Newspack vs Ghost

Ghost is the fast, modern Newspack alternative that's much easier to use

Hey there! Considering switching to Ghost? If so, you’re probably trying to figure out whether it will be the right decision for you – and we wanted to help make that process a bit easier.

Scroll down and you’ll find as many details as we can squeeze onto a single page to help give you an overview of Ghost vs Newspack compared. We’ll also give you a straight-up comparison of features, customer experiences, pricing and performance.

Newspack
PricingFrom $9/moFrom $500/mo
Custom news themes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Dynamic blocks for news publishers✅ Yes✅ Yes
Google Ad Manager integration✅ Yes✅ Yes
Google AMP integration✅ Yes✅ Yes
Audience segmentation✅ Yes✅ Yes
Sponsored posts✅ Yes✅ Yes
Analytics✅ Yes✅ Yes
Image credits✅ Yes✅ Yes
Media partners✅ Yes✅ Yes
Open source✅ Yes (Modern Node.js - MIT license)✅ Yes (Legacy PHP - GPL licence)
Native SEO✅ Yes🟡 With extra plugin - $0-199/year
Memberships✅ Yes🟡 With extra plugin
Paid subscriptions✅ Yes🟡 With extra plugin
Email newsletters✅ Yes❌ No, extra app - $10-250/month
Secure✅ Yes❌ Regular vulnerabilities
Fast✅ Yes❌ Significant performance issues
Easy to use✅ Yes❌ Very complex setup
Native REST API built-in✅ Yes❌ No
Listings / directories❌ No✅ Yes

Why should I consider Ghost over Newspack?

Newspack is a collection of WordPress plugins which are broadly designed to fulfill the needs of modern news publishers. In theory there’s an almost unlimited of different ways you can configure it to work for different types of sites, but in practice it can often feel like a very disjointed experience with lots of disparate features that don’t work well together.

WordPress is a generic content management system which is almost 20 years old, and no matter how many plugins you add to it: It’s still WordPress.

Ghost is a modern platform designed from the ground-up to only serve professional publishers, so almost all the features of Newspack are already built into Ghost, in a single cohesive system. It’s also significantly more affordable.

For publishers looking for a refined, mature tool specifically designed with their needs in mind, Ghost is the perfect tool for the job. For publishers who have extremely advanced legacy functionality on an existing WordPress sites, Newspack may be a more straightforward way to get some of the same features.

Are established news sites using Ghost?

Yes. Ghost proudly powers some of the most well-known news publications in the world, including Bklyner, The Stanford Review, Havard International Review — and every single newsletter publication produced by The Atlantic.

The Atlantic
The Signal theme
HIR theme
The Stanford Review theme
American Purpose theme

Publishers typically choose Ghost for its speed and simplicity, as well as the powerful and intuitive content editing experience. After all, the majority of your time should be spent writing and producing content for your audience — not messing with endless website settings. With Ghost, everything revolves around your content!

Ghost

Our rich editor is designed solely around providing the best possible writing experience. It makes formatting posts flexible and straightforward, without requiring you to click through endless dropdowns and confusing menus.

Dynamic cards allow you to create beautiful image galleries, headers, videos, podcasts, products, quotes, callouts, embeds, signup forms, custom HTML and so much more.

Sign up UI

Ghost comes with all the tools you need to turn anonymous clicks into registered subscribers, so you aren't just driving traffic, but actually growing a loyal audience who care about your work.

You have full control over all your member data, so you can connect it to external services, download it, change it, or do whatever you need to be able to serve your audience better.

Build a powerful subscription business with Ghost

Ghost has native memberships and subscriptions built-in so your audience can sign up to your news publication, log into your website, participate in a community and receive updates by email. Every post you publish can be delivered as a newsletter, so people are always up to date when there’s something new to read. You don’t need any extra services or plugins for this, it’s all included.

If you decide to sell paid subscriptions to your site, Ghost allows you to connect your own Stripe account and start accepting payments right away, with 0% payment fees. Publishers like Stratechery and The Information pioneered this approach years ago, and nowadays subscription based content is becoming more and more popular. Collectively, Ghost publishers are making over $10,000,000 per year from premium subscriptions, and this number is growing incredibly quickly.

Adding premium tiers to your publication can turn quickly turn an engaged audience into a sustainable news business.

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

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
10,000+ paying subscribers

Ghost is more affordable than Newspack

Hosting WordPress is complicated, and hosting WordPress with the number of plugins that Newspack requires is even more complicated, so the pricing for Newspack starts at $500/mo and goes all the way up to $2,000/mo depending on your revenue.

Ghost pricing is straightforward and scales to publishers of all sizes, starting from just $9/mo - and increasing slowly as your audience grows with you.

Ghost Pricing

No overages, no ad-hoc random charges or additional fees for external services needed to make all your features work. Just one simple subscription, paid either monthly or discounted by 20% when paid annually.

Lee Munroe

"We're using Ghost's Pro service to host the blog for us. Works really well. Great writing experience compared to WordPress. WordPress is an incredibly powerful framework but because it supports the needs of so many websites and demands, it has grown into a sizable and cluttered tool."

Lee Munroe, Mailgun
Switched from WordPress to Ghost

Ghost is (a lot) faster

Because Ghost is powered by a modern technology stack using Node.js rather than legacy PHP – it’s fast. In fact, compared to WordPress and Newspack, it’s several orders of magnitude faster.


Ghost is faster than Newspack

Independent tests have found Ghost to be up to 1,900% faster than WordPress. What does that mean? In the amount of time it takes Newspack to respond to 1 request, Ghost will have already responded to 19 of them. The speed of your blog impacts everything, from search engine rankings to reader engagement.

Doing more than the basics

If you’re a developer or a business trying to build more than just a basic blog, and integrate your content and publication with other tools and workflows — Ghost has the tools you need.

At its core, Ghost is a fully baked RESTful JSON API with a flexible architecture and carefully considered client applications and services to go along with it. This means it can be extended, modified and customised for your needs in an unlimited number of ways.

Ghost integrations

Want to bring your favourite tools along? That’s no problem. In fact, Ghost integrates with just about anything, without the need for bloated plugins slowing down your site. It’s worth checking out our extensive directory of integrations as well as beautiful themes and the official Ghost migration plugin to get you started.

tl;dr: The skinny

Cut to the chase? Ghost is better for publishing and blogging. Newspack is better for building a dynamic, complex website.

Ghost is best if…

  • You care about a well designed interface
  • Speed and performance are important to you
  • You want to spend more time writing, less time clicking
  • You want to build a sustainable membership business

You might be better off with Newspack when…

  • You want a complex business website, with custom coded functionality
  • You need specific functionality like marketplace listings or directories
  • You love the WordPress user interface

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.

Jeff Atwood

"I've been a blog minimalist from the start, and finding a truly open source platform which reflects that minimalism and focus is incredibly refreshing."

Jeff Atwood, Coding Horror
Switched from TypePad to Ghost

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

Ready to give it a try? Start a trial completely free for 14 days and build your publication