Ghost CMS vs. Plate: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Ghost CMS vs. Plate: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Ghost CMS and Plate. As digital leaders and decision-makers, we understand the importance of choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your organization. In this guide, we will delve into the features and functionalities of Ghost CMS and Plate to help you make an informed decision. Both CMS offer unique advantages and capabilities, and by the end of this guide, you'll have a clearer understanding of which one suits your needs best.

Foundations of CMS

Ghost CMS and Plate are both powerful CMS that enable content creators to manage and publish their content effectively. Ghost CMS is built on a modern stack, utilizing JavaScript and Node.js. It focuses primarily on delivering a streamlined writing and publishing experience. Plate, on the other hand, is a headless CMS that provides greater flexibility in content distribution. It embraces a GraphQL-first approach, allowing developers to structure and query content efficiently. Both CMS have their foundations rooted in modern technologies, catering to different needs and preferences.

In terms of setup and installation, Ghost CMS and Plate offer straightforward processes. Ghost CMS provides a hosted option, where you can sign up and have your blog up and running within minutes. Alternatively, you can host it on your own servers. Plate, being a headless CMS, requires a bit more technical configuration and integration to fully utilize its capabilities. However, with the added complexity comes the flexibility to integrate with various frontend frameworks and channels.

When it comes to ease of use, Ghost CMS shines with its intuitive and minimalist interface. It is designed to provide a distraction-free environment, allowing content creators to focus solely on writing and publishing. The simplicity of Ghost CMS makes it an excellent choice for bloggers and writers who prioritize a seamless writing experience. Plate, while not as user-friendly as Ghost CMS, offers powerful content modeling capabilities. It is more suitable for organizations that require complex data structures and multi-channel content distribution.

Both Ghost CMS and Plate have thriving developer communities that actively contribute to their growth and improvement. They offer extensive documentation, plugins, and themes that can be utilized to enhance the functionality and appearance of your website or application. Whether you prioritize simplicity or flexibility, both CMS have a strong foundation to support your content management needs.

Design & User Experience

Aesthetics and user experience play a critical role in engaging visitors and retaining their attention. Ghost CMS offers a range of modern, responsive themes that are tailored specifically for blogging and content-focused websites. These themes are designed to be visually appealing and optimized for readability, ensuring a pleasant experience for your audience. Additionally, Ghost CMS provides extensive customization options, allowing you to personalize the look and feel of your site to match your branding.

Plate, being a headless CMS, separates content from presentation, giving you more freedom in designing your website or application. It doesn't come with pre-built themes like Ghost CMS, but offers the ability to create sleek and unique frontend designs. This allows for more flexibility and creativity in crafting user experiences that align with your brand identity and target audience preferences. If you have a development team or prefer a fully customized design, Plate gives you the canvas to bring your vision to life.

When it comes to user experience, Ghost CMS focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Its user interface is intuitive and distraction-free, enabling content creators to concentrate solely on writing and publishing their content. The platform prioritizes performance and speed, providing a delightful editing experience even for large blogs with extensive content. On the other hand, Plate grants developers the freedom to build custom user interfaces tailored to specific requirements. While this gives you greater control over the user experience, it also requires more technical expertise and development time.

Whether you value simplicity, ease of use, and pre-built themes, or prefer the flexibility and control over the design and user experience, both Ghost CMS and Plate offer options that cater to your design and UX preferences.

Content Management

Efficient content management is the foundation of any successful CMS. Ghost CMS and Plate provide different approaches to managing and organizing content.

Ghost CMS focuses on simplicity and ease of use when it comes to content management. Their Markdown editor allows content creators to write and format content seamlessly, without the need to tinker with complex HTML or styling. The intuitive interface makes it easy to create and organize content, add tags, and categorize posts. Furthermore, Ghost CMS offers a content API that allows developers to query and retrieve content for use in custom-built applications or integrations.

Plate, as a flexible headless CMS, enables content creators and developers to structure and model content in a way that best suits their needs. With Plate's dynamic content types and relationships, you can link and organize content across different sections of your website or application. If your content requires a complex data model with interdependent relationships, Plate offers the necessary flexibility to handle it effectively. However, managing content in Plate might require some technical familiarity and expertise.

Both Ghost CMS and Plate focus on providing an efficient and organized content management experience. Ghost CMS excels in simplicity and ease of use, while Plate offers flexibility and customization options for complex content structures.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are crucial aspects of any CMS, especially for organizations with multiple content creators and teams. Both Ghost CMS and Plate offer features to facilitate collaboration and streamline user management.

Ghost CMS supports multi-user capabilities, allowing organizations to have several content creators and editors. Each user can have their own roles and permissions, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to certain functionalities. The platform provides a smooth collaborative experience, enabling content creators to collaborate seamlessly on drafts, revisions, and scheduled publications. Additionally, Ghost CMS offers a powerful membership feature that allows you to create gated content, subscriptions, and manage your audience effectively.

Plate also provides user management capabilities, but with a focus on developers and content designers. Using Plate's user roles and permissions system, you can grant different levels of access to your team members or clients. Developers can build custom user interfaces to manage content and utilize Plate's powerful GraphQL API to fetch and manipulate data. This makes Plate a suitable choice for organizations that require more flexibility in user management and content operations.

Whether you prioritize collaboration and user management for content creators or require more flexibility in user roles and permissions for developers, both Ghost CMS and Plate offer features to support your requirements effectively.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance and scalability are critical factors when choosing a CMS, especially for high-traffic websites or applications. Both Ghost CMS and Plate have different approaches to performance, scalability, and hosting options.

Ghost CMS offers a fully-hosted solution, providing optimized performance and reliability out of the box. With their Ghost(Pro) hosting, you don't need to worry about server configurations or maintenance. Ghost(Pro) is built on a scalable infrastructure, ensuring that your website can handle significant traffic without compromising speed or user experience. If you prefer self-hosting, Ghost CMS can be deployed on your servers, giving you more control over performance optimizations and scaling.

Plate, being a headless CMS, is designed to be highly scalable and can handle substantial traffic. The content is delivered through APIs, allowing for efficient distribution and retrieval of content across multiple channels. The headless architecture makes it easier to scale Plate as you can optimize the frontend separately from the backend. You have the flexibility to choose any hosting solution or platform that suits your scalability and performance requirements.

When choosing between Ghost CMS and Plate, consider your hosting preferences and technical capabilities. Ghost CMS provides a hassle-free, fully-hosted experience, while Plate offers more flexibility in hosting options and scalability optimizations.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and the overall ecosystem of a CMS play a significant role in its flexibility and extensibility. Let's explore how Ghost CMS and Plate cater to customization and ecosystem needs.

Ghost CMS offers a range of themes and customizable options to personalize the look and feel of your website. The themes are developed with modern web standards and prioritize responsive design, ensuring your content looks great on all devices. Additionally, Ghost CMS provides a robust API that enables developers to extend its functionality and create custom integrations. The Ghost Marketplace offers a variety of third-party integrations, plugins, and extensions to enhance your CMS experience further.

Plate, as a headless CMS, offers unparalleled flexibility in customization. It separates the backend content management from the frontend presentation, allowing developers to create custom user interfaces and experiences. The GraphQL API provided by Plate makes it easy to fetch and manipulate content from various channels, giving you the ability to build tailored solutions. The ecosystem of Plate is growing rapidly, with pre-built integrations and libraries available for different frameworks and programming languages.

Whether you prefer a wide range of themes and plugins with a simpler customization process, or require the flexibility to build custom user interfaces and tailor the CMS to your exact needs, both Ghost CMS and Plate offer options to suit your preferences and requirements.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

SEO, marketing, and monetization capabilities are essential for organizations looking to grow their online presence and generate revenue. Let's explore how Ghost CMS and Plate support these aspects.

Ghost CMS is built with SEO in mind, implementing best practices to optimize your content for search engines. It provides features like XML sitemap generation, canonical URLs, and automatic meta tag management. Ghost CMS also integrates seamlessly with popular analytics tools like Google Analytics, allowing you to monitor and analyze your website's performance. When it comes to monetization, Ghost CMS offers built-in features such as membership and subscription options, enabling you to generate revenue directly from your content.

Plate, as a headless CMS, provides developers with the freedom to implement custom SEO strategies. By leveraging the flexibility of the GraphQL API, you can build SEO-friendly applications and optimize content distribution across different channels. Since Plate separates the backend from the frontend, you have full control over the marketing and monetization integrations and can tailor them to meet your specific needs.

Whether you prefer built-in SEO features with an intuitive interface, or require full control and flexibility to implement custom SEO and marketing strategies, both Ghost CMS and Plate have options to support your growth goals.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are paramount concerns when selecting a CMS, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data. Let's examine how Ghost CMS and Plate address security and compliance requirements.

Ghost CMS places a strong emphasis on security. With their fully-hosted option, you benefit from the security measures implemented by the Ghost(Pro) team. Ghost(Pro) provides SSL encryption, secures your website against common attacks, and regularly updates the underlying infrastructure to ensure ongoing security. If you choose to self-host Ghost CMS, you have the responsibility of implementing and maintaining your own security measures. Ghost CMS also offers features like member signup CAPTCHAs and two-factor authentication to enhance security.

Plate, being a headless CMS, provides a high level of security by separation of concerns. Your content is stored separately from the presentation layer, reducing the attack surface. Since Plate relies on custom frontend development, you have control over security measures like SSL encryption, authentication, and authorization. While Plate provides a strong foundation for secure content management, it is crucial to implement proper security practices when building custom frontend applications with Plate.

Consider your security requirements and technical capabilities when comparing Ghost CMS and Plate. Ghost CMS offers a secure hosted solution, while Plate requires you to take charge of implementing security measures, giving you more control but also responsibility.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another, along with ongoing support and maintenance, are considerations that should not be overlooked. Let's explore how Ghost CMS and Plate handle migration, support, and maintenance.

Ghost CMS provides an import/export tool that allows you to migrate your content easily from other platforms. Additionally, Ghost CMS offers a dedicated Ghost(Pro) support team for their hosted solution, ensuring any technical difficulties or queries are promptly addressed. The community behind Ghost CMS is active and supportive, providing assistance and guidance through forums and documentation. For self-hosted installations, you may need to rely on your own technical resources or external consultants for ongoing support and maintenance.

Plate offers a migration API that simplifies the process of migrating content from other systems. While the migration process might require technical expertise, Plate provides thorough documentation and support to assist you in the process. As for ongoing support, Plate offers different support plans to cater to your organization's needs. Their team is available to help you with any technical difficulties and offer guidance throughout your Plate journey. Moreover, being an open-source project, you can rely on the active community and forums for further support and maintenance assistance.

Consider your migration, support, and maintenance requirements when comparing Ghost CMS and Plate. Ghost CMS provides a hosted solution with dedicated support, while Plate offers support plans and an active community for assistance and maintenance.


In conclusion, both Ghost CMS and Plate are feature-rich content management systems catering to different needs and preferences. Ghost CMS offers simplicity, ease of use, and a delightful writing experience, making it an excellent choice for bloggers and content creators. Plate, being a headless CMS, provides flexibility, scalability, and customization options, ideal for organizations with complex content structures and multi-channel distribution needs. By considering the various aspects and features discussed in this guide, you can make an informed decision based on your organization's requirements and goals. Whether you prioritize user experience, content management, customization, or scalability, Ghost CMS and Plate offer robust solutions to support your content management needs 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.