A Designers Guide to Ghost Theming
Lately a lot of people ask me on how to start out with making a theme for Ghost. And yes, after building three themes myself I have some experience in doing this stuff. Check them out if you want to know more about how I approach theme design:
• Marisa, a photographic Ghost theme
• Chiara, a minimal and elegant blogging theme. #1 Ghost theme on Creative Market, atm. This blog runs this theme
• Readium, an open source Medium-like theme
And your timing couldn’t be better. Ghost is still young, the community small but growing fast. Actually, designing themes for Ghost isn’t difficult in comparison to other blogging systems. But it isn’t that easy either, if you don’t know a few things about how Ghost works. I decided to make this small and comprehensive guide on the important things you need to know to start out. So that you can dive into making your own theme.
Warning: Code ahead
You will need to get your hands dirty with some coding. So stop right now if you don’t have at least basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Instead, you should go and learn how to code.
Ghost is a modern and still quite young open source publishing platform (version 0.4.2 so far). It is built to be completely customizable, fast, lean and features a slick design out of the box.
Ghost is built on Node.js, so you need to make sure Node (at least version 0.10.*) is installed on your computer, so you can run it locally. Follow these detailed instructions and set up a local Ghost instance, so we can start out on building your theme.
After everything is installed and you have given your Ghost instance a first run in the browser, lets have a closer look at what we have.
Your Ghost’s main folder consists of three subfolders (content, core and node_modules) and a few files. The only folder relevant to us is the “content” folder. Inside you find the folder “themes”, holding another single folder, called “casper”. Duplicate the “casper” folder und rename it to whatever you want to name your theme.
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