Hosting is the first component you need to prepare before creating a new website, other domain name. The selection of hosting plays a vital role in web creation. The wrong hosting service selection can lead to poor website performance. Finding a hosting service to run a Ghost-based website is a bit more challenging than other CMS platforms such as WordPress and Drupal. No need to conduct the research yourself. We have compiled the best managed Ghost hosting services to run your Ghost website.
Ghost, as you know, is a CMS that has a built-in email newsletter feature. If you want this feature to work on your website, you need to make sure the hosting service you use includes email delivery feature so that you don’t need to set it up yourself.
What about other features? Read on to learn more.
Key Features to Consider Before Picking a Ghost Hosting
Email newsletter is the DNA of Ghost. When writing new content in Ghost, you have two publication options. First, you can publish it as a regular blog post. Second, you can send it as an email newsletter. While email newsletter has been available as a built-in feature, you need a third-party email delivery service in order to make your email to be able to be sent. At the time of writing, Ghost supports only Mailgun.
Most managed Ghost hosting services have included Mailgun integration for email delivery, but it might not be available on all plans. Before you pick a certain plan on a Ghost hosting service, make sure the plan has included the email delivery service (Ghost integration). If the specifications of the plan say something like “10,000 newsletter emails”, it indicates that the plan has included the email delivery feature.
Conversely, if the plan says something like “Use your own Mailgun account”, it means that you have to set up the Mailgun integration yourself. Mailgun itself is a paid email delivery service. There is an option to use it for free for three months during the trial period.
There are several other details you need to notice before picking a Ghost hosting plan, including:
- Number of members
- Number of staff users
- Number of integrations
- Theme installation
Standard features like SSL, custom domain, and bandwidth are generally have been included. Just make sure once again by reading the detailed specifications carefully.
Reasons to Use a Managed Ghost Hosting
Ghost is not as popular as WordPress. Meaning that it has less market share. According to a stat on W3Techs, Ghost has only 0.1% CMS market share. With this extremely low market, prominent web hosting companies are unwilling to allocate their resources (and maybe they need to think twice as well). You can’t install Ghost on a shared hosting plan of Bluehost or other hosting services.
Installing Ghost involves complex steps. You need to deal with some command lines to install the necessary components (web server, database, etc.). Also, you need to make some configurations to make your website run properly.
Using a managed Ghost hosting service is the best way to run a Ghost website, especially if you are a solo blogger. It will take care of everything to make your site running, including the installation process upfront when you subscribe to the service. You can focus on content creation and marketing to grow your business.
Common Issue with Managed Ghost Hosting Services
While managed Ghost hosting services offer a helpful solution to run a Ghost-based website, they have main drawback.
Most managed Ghost hosting services don’t offer access to Ghost files and database. This means, when you want to make a migration to another hosting, you can’t take your whole website. All you can take is the content of your website.
As a comparison, most managed WordPress hosting services — including Bluehost and SiteGround — give you access to WordPress files and database (via PhpMyAdmin). This gives you flexibility to migrate to another hosting.
Top 3 Managed Ghost Hosting Services
Ghost.org is the official website of the Ghost CMS whereby you can find any information related to Ghost. The website also offers a dedicated solution to run a Ghost-based website. The concept is pretty similar to WordPress.com. The difference, Ghost.org doesn’t offer a free version but you have 14 days to try Ghost without being charged. Ghost.org has included all the necessary features to run a Ghost-based website, including the Mailgun integration for email delivery. There are four plans you can choose from as follows:
If you are looking for an alternative to Ghost.org to run your Ghost website, Gloat is a great option to go. It is a managed Ghost hosting from a developer named Dan Rowden. He is also the developer of Cove, a commenting service for Ghost.
Gloat has also included all the features you need to run a Ghost website, including Mailgun integration. Gloat offers a simpler hosting plan (it offers only a single hosting plan). When hosting your Ghost website on Gloat, you can add as many users as you want. You can also install a theme developed by a third-party developer or add custom integrations. Gloat is capable of sending 20,000 newsletter emails per month. Other features offered by Gloat include daily content backup and Ghost software update. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer CDN.
Another managed hosting you can choose to run your Ghost website is Midnight. The overall features offered by Midnight are not much different. When you host your Ghost website on Midnight, you will get features like CDN, SSL, ability to install a custom Ghost theme (theme developed by a third-party developer), and so on. Midnight offers three hosting plans you can choose from as follows:
You need to subscribe to the Plus or Business plan to be able to send email newsletters. The Standard plan requires you to set up the Mailgun integration yourself. If you already have Mailgun account and the features offered by the Standard plan fit your needs, Midnight is a great option.
Ghost.org vs Gloat vs Midnight
To make it easier for you to compare the features offered by the managed Ghost hosting above, we have created the following table. Please note that the table below compares the cheapest plan offered by each hosting service.
|Email newsletters||Unlimited||20,000/month||Depending on your Mailgun plan|
The Bottom Line
Ghost is a simple, yet modern CMS. It is built specifically for blogging. Ghost has all the necessary built-in features for blogging. From SEO, newsletter, to membership. Also, Ghost comes with a modern, distraction-free content editor that offers a pleasurable writing experience. However, since Ghost has low market share, it’s more challenging to find a web hosting service to run a Ghost website than other CMS platforms.
While you can install Ghost on services like Linode and DigitalOcean, using a managed Ghost hosting is a better option if you are a solo blogger as it can save you time and energy. You can allocate your time on content development instead of site configuration.