Ghost 4.0 - Really Terrible for Personal Blog

Y’all do realize you can simply … not use Ghost if you don’t want to.

I’ve followed Ghost for a long time and the reason I trust the team is that they’ve been so consistent with their vision all along. Even back in the Kickstarter days, they made very clear their intention to create a product that scales professionally. Membership features are now essential to running any content-driven platform. And Ghost is the only CMS that executes it well, out of the box.

Like, the Ghost team has been here all along. Tweaks are coming down the pipeline. Members just came out of beta, for goodness sake. It’s pretty remarkable how far the product has come so quickly, especially for an open-source project.

Good vibes, folks! Good vibes!


I agree with and i am in a very similar position. These few additions would make a huge improvement, without compromising the vision.

My personal use case would also be to make static hosting of “simple” (no subscription/search) an out of the box feature. I see this as an easy “trail” or entry level version, if they become successful, the more powerful and subscription focused blog would be a clear next step.


That’s not a roadmap. A roadmap is a list of intents, not a log of edited code that not everyone is able to read or has the time to look at every change to try to understand what’s going on. Come on.


Completely agree 100%. Unfortunately Ghost seems to be completely devoted to the commercial side of the story and doesn’t care much about writers. This update has been terrible for mine as well, raised this concern on Gitbub and got banned from commenting.


On a personal level, I love Ghost and especially so with version 4.
I’ve been looking for an alternative to WordPress that not only provides nice looking themes, but also built in functionality for members and paying members. For that alone, I am grateful towards the Ghost dev team.

That said; I have never used Ghost until version 4 was released. I’ve been monitoring its progress and looking at it from time to time for several years – but I’ve never used it.

And with that said and after reviewing more or less every single file within the theme I am using and the platform itself, it will take me some time to get used to the coding and overall formatting.

My main reason before and even now, for choosing Ghost, is speed. I created a test site using their free 14 day trial and ran several speedtests on it using GTMetrix. I came in around 300-400ms in total no matter the URL. That’s great speed.

My thoughts so far is this;

  • there’s a huge lack of “toggles” in terms of what to display and what not to display (people are asking for ON / OFF options and I fully understand them)
  • a lack of customization options in terms of styling, words and phrases (this should be built into core)
  • lack of social options (add / remove, facebook, twitter, instagram, github etc)
  • lack of payment options (only monthly and yearly available)
  • the option to turn of auto-renewal

There’s more, but I see no point in making the list into 20 or 30:ish points since the rest are subjective observations.

The points above more or less turns the platform into a “you either learn how to change and fix code yourself or you go with what we provide and how we choose to phrase things…”

Point being is this;
even though the platform is free and open source; if you want to gain more users and turn an even higher profit, make it easier to change things as that will convert your entire user base into “custom” users as in, “sites will have a more custom look and feel even though it’s all the same under the hood”.

There are two things I dislike the most right now . #1: “Publish with Ghost” (shows as a button on the bottom left when clicking on the subscribe button). #2: not being able to turn off auto renewal.

#1: When editing the newsletter setup, there’s an option to remove this. So why not add the same option for the subscribe opt-in? I really don’t get it and I especially do not understand why the official support is reluctant to provide a solution.

If we join forces, we’ll find out how to remove it. We can then publish that solution here. Let’s see how that makes the ghost dev team feel.

I honestly do not understand why they would push this on the blogger and even less so reader. If the argument is about “gaining more users”, that is the worst argument ever. Let the platform speak for itself and stop this bloated crap.

#2: only providing monthly and yearly payment options is, according to me, poor design. I obviously appreciate the effort that the ghost dev team put into making this - but why only provide those two options?


John, I think Ghost is hands down the best content platform out there and that Ghost 4.0 is a fantastic release (as were 3.0 and 2.0). And it’s a serious win for the platform (and the independent web) that it seamlessly enables paid subscriptions and email subscriptions. But I wish ‘enables’ came with a toggle option – customisation is one of Ghost’s major selling points and for that reason I hope you’ll reconsider adding the option back in.


Not saying anything new, but just reinforcing some ideas:

  • I believe Ghost is going in the right direction to help decentralize media (and we greatly need that)
  • I love Ghost 4 and its main features and plan to build a few communities on top of it
  • I do believe the Ghost team is often times too strongly opinionated (some UX at admin level, social profiles restricted to twitter and facebook, email integrations, etc.)
  • I also believe Ghost team should allow for more freedom of choice (the core idea of open source) within Ghost (options/toggles to turn on/off various features, like members/portal)

I would remind everyone that Ghost is an open source project and can be forked and adapted to a different audience (but it requires resources, time and contributors) if those who feel strongly about a certain set of features also want to put in the work to make them reality.

That said, I don’t think Ghost is terrible for a personal blog, but I have a friend whom I’ve migrated on Ghost for his blog and he wants a no subscription publishing platform.


Ghost is on the right way, and I am sad you can’t see that.

Writings happens only when people read. The best way to care about your readership is delivery your writings to them and have a place for them to log in and get something special, for example commenting and talking with you. All of this don’t require payments, you can just have free membership.

And if you don’t want it, just unflag from admin the portal option and remove cta. If you really don’t want that, keep using your old theme without it.

Hi Sigul,

Please don’t be condescending to small-time hobby bloggers like me…

I write just for the fun of it. Dumping my brain. And if someone runs into the same problem, maybe the will find my blogpost. So yeah, there’s reading, but not a lot. But I do write.

I don’t know my readership and that’s by choice. I don’t write to please people, I write about things I like. If someone wants to read it, be my guest. Please don’t assume all people are the same or do things for the same reason.

It’s not about the payment. Having “members” forced upon me (unless you know how to edit themes or something) exposes me to GDPR hassle, having to set up an email infra structure or having a UI that’s confusing, because the ‘Subscribe’ button doesn’t work.

Please tell me where this flag is, that’s all I need! (see my reaction above Ghost 4.0 - Really Terrible for Personal Blog - #29 by sandersghost)

So, please don’t be like that. If you read my reaction, I totally acknowledge professional bloggers. Please acknowledge us as well.


I was also surprised by the v4 dashboard and the space taken by rather useless graphics and photos of hipster businessmen determined to make money by telling their stories (I’m half joking: paying to read is the newspaper model, which does not work in europe for the obvious reason that customers do not want to pay for poor quality articles).

It is also a way of fighting against advertising, and I would be the first to choose this type of business model if it became a habit for readers.

I wouldn’t want ghost to lose its simplicity and elegance, so the possibility of organizing the dashboard would be sufficient.

The subscribe button can be disabled, and some template changes are enough to not use auth. It may be up to the designers to document their themes to allow auth to be deactivated in a simple way.

I am therefore very happy with v4, and think that ghost remains the best CMS, unbeatable for performance (responsive images … professional quality themes like those of fueko which are very well coded etc.)


Ghost is really brilliant for a personal blog.

I mean, really brilliant.

I have worked with WordPress for over a decade. No more. I was completely fed up with it’s ever-growing needless complexity (as were my clients), and themes that look good only if you go back to 2008. I have converted to Ghost fully.

My clients use Ghost for blogging, and most are personal blogs.

A lot of people here are getting hung up about stuff that really just does not matter in the scheme of things. They create for themselves and not for their readers, hitting the walls of subjectivity over and over. A lot of stuff I read on here nobody outside of this forum is ever going to care about. Readers just want content, and Ghost delivers that in a way no other platform can.

Ghost has a clear USP and they clearly aren’t moving from the direction they are headed. I really like their bluntness in this regard. It builds trust and credibility; I feel that I can rely on them to stay the course.

Members and subscribers built into a platform is just amazing. The thought of wrestling and managing this in WordPress now gives me cold sweats. And anybody with even the vaguest inkling of how to edit Ghost files can remove or reword the subscribers or members functionality.

I saw a similar situation when Gutenberg was released for WordPress. The community was divided, with many pained by the impending change - the standard human response. Looking at the original editor now compared to Gutenberg is like looking at a typewriter next to a laptop. So much energy and time can be saved by accepting the changes Ghost are making here and working with what you have, not pushing against it.


This has already been addressed, many times here. We don’t disagree with anything else you’ve said. It was a checkbox before; nothing is gained from no longer giving people the choice in the UI.

This thread is going in circles, I think an admin should probably lock it. Let’s track this on the feature request thread.

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I have been using ghost for the past 5 years and I have not got any issues at all, I am hosting on the Cloudways platform, business growth is got improvement in the last year.

Ghost is a freeware if you are using it as a Self-hosted. I really love it. But there is only one issue to me with Ghost 4. Loading portal.min.js even portal is turned off. But this is the best, speediest, simple and most flexible blog platform.

Cheers Ghost creator. I would like to kindly request to you all to stop loading poral.min.js while we turned off Portal. I know that, this request will make confusion with you. But as a website owner who worries about the website’s speed, I think this request is a fair request.


I think it’s a very fair request. It is, after all, over 300kb in size even when minified and loaded from your own server.

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In the feature request thread that’s been closed and can’t be voted on anymore? That being said, I understand that ghost is an OSS project but seeing as so many people don’t want this feature having a way to turn it off is all that’s being asked even if it’s a quasi-hacky way I think is a reasonable ask.

Several quasi-hacky ways are provided in the post below, where Ghost Staff is also contributing helpful guidance and replies…

In the feature request thread that’s been closed and can’t be voted on anymore?

That happened after I posted my reply, but I share your frustration. I almost don’t fault the Ghost team locking it. The tone of some replies (even the title of this thread) have been inflammatory and unproductive. There are human beings behind this tool we all otherwise love using. I also apologise to the Ghost team if I’ve contributed to this.

But it should also be telling the Ghost devs something. A significant number of their users want/need the previous toggle functionality from 3.x, and we still haven’t been given a clear answer why it was removed.

For now I’m recommending people in newsgroups/social media etc to hold off on upgrading to 4.x for now until the proverbial dust settles.

It seems to be WIP as there’s a change request in the code about it. We’ll most likely see a toggle soon.

1 Like, “most likely”? More like definitely. Ghost stated more than a month ago that “we’ll be adding a feature to disable members completely”.

Not sure why people don’t check out Ghost’s Twitter account more often.

And I’m not sure why I didn’t relay the above Tweet a month ago either. Maybe cause I don’t mind seeing rude, demanding, ungrateful people squirm a bit.

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