10+ ways to host Ghost CMS for FREE!

Jesbin
4 min readMar 28, 2022

As you are all aware, Ghost CMS is a simple opensource blogging platform. It eliminates a lot of the friction that exists between writing an article and publishing it. The ghost team has recently introduced many new features, such as the newsletter, which is very useful for many people. In this article, I’ll go over the various ways you can host Ghost CMS for free. Other than Ghost, these methods can be used to host other applications.

There are primarily two options for hosting Ghost CMS. You can either use the ghost team’s managed hosting or self-host it on our own server. Most beginners do not need these expensive options and can make do with some free alternatives. These methods can be broadly classified as follows:

  1. Cloud Providers with free tier. ☁️
  2. Student Credits 🎓
  3. Static Hosting 🚀
  4. Self-hosting 🖥️
  5. Providers with free hosting for Ghost CMS. 🆓

Cloud Providers with free tier

Cloud providers like AWS, GCP, Azure etc has a free tier with limited usage. AWS provides t2.micro (1 GB RAM, 1v CPU) for 1 year for free. I have tried the same and it works great for a beginner.

Links: AWS Azure IBM Cloud Oracle Cloud GCP Alibaba Cloud

Student Credits

The greatest way to get started on a project is with student credits. I’m a student, and I’m sure many of you are as well. Being a student has numerous advantages. The first is that we will receive the GitHub Student Developer Pack. It comes with a ton of project-related tools. I’ve tried the credits for digital ocean and azure at the moment. Both of these credits are good for a year, giving you plenty of time to figure things out.

Alibaba Cloud also offers a free student deal that provides you with a basic Linux instance for hosting your website.

Github Student Developer Pack

Links: Alibaba, Github Student Developer Pack

Static Hosting

You can always host a static version of your blog on your server. This includes installing Ghost CMS on your local machine and syncing updates with the cloud. This can be accomplished with as little as a wget command or an integration to publish the site automatically. However, the disadvantage of this configuration is that you won’t be able to use additional Ghost features such as membership.

Self-hosting

This is a privacy-focused strategy, and you have complete control over your data. This method can be used if you are feeling daring and have an old PC hanging around. Always double-check that everything is set up correctly, and use a proxy service like Cloudflare if possible.

Free Service Providers for Ghost CMS

  1. NorthFlank : Ghost, like most services, can be run as a Docker container. NorthFlank is a developer platform for microservice based implementation. They have a comprehensive tutorial on how to deploy Ghost CMS using a Docker container.
    Deploying Ghost CMS
  2. DigitalPress : There are platforms, such as 000WebHost, that offer free WordPress hosting. Similarly, DigitalPress is a platform that offers free Ghost Blog hosting.
  3. Heroku : thelovekesh’s ghost-v4-on-heroku is a well-maintained project that can be launched with a single click. There are similar projects by other developers, do check it out.
  4. Railway : It is an infrastructure platform that allows you to provision infrastructure, develop with it locally, and then deploy it to the cloud. Within the free tier, they also provide Ghost Hosting.
    Deploy Ghost on Railway

I’ve been experimenting with hosting Ghost on various platforms, and there are still a lot of things I want to test. Do you use Ghost CMS?, let me know in the comments section.

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