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Ghost 3.0 Advances Headless Open Source Content Management System

Friday Oct 25th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

Ghost takes on WordPress with new release that goes all in on the JAMstack.

The open source Ghost content management hit a major milestone on Oct. 22, with its 3.0 release.

There are no shortage of open source CMS options for enterprise to choose from, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, but those are all built on a more traditional stack that requires a database, PHP and a web server. Ghost takes a different, arguably, more modern approach that is know as a 'headless CMS' that is based on the Node.js JavaScript framework.

With a headless CMS, the backend content repository is separated from the front end, providing developers and publishers with more choice and options for the front-end. Among the many claims made by Ghost is that the headless approach it takes enables it to be over 19 times faster than its rival WordPress.

"Ghost 3.0 is far and away the biggest release we've ever done, in terms of scale," Ghost founder John O' Nolan wrote. "We announced more today in one go than at any other point in our history - and more people were involved in this release than ever before."

Among the new features that have landed in Ghost 3.0 is an integrated members and subscription capability. Rather than relying on advertisements the members and subscription option that Ghost 3.0 users can now enable, lets viewers easily sign up to become members. Going a step further, the integrated subscription capability which can be connected to Stripe, provides a way to have members sign up for subscriptions for member-only blogs and paid newsletters.

"When it comes to subscription billing, the hard part isn't actually the subscriptions or the billing," O'Nolan wrote. "The hard part is the publishing platform to integrate with the subscriptions and the billing - that's the part nobody else is doing - and we were getting pretty good at building a flexible, modern publishing platform."

JAMstack

At the core what makes Ghost 3.0 work is an emerging model known at that JAMStack - which is comprised of JavaScript, APIs and markup.

"This new architecture unlocks content management that is fundamentally built via APIs, webhooks and frameworks to generate robust modern websites," O'Nolan explained. "We've expanded everything Ghost can do in this space as a headless CMS, including detailed content APIs, admin APIs and custom integrations."

Ghost is available as a freely available open source technology that organization can deploy on their own. There is also a Ghost Pro edition that provides a managed hosted experience.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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