Why does Ghost not include built-in search, comments, lightbox, etc...?

A few months ago, I went back to Wordpress out of familiarity, but looking at ghost 4 now. Have they fixed the following?

  1. Is there a search feature now?

  2. Does the gallery element allow for more than 9 photos?

  3. Is there a lightbox by default (click an image and it makes it full screen)?

  4. Is there a comment system built in?


I cannot answer for other themes even though I tested a few. I’m using Dawn.

#1: Yes, at least in Dawn (requires a custom integration which is very easy to setup)
#2: Don’t know (I rarely use more than 3-6 images in a gallery)
#3: Think so. If not, there’s JS you can add.
#4: No. But there’s various options whereof adding Disqus is free and easy to do.

On a personal level, I prefer Ghost to WordPress any day of the week. It’s so much faster it cannot never be compared (I’m a WP dev, so using Ghost is a change for me),

The Ghost core development team’s approach is to provide a minimal core system that is extraordinary for its speed, efficiency and simplicity. This is its “superpower”.

One of the valuable advantages of this approach, which I most appreciate, is that site admins and front-end developers can start every site with a fast-loading “clean slate” which is also designed to be as easy as possible to customize (including both the function and aesthetics for a new site) without having to remove and disable and replace components that are not wanted or needed.

These days, anything and everything is available to customize and add features to a site by inserting CSS and Javascripts. (Including so many different drop-in options and embeddable web-based services for features like those you mentioned.) In this regard, Ghost provides a most refreshing and elegant solution.

Specifically, there are fields provided right within the admin interface for inserting CSS and Javascripts that work across the entire site. In addition, there are also these same fields on every page, and even for every tag, if you want to insert some CSS or Javascript for only a page or a section of a site.

Besides the gallery element (yes, for now the built-in gallery is still limited to 9 photos), there are many Ghost v4 themes (and more every day) that do include by default a search feature, a lightbox, and a comment system, and other built-in features.

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Not all of us are coders.


True. But the learning curve to get what you want is minimal. I would argue that the advantages of the system itself and how it works outweigh whatever it is you need to learn.

That might sound or come across as harsh, and if you feel that it was / is, I am truly sorry. That is not how it’s meant to be. The official Ghost documentation for integrations such as a comment system explains how to implement it. It is pretty straight forward.

All I am trying to say is this:

You get a system that is far better than a vast majority of its competitors. It is free, it’s fast and it’s secure and you get a built in payment wall for your content for free – something you otherwise would pay hundreds of dollars for. You might not use this feature, but it is there and it works flawlessly.

If you’re new to WordPress or Joomla or Drupal or whatever other system, there’s a learning curve. With WordPress you need to learn about child themes and how to use the functions.php file and whatever else. Same thing with Ghost = there’s a learning curve.

That said, if you’re looking for something that gives you everything you want with the option to customize 100% of its design and functionality without “knowing how to code”, you won’t find it. I honestly do not think that exist.

Again, not my intention to come across as harsh, so please do not take it that way.

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I certainly understand, @shodandad! @lorcand calls this condition “the curse of knowledge”:

My personal policy regarding free learning help is to always receive with gratitude (even as I am frustrated), and always be giving at least a little more than I am receiving at any given time!

I am a Regular here in these forums lately because I like the community generally. There are lots and lots of non-coders here, along with lots of barely-coders like me. But still, it is a relatively small community where you can get to know people a little if you want to.

Also, there are a dozen or so commercial theme builders here who seem quite responsive and helpful, and who (in my opinion) are regularly providing really nice themes with built-in search, comments lightbox and other features.

Like anything, it does take some trial and error to find what you need “out-of-the-box”, whether it’s Ghost or other platforms.