One thing I haven’t mentioned much is that I also create Ghost themes. I love Ghost for it’s simplicity, it places content and writing at the front and lets the design melt in to the background.

I had a random email from someone the other day, looking to get into theme development and looking at Ghost as a way to start off simple.

I sent them a lengthy reply via email back, I found the following rather interesting and thought you might do too!

Things to take into consideration about Ghost

  1. Ghost is new so the team will keep adding and changing stuff. This means every update requires testing and feature improvements in each release.
  2. You can see my Ghost sales and you can see the biggest sellers

Top earners are selling 400ish over 8 months, so roughly 50 a month, although I expect it was more like 75, 65, 35 of sales, with a slow tapering off over the months.

They’re making roughly $4.7k from a single theme in 8 months. Comparing that directly to an average selling WordPress theme like Peggy which makes that in about 5 months by only selling around 150… and that’s for a very average selling theme.

A Unique Position

I think I may be the only theme developer that has released a number of WordPress themes with matching Ghost versions – there may be others so I apologise if this isn’t 100% accurate.

A lot of my blog themes are very simple and convert to Ghost really nicely, so I thought why not and gauge the market. I was very excited to work with Ghost too – which is super easy to design and develop for.

Having a number of WordPress themes with Ghost counterparts gives me the opportunity for measuring like-for-like sales and support figures

Sales figures

I’ve made $5,650.66 from Ghost themes and for the same WordPress versions: $51,343.06

And that is only with one of the WordPress themes having been around longer than its Ghost counterpart by a significant margin.

Support statistics

Support is mainly to developers who have their own ideas about how it should be built and in my experience are quite forthcoming about how things should or shouldn’t work. The other side of Ghost Theme support is for people who use Ghost because of it’s ethos, but have virtually no idea about web development so get stuck on simple HTML edits. Having said that, I mainly had issues with customers understanding navigation markup and Ghost now takes care of that!

Overall, I’ve had 56 support tickets across all 6 Ghost themes, comparing that to the same 6 WordPress themes where I’ve had 628.

Support % on sales…

I’ve sold 386 as Ghost and 2,062 matching WordPress themes.

So for support % we’re looking at 14.5% of sales (themes sold) versus support for Ghost.

and…  30.5% of sales versus support for WordPress.

In Conclusion

Overall, the bigger money is in WordPress. However, Ghost is a good place to start. It takes less time to design and develop and once approved on a marketplace like ThemeForest you can also do a WordPress version too which should hopefully get approved based on the fact the Ghost version is (you need to tell them this in your upload comments).

TLDR

  • Ghost is good
  • Sales are not as good as WordPress (well durr!)
  • Ghost generates half as many support tickets as WordPress
  • Sign up for more theme development nuggets
  • Never tie your shoelace in a revolving door