TL;DR - Wordpress sucks, I'm using Ghost. Yeet. 😎
This blog is part of a (passive) aggressive move to rid my life as much as possible of all things Wordpress.
I will no doubt end up helping some poor soul in my day to day wrestle with the 7 headed hydra that is Wordpress, because well, 60% of the web uses it.
It's not going anywhere.
I however, am.
This is not to say that Wordpress did not serve me well for many years, but it has become an unruly maze of 3rd party code (and all the costly subscriptions that come with it) over the years. There are a few reasons or three.
1.I no longer want to manage (and pay for) dozens of Wordpress websites when it isn't necessary.
2.I no longer want to sift through badly organized and documented code to fix another developers problems. I mean, if I'm going to fix bad code, I might as well do it for myself right? 🙈
3.I no longer want to spend a week optimizing a website, in a game of whack-a-mole trying to stuff a functions.php file full of wp_dequeue_script() statements to get 3-5 extra points on Google Page Speed or GTMetrix.
Why would I when Ghost handles most of what I need?
I'm Ghosting Wordpress 👻
Yes, I have ventured deep into the seedy world of Headless CMS platforms. Before you know it I will be one of those guys pushing to use Strapi and a custom GatsbyJS theme for a small squeeze page promotion.
To the uninitiated who may be reading this, a headless CMS is basically any content management system where the content is decoupled from the presentation layer. The content in many headless CMS can be accessed through an API and pulled into a website, app, etc...
Ghost is far from a complete CMS, but the thing is - it's not trying to be. It serves a very specific niche in the market.
Ghost is built for those persnickety types who want to use modern web technology and have the ability to scale up to something more robust, but without carrying all the bloat and scaffolding that comes with traditional CMS platforms.
You can pretty much build it into a full featured CMS or app if you really wanted to though - and much easier / faster than you probably could trying to work within Wordpress in many cases from a programming perspective.
If you are not comfortable in the command line terminal, Ghost is definitely not for you. It also isn't terribly difficult if you do have at least some foundational web skills.
It's Always About Time & Money, Isn't It?
There have been countless posts comparing Wordpress vs Ghost, and I am not here to do that. Wordpress will have a place on the web for a long, long time to come and is still the gold standard for startups and small businesses with limited time and/or budgets. I am just sharing my own perspective as an armchair developer and lazy web snob.
The six main benefits that made me switch from Wordpress to Ghost were:
1. Less cost
2. Websites are naturally really fast out of the box
3. Proper on page & technical SEO markups
4. Good support for CLI tools and automations
5. Familiar front end templating & styling (handlebarsjs)
6. Less attack surfaces and security issues
7. Less to manage and worry about overall
There are some cons too (although some see them as pros):
- The community is relatively small compared to Wordpress
- Not really any plugins outside of the functionality offered in Labs
- Not a lot of themes for non-technical users
So there it is, in plain language.
If I don't have to use Wordpress, I won't - but that doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't either. As with all technology decisions, use the right tool for the job and what suits your needs best.