Two crucial features missing in Ghost

I used Wordpress for several years before switching to Ghost Pro this year.

My experience with Ghost is mixed because I find that it’s missing two super important features:

1. Native support for Google News. Site integration with Google News should be supported by Ghost and the official themes, without having to pay a more expensive subscription to tinker with the theme code. And even if you pay more, the procedure to integrate your site with Google News seems complicated.

2. The “read more” section, which only includes the last 4 articles and not articles sorted by tags. This sucks because visitors almost never return to older articles.

This may not seem like much, but for me it is so crucial that if nothing is fixed in version 6.0 of Ghost, I am seriously considering returning to Wordpress when my Ghost Pro subscription is over.

4 Likes

Agreed. For this reason and many others, I suspect I’m unlikely to renew.

@mikestevens : For what other reasons?

TBH I’m still forming my thoughts on this, but… I don’t feel like Ghost is very friendly for ‘normal people’. Code injections being needed for a lot of basic things that are missing from the CMS (whether that be coloured text or adding stupidly absent social links to the footer (Instagram in particular), which I’d have to do again if my theme gets updated) – it’s all a bit dev-focused, a bit hacky. It’s not hard to do, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

I think the worst thing though is having no media library. Having to re-upload images, or copy/paste them from previous posts, feels like a monumental omission that I wish I’d thought to check before paying.

2 Likes

Yes, I’ve found the Ghost platform to be significantly challenging for “everyday” folks. I’m been in IT a long time and am comfortable dealing with code and such – but I cannot see how a non-technical person could do anything more with Ghost than the basics. For many, that is enough – and the cost differential is compelling. (Which is one of the main reasons I moved from Wordpress to Ghost.)

I’m here, and staying here. But if asked, I would advise any non-technical user to think through their requirements before committing to either platform.

2 Likes

Ghost has nothing to do with websites not appearing on Google News, in fact, it’s no longer mandatory for websites to have news feeds or RSS feeds as Google crawlers can discover your content on their own, something I have highlighted before and on another post most recently.

My sites do not use feeds or Google news-specific feeds and they are indexed, it’s all to do with authority, age etc.

The only thing I like about Ghost is its integrated membership feature, other than it has a long way to go.

@bert_o_t : Yes I know, but I mean, Google News brings a TON of trafic to your blog…

1 Like

Why Source theme is not “Google News Ready”?

I asked to the Ghost support team but they don’t really give me a response ;

Our official themes are not a outfitted with support for a Google News feed by default — though if this had been mentioned somewhere, that would need to be updated.

It does indeed, but this has nothing to do with Ghost or the theme you use.

How long has your website been on Google News?

@bert_o_t : I’m not so sure because my blog has existed since 2017 and all my articles were included on Google News when I was on Wordpress.

But they haven’t been since I’ve been on Ghost, in October 2023.

In addition, Ghost offers a tutorial for integrating your site with Google News:

Interesting.

Other than moving from WordPress, have you updated feed URLs in Google Search Console and Google Publisher Center?

In Search Console, yes, but not in Publisher Center. I just did it but I don’t know if it will change anything :slightly_smiling_face:

Give it a few hours and publish something new. How often do you publish news articles?

Maybe one time a week :slight_smile:

For me the most frustrating missing SEO feature in Ghost Pro is not being able to mark unwanted URLs with a 410 code.

When my site was on WordPress there were about 3000 pages that were marked as 410 using the Redirection plug in. A handful were pages that I’d removed from the site, but the vast. majority were URLs generated by plug-ins, for instance, AMP pages. In some cases the plug-in may only have been live for a few days (and many, many years ago).

Since switching to Ghost, many of thise previously 410-ed pages have. crept back into the Google index as 404 pages. Some of these pages literally have not existed for 15 years, but they have come back. Presumably because something. out there points to them.

Before Ghost Pro, the number of non-index pages showing on Google Search Console was about one tenth of the number of indexed pages. Today there are 12 non index pages for every indexed page. I’ve been with Ghost for two years. The ratios improved over time, at one point it was about 14 to 1, but progress is glacial.

I agree with a lot of the comments mentioned in this thread.

I moved from WordPress to Ghost because it seemed to be a faster and easier set-up, which it was. But once I joined, I realised that I still had to learn a lot to even get basic functionalities.

I’d have thought that basic features such as extending SEO, table of contents, internal linking, contact form, drop-down menu, social media (e.g., linkedin, whatsapp), custom fields and pages (e.g, 404), media library, templates, header and footers, etc would have been part of all plans in Ghost. As a publishing platform, these fields are a no-brainer, and would greatly benefit all Ghost powered websites. And so, I was quite surprised to see that none of these fields were included straight out of the box.

As an non-IT person, I have found that the learning curve at Ghost has been just as time-consuming and sometimes tedious as WordPress. You either have to rely on this forum or email support. This community forum has been helpful, but sometimes you have to go through a lot of threads to figure basic things out (e.g., ToC). And, in my experience, contacting Ghost Support almost always results in upgrade first and then you will figure out the answer.

For now, I’m sticking with Ghost, but I’m also actively exploring WordPress again. I have realised that my needs would be met if I can do the very basic things simply.

1 Like

Am I missing something? I don’t have any option to Include a “read more” where it automatically shows past articles. How does one do this? I have ghost pro taste theme

1 Like

@The_Jetsetter_Cheap : Yes, the only option in Source theme only shows the 4 last articles :frowning:

This is why I said Ghost still has a long way to go.

It’s too developer focused and they need to accommodate none-techies better otherwise I don’t see them growing.

I’ve seen so many posts from users making the switch back to WordPress due to limitations.

2 Likes