Ghost Pro vs Midnight or Digital Press - why would one choose Ghost Pro?

Hi all,

I’m going to be setting up a blog using Ghost soon. I wouldn’t be comfortable self hosting so I was about to choose Ghost Pro when I came across third parties like Midnight and Digital Press etc.

There’s a massive price difference between Pro and these services.

Aside from pricing, are there specific reasons why it would be better to go with Ghost Pro instead? Is there something Ghost Pro offers that they don’t?

I’ve no problem paying more for Pro if there are added benefits.

Many thanks in advance.

Ghost (Pro), Midnight, Spookey, DigitalPress, and Gloat are all managed hosting.

In technical terms and theory, they are all the same. Using Ghost is the same in every one of them.

In practice, there are small differences.

The differences are:

  • prices (Ghost Pro prices vary but include emails, others usually have fixed prices for members but don’t include emails)
  • speed of updates (Ghost Pro updates are fast and other hosting companies might take more time to execute the updates)
  • customer (some might have better or faster customer support)

Aside from pricing, are there specific reasons why it would be better to go with Ghost Pro instead?

Ghost (Pro) is the official managed hosting and has a better reputation.

I don’t host with them because I can’t justify paying $25 per month at this stage.

Is there something Ghost Pro offers that they don’t?

A bit of context on the biggest difference between Ghost (Pro) and others: Ghost sends newsletters via Mailgun. And Ghost (Pro) includes the price of those Mailgun emails. It doesn’t matter if you send 1 email or 20k. With Ghost (Pro), it’s included.

With the other hosting companies, usually, you pay for those emails extra.

At this moment, 1000 emails cost $1. So, you have to account for the price of that.

Let’s see an example:

Imagine you have 3000 subscribers.

With Ghost (Pro), it would cost $40.

With Spookey to send 1 email per week, you would send 12k emails per month. The total cost would be $15 for hosting + $10 for emails (their plan already includes 2k emails, so you only have to pay for the remaining 10k)

Disclaimer: I work with the team that makes Spookey.

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The main benefit of going with one of the smaller hosts is that lack of restrictions and limits that Ghost(Pro) has. A benefit with going with Ghost(Pro) is that they have the most robust hosting infrastructure. If you’re running a smaller site, you should be fine on one of the other hosts. The software is the same and the price is typically cheaper.

I run Gloat, a smaller-sized host. It has no limits apart from the amount of emails (free for up to 20k a month, which is a weekly email to 5,000 subscribers) for $19/month. My customers are mostly bloggers and hobbyists who just want a more affordable solution and don’t want the hassle of self-hosting.

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I was with Digital Press for my first adventure on Ghost but after a couple of months I moved to Ghost Pro.

The reason was simple. Digital Press were slow to update to the newest version and more importantly, they were limiting how much space you could have without upgrading to a far more expensive plan.

I don’t know if it was an issue but I was at 29% storage limit after just 30 x 50-word posts and even deleting the featured photos on each post wasn’t reducing it at all. I decided if I was going to have to upgrade my plan to accommodate the storage limit, then I might as well move to Ghost Pro now I know I loved the platform and that they offer unlimited storage on all plans.

How many GB of storage does your service provide?

How can we access the backend and back everything up (like we can on digital ocean)?

There is no storage cap on Gloat.

You don’t have access to the server on Gloat as it’s managed hosting. Site backups are created internally every day, but again, you don’t have direct access to those files.

I’m new to ghost and seriously considering it for my next project instead of wordpress - this thread is really helpful! Thank you!

I am confused by one thing though? Ghost Pro looks expensive for monthly billing, and it seems a no brainer to self host if you can… UNTIL emails are mentioned?!

From what I can see Mailgun is the only integration Ghost has, and a mailgun plan is free for 3 months up to 5000 emails, then you get moved to the foundation plan at a colossal $35 a month? There is nothing advertised between Trial and $35 a month. This makes Ghost Pro considerably cheaper if it includes mailgun?

So where has the $1 per 1000 emails come from that makes self hosting with full features cheaper?

Thanks! :)

Had a similar issue and started a thread on Reddit.

Took me forever but I finally found an article on Mailgun that explains how to use it for free.

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Thank you! That answers the question perfectly :slight_smile:

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One thing that has not yet been mentioned in this thread (unless I missed it whilst skimming through) is that choosing Ghost Pro is directly supporting the development of the Ghost software.

It might be a more expensive option for some people, but I think it’s worth mentioning that if nobody chose to use Ghost Pro, then Ghost would not be a sustainable open source project and this software would almost certainly not exist.

So while considering costs and benefits, I think we should consider the significant benefit to all of us who use Ghost that comes from people choosing Ghost Pro, and thus helping to ensure the sustainability of the project.

The Ghost developers and other team members work hard, around the clock. I believe that nobody is allowed to sleep in between major version releases, and if somebody does fall asleep or drops to the ground out of sheer exhaustion, John O’Nolan comes over and beats them with a stick.

Please note that I’m joking in that last paragraph - I hope that is obvious - but I have been told that my sense of humour is so dry and deadpan that it isn’t always clear to everyone that I am joking, and I don’t want people thinking that John hits his employees, and I certainly don’t want him coming here and hitting me either. :joy:

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