WordPress to Ghost - SEO implications

Here is my experience of migrating from WordPress to Ghost in light of SEO implications.

I recently switched this blog from Wordpress to Ghost (via Digital Ocean). I decided to give Ghost a try.

I think there will be more and more people considering the switch in future and one of the main areas to consider will be SEO.

In general, WordPress works just fine for SEO - some of the top sites use WordPress - e.g. TechCrunch. Especially, if it is a good setup with nice design, good site speed.

SEO is super important for me:

  • I want to monetize this blog with ads and memberships - the more traffic - the better
  • SEO creates evergreen traffic, which is a good fundamental for a biz

My blog has around 2000-3000 monthly sessions. I also used shared Bluehost server and free crappy WordPress theme.

When migrating I did this:

  • changed from www.onlinehikes.com to non-www (I just didn't know how to set it up in Ghost 😅)
  • set up redirects from /blog/url to /url - removed blog subfolder (it is a default Ghost setup)
  • therefore, there will be an issue of chained redirects - www to non-www and then /blog/post to /post - try to play with it and avoid it :)
  • enabled ssl in Ghost

Wordpress to Ghost - SEO implications

So, I migrated from WordPress on March 1st.

Data from Google Analytics

Status on March 26th

The deep can be explained because website was down majority of the day - migration issues.

The big bump on 21st March has source organic - but went to homepage and seems it was some bot traffic - so I will exclude that traffic.

I didn't get any new major backlinks, just pushed a bit of new content, which still doesn't bring a lot of traffic. So, this data is mostly about how Ghost migration influenced performance of existing content.

If I compare organic traffic from March 1st to March 26th - with previous period - there is a 18.92% dip in sessions.

Status on March 26th

It can be explained because of redirects, reindexing and also majority of my images were broken :)

During this month I was fixing these issues - therefore you can see a healthy, steady organic traffic growth.

But, look at these other metrics.

  • Bounce rate +0.25%
  • Pages/Session + 10.06%
  • Session Duration + 36.30%

Super cool about Pages/Session and Session Duration! Seems, that users are enjoying the website much better.

Data from Ahrefs

In Ahrefs things look even more promising - rise of organic keywords and organic traffic.

Status on March 26th

A lot of these keywords are in 10-100 bracked - therefore seems they don't bring traffic yet. But, still exciting.

However, I lost some referring domains due to migration.

Status on March 26th

Data from Search Console

Ghost passes Core Web Vitals in Search Console.

Status on March 26th

Ghost passes Google Page Speed Insights on Desktop.

But, not on mobile.

Here are the issues.

Of course, these page speed scores are not ideal, but much better compared to my previous WordPress site.

Overall, site still seems to perform much faster and content consumption seems much more enjoyable at least for me. :)

Ghost & AMP

You can install AMP in Ghost - here is my guide.

However, there were some issues with AMP in Ghost, but seems they are mostly resolved with recent Ghost updated.