Ghost (blogging platform)

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Developer(s)Ghost Foundation
Initial releaseOctober 14, 2013 (2013-10-14)
Stable release
5.27.0[1] / 2023-01-05[±]
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeBlog software

Ghost is a free and open source blogging platform written in JavaScript and distributed under the MIT License, designed to simplify the process of online publishing for individual bloggers as well as online publications.

The concept of the Ghost platform was first floated publicly in November 2012 in a blog post by project founder John O'Nolan,[3] which generated enough response to justify coding a prototype version with collaborator Hannah Wolfe.

The first public version of Ghost, released October 2013, was financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign which achieved its initial funding goal of £25,000 in 11 hours and went on to raise a final total of £196,362 during the 29-day campaign.[4]


The idea for the Ghost platform was first written about at the start of November 2012, in a blog post by project founder John O'Nolan,[5] the former deputy lead for the WordPress User Interface team,[6] after becoming frustrated with the complexity of using WordPress as a blog rather than a content management system.

Following considerable demand and positive feedback from the community[7][8][9] on the initial blog post, O'Nolan recruited long-time friend Hannah Wolfe to help him create an initial prototype of the platform.

On April 29, 2013 – O'Nolan released a video of the prototype in a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter with a goal of £25,000 to fund the completion of initial development work.[10] The project was successfully funded in 11 hours[11] and went on to raise a final total of £196,362 during the 29-day campaign.[12][13] The project relied on backing both from individuals as well as sponsorship from companies who had an interest in seeing the platform succeed. Notable backers included Seth Godin, Leo Babauta, Darren Rowse, Tucker Max, major companies such as Woo-Themes, Envato, and Microsoft.[14]

On September 19, 2013 – The first public version of Ghost was released, named Kerouac[15] as an early release to people who had backed the Kickstarter campaign.[16]

On October 14, 2013 – Ghost was made available for the first time as an extended-release to the general public via GitHub[17] as of version 0.3.3 – amended with bugfixes and security updates.[18]

Some notable platform users include IBM, Tinder, Sky News, VEVO, and Zappos.[19]

Ghost Foundation[edit]

The Ghost project is managed by a nonprofit organization headquartered in Singapore called the Ghost Foundation,[20] which was established following the Kickstarter campaign. The foundation currently employs 25 full-time members of staff[21] to work on the Ghost project and the surrounding community infrastructure.[22]

Business model[edit]

The Ghost blogging software is free to download and use. In addition, the Foundation offers a paid hosted platform for users who would like to run a live blog on the World Wide Web, as an alternative to configuring a server and running a manual install of the software package. For a monthly fee, users receive an account with fully managed Ghost blogs with automatic backups and updates as well as email support.[23] As the hosted platform is owned and operated by the Ghost Foundation, all revenue generated from the service is subsequently used to fund further development of the open source software and the project's infrastructure.


Ghost is coded in Node.js, a server-side JavaScript execution engine,[4] and an Ember.js admin client.[19] Since version 2.0, posts can be written using a WYSIWYG editor; in earlier versions, only Markdown was supported. Ghost CMS (Content Management System) can be used as either a traditional or headless CMS.


On May 3, 2020, Ghost confirmed that its Ghost(Pro) platform was infected with crypto-mining malware. The virus affected both Ghost(Pro) servers and billing services. No user data was compromised, and user credentials were not stored in plain text.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TryGhost / Ghost". Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  2. ^ "License". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Project Ghost". Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b Gibbs, Mark (2014-11-09). "Ghost could scare off WordPress as the top blogging platform". Network World. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  5. ^ O'Nolan, John. "Ghost: an idea for a new blogging platform". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  6. ^ "John O'Nolan appointed Deputy Lead for the WordPress UI team". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Ghost Idea - Hacker News". Hacker News. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  8. ^ Warren, Christina. "Ghost - A WordPress I'd Love to Use". Svbtle. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  9. ^ Carney, Michael. "WordPress guru designs a concept blogging platform that doesn't suck, gets rave reviews". PandoDaily. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Ghost: Just a Blogging Platform". Kickstarter. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Finally! Our Funding Process Has Begu... wait. What?". Kickstarter. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  12. ^ Biggs, John. "Ghost Will Take Your Boring Blog To The Next Astral Plane". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  13. ^ Warren, Christina. "Is This Kickstarter Project the Future of Blogging?". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Microsoft Sponsorship + Announcing the Ghost Launch Party". Ghost. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Ghost 0.3 - Kerouac". Ghost Foundation. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  16. ^ Hern, Alex (23 September 2013). "Ghost: the UK blogging platform that won't and can't sell out to Facebook". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Ghost Repository - Github". Github. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Ghost Launches to The Public". Ghost Foundation. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  19. ^ a b Patterson, Dan. "How publishing platform Ghost plans to save journalism". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2019-10-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "The Ghost Foundation". Archived from the original on 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2014-12-29.
  21. ^ "About Ghost". Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  22. ^ "About Ghost - The Open Source Blogging Platform". Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  23. ^ Fern, Alex (23 September 2013). "The Guardian - Ghost: the UK blogging platform that won't and can't sell out to Facebook". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  24. ^ Winder, Davey. "Ghost Confirms Hack Attack: 750,000 Users Spooked By Critical Vulnerability". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-01-18.

External links[edit]