How To Customize your Ghost Instance

Ghost is an Open Source application created and dedicated for blogging. It allows us to write and publish our own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even fun to do. It’s simple, elegant, and designed so that we can spend less time making our blog work and more time blogging.

In this tutorial we are assuming that we have already installed and configured ghost on our Ubuntu 12.04 server and we will be focusing on using ghost customization like setting up our own theme or other settings specific for our instance only.

One of the cool features that ghost offers is theme support. We can completely change the look and feel on our blog simply by choosing different theme. There are a lot of themes available for ghost. Some of them are free and for some of them we must pay if we want to use them.

In order to choose our theme, we should visit the official Ghost website where themes and lots of other stuff can be found. We will choose on the free themes, named mtheme. If we click on it, we will be redirected to the theme’s GitHub page.

Before we install the theme, we need to make sure that we have git binaries installed on our server. In order to install it, we should execute the two following commands to update our sources and make sure that git is installed:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install -y git-core

Once we are sure that we have git installed, we should change to our theme directory and clone the project directly from its git repository:

# cd /var/www/ghost/content/themes
# git clone https://github.com/readypress/mtheme.git

The GitHub URL for the project can be found in the github home page. After it is cloned, we should change the ownership of the theme directory and set Ghost as owner. Once done, we will restart Ghost to make the new theme available

# chown –R ghost:ghost mtheme 
# /etc/init.d/ghost restart

After, that, we all we need to do in order to change the theme, is to open our website in the browser, and access the following URL:

http://yourdomain.com/ghost/settings/general

If we scroll down, we will find the “theme” section. We should simply choose our newly installed theme from the combo box and click “save”. That is all. The next time we visit our blog, it will be using the new theme. We can repeat this procedure to install and apply any other theme.

We can use the same URL that we used to set the theme, in order to change some other blog related settings. Once we navigate to:

http://yourdomain.com/ghost/settings/general

We will be able to set the following settings:

  • Blog title – to set the name of our blog
  • Blog description – to describe what is about blog about
  • Blog logo – to upload logo for our blog
  • Blog cover – to upload cover images for our blog

If we click on the “User” tab on the left side we have the ability to change our personal information and insert information like our real name, email, location, etc. On the bottom of the user’s page, we also have the ability to change our password.

We can see how easy it is to use Ghost for blogging. It is completely focused on users’ needs, making everyone able to present their ideas to the world without having to deal with all technicalities.

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