Clicky



10 Free Kick-Ass Ghost Themes

  • By Jake Rocheleau
  • 14 Jul, 2017
Ghost is a newer blogging CMS placing simplicity over all else. It’s one of the easiest platforms to install and learn on your own. But it certainly doesn’t have as large of a community as WordPress so theme selection is limited. Thankfully there’s a big open source community around Ghost so developers who do create themes often release […]
But it certainly doesn’t have as large of a community as WordPress so theme selection is limited. Thankfully there’s a big open source community around Ghost so developers who do create themes often release them for free.
And for this post I’ve curated the top free ghost themes you can use to spice up your blog’s design.

1. Ghostium

Medium’s layout is widely synonymous with blogging. It’s one of the most popular free online blogging platforms and  Ghostium  aims to mimic their minimalist design style.
With Ghostium you’ll get a clean sidebar area with links and extra details about the author. This also comes with a wider page area full of crisp dark text.
If you want something incredibly simple with  strong readability  then Ghostium is a fantastic choice. The live demo is unfortunately offline but you can see a preview photo on the  GitHub repo .

2. Mention

The  Mention theme  is also incredibly simple but it comes with a bunch of extra features like a scroll indicator and an estimated reading time.
These are all built into the clean single-column interface that most Ghost themes follow. The design is fully responsive and comes packaged with Google’s  Roboto  webfont which adds a unique style to the text.
You can find a full install guide  on GitHub  along with a download link and more details about the Mention theme. It’s also featured as the theme for  Vanila’s blog  since they developed this theme from scratch.

3. Ghost WBKD

For a more visually pleasing theme design take a look at  Ghost WBKD . This free Ghost theme is gorgeous from head to toe with brilliant colors, crisp text, and a strong two-column layout.
Many Ghost themes rely on minimalism and reducing complexity down to the absolute minimum. This is not true of the WBKD theme, or more properly called the “WebKid” theme based on the  WebKid blog .
Definitely a cooler design if you want some pizzazz and it supports partials for page headers/footers.

4. Albireo

Another single-column theme is  Albireo . This takes on a bit more of the Medium design with centered text and dark bold headers.
This is a theme that hasn’t been updated in a while, currently dating back about 3+ years. But it’s still fully functional and it can even serve as a base for creating your own theme rather than starting from scratch.

5. Whisper

The team at ST Solutions released their own Ghost theme called  Whisper . It’s a modified version of the default theme Casper and this one has more in the flyout menu and page design.
Whisper is also incredibly simple but comes with no main header. This can actually be annoying if you want to link back to your blog through a logo, although you can add a logo yourself with a bit of code.
The side flyout menu animation is gorgeous along with the Open Sans & Merriweather font combo. I really do like this theme but I think it’d work better as a template to build on rather than a finished product.

6. Ascend

Ascend  is one of the many free themes you can find at  Aftertype . They offer a free membership with a handful of themes and a custom Ghost automation toolset.
The Ascend theme is pretty unique since it uses a fixed vertical sidebar alongside the main blog page. This is fairly common with WordPress but not many Ghost themes follow this layout style.
You can view a  live demo  to see what you think before running this on your site. To download you will need to sign up for a free Aftertype account, but this is only a minor barrier and the theme is totally free to use for any project.

7. Slimpost

To add a little color into your Ghost blog you can try out the  Slimpost  theme. This comes with a centered single column design and has a customizable background color around the main content.
This is a great way to keep the  minimalist approach  while avoiding the plain black-and-white design techniques you see on almost every Ghost blog.
Slimpost also supports OpenGraph/Twitter cards and rich snippets for SEO optimized content. For in-post content this also has a fullscreen image viewer and Disqus integration for user comments.
Easily one of the more feature-packed themes in this entire list and it’s got a brilliant design to boot.

8. Ghostwriter

Ajax loading themes are becoming the norm with open source  JS libraries  growing larger every year.
The free  Ghostwriter theme  is the perfect choice for an Ajax-powered Ghost theme. It’s fully compliant for non-JS browsers using graceful degradation to load links properly. But the instant page loading feature is really cool!
Other features include fully responsive images and videos along with styles for quotes, codes, lists and other common page elements.
To see this beast live in action take a peek at the  online demo .

9. Coder

Tons of developers love Ghost because it’s simple to use and offers a unique framework for hacking together themes/plugins.
Any developers reading this might like the  Coder theme  since it’s built to showcase coding projects in a blog-style format. This can work very well as a development portfolio website along with an online blog.
It’s completely mobile-friendly and comes with the  Elusive iconset  which also supports retina screens. And this theme has full syntax highlighting so you can add code snippets for all your favorite languages.

10. Crisp

Last but certainly not least is  Crisp . This theme uses bright colors and strong typography along with a fixed left-hand navigation menu.
Strangely this blogging theme doesn’t support featured images in the archive so it’s very simplistic. It also works better with a single person/brand so it’s best used as a personal blog.
But it comes with plenty of basic design features like social sharing buttons and Font Awesome icons for visual appeal.
Any one of these Ghost themes can work well for your blog, it’s just a matter of taste and design requirements. Unfortunately some don’t have demos so those you’ll need to download and test locally.
But if you know what you’re looking for then one of these free themes should fit perfectly with your Ghost blog. And if you’d rather use WordPress we have a  massive collection  of WP themes for bloggers too.

Latest News

By Inessa Brown 21 Jul, 2017
Have you ever encountered a website with confusing navigation? Been sent down the wrong path by misleading labels? Or needed your best detective skills to find a particular piece of content? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? What can companies do to ensure that users can find what they are looking for on a website? Usability testing […]
By Ben Moss 20 Jul, 2017
Google’s minimal search page has consistently been heralded as a minimalist masterpiece since it first appeared in 1996. It’s been argued by numerous designers—myself included—that it was the perception of Google as a ‘pure’ unadulterated search was more central to Google’s rise and eventual dominance, than the merits of its (in)famous algorithm. So it’s something […]
By Ezequiel Bruni 20 Jul, 2017
When I go to any website, I’m looking for something. I may want to buy a product, or find information, or browse random memes, but whatever it is, I have a goal in mind. That goal could even be subconscious, but it’s there. Human beings never do anything without a reason. Whether or not they […]
By _dm_templates 20 Jul, 2017
Red Rocket are pleased to announce the launch of the new website for Gillian Allard the winner of Sky Arts Master Of Photography award for 2017. The website is built on our platform and allows Gillian to update all parts of the website herself.
By Nick Babich 19 Jul, 2017
Transitions are a powerful way to communicate a change in a user interface. They can be used in apps to help offload a lot of the cognitive work into the visual cortex: they help transport users between navigational contexts, explain changes in the arrangement of elements on a screen, and reinforce element hierarchy. Consequently they […]
By Mickey Aharony 18 Jul, 2017
Designing fun, visually appealing party banners can be a complicated task if you don’t have enough graphic design experience or know how to use image editing software, such as Photoshop or Sketch. Buying and installing an image editing software, installing custom fonts, designing the graphics and figuring out how to apply a text overlay can […]
By _dm_templates 18 Jul, 2017

Joan is applying for a small loan on all-online-loanzzz.com. She’s becoming frustrated with the number of financial-disclosure forms she has to fill out. She’s thinking about visiting her local bank to ask for a loan instead.

While waiting for a page to load, the application presents a cartoon image of a person wearing a business suit sitting in a jail cell. The image caption says, “Hey, everyone hates disclosures. We know you do, too. We’re doing our best to keep everyone out of jail. Please bear with us for a few more clicks. You won’t regret it, and our loan officers will stay out of jail.” Joan smirks at the image. She might not appreciate the number of forms she has to complete, but she understands the serious nature of applying for a loan.

Humor is an important aspect of life. Researchers find  humor has many positive benefits . It can reduce stress, increase psychological well being and increase tolerance for pain. Most of us have had experiences in which we’ve used humor to lighten a mood or cheer someone up. Humor is integral and inherent to human relationships.

You can use humor in your design (both in the process and the product) to create a positive user experience. We want to develop positive relationships with our users — humor can help make that happen.

But how do I do this?, you might ask. Do I need to be a comedian? Should I format all of my FAQs as knock-knock jokes? The answer is no to both of those questions. You can incorporate humor in your design, maintain your brand identity and not look like you are trying too hard in the process.


By Cassandra Naji 17 Jul, 2017
2017 looks set to be the year that augmented reality (AR) moves firmly into the mainstream. As the next big technology trend, it looks set to have a massive impact on user experience and, by extension, user experience design. The good news is that augmented reality has the potential to solve user problems that have […]
By Cameron Chapman 16 Jul, 2017
Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.  The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, […]
By Jerry King 15 Jul, 2017
Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD. The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers. These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world […]
More Posts
Share by: