BeeHiiv vs Ghost

Ghost is a more powerful, independent alternative to BeeHiiv for serious publishers

Hey there! Thinking about moving over to Ghost? Or trying to decide which platform to use for the first time?

If you’re wondering what the differences are between Ghost and BeeHiiv for creators and publishers running an independent media business, we put together this no-nonsense overview.

BeeHiiv
Pricing and transaction feesFrom $9/mo
Ghost takes 0% fees
You keep all your revenue
From $42/mo
Limited free plan available
with most features disabled
Email newsletters✅ Yes✅ Yes
Custom domain✅ Yes✅ Yes
Easy to use interface✅ Yes❌ No
Open recommendation network✅ Yes❌ No, closed network only
Advertising platform✅ Yes, works with all ad platforms⚠️ Only works with BeeHiiv ads
Custom design✅ Yes, create your own brand❌ No, BeeHiiv-branded profile
Offer multiple premium tiers✅ Yes, offer multiple premium tiers with both monthly and yearly payment options❌ No, "free" or "paid" only
International payment methods✅ Yes, all of them❌ No, credit card only
Supported currencies✅ 135 global currencies❌ USD only
Foreign language support✅ Yes, all of them❌ No, English, Spanish, German, Italian only
Rich writing experience✅ Yes, with dynamic cards❌ No, basic editor only
Apps & integrations✅ Yes✅ Yes
Launch your own referral program✅ Yes, with addon✅ Yes
Ownership of your audience data✅ Yes, your subscriber list is yours❌ No, BeeHiiv promote other products and newsletters to your audience
Open source✅ Yes, you own the technology❌ No, they control your business
Developer platform & API✅ Yes💸 Paid addon
Open Subscription Platforms ✅ Yes❌ No, BeeHiiv lock-in payment data to prevent you from leaving

Migrating from BeeHiiv to Ghost is easy

All content, subscribers, subscriptions and payments can be seamlessly migrated from BeeHiiv to Ghost without any disruption to your customers.
Learn more about the Concierge service.

Get serious with Ghost

BeeHiiv is a great platform for running a fast, cheap newsletter, when you don’t care too much about the details.

Ghost is a more powerful full-stack platform for independent publishers who are building an independent media company, not just running a newsletter.

While BeeHiiv works well if you only really care about emails, Ghost is a more comprehensive platform with far more customization and power for running a website, publication, blog, newsletter and/or podcast - all in one place.

$
8
/ month
standard
shape-cube
For people who want the maximum available
  • check-circle-1 Access all content
  • check-circle-1 Weekly newsletter
  • check-circle-1 Members-only comments
Subscribe Now
20% Annual Discount
$
59
/ year
premium
For people who want the maximum available
  • check-circle-1 Access all content
  • check-circle-1 Weekly newsletter
  • check-circle-1 Members-only comments
  • check-circle-1 Support indie publishing
  • check-circle-1 Advertising-free!
Subscribe Now
Forecast

How much could you earn?

Whether you prefer a large audience at a low price point or a small dedicated following at a premium fee, you control the economics.

See how much you could earn with a subscription commerce publication:

members
$ / month
$
your annual recurring revenue

How does this work?

Unlike other membership systems which typically take 10-30% of your revenue, Ghost takes no fee at all and instead connects directly to your own Stripe account, so you receive the money - not us. You own the software and you own the billing account, so there's no middleman between you and your customers. Stripe takes a ~2.9% processing fee, and all other revenue is yours to keep.

Building a subscription business is challenging in lots of ways. Our focus is on making the billing side as easy as possible - so you can keep your focus on your customers.

A more powerful publishing experience

If you’re just taking your first few steps in the newsletter world, BeeHiiv can work well! But if your plan is to build a serious subscription business with real revenue, Ghost is the more advanced option with better options for publishers.

Using Ghost, you’ll have access to a publishing experience that allows you to do more with your content. Enjoy powerful formatting tools and sensible content management, unlocking everything from adding images directly from Unsplash, to customising your emails by dynamically inserting subscriber names.

Ghost

Writing a newsletter issue in Ghost is familiar and clutter free, supporting beautiful image galleries, forms, videos, podcasts, bookmarks, Markdown and HTML.

Publishers switch to Ghost because it provides a better writing experience, and they stick around because they gain ultimate control over their content and brand.

Sign up UI

The native members features within Ghost allow you to transform anonymous views into registered members, with both free and paid-only member tiers.

Everything you need to get started is built-in: member management, native payments with recurring subscriptions and email newsletters. All without any additional fees!

Uri Bram

"Have been building paid membership newsletters with Ghost for two months now and ridiculously happy with the experience. It's the combination of amazing design with endless customisability if you want to have your own style. The writing interface is just SO nice — it feels like stepping inside a high-end minimalist house, you just want to live up to the beauty of it."

Uri Bram, The Browser
Switched from Substack to Ghost

Build your brand + control your content

BeeHiiv is a proprietary platform made for growing a fast, cheap newsletter business. Ghost is designed for professional publications, and for people who are serious about building an independent media company.

On BeeHiiv, you’re locked into a single design with some basic settings and no ability to create your own website or landing pages to promote your growing newsletter business.

With Ghost you always own your content, subscriber lists and even the code because it’s completely open source. This means if Ghost the company disappears, you your business remains unaffected and can continue to operate independently. If BeeHiiv gets shut down or acquired… your business does, too.

Publisher Weekly newsletter

Choose your domain, pick your own design and add your own branding. Each Ghost site is unique, and reflects the personality of its creator. Some examples:

The Browser theme
The Browser logo
Ali Abdaal theme
Ali Abdaal logo
Charterworks theme
Charterworks logo
Unfocusedpreneur theme
Unfocusedpreneur logo

Growing an audience

The most important aspect of any publication is understanding and growing a core readership base. Getting traffic to an independent website can be challenging, of course. But the rewards are that you physically own the content and you’re benefitting your own brand and business.

Email newsletters are one of the most popular ways to build a trusted relationship with an audience. Ghost does everything you can do with BeeHiiv: Run a premium newsletter and send new posts directly to segments of your subscribers in a couple of clicks.

Ghost SEO and Social

Beyond this, Ghost does so much more to help you build a business. Everything you need to run a custom publication is baked in. SEO and social is taken care of with built-in XML sitemaps, Google AMP pages, canonical tags, optimised URLs, support for Twitter cards and clean semantic markup. All of this is done for you automatically – leaving you more time to focus on writing!

David Bauer

"Three months in, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to switch from BeeHiiv. Ghost is a great tool for publishing newsletters, and the community of supportive fellow writers is invaluable!"

David Bauer, Weekly Filet
Switched from BeeHiiv to Ghost

Doing more than the basics

All new Ghost sites are installed with a beautiful default theme that you can get started with right away, but it’s worth having a look at the marketplace of free and premium themes, and our extensive directory of integrations. There’s so much that’s possible.

Ghost integrations

If you’re already using BeeHiiv and thinking about switching to Ghost, check out how to get started with the Members features for subscription businesses. You can easily import an existing audience to Ghost from anywhere.

One last thing you should know

Ghost is an independent non-profit organisation. We build publishing tools for modern journalism & publishing because we believe freedom of speech is important. Our software is released under a free open source license, our business model is completely transparent, and our legal structure means that 100% of the money we make is reinvested into making Ghost better.

We’re building a socially responsible, sustainable business which empowers people to share important stories and ideas. We’re in this for the long haul.

Jack Dorsey

"For those of you on Substack: why not use Ghost instead? Is the payment you get from Substack greater than the freedom Ghost would provide?"

Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter

You’re now armed with knowledge! Hopefully this guide was useful to give you a general overview of BeeHiiv compared to Ghost.

We can help you migrate to Ghost from BeeHiiv, for free! Save time and let the Ghost team do all the work on your behalf; no coding, no configuration, no worries. This migration is included when you make an annual payment on the Ghost(Pro) Creator, Team, or Business plans. Learn more about the Concierge service.

Still researching? Head back to the alternatives page.