Ghost vs Squarespace: Which Is Better?

Choosing the right platform for your website can be as tricky as solving a puzzle.

You want a site that shines but also fits like a glove for your needs.

This article will break down two popular choices—Ghost and Squarespace—to guide you through their strengths and weaknesses.

Keep reading, it’s decision time!

Key Takeaways

  • Squarespace is user-friendly with a drag-and-drop interface and beautiful templates. It’s great for those who want to build websites quickly without coding.
  • Ghost offers more control with the ability to edit code and use its API for deep customization. It’s best for developers or those needing advanced site features.
  • Both platforms provide responsive templates, but Squarespace has an edge in tracking website performance through real-time metrics.
  • Ghost is open source and has markdown support, making it ideal for bloggers and writers focused on content creation.
  • While Squarespace has fixed pricing, Ghost charges based on your earnings, and you’ll need to handle comments and hosting separately if choosing Ghost.

The Short Answer

Choose Ghost if

You’re a dedicated blogger or publisher looking to focus on content creation and direct audience engagement.

It’s also the better choice if you have the technical skills to customize your site or if you’re planning to monetize your content through memberships and subscriptions.

Choose Squarespace if

You need an all-in-one platform that combines ease of use with beautiful design.

It’s ideal for small businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs who want to create a professional online presence without coding.

Squarespace is also well-suited for users looking to launch an e-commerce site with minimal hassle.

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a comprehensive website building and hosting platform that allows individuals and businesses to create professional websites, blogs, and e-commerce stores without any coding knowledge.

It is known for its sleek design templates, drag-and-drop interface, and all-in-one hosting solutions, making it a popular choice for users looking to establish a strong online presence.

Origin and Purpose of Squarespace

Squarespace was founded in 2003 by Anthony Casalena while he was a student at the University of Maryland.

The platform was born out of Casalena’s own need for a more manageable and aesthetically pleasing way to create and maintain a personal website.

Over the years, Squarespace has evolved from a simple blog hosting service to a robust website builder and e-commerce platform.

Its purpose is to provide users with the tools they need to create beautiful, professional websites easily, regardless of their technical skills or design expertise.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Designer Templates: Squarespace is renowned for its visually stunning, customizable templates that cater to a wide range of industries and styles, ensuring that every website can have a unique and professional look.
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface: The platform’s user-friendly interface allows for easy customization of web pages by simply dragging and dropping elements, making website building accessible to everyone.
  • E-commerce Capabilities: Squarespace offers comprehensive e-commerce tools, including inventory management, secure checkout, and customer account creation, enabling businesses to sell products and services directly from their website.
  • Built-in SEO Tools: Squarespace includes a suite of SEO tools to help improve website visibility in search engine results, including customizable page titles, meta descriptions, and automatic sitemaps.
  • Mobile Optimization: All Squarespace websites are automatically optimized for mobile devices, ensuring a seamless browsing experience across all platforms.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Squarespace provides round-the-clock customer support through live chat and email, along with an extensive knowledge base and community forums for additional assistance.

Pricing and Plans

Squarespace offers several pricing plans to accommodate different needs, from personal websites to large online stores:

  • Personal: Priced at $12/month (billed annually), this plan is suitable for simple websites and includes basic features.
  • Business: Priced at $18/month (billed annually), this plan offers advanced website features, including e-commerce capabilities and promotional pop-ups.
  • Basic Commerce: Priced at $26/month (billed annually), designed for small businesses ready to launch an online store, offering no transaction fees and additional e-commerce features.
  • Advanced Commerce: Priced at $40/month (billed annually), this plan includes advanced e-commerce tools for growing businesses, such as abandoned cart recovery and advanced shipping options.

Additional costs to consider

  • Domain Registration: After the first year, you’ll need to renew your domain, typically costing around $20 to $70 per year, depending on the TLD.
  • Email Marketing: Squarespace Email Campaigns start at $5/month for the Core plan, with prices increasing based on the number of campaigns and subscribers.
  • Premium Integrations: Some integrations or third-party services may require additional subscriptions.

Ideal Use Cases and Target Audience

Squarespace is ideal for entrepreneurs, small to medium-sized businesses, artists, photographers, and anyone looking to create a visually appealing online presence without delving into the complexities of web development.

Its e-commerce solutions also make it a great choice for online retailers looking for an integrated platform to manage their online and offline sales.

Squarespace’s target audience includes creative professionals, business owners, and individuals seeking a straightforward, design-centric approach to building and managing their websites.

Limitations of Squarespace

Squarespace shines with its sleek templates and user-friendly interface, but it’s not without its hiccups.

Despite the allure of simplicity and design, users sometimes grapple with the platform’s less flexible pricing structures and a lackluster approach to multilingual site creation—factors worth weighing if they tip the scale for your web presence needs.

Customization Limits

While Squarespace offers a wide range of beautiful templates and a drag-and-drop interface, there’s a ceiling to how much you can customize these templates without touching code.

Users who wish to implement custom design features beyond the built-in capabilities may find this limiting.

Third-party Integrations

Squarespace provides a selection of built-in integrations, but its ecosystem is not as extensive as some competitors.

Users looking to integrate specific third-party tools or services might encounter limitations or need to use workarounds, such as embedding code.

E-commerce Transaction Fees

On the Business plan, Squarespace charges a 3% transaction fee on sales, which can add up for stores with significant sales volumes.

To avoid these fees, users must upgrade to a more expensive Commerce plan.

Learning Curve

Despite its user-friendly interface, there’s still a learning curve for new users, especially those who aim to utilize Squarespace’s more advanced features.

The platform’s design-centric approach might also overwhelm users who prefer a more straightforward, content-focused tool.

Page Speed

Squarespace websites can sometimes experience slower loading times, particularly on sites with high-resolution images or extensive content.

This can affect user experience and SEO performance.

What is Ghost?

Ghost is a powerful, open-source publishing platform designed to simplify the process of online publishing for individual bloggers, writers, and journalists.

It was created to provide a focused, content-first approach to website creation, emphasizing speed, simplicity, and a seamless user experience for content creators.

Origin and Purpose of Ghost

Ghost was founded in 2013 by John O’Nolan, a former deputy head of the WordPress UI team, who sought to create a simpler, more focused blogging platform.

The project was initially launched via a successful Kickstarter campaign, aiming to bring back the essence of blogging and content publication without the complexities and bloat often associated with comprehensive content management systems.

The primary purpose of Ghost is to offer a streamlined platform that prioritizes writing and publishing, making it easy for creators to share their stories, distribute newsletters, and engage with their audience.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Simplified Content Creation: Ghost features a markdown editor that allows writers to format text easily and insert multimedia content, making the writing process more efficient and enjoyable.
  • SEO Optimization: Built-in SEO tools ensure that content is optimized for search engines out of the box, including automatically formatted metadata, sitemaps, and canonical tags.
  • Speed and Performance: Ghost is built on a modern technology stack that ensures websites load quickly, providing a better experience for readers and positively impacting search engine rankings.
  • Customization and Themes: While Ghost keeps its core system simple, it offers extensive customization options through themes and integrations, allowing users to tailor their sites to their specific needs.
  • Membership and Subscriptions: One of Ghost’s standout features is its native support for membership and subscription models, enabling creators to build a direct revenue stream from their audience through paid subscriptions.
  • Open Source: Being open source, Ghost offers transparency and flexibility, allowing developers to contribute to its development and adapt the platform for various use cases.

Pricing and Plans

Ghost offers several pricing tiers to accommodate different needs, from individual bloggers to large organizations:

  • Starter: Aimed at beginners, priced at $9/month with basic features.
  • Creator: For professional bloggers and creators, priced at $25/month, including advanced features like custom themes and integrations.
  • Team: Designed for small teams, priced at $50/month, offering collaborative tools and priority support.
  • Business: For large organizations and publishers, priced at $199/month, including dedicated infrastructure and uptime SLAs.

Additionally, Ghost can be self-hosted for free, with users only needing to cover their hosting costs.

Additional Costs To Consider

  • Custom Themes and Development: If you opt for a custom theme or need development work, costs can vary widely based on complexity and developer rates.
  • Email Delivery Services: For newsletters and email subscriptions, integrating with an email delivery service like Mailgun or SendGrid may incur additional costs based on your volume of emails.
  • Self-Hosting: If you choose to self-host Ghost instead of using Ghost(Pro), you’ll need to consider the cost of web hosting, domain registration, and potentially a CDN for improved performance. Hosting costs can range from $5 to $50 per month or more, depending on the provider and server specifications.

Ideal Use Cases and Target Audience

Ghost is ideal for bloggers, journalists, and writers who prioritize content creation and wish to maintain a professional, high-performance online presence.

It’s also well-suited for creators looking to monetize their content through memberships and subscriptions.

The platform serves those who appreciate simplicity and speed, as well as developers and tech-savvy users who value the flexibility of open-source software.

Limitations of Ghost

While Ghost shines with its streamlined simplicity and focus on content, it’s not without its quirks.

Technical Knowledge Required for Customization

Ghost’s customization capabilities, especially regarding themes and integrations, often require familiarity with web development technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Users without a technical background may find it challenging to customize their sites extensively.

Limited Built-in Features

Ghost focuses on providing a streamlined, content-first platform, which means it offers fewer built-in features compared to all-in-one platforms like Squarespace.

Users looking for extensive e-commerce capabilities, built-in forms, or other advanced features might need to integrate third-party services.

Smaller Community

As a newer and more niche platform, Ghost has a smaller user community compared to Squarespace.

This can mean fewer resources, tutorials, and third-party themes or plugins available to users.

E-commerce Integration

Unlike Squarespace, which offers integrated e-commerce solutions, Ghost does not have built-in e-commerce functionality.

Users looking to sell products or services must integrate with external e-commerce platforms, which can add complexity and may require technical assistance.

Pricing for High Traffic Sites

Ghost’s pricing model, particularly for its hosted service (Ghost(Pro)), can become expensive for sites with high traffic or those requiring advanced features.

While self-hosting is an option, it requires technical knowledge to manage and maintain the server.

Head-to-Head: Ghost vs. Squarespace

When choosing between Ghost and Squarespace, it’s essential to consider several critical aspects of website building and management.

This section delves into the specifics, comparing these platforms across various dimensions to help you make an informed decision.

User Experience Showdown


Ghost is renowned for its minimalist and intuitive interface, designed primarily for writers and publishers.

It offers a clutter-free environment that emphasizes content creation, making it a favorite among bloggers and journalists.

The dashboard focuses on essential functionalities, ensuring a smooth workflow for content management.


Squarespace, on the other hand, is celebrated for its drag-and-drop interface, appealing to a broader audience, including small business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs.

It provides a visually rich editing experience, allowing users to see changes in real time.

Squarespace is ideal for those who prioritize design and aesthetics without delving deep into coding.

Customization Clash


Ghost offers significant customization capabilities, especially for users comfortable with coding.

It allows for deep modifications and integrations, making it possible to tailor your site extensively.

However, non-technical users might find customization challenging without external help.


Squarespace shines in customization through its user-friendly interface, offering a wide range of templates and design options that can be adjusted with simple clicks and drags.

It caters to users who seek customization without the complexity of code, providing ample design flexibility within its ecosystem.

Speed and Performance Battle


Built on a modern technology stack, Ghost boasts superior speed and performance.

Its lightweight nature ensures that websites load quickly, enhancing both user experience and SEO rankings.

Ghost’s focus on performance is evident in its streamlined codebase and efficient content delivery.


While Squarespace offers robust performance, its sites can sometimes experience slower loading times compared to Ghost, primarily due to the platform’s comprehensive feature set and design elements.

Squarespace works continuously to optimize performance, but the inherent complexity of its sites may impact speed.

SEO Strategies Compared


Ghost is designed with SEO in mind, featuring built-in SEO tools that automatically handle many optimization tasks.

It allows for customizations to enhance visibility, including meta titles, descriptions, and URL structures.

Ghost’s emphasis on content and performance naturally benefits SEO efforts.


Squarespace provides a range of SEO features that are accessible to users without technical expertise.

It includes SEO-friendly templates, automatic sitemaps, and clean HTML markup.

While Squarespace covers the basics well, fine-tuning SEO settings may require navigating through its structured interface.

E-commerce Capabilities Examination


Ghost’s approach to e-commerce is through integrations with external platforms.

It’s possible to set up an online store by integrating services like Shopify or WooCommerce.

This setup is suitable for users who primarily focus on content but still wish to offer merchandise or digital products.


Squarespace offers a more integrated e-commerce solution, with built-in features that allow users to create, manage, and scale online stores directly within the platform.

It supports product listings, inventory management, and secure checkout processes, making it a go-to for businesses looking to sell online with minimal fuss.

Blogging and Content Management Duel


As a platform built by bloggers for bloggers, Ghost excels in content management.

Its editor supports markdown and offers a seamless writing experience.

Ghost’s content-first approach, coupled with its tagging and categorization capabilities, makes it an excellent choice for dedicated bloggers and publishers.


Squarespace also offers robust blogging tools, including rich text editing, scheduled posts, and multi-author support.

While it caters well to various content types, its primary strength lies in integrating blogging with other website features, such as pages and e-commerce, providing a holistic web presence.

Support Services and Community Engagement


Ghost’s support is primarily community-driven, with extensive documentation and a responsive forum where users can seek help and share insights.

For more direct support, Ghost Pro users have access to email support, ensuring that critical issues are addressed promptly.


Squarespace is known for its comprehensive customer support, including 24/7 email assistance and live chat during business hours.

Its extensive knowledge base and community forums offer additional resources for troubleshooting and learning.

Who Should Choose Ghost?

Content Creators and Bloggers

Ghost is explicitly designed with writers, bloggers, and publishers in mind.

Its streamlined, content-first approach makes it an excellent choice for individuals or teams focused on producing and managing written content efficiently.

If blogging is at the heart of your digital presence, Ghost offers a focused environment that emphasizes writing, publishing, and subscriber management.

Developers and Technically Skilled Users

With its open-source nature, Ghost provides a playground for developers and those comfortable with coding to customize their sites extensively.

If you have the technical skills or resources to tailor your blog or site precisely to your vision, Ghost offers the flexibility to do so, especially with custom themes and integrations.

Users Seeking Direct Monetization Through Subscriptions

Ghost’s built-in membership and subscription features make it ideal for creators looking to monetize their content directly from their audience.

If you aim to build a paid subscription model around your content, Ghost provides the tools to do this seamlessly, without the need for additional plugins or services.

Who Should Choose Squarespace?

Small Business Owners, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

Squarespace is well-suited for individuals and businesses seeking a beautiful online presence without delving into code.

Its wide array of stunning templates and drag-and-drop interface cater to users who prioritize aesthetics and ease of use, including artists, photographers, restaurateurs, and retailers.

Users Looking for an All-in-One Solution

If you prefer a platform where hosting, domain management, design, and e-commerce capabilities are seamlessly integrated, Squarespace is the way to go.

It’s designed to be a one-stop-shop for building and managing a website, making it a convenient choice for users who value simplicity and efficiency.

E-commerce Startups and Stores

Squarespace offers robust e-commerce features out of the box, including inventory management, secure checkout, and customer accounts.

If you’re looking to build an online store without the complexity of managing separate e-commerce software, Squarespace provides a comprehensive set of tools to get your store up and running quickly.


Does Ghost integrate with Squarespace?

No, Ghost does not directly integrate with Squarespace as they are separate platforms designed for different purposes.

However, you can use custom code or third-party services to embed certain Ghost elements into a Squarespace site, such as newsletter sign-up forms.

What is better than Ghost?

“Better” depends on your specific needs.

For content-focused websites with a need for custom development and direct subscriptions, Ghost is hard to beat.

However, for users seeking more design flexibility and built-in features without the need for coding, platforms like WordPress or Squarespace might be considered “better” options.

Is Ghost good for websites?

Yes, Ghost is excellent for websites, particularly for blogging, publishing, and content-centric sites.

Its streamlined interface, focus on SEO, and subscription features make it a powerful platform for creators and publishers.

Is Ghost a legitimate website?

Yes, Ghost is a legitimate and reputable open-source publishing platform used by individuals and organizations worldwide to create and manage content-rich websites.

Why not use Squarespace?

You might reconsider using Squarespace if you require extensive customization beyond what’s available through its templates and drag-and-drop editor, need advanced e-commerce features, or prefer having complete control over your site’s hosting environment.

Is Ghost Good for eCommerce?

Ghost is not designed as an e-commerce platform.

While it can integrate with external e-commerce solutions for selling products or memberships, it lacks built-in e-commerce functionality compared to platforms specifically tailored for online stores.

Can Squarespace sites get hacked?

Like any website, Squarespace sites can potentially be compromised, but Squarespace is known for its strong security measures.

The platform manages security at the hosting level and continuously updates its systems to protect against threats.

Is Ghost a self-hosted website?

Ghost can be both self-hosted and hosted.

You have the option to self-host your Ghost site for more control and customization, or you can use Ghost’s managed hosting solution (Ghost(Pro)) for convenience and ease of use.

What is better, Wix or Squarespace?

The choice between Wix and Squarespace depends on your needs.

Wix offers more extensive customization through its drag-and-drop editor, making it suitable for users who want more control over their site’s design.

Squarespace, on the other hand, is known for its sleek templates and design coherence, making it ideal for users prioritizing aesthetics and simplicity.

Is Ghost a website builder?

Ghost is not a website builder in the traditional sense, like Wix or Squarespace.

It’s a publishing platform focused on blogging and content management, offering features tailored to writers and publishers rather than providing extensive website-building tools.

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