Tumblr vs Ghost

Ghost is a powerful, customiseable alternative to Tumblr which puts you in charge.

Yo! Thinking about moving over to Ghost?

You're probably wondering what the differences might be from your existing Tumblr blog, so we thought we'd make things easy and just tell you exactly that.

Join us on a galant escapade of fascinating discourse as we relay all the facts to help give you an overview of Ghost vs Tumblr compared. We’ll also give you a straight-up comparison of features, customer experiences and performance.

You can also swing by our Slack community some time if you'd like to chat to some other Ghost users.

1. Ghost is a powerhouse

Tired of the limitations of Tumblr? Want to build a more sophisticated publication which gives you full control over your blog? You're in the right place.

Ghost was made for one purpose: Professional publishing. Managing your content is a lot more powerful:

Professional Ghost content management

While Tumblr gives you some basic editing functions and some Markdown support, Ghost has a full-blown Markdown editor which makes formatting posts a breeze. You'll find that you can accomplish a great deal more in terms of post layout and different types of content.

Powerful Ghost markdown editor

Joel Gascoigne

"I wrote my first post on Ghost this weekend and it was a real joy. I love the markdown editor, it is exactly what I need and perfect for how I write my posts. Excited about where this will lead, Ghost feels like a great platform."

Joel Gascoigne, Buffer
Switched from Tumblr to Ghost

Ghost's editor thrives for longer-form writing, and gives you much more space to be creative.

Completely customisable

Ghost is fully open to being themed and modified to suit your needs and your style. Almost no two Ghost publications look the same, which is one of the biggest strengths of the platform.

You can integrate any of third party services that you already use and control the exact experience which you want your readers to have, so you're never locked into a single set of functionality or features for your site.

Whether you're growing a brand new blog from scratch, or running one of the world's leading online publications, Ghost can be adapted to suit your needs.

Zappos
Zappos
Zappos chose Ghost for their brand new brand publication.

2. Ghost has SEO & social built-in

What’s the point in publishing if nobody reads your content?

Ghost has the best support for search engine optimisation and social sharing features of any blogging platform in the world. You don’t need any extra plugins or extensions, and you don’t need to write any extra code. It just works.

Ghost SEO and Social

There are built-in XML sitemaps, Google AMP pages, canonical tags, optimised URLs, microformats, Facebook Open Graph tags, support for Twitter cards and clean semantic markup. All of this is done for you automatically, with no plugins needed.

3. With Ghost, you own your content

When you blog on Tumblr, you give up the rights to your content. They have the right to suspend, remove or repurpose your content as they see fit. All of your writing is contributing to Tumblr network. While this gives you the benefit of a network effect, where more people are exposed to your work, it means that you ultimately have far less control. Setting up a new Ghost blog is just as easy:

Ghost is easier than Tumblr

Because Ghost offers an official hosted service, you can have a new blog up and running in the space of about 3 clicks – with exactly the same level of control as if it were hosted anywhere else. Powerful automation simply saves you a lot of time.

4. Ghost is faster

Because Ghost is powered by a modern technology stack using Node.js – it’s fast. Really, really, really, ridiculously fast.

Ghost is faster than Tumblr

On top of that, downtime is limited by each blog being separate. If Tumblr goes down: All Tumblr blogs are down. If a Ghost blog goes down, none of the others are affected. It's far more stable and reliable to host your publication in a place where you know it's safe from attacks.

5. Allows you build a business around your blog

With Ghost there are no limitations on what you can and can't put on your blog. If you want to use display advertising, that's fine. If you want to collect email addresses as leads to drive to your business, that's fine too. If you want to create a platform around your blog to start selling your book, that's A-OK.

If you're looking to graduate from the simple social-network style blogging of Tumblr to more serious publishing as a career: Ghost gives you a lot more flexibility.

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

Build your subscribers

Ghost has email subscriptions built in at its core. Once you've done all the hard work of attracting a new reader, it's important to keep them coming back again and again. Rather than relying on complex external systems to manage your subscriber database, Ghost has all of that built right in.

Easily collect, view, manage and export subscribers to your publication and start growing a real audience.

The most important aspect of any publication is understanding and growing a core readership base.

Coinbase
Coinbase
Coinbase, the world's leading Bitcoin marketplace, switched from Tumblr to Ghost.

tl;dr: The lowdown

The short version? Ghost is better for serious publishing. Tumblr is better for running a simple social blog.

Ghost is best if…

  • You care about full ownership and control over your content
  • Customising and adapting the look and feel of your site is important
  • You want the best tool to scale your blog up for a large audience

Tumblr may be a better choice when…

  • You really just want to share a few gifs of cats once a week
  • Extra advanced functionality beyond basic publishing is not needed
  • You want to reach a Tumblr-specific audience

One last thing you should know

Ghost is an independent non-profit organisation. We build publishing tools for modern journalism & blogging 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 short guide was useful to give you a general overview of Tumblr compared to Ghost.

Switching to Ghost is easy, and we have a support team on hand who are always more than happy to give you a hand migrating your data. If you still have questions, you can reach us any time on [email protected].

Hit the button below to give Ghost a try. It’s completely free and unlimited for 14 days, no obligation and no credit card required.



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