Ghost Headless hosted?

I don’t know how popular it would be but I’ve started using some of my ghost instances completely headless. I wanted to offer an idea around a hosted headless Ghost.

No CDN, no domain, no custom certificate, etc. Nothing but API access and the admin panel. I assume the audience here is familiar with the dozens of hosted headless CMS systems this would be in competition with.

Not sure what the idea is. Ghost is already used as a headless CMS in production by thousands of sites and is pretty extensively documented.

APIs and admin panels don’t work without domains, or CDNs, or certificates.

APIs and admin panels don’t work without domains, or CDNs, or certificates.

Sorry if that was explicitly clear but the context would be a custom domain with a custom certificate and a CDN. APIs most certainly work without CDNs. APIs can also work without a custom certificate for a TLD (with a generic host wildcard certificate, for example).

If my JAMStack application is hosted at I do not need a custom domain, custom certificate, or ghost provided CDN.

Please let me know if you need me to provide a list of competitors to illustrate the comparison.

You don’t seem to have a very complete understanding of the architecture you’re talking about. I’d recommend going through our docs and spending some time learning about how Ghost and its APIs work, which is near identical to how other headless CMS work - of which Ghost is one of the most popular in use today:

I’m sorry you’ve moved the conversation in this direction, John.

The things I can do with ghost right now:

  • I can deploy ghost to a cloud provider (or technically even run it on my desktop)
  • The public url of that instances can be laksdjflaskdfj.MYDOMAIN.TLD which falls under a wildcard certificate of mydomain. I could even deploy it to a subdirectory so that MYDOMAIN.TLD’s certificate doesn’t even need a wildcard - in this manner there is no additional custom certificate required at all for API or Admin access
  • I can access that site’s admin panel via the “crappy” laksdjflaskdfj.MYDOMAIN.TLD url and cheap certificate (or via subdirectory)
  • When a nuxt static site is generated assets are uploaded to a GCP CDN with content from the content api of Ghost
  • The GCP CDN hosts the nuxt generated static site at a proper domain

This workflow was developed literally from documentation published by Ghost.

Please identify which parts of the Ghost architecture that facilitate this workflow are challenging for you.

The ask is that there be a plan with only Admin and API access, no CDN, and no additional features that JAMStack architecture duplicates.

It may be beneficial to tag @DavidDarnes who has been extraordinarily helpful in the past and is more experienced with static projects using tools like 11ty, etc.

Hey @elijahsgh :wave:
I’ve just read through what you’re asking for and it sounds like what you really want is two of the core benefits of Ghost, it’s Admin interface and it’s Content API. I’m afraid those feature must come with the other parts you speak of. If you look at all the listed headless CMSs on link John provided you’ll see that they all run with a certificate, which is now a standard for the web. CDNs are also very common, if you were to host Ghost by yourself you wouldn’t be using a CDN, however that does mean it could make your builds slower depending on where the Jamstack site is being built from.

If you’re looking for purely the Ghost admin interface and the Content API without having to deal with certificates, CDNs, hosting, etc, then I suggest you use Ghost(Pro). This would provide you with everything you need without the added complexity. Alternatively you could do as you said before and run it locally and set up some automations to deploy your static site. I’d recommend looking into Headless CMS architecture a bit more to get a better understanding. They’re designed to abstract complexity from your final outputted site, so that complexity is left to be handled by the CMS itself.

I hope this helps answer your questions!

Thanks, David!

I was trying to avoid bringing it up but it seems it’s impossible. If I signed up with Contentful there’s actually a free tier that fits the workflow above and is completely hosted.

The workflow above fits with the Contentful API. I can fetch content that’s “mostly static” (ie: blog posts after authoring) and still use a proxy or access to the Contentful API to access items that I want to be more dynamic. Contentful lets you split your queries into primitive objects to make this even more useful.

If you review Strapi features…

This is how I’m using my current Ghost instances. You will see that it aligns completely with the Headless CMS Explained in 5 minutes link you provided.

if you were to host Ghost by yourself you wouldn’t be using a CDN

This is incorrect. The storage plugins in Ghost facilitate this. When I upload an image in Ghost it plops right in a GCP bucket that I can access through a subdomain like “myblog.ghost.tld” (non-public to users, hosted on ghost, obviously public on the internet) and simultaneously “myblog.tld” allowing the images to be rendered by both public URLs (in and outside of Ghost authoring, for example). Even without the custom storage adapter I can just push content from Ghost’s local storage.

Competitors even offer a media library - a requested feature of Ghost here on the forum. As a bonus with some of the headless CMS services I even get namespaces.

I would rather use Ghost. The lowest pricing tier for Ghost is $36 monthly. The challenge I’m running in to is justifying $36 for a CDN, custom domain, and custom certificate that will never ever be directly accessed by readers. It’s on Ghost’s pricing page.

On the pricing page there’s specifically a callout for “Use a custom SSL certificate” and that’s why a certificate was brought up. Why does the Ghost team keep insisting on explaining TLS? That’s not at all the point. And why do I get this condescending suggestion that I have no understanding of architecture? This is really easy stuff.

TL;DR please host my admin panel for $5 that will let me point the storage adapter to my own CDN and let basic authoring be done. I’ll handle the rest in accordance with the architecture that has been suggested by the links you all have provided along with Ghost documentation such as Build A Custom JavaScript App With Headless Ghost + Nuxt.js

I’m sorry to sound blunt, but it honestly sounds like you’re looking for a discount just because you don’t think you need every feature provided in Ghost. The cheaper alternative is to host Ghost yourself on a Digital Ocean Droplet or something similar.

Alternatively you sound very content with Contentful (no pun intended) or Strapi for your headless CMS :blush:

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I’m sorry to sound blunt, but it honestly sounds like you’re looking for a discount just because you don’t think you need every feature provided in Ghost. The cheaper alternative is to host Ghost yourself on a Digital Ocean Droplet or something similar.

I know I don’t need all of the features of the pro plan and already have a lot of them duplicated elsewhere. I just want to use Ghost for the authoring, webhooks, content api, etc and I just like Ghost… :slight_smile:

The cheaper alternative is to host Ghost yourself on a Digital Ocean Droplet or something similar.

I just stick them in Kubernetes at the moment. I’d rather subscribe to Ghost for security and maintenance over having a monthly run trigger to get the latest and build the container, do CloudSQL backups, etc, etc. :slight_smile:

I’m not really hunting for a discount per se and it would still cost me more if there was a $5 or $10 plan that did what I wanted… but it has value to me. It was just an idea I wanted to share.

If it isn’t the works at Ghost that’s totally fine - I just don’t understand why it has been so difficult to explain. I mean this is literally developed from Ghost’s documentation (see the nuxt example with a slight change in that it’s a nuxt static site instead of SPA or similar).

Why did you all give me such a hard time and then released the plan I wanted @DavidDarnes @John ? :laughing:

It still has the CDN but all the custom domains, custom TLS, etc are not there.

I’ll let you know if it works with my nuxt projects as soon as I can get re-registered. :slight_smile: I really appreciate the lower pricing tier.

If you’re referring to the new Ghost(Pro) Starter plan then this is different to what you were asking for, you can see the full breakdown of features within each plan here Ghost(Pro) - Official managed hosting for Ghost. Unless you were hunting for a discount :sweat_smile:? Also I don’t work at Ghost so I had no idea about the Starter plan at the time

Technically yes I was looking for a discount, I guess, but in particular I didn’t want to pay for duplicated functionality. :slight_smile: I have my own hosting, my own CDN, my own certificates, … etc

The new plan has no custom themes, no custom domain, no custom cert, yes to API and yes to admin/authoring. That’s perfect for authoring with ghost and publishing with SSG plus the new features in 4.0 (like content snippets <3) look great - and that media can come right from my own CDN without me having to cut and paste/hand type the <img ... a dozen times :slight_smile:

Can’t wait to try the new plan and see if it all works with the nuxt SSG project I was working on that was inspired by Ghost’s own documentation for using it with an SSG. :metal:

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