Ghost themes

Ghost comes with a default theme called Casper, which is designed to be a clean, readable publication layout and can be easily adapted for most purposes.

I personally think the Casper theme is so nicely designed and recognisable that it's one of those rare times that looks great with just the default theme β€” hence I'm using it here, and will only make minimal customisations for my particular needs.

If you need something a little more customised too, it's entirely possible to build on top of existing open source themes, or to build your own from scratch. Rather than giving you a few basic settings which act as a poor proxy for code, Ghost just lets you adapt and write code, where you may learn how easy these things can be too.

Start with the default Casper theme to focus on your content, knowing you can style-it-up later to match your identity and show off your growing variety of content.

Ghost is designed to be simple and stay focused on your creative content and publishing, with no plug-ins to worry about, and you theme can evolve with you. I personally think it will be your favourite platform for a very long time, and as it already is here for me :)


There are a huge range of both free and premium pre-built themes which you can download from the Ghost Theme Marketplace:

Ghost theme marketplace screenshot
Anyone can write a completely custom Ghost theme with some solid knowledge of HTML and CSS

Theme development

Ghost themes are written with a templating language called handlebars, which will be familiar to anyone that's ever done a mail-merge because it has a set of ready-made helpers to insert your data into template files. For example: {{}} outputs the name of the current author.

The best way to learn how to write your own Ghost theme is to have a look at the source code for Casper, which is heavily commented and should give you a sense of how everything fits together.

  • default.hbs is the main template file, all contexts will load inside this file unless specifically told to use a different template.
  • post.hbs is the file used in the context of viewing a post.
  • index.hbs is the file used in the context of viewing the home page.
  • and so on

We've got full and extensive theme documentation which outlines every template file, context and helper that you can use. You can also get started with our useful starter theme, which includes the most common foundations and components required to build your own theme.

If you want to chat with other people making Ghost themes to get any advice or help, there's also a themes section on our public Ghost forum.


If you made it this far, maybe you learned something new, that you can now do too!

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