Digital Press Hosting
πŸ‘Like
Good value for the money β€’ Easy to use β€’ Great set of features
πŸ‘ŽDon't Like
Support only via mail β€’ Free tier has ads β€’ Not a lot of details on security
πŸ€“Bottom Line
DigitalPress is a very good managed hosting alternative. Its free forever tier packed with the unlimited users are something to take into consideration.
πŸ”₯Ghosted Score 4.4
😎Performance 4.0
πŸ“˜Learning Curve 5
🧰Features 4
πŸ’΅Value for the Money 4.5

Choosing the right hosting provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your Ghost blog. However, with Ghost Pro being the only known "hassle free" provider, is there any alternative out there that offers value?

Hosting: is the process of renting or buying space to house a website on the World Wide Web. Website content such as HTML, CSS, and images has to be housed on a server to be viewable online.

In this post, I present you a review of one that, not only is an alternative, but also can match the experience of Ghost Pro: Digital Press.

Method of evaluation

To make this review as accurate as possible, I tried a variety of ways to test DigitalPress in full. Besides collecting information online from the company website, I also used first-hand experience.

First, I created a DigitalPress account and set up new websites. Then I conducted actual speed test experiments to gather performance data to compare.

Throughout the process, I was able to interact with the support team and experiment with the dashboard and control panels to better understand the user experience.

My focus of evaluation comes down to these factors:

  1. User Experience
  2. Features
  3. Performance
  4. Support
  5. Pricing
  6. Security

1. User Experience

I must say this: DigitalPress goes straight to the point. The landing page is simple and explanatory at the same time. You know what to get right away.

When you sign up for a blog, you are instructed to create an account and after that, you go straight to the dashboard.

To create a new blog, just click the button, add a new address and bam: done. Funny thing is, this is so easy that I created three just to see if it was the real deal.

If you go to your administration dashboard, you go straight to your Ghost Admin (very much like Ghost Pro). Other things, such as the setup of a custom domain, are also present in your dashboard.

Nice thing: every time you create a site, you get a new ghost. I mean, that's nuts. It's all about the details!!

2. Features

DigitalPress has pretty much the same features as Ghost Pro, which make him very attractive to any user. In addition to those, some things that standout are:

  • Integrations built into the platform
  • Reset feature
  • Pre-loaded themes
  • Unlimited users
  • Free forever plan

The integrations are a nice thing to have to finish the set up of your blog without much hassle. I would love to have more if possible, but I'm sure this is on their roadmap.

The reset feature is something I never thought about, but that comes in handy to have it (remembering my good all WordPress days). With this, you can remove all your data and reset your blog to a fresh state as if it was just created.

The preloaded themes is very welcoming feature that I also never thought of having or needing. If I am new to Ghost, I don't know a thing or two about themes or whatsoever, so having some options to choose from and test without cost is game changer.

Another super cool thing is, that there's no user limit. If you plan to have a massive team of people adding to your blog, this is maybe the best hosting for that. Long live the magazine with guest users posting that you have in your mind.

Ghost Pro Info: depending on the plan, you have a limit of "staff users" and "members" for your membership site (if you are using that feature).

And the free plan forever, its self explanatory right? The only "sacrifice" is that your blog will show ads. Nothing comes for free, and having Ghost COMPLETELY free for just a bunch of adds seems like a good tradeoff for me.

If you want a premium experience, you need to pay the premium then. Even if you are a developer, you will have costs. Bear that in mind.

3. Performance

To test this, I input the domain into Pingdom’s website speed test tool. Ran multiple tests using three different locations with one site having the Attila theme and the other with the default Casper theme.

Pingdom: it's a website performance monitoring tool that offers free speed evaluation.

The load times for my Attila site were:

  • Sydney: 1.76 seconds.
  • San Francisco: 1.08 seconds.
  • London: 231 mili seconds.

The load times for my Casper site were:

  • Sydney: 1.76 seconds.
  • San Francisco: 846 mili seconds.
  • London: 1.33 seconds.

In short: the hosting is good, and fast. We could argue that Ghost Pro is better (I tested it but not going into that), but this is good enough to be excellent.

4. Support

The support from DigitalPress is very good and responsive. Now, for this price, I expect to have a more "responsive & efficient" support. Something chat based, all day online, like Kinsta in WordPress.

This is the same opportunity I see as well in Ghost Pro. At those price points, I'm just expecting that, period.

Overall, you get support via mail, and the team is dedicated to help you succeed. Bear in mind that you will have to wait at the lower tier plans.

Disclaimer: yes, I know that in the most expensive plans for both Ghost Pro and DigitalPress you get priority 24/7 support. Reality: I don't care and my opinion is that we should get that at any tier. What should change maybe is the task handling. If I want some simple assistance, do I need to wait 2 hours because I pay less? Nah.

5. Pricing

This is were things get really interesting. Basically, the business model of DigitalPress is to charge for the storage and customization levels (Ghost Pro is based on views and amount of users/members). With that, these are the plans:

The closest to the Ghost Pro Basic is the Standard Plan, were you get all regular features, but having in mind that you only have 5GB of storage. If you use a lot of images, in the long run you will have to upgrade at some point.

I don't have a reliable way to test the amount of members, but I'll assume that you are also able to have unlimited members, so that's another point to have in mind.

Ultimately, its USD$22 vs USD$36 monthly. Take into consideration that you are also donating to the Ghost Foundation with Ghost Pro, so you are kind of paying (indirectly) for services like DigitalPress to exist.

Is this sustainable? I can't predict it. Although the prices are very good, I'm not sure how much sustainable is this in the long run. Hopefully this service can keep up for the next years to come.

6. Security

Different to Ghost Pro, I don't have a clear picture of what's the type of security this service offers. Although I could test the regular enforcement security, I tried to see what the service offers against a planned, massive attack.

In the end, I need to put my faith for large scale blogs/plans on this one. My advice is to include a more detailed security description in a section of the webpage so more technical users can go through it.

Bottom Line

DigitalPress is a very good managed hosting alternative to Ghost Pro. Maybe the best one out there in this regard. Its free forever tier packed with the unlimited users are something to take into consideration.

DigitalPress is your best choice if:

  1. You want to have a free Ghost Blog the easiest way possible.
  2. If you are in option one and don't care about ads.
  3. If you use very few storage and plan to have a lot of users.
  4. If you want managed Ghost hosting but don't care to contribute to the Ghost Foundation.
DigitalPress Hosting
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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). All opinions are my own and I do not accept payments for positive reviews.