Ghost CMS vs. Strapi: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems

Ghost CMS vs. Strapi: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems


When it comes to choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your organization, there are several factors to consider. In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will be comparing Ghost CMS and Strapi, two popular CMS options available in the market today. Both Ghost CMS and Strapi offer unique features and functionalities, catering to different user needs and preferences. By diving into the foundations of CMS, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance, scalability, and hosting, customization, extensions, and ecosystem, SEO, marketing, and monetization, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance, we aim to provide you with a detailed analysis to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

Both Ghost CMS and Strapi are built on different technological foundations. Ghost CMS is a headless CMS written in JavaScript, specifically using the Node.js runtime environment. It follows a lightweight and minimalist approach, designed specifically for bloggers and content creators. On the other hand, Strapi is also written in JavaScript but is based on the Express framework, which makes it highly extensible and customizable. It provides a more comprehensive set of features, making it suitable for a wider range of projects, including e-commerce websites and enterprise solutions.

In terms of ease of use, Ghost CMS offers a simple and intuitive interface, allowing users to focus on content creation without distractions. It provides a clean and distraction-free writing experience, which is particularly beneficial for bloggers and writers. On the other hand, Strapi offers a more complex interface with a steeper learning curve. It provides a comprehensive dashboard that allows users to manage content, user roles, and permissions effectively.

When it comes to performance, both Ghost CMS and Strapi perform well. Ghost CMS is known for its fast and lightweight nature, enabling quick loading times and optimizing performance. Strapi, on the other hand, is highly scalable and can handle large amounts of content and traffic effectively. It allows users to deploy their CMS on various hosting platforms, including cloud services and self-hosted environments.

In terms of community and support, both Ghost CMS and Strapi have vibrant communities and active developer ecosystems. Ghost CMS has a strong focus on transparency and open-source collaboration, ensuring continuous improvement and updates. Strapi, being an open-source CMS, also benefits from community contributions and provides comprehensive documentation and support.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, Ghost CMS and Strapi offer distinct approaches. Ghost CMS focuses on simplicity and minimalism, offering a clean and elegant design out of the box. It provides customizable themes and templates that can be easily tailored to match your organization's branding and style. Additionally, Ghost CMS allows users to create custom pages and integrate with various frontend frameworks to deliver a personalized user experience.

On the other hand, Strapi offers more flexibility in terms of design. It provides a customizable admin dashboard, allowing users to create their own interface based on their specific requirements. This level of customization empowers organizations to create a unique user experience tailored to their target audience.

With the default themes and templates available in Ghost CMS, users can create beautiful and visually appealing websites without much effort. The responsive design ensures that the content is optimized for all devices, providing a seamless user experience across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.

Similarly, Strapi also offers responsive design capabilities, allowing users to create websites that adapt to different screen sizes. With its extensive collection of plugins and integrations, users can enhance the design and user experience, adding functionalities such as image galleries, forms, and interactive elements.

Content Management

Ghost CMS and Strapi both excel in content management, but they approach it differently. Ghost CMS is primarily focused on providing a platform for bloggers and content creators, while Strapi is more versatile, catering to a wider range of content management needs.

Ghost CMS offers a simple and intuitive content editor, providing a distraction-free writing experience. It allows users to format their content using markdown, a lightweight markup language, making it easy to structure and style articles. Ghost CMS also supports the creation of custom post types, allowing users to define unique content structures for different types of content they publish.

Strapi, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive content management system. It provides a visual interface for creating and managing content, making it easier for non-technical users to work with the CMS. Strapi supports multiple content types, including articles, pages, and custom content structures defined by the user.

With its robust API capabilities, Strapi enables users to create and manage content across multiple channels and platforms, making it a suitable choice for organizations with complex content needs. It also offers localization support, allowing users to create multilingual websites or applications.

Collaboration & User Management

Effective collaboration and user management are crucial aspects of any CMS. In this regard, both Ghost CMS and Strapi offer robust features to facilitate collaboration and streamline user management.

Ghost CMS allows multiple users to collaborate on content creation and management. It provides granular user roles and permissions, allowing administrators to define specific access levels for each user. This ensures that content creators, editors, and administrators have the appropriate access and permissions to perform their respective tasks. Ghost CMS also offers a built-in workflow, allowing content to go through a review process before being published.

Strapi offers even more flexibility when it comes to user management and collaboration. It provides an intuitive user interface for managing user roles and permissions. Users can be assigned to different roles and given specific access levels to the CMS. Strapi also supports user authentication, allowing organizations to integrate external authentication providers such as OAuth or LDAP for enhanced security and user management.

Additionally, Strapi offers a versatile plugin system, which allows users to extend its collaboration and user management capabilities. Users can integrate collaborative tools, such as chat applications or task management systems, to enhance teamwork and streamline the content creation process.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

The performance, scalability, and hosting options of a CMS are crucial factors, especially for organizations with high traffic or complex requirements. Both Ghost CMS and Strapi offer robust performance and scalability features, but they differ in terms of hosting options.

Ghost CMS is designed to be fast and performant. It follows a server-side rendering approach, which means that the content is rendered on the server before being sent to the user's device. This results in faster loading times and better search engine optimization (SEO) performance. Ghost CMS also provides automatic image optimization and lazy loading, further enhancing the overall performance of a website.

As for scalability, Ghost CMS can handle large amounts of traffic and concurrent users effectively. It has been tested and proven to handle millions of pageviews per month. Ghost CMS offers various hosting options, including its official managed hosting service, self-hosting, or deploying on cloud platforms like AWS or DigitalOcean.

Strapi, on the other hand, is known for its scalability and customization options. It follows an API-driven architecture, which allows users to decouple the frontend and backend of their applications or websites. This enables users to scale each component independently, making it suitable for larger projects and complex infrastructures.

When it comes to hosting, Strapi can be deployed on various hosting platforms, including cloud services like AWS, DigitalOcean, or Heroku. It can also be self-hosted or deployed on a dedicated server. The hosting options for Strapi are more flexible and can be tailored to meet specific organizational requirements.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization and the availability of extensions and plugins are important considerations when choosing a CMS. Both Ghost CMS and Strapi offer customization options and have thriving ecosystems.

Ghost CMS provides a wide range of customizable themes and templates that can be easily modified to fit an organization's branding and design requirements. Ghost CMS also has a marketplace of official and community-built themes, allowing users to choose from a variety of options. Moreover, Ghost CMS has a robust API, allowing users to extend its functionality and integrate with third-party services.

Strapi is known for its flexibility and extensibility. It offers a plugin system that allows users to enhance the CMS with additional features and functionalities. Strapi has a marketplace of official and community-built plugins, allowing users to extend its capabilities without the need for custom development. Additionally, Strapi provides a powerful customization framework, enabling users to create custom API endpoints and develop their own plugins.

Both Ghost CMS and Strapi have active communities and support channels, making it easy to find guidance, documentation, and assistance. Ghost CMS has an official support forum and offers enterprise support plans for organizations with specific needs. Strapi also provides comprehensive documentation, forums, and a Slack community, ensuring that users can get help and guidance when needed.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Having strong SEO, marketing, and monetization capabilities is essential for organizations looking to grow their online presence and generate revenue. Ghost CMS and Strapi offer features and integrations to facilitate these aspects.

Ghost CMS is built with SEO in mind. It generates clean and search engine-friendly code, allowing websites to perform well in search engine rankings. Ghost CMS provides built-in SEO features, such as meta tags and Open Graph support, which enable users to optimize their content for search engines and social media platforms.

In terms of marketing, Ghost CMS offers integrations with popular email marketing services, such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. This allows organizations to capture leads and build email lists effectively. Ghost CMS also provides analytics and reporting features, giving users insights into their website's performance and audience engagement.

When it comes to monetization, Ghost CMS offers native membership and subscription capabilities. It allows organizations to create paid content, offer membership plans, and manage subscriptions directly within the CMS. This makes Ghost CMS a suitable choice for content creators and publishers who want to monetize their content.

Strapi also provides SEO-friendly features and allows users to customize metadata and URLs. It offers integrations with marketing automation tools and analytics platforms, enabling organizations to track and measure the performance of their marketing campaigns. Strapi also provides monetization capabilities through its plugin ecosystem, where users can find plugins for integrating payment gateways and managing subscriptions.

Security & Compliance

Ensuring the security and compliance of a CMS is of utmost importance, especially when dealing with user data and sensitive information. Both Ghost CMS and Strapi have measures in place to prioritize security and compliance.

Ghost CMS follows best practices in terms of security. It provides regular updates and patches to address any security vulnerabilities. Ghost CMS also offers optional two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security. Moreover, Ghost CMS has a comprehensive security page on its website, listing the security features and measures taken to protect user data.

Strapi also emphasizes security and offers built-in security features. It provides user authentication and authorization capabilities, allowing administrators to control access and protect sensitive content. Strapi follows industry standards and best practices to ensure the security of user data. Additionally, Strapi has a dedicated security team that actively monitors and addresses any security-related issues.

Both Ghost CMS and Strapi comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Ghost CMS provides tools and features to help organizations comply with GDPR, including data export and erasure capabilities. Strapi also supports GDPR compliance through features such as user consent management and data portability.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

The ease of migration, availability of support, and ongoing maintenance are critical factors to consider when choosing a CMS. Both Ghost CMS and Strapi offer solutions in these areas.

Migrating to Ghost CMS can be straightforward, especially if you are coming from other popular CMS platforms. Ghost CMS provides importers and tools to help migrate content from platforms like WordPress or Medium. It also offers a robust API, allowing users to migrate and integrate with external services seamlessly.

Strapi also provides migration tools to facilitate the transition from other CMS platforms. The process may vary based on the complexity and structure of the data being migrated. Strapi offers comprehensive documentation and support, ensuring users have the necessary guidance and resources during the migration process.

Both Ghost CMS and Strapi have active support channels and communities. Ghost CMS provides comprehensive documentation, a knowledge base, and forums where users can find answers to their questions. Ghost CMS offers enterprise support options for organizations that require dedicated assistance. Strapi also has extensive documentation, a Slack community, and a support forum, ensuring users can get the support they need.

When it comes to ongoing maintenance, both Ghost CMS and Strapi require regular updates to ensure security and access to the latest features. Ghost CMS makes this process easier by providing automatic updates and one-click upgrades. Strapi also follows a regular release cycle and provides guides and documentation to help users keep their installations up to date.


Considering the unique features and functionalities offered by each CMS, the choice between Ghost CMS and Strapi ultimately depends on your organization's specific needs and requirements. Ghost CMS is an excellent choice for bloggers and content creators who value simplicity, minimalism, and a distraction-free writing experience. Strapi, on the other hand, offers more flexibility, customization options, and capabilities, making it suitable for a wider range of projects, including e-commerce and enterprise solutions.

In terms of design and user experience, Ghost CMS provides a clean and elegant interface out of the box, whereas Strapi offers more customization options to create a unique user experience. Both CMS options excel in content management, collaboration, user management, performance, scalability, and hosting. However, Strapi's API-driven architecture gives it an edge in terms of scalability and customizability.

Ghost CMS and Strapi provide rich ecosystems, offering customization options, extensions, and support communities. Ghost CMS focuses on SEO, marketing, and monetization features, making it suitable for organizations that require strong content optimization and monetization capabilities. Strapi also offers SEO and marketing features along with more comprehensive support for multichannel content management and integration possibilities.

When it comes to security and compliance, both CMS options prioritize these aspects and offer measures to protect user data. Ghost CMS and Strapi also provide migration support and ongoing maintenance options to ensure a smooth transition and continued support.

In conclusion, by carefully evaluating your organization's requirements and priorities in terms of simplicity, design, content management, collaboration, performance, customization, SEO, marketing, security, migration, and support, you can make an informed decision between Ghost CMS and Strapi, selecting the CMS that best aligns with 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.