS offer convenient options. You can easily schedule your content for future publication, ensuring a consistent flow of posts and updates. Additionally, both CMS provide SEO tools and options for optimizing your content, including meta tags, URLs, and keyword management.

In summary, BigTree is packed with advanced content management features, ideal for organizations that require versatility and extensive content control. Ghost CMS, on the other hand, is tailored for content creators who value a simplified and distraction-free approach to content creation.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are essential aspects of a content management system, allowing multiple contributors to work together effectively. BigTree and Ghost CMS provide different approaches and features in this area.

BigTree offers a comprehensive user management system, allowing you to create and manage roles and permissions. You can assign different roles to users, such as authors, editors, and administrators, with specific access levels. BigTree also offers tools for workflow management, enabling collaboration and approval processes among team members. This makes BigTree suitable for organizations with large content teams and complex workflows.

Ghost CMS, on the other hand, takes a simpler approach to user management. It offers basic user roles and permissions, allowing you to differentiate between admins, editors, and contributors. While not as robust as BigTree's user management system, Ghost CMS provides enough flexibility for most content creation scenarios.

In terms of collaboration, BigTree's extensive user management system, combined with its workflow tools, allows for seamless collaboration among content contributors and editors. Ghost CMS, with its minimalistic focus, does not provide extensive collaboration features, but it does allow for multiple users to contribute and edit content within the system.

Ultimately, your organization's specific collaboration and user management requirements will determine which CMS – BigTree or Ghost CMS – is the better fit for your needs.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

When it comes to website performance, scalability, and hosting options, both BigTree and Ghost CMS have their strengths.

BigTree, built on the Laravel framework, offers excellent performance and scalability. Laravel's powerful caching mechanisms, database management, and code optimization contribute to BigTree's fast and responsive performance. Additionally, BigTree can handle high volumes of content and traffic, making it suitable for large organizations and high-traffic websites.

Ghost CMS, on the other hand, is known for its speed and lightweight nature. Ghost CMS has minimal resource requirements, enabling fast page load times and efficient rendering. It uses a built-in caching mechanism and optimized JavaScript, which further enhances its performance.

Both BigTree and Ghost CMS can be hosted on a variety of platforms, including shared hosting, dedicated servers, and cloud hosting solutions. Both CMS provide detailed documentation for self-hosting and offer hosting solutions through their own platforms. BigTree offers its own cloud hosting platform called "BigTree Cloud," while Ghost CMS has its hosting platform called "Ghost(Pro)." These options ensure that you have flexibility in choosing the hosting environment that best suits your organization's needs.

The choice between BigTree and Ghost CMS depends on your organization's performance requirements and hosting preferences. If your priority is high performance and scalability for complex websites, BigTree might be the better option. On the other hand, if you value lightweight and fast performance with minimal resource requirements, Ghost CMS is a great choice.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization and extension capabilities are vital for tailoring a CMS to your organization's unique needs. Both BigTree and Ghost CMS offer customization options and a rich ecosystem of extensions and themes.

BigTree provides a wide range of customization options. It allows developers to create custom templates and themes, enabling you to achieve a unique design for your website. BigTree's extensible architecture allows you to build custom modules and integrate them seamlessly into your CMS. Additionally, BigTree offers a marketplace called "The Grove," where you can browse and purchase ready-to-use themes, modules, and plugins to enhance your website's functionality.

Ghost CMS, although more minimalistic, provides a robust and extensible ecosystem. It offers a marketplace called "Ghost Marketplace," where you can find a variety of themes and extensions to enhance your website's look and functionality. Ghost CMS also provides a powerful API that allows you to build custom integrations and extend the CMS's functionality according to your specific requirements.

Both BigTree and Ghost CMS support third-party integrations, making it easier to connect your CMS with other platforms and services. They provide RESTful APIs, webhooks, and Zapier integration options, allowing you to streamline your workflow and automate processes.

In conclusion, both BigTree and Ghost CMS offer customization options and a thriving ecosystem of extensions and themes. BigTree's extensive customization options make it a suitable choice for organizations that require highly tailored designs and functionality. Ghost CMS, with its minimalist approach, offers a more simplified customization experience while still providing enough options to create a unique and professional website.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

SEO, marketing, and monetization capabilities are essential for businesses and organizations looking to grow their online presence. Let's explore how BigTree and Ghost CMS incorporate these features into their platforms.

BigTree offers a range of SEO tools and options to optimize your website for search engines. It allows you to manage meta tags, URLs, and keywords for each page or content piece. BigTree also supports XML sitemaps, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. Additionally, BigTree offers built-in analytics and tracking tools, enabling you to monitor and measure website performance and user engagement.

Ghost CMS also provides basic SEO features, allowing you to optimize meta tags and URLs. It supports canonical URLs, which help to avoid duplicate content issues. However, Ghost CMS does not have built-in analytics or advanced marketing features. If detailed SEO analytics and advanced marketing capabilities are crucial for your organization, BigTree may be the better choice.

For monetization purposes, both BigTree and Ghost CMS integrate with various monetization platforms and offer options for running ads. They also allow you to create membership or subscription-based content, enabling you to generate revenue from premium content or subscription services.

In summary, if your organization heavily relies on SEO and advanced marketing features, BigTree is a more suitable choice. However, if you are primarily focused on creating content and prefer a lightweight CMS, Ghost CMS still provides enough basic SEO and monetization options.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are imperative when selecting a CMS, especially in today's digital landscape. Both BigTree and Ghost CMS implement robust security measures and offer features to maintain compliance with data protection regulations.

BigTree follows security best practices and adheres to industry standards. It provides role-based access control, allowing administrators to define user roles and permissions. BigTree also offers the ability to encrypt sensitive data and implements secure authentication measures. Regular updates and ongoing security audits ensure that BigTree stays up-to-date on security vulnerabilities. However, it's worth noting that the level of security also depends on the hosting environment and measures implemented by the website owner.

Ghost CMS takes security seriously and offers built-in protection against common web vulnerabilities. It provides automatic security updates and follows modern security practices. Ghost CMS recommends using SSL certificates for secure connections and advises on best practices for protecting your website from potential attacks. However, like with any CMS, ensuring security also requires proper setup and management by website owners.

In terms of compliance, both BigTree and Ghost CMS are equipped to handle data protection regulations, such as GDPR. They offer features and tools to manage user data privacy, allowing you to comply with privacy regulations and protect user information.

In conclusion, both BigTree and Ghost CMS prioritize security and compliance. By following recommended security practices and staying up-to-date on updates and patches, you can ensure a secure CMS environment for your organization.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating to a new CMS, receiving support, and maintaining the CMS are essential considerations for any organization. Let's delve into how BigTree and Ghost CMS address these aspects.

BigTree provides tools and support to help with the migration process. It offers documentation and guides to assist you in transferring your content from another CMS or platform. Additionally, BigTree's support team is available to answer questions and provide assistance during the migration process.

Ghost CMS also provides migration tools and guidance, making it easier to switch from another CMS or platform. Ghost CMS offers extensive documentation and a helpful community forum where you can find answers to common questions. However, official technical support from the Ghost CMS team is mainly available through their Ghost(Pro) hosting platform.

Both BigTree and Ghost CMS require regular updates and maintenance to keep the CMS secure and running smoothly. BigTree provides regular updates, bug fixes, and feature enhancements to ensure the CMS remains up-to-date. Ghost CMS also offers regular updates and improvements, with a focus on providing a reliable and stable CMS platform.

In terms of long-term support and future development, BigTree has a dedicated team of developers and professionals providing ongoing support and updates. Ghost CMS, although initially a Kickstarter-funded project, has grown into a sustainable platform with an active community and development team.

In summary, both BigTree and Ghost CMS offer migration tools and resources, ensuring a smooth transition. Ongoing support and maintenance for both CMS are available through their respective communities and documentation. Your decision may depend on the level of technical support required and your organization's trust in the long-term sustainability of the CMS.


In conclusion, choosing the right CMS for your organization is crucial for your success in the digital world. Both BigTree and Ghost CMS have their strengths and cater to different needs.

BigTree, with its PHP foundation and extensive customization options, is ideal for organizations that require versatility, scalability, and advanced content management features. It provides powerful tools for design, content management, collaboration, and customization. BigTree also offers good performance and strong security measures, making it suitable for large organizations and high-traffic websites.

Ghost CMS, with its minimalistic design and focus on simplicity, provides a clean and efficient writing environment for content creators. It offers fast performance, lightweight resource requirements, and a modern tech stack. Ghost CMS is an excellent choice for bloggers, writers, and organizations that prioritize content creation with a distraction-free interface.

Ultimately, your decision between BigTree and Ghost CMS should be guided by your organization's specific needs, preferences, and the resources available to manage and maintain the chosen CMS. Consider factors such as design and user experience, content management capabilities, collaboration and user management, performance and hosting options, customization and extension ecosystem, SEO and marketing features, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance requirements. By thoroughly evaluating these aspects, you can determine which CMS – BigTree or Ghost CMS – best fits your organization's goals and objectives.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.