Craft CMS vs. Ghost CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Craft CMS vs. Ghost CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Craft CMS and Ghost CMS. As digital leaders and decision-makers, you understand the importance of having a reliable and efficient content management system for your organization. Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS are highly regarded in the industry, and in this guide, we will delve into the features and capabilities of each system to help you make an informed decision. Whether you're looking for a CMS with a focus on design and user experience, robust content management features, or advanced customization options, we've got you covered. Let's dive in and explore the foundations of these two powerful CMS platforms.

Foundations of CMS

The foundation of a content management system is crucial for its overall functionality and performance. Craft CMS is built on PHP and utilizes the powerful Yii2 framework. This combination provides a solid infrastructure that enables developers to build complex and dynamic websites with ease. Craft CMS offers flexibility and extensibility, allowing you to create custom content structures, define your own fields and sections, and manage your content efficiently.

On the other hand, Ghost CMS is based on Node.js, which offers a modern, real-time web development environment. With its minimalistic approach, Ghost focuses on simplicity and speed. It is known for its fast rendering and excellent performance. The platform utilizes the handlebars templating engine, making it easy to create themes and customize the appearance of your website. Ghost CMS also supports static site generation, enabling you to generate HTML files for faster loading times.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS have strong foundations that cater to different needs. If you prioritize flexibility and customization, Craft CMS might be the better choice. However, if speed and simplicity are what you value most, Ghost CMS could be the perfect fit for your organization.

Now that we have covered the foundations, let's dive into the design and user experience aspects of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Design & User Experience

The design and user experience of a CMS play a vital role in creating engaging and intuitive websites. Craft CMS provides a user-friendly interface that focuses on empowering content editors. Its intuitive content creation and editing tools make it easy to manage and organize your content effectively. Craft CMS also offers flexible templating options, allowing designers and developers to create unique and visually appealing websites. With its built-in asset management system and live preview feature, Craft CMS enables seamless collaboration between content creators and designers, ensuring the final website reflects your vision accurately.

Ghost CMS, on the other hand, boasts a minimalistic and user-centric design. Its clean and distraction-free interface makes it a pleasure to work with, especially for content creators. Ghost CMS adopts Markdown language for content creation, providing a straightforward and efficient writing experience. The platform also offers plenty of themes and templates to choose from, allowing you to give your website a professional and polished look. With its responsive design, Ghost CMS ensures that your website looks great on all devices.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS prioritize delivering an exceptional user experience. Craft CMS caters more to organizations with complex content management needs, while Ghost CMS excels in providing a streamlined and user-friendly interface for content creators. Consider your organization's requirements and preferences when deciding which CMS aligns best with your design and user experience goals.

Next, let's explore the content management features of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Content Management

When it comes to managing and organizing content, Craft CMS offers a robust set of features. Its flexible content modeling system allows you to create custom fields, sections, and structures tailored to your specific needs. Craft CMS supports multiple content types, including pages, entries, categories, and more, making it suitable for complex websites with diverse content. The platform also provides a comprehensive content editor interface with rich text editing, asset management, and versioning capabilities, empowering content creators to publish high-quality content easily. Craft CMS's content management tools give you full control over your website's structure and content hierarchy, ensuring a seamless and intuitive content management experience.

Similarly, Ghost CMS provides a solid set of content management features. It allows you to create and manage content in the form of posts, pages, and tags. Ghost CMS's editor is designed specifically for writing, with a focus on simplicity and distraction-free content creation. Its Markdown-based editor provides a straightforward writing experience, complete with live previews. In addition, Ghost CMS offers built-in SEO tools, such as meta tags and social sharing options, to help you optimize your content for search engines. While Ghost CMS may not have the same level of complexity as Craft CMS in terms of content management, it excels in providing a streamlined and efficient approach for content creators.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS offer powerful content management capabilities; however, their approach and complexity differ. Choose Craft CMS if you require extensive customization and a high degree of content structuring. On the other hand, if simplicity and a focused writing experience are your priorities, Ghost CMS may be the ideal choice for your organization.

Now that we have explored content management, let's move on to the collaboration and user management features of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are essential aspects of any content management system, especially for organizations with multiple content creators and editors. Craft CMS provides robust collaboration features, allowing you to define user roles and permissions with fine-grained control. You can create user groups, assign permissions to specific sections or fields, and ensure that each team member has access to the relevant content. Craft CMS also offers a powerful live preview feature that allows content creators, designers, and stakeholders to see changes in real-time, facilitating seamless collaboration and reducing the need for manual content review.

Ghost CMS also provides user management capabilities, allowing you to invite team members and assign them different roles. However, compared to Craft CMS, Ghost CMS has more limited user management features. While you can define user roles and permissions, the level of granularity is not as extensive as in Craft CMS. Additionally, Ghost CMS does not offer a live preview feature for collaboration purposes. Nevertheless, if your organization requires basic user management functionality without the need for granular permissions, Ghost CMS can still meet your collaboration needs.

Consider the size and structure of your organization, as well as your collaboration requirements, when deciding between Craft CMS and Ghost CMS. If you need advanced user management features and extensive collaboration capabilities, Craft CMS offers more flexibility. However, if you have a smaller team and straightforward collaboration needs, Ghost CMS may be the more suitable option.

Now that we have covered collaboration and user management, let's explore the performance, scalability, and hosting aspects of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are critical factors to consider when choosing a content management system. Craft CMS prioritizes performance with its caching system and optimized database queries. It allows you to fine-tune caching settings to ensure fast page load times. Craft CMS also offers multiple caching methods, including database caching, file-based caching, and full-page caching, giving you the flexibility to choose the most suitable option for your website. In terms of scalability, Craft CMS can easily handle large and complex websites with its ability to distribute content across multiple servers and manage high-traffic loads efficiently.

Ghost CMS is known for its excellent performance, thanks to its lightweight architecture and minimalistic design. With its use of Node.js, Ghost CMS provides fast rendering and serves pages quickly. The platform is optimized for performance, making it ideal for websites with heavy traffic loads. However, in terms of scalability, Ghost CMS may have some limitations compared to Craft CMS. While Ghost CMS can handle high traffic, it may require additional configuration and optimization to handle extremely large or complex websites.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS offer solid performance capabilities, but Craft CMS provides more advanced scalability options. If your organization anticipates rapid growth and requires a CMS that can handle extensive scaling without compromising performance, Craft CMS might be the better choice. However, if you prioritize initial performance and have a smaller or medium-sized website, Ghost CMS can be an excellent fit for your hosting needs.

Next, let's explore the customization options, extensions, and ecosystem of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization capabilities, extensions, and ecosystem support are essential considerations when choosing a CMS. Craft CMS offers extensive customization options, allowing you to tailor the platform to your specific requirements. With its flexible content modeling system, you can create custom fields and sections, define relationships between elements, and build complex content structures. Craft CMS also provides a wide range of extensions and plugins through its plugin store, enabling you to enhance the functionality of your website. In addition, Craft CMS has a vibrant and active community that contributes to the development of new plugins, themes, and resources, offering a rich ecosystem for support and growth.

Ghost CMS also provides customization options, although to a slightly lesser extent compared to Craft CMS. You can customize the appearance of your website by selecting from the available themes and templates. Ghost CMS offers a range of third-party integrations and extensions, allowing you to extend the functionality of your website. While the Ghost CMS ecosystem is not as large as Craft CMS, it has a dedicated community of developers who regularly contribute themes, plugins, and resources to the platform.

If your organization requires extensive customization and a wide range of available extensions, Craft CMS is the recommended choice. However, if you have simpler customization needs and prefer a more streamlined ecosystem, Ghost CMS can still provide a solid foundation for your website.

Now, let's move on to the SEO, marketing, and monetization features of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization are vital for the success of your website. Craft CMS offers robust SEO features, including customizable meta tags, automated XML sitemaps, canonical URLs, and more. It allows you to optimize your website's content for search engines, ensuring better visibility and organic traffic. Craft CMS also integrates well with various marketing and analytics tools, enabling you to track and analyze your website's performance effectively. In terms of monetization, Craft CMS offers flexible e-commerce solutions through third-party plugins, allowing you to create and manage online stores seamlessly.

Ghost CMS also provides built-in SEO features to help improve your website's visibility. It generates clean URLs and provides meta tag customization options. While Ghost CMS may not have the same level of SEO customization as Craft CMS, it covers the essential requirements for optimizing your content. Ghost CMS integrates well with third-party analytics tools, enabling you to track and analyze your website's performance. However, when it comes to monetization, Ghost CMS does not have built-in e-commerce capabilities, and you will need to rely on third-party integrations and solutions.

If SEO and marketing are critical for your organization, Craft CMS provides more extensive features and options. Craft CMS's e-commerce solutions also make it a more suitable choice for organizations looking to monetize their websites effectively. However, if you require basic SEO functionality and do not have e-commerce needs, Ghost CMS can still meet your requirements.

Now, let's explore the security and compliance aspects of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are of utmost importance for any organization that deals with sensitive data or has legal obligations. Craft CMS takes security seriously and provides robust measures to protect your website and data. The platform follows best security practices, including secure login mechanisms, data encryption, and protection against common web vulnerabilities. Craft CMS also offers user role-based access control, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive areas of your website. Additionally, Craft CMS provides regular security updates and has a vigilant security team that actively addresses any vulnerabilities that may arise.

Ghost CMS also prioritizes security and offers various measures to safeguard your website. The platform is designed with security in mind, utilizing secure login mechanisms and protecting against common web vulnerabilities. Ghost CMS follows a strict security release process and provides regular updates to address any potential security issues. However, it is important to note that Ghost CMS does not have the same level of granular user role-based access control as Craft CMS.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS provide solid security features. However, if your organization requires extensive user role-based access control and compliance with specific regulations, Craft CMS may be the more suitable choice. Consider your organization's security requirements and legal obligations when making a decision.

Finally, let's explore the migration, support, and maintenance aspects of Craft CMS and Ghost CMS.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another can be a complex process. Craft CMS offers migration tools and resources to assist you in smoothly transitioning from your current system. With its comprehensive documentation and support, Craft CMS ensures that you have the necessary guidance and assistance during the migration process. Craft CMS also provides ongoing maintenance updates and bug fixes, ensuring a stable and secure CMS experience. Additionally, Craft CMS offers various support options, including a dedicated support team, a community forum, and extensive documentation, allowing you to find answers to your questions quickly.

Ghost CMS also provides migration tools and documentation to help you migrate your content from your current system. The platform offers maintenance and updates, ensuring that your CMS remains secure and up to date. Ghost CMS provides support through its community forum and extensive documentation, allowing you to find solutions to any issues you may encounter.

Both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS offer migration support, maintenance, and resources to ensure a smooth and reliable experience. Consider the level of support and maintenance you require for your organization when making a decision.


In conclusion, both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS are powerful content management systems that cater to different needs and preferences. Craft CMS excels in flexibility, customization, and extensive content management capabilities, making it an excellent choice for organizations with complex content requirements. On the other hand, Ghost CMS focuses on simplicity, speed, and a streamlined writing experience, making it a preferred choice for organizations with straightforward content needs.

Consider the specific requirements and goals of your organization when making a decision. Evaluate the features and capabilities of both Craft CMS and Ghost CMS in terms of foundations, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance, scalability, and hosting, customization and ecosystem, SEO, marketing, and monetization, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select the content management system that best aligns with your organization's needs and helps you create exceptional websites that engage your audience effectively.


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.