How to Customize Your Ghost Theme Using Code Editor


Enamul Haque

6 minutes read

26 Jun 2023

Ghost CMS provides a range of beautifully designed themes out of the box, but sometimes you may want to make specific modifications to align the theme with your unique vision or branding. To achieve this, you can edit or customize your Ghost theme code using a code editor. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of editing and customizing your Ghost theme code to create a personalized website.

Benefits of Customizing a Ghost Theme

Ghost allows you to customize your theme to match your brand and your needs. There are many benefits to customizing your Ghost theme.

Here are some benefits of customizing a Ghost theme:

  • Uniqueness: You can create a unique and eye-catching website that stands out from the crowd.
  • Branding: You can use your theme to reinforce your brand identity and make your website more memorable.
  • Functionality: You can add custom features and functionality to your website that meet your specific needs.
  • Control: You have complete control over the look and feel of your website.

If you're looking to create a truly unique and memorable website, then customizing your Ghost theme is the way to go.

Understanding Ghost Themes #1

Ghost themes are the foundation of your website's design and layout. Before customizing a theme, it's important to familiarize yourself with the basic structure and components of a Ghost theme. This will enable you to make informed decisions during the customization process.

Choosing the Right Theme #2

Selecting a theme that aligns with your website's goals and aesthetics is crucial. There are many Ghost themes available, both free and premium. Take your time to explore different options, considering factors such as responsiveness, design flexibility, and compatibility with plugins and extensions.

Customizing the Theme #3

Once you have chosen a theme, it's time to customize it to reflect your brand identity and vision. There are two ways to customize a Ghost theme:

  • Using the Ghost Admin Panel: The Ghost Admin Panel allows you to customize some aspects of your theme, such as the colors, fonts, and layout.
  • Editing the theme files: If you want to make more extensive changes to your theme, you can edit the theme files directly. This requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Today we discuss how to customize a ghost theme by editing the theme files in the code editor. Here are some key steps to follow:

Step 1: Set Up a Local Development Environment

If you prefer to customize the theme locally on your computer, set up a local development environment, install Ghost on localhost, and install a code editor like Visual Studio Code.

Note: Before Working on your Local host, you must set up your local environment for customizing the ghost theme in the code editor.

Step 2: Download the theme from Ghost Admin

Ghost theme editor
Figure 1: Download the theme

To download your installed theme on your Ghost admin panel? Go to Settings > Design Ghost Admin. In the Change theme section, click the Advanced toggle. This will show you a list of all the themes that are available for download. Click the Download button next to the theme you want to edit.

Step 3: Choose a Code Editor

Before diving into editing your Ghost theme, you need a code editor. There are numerous options available, both free and paid, that provide a comfortable and efficient coding environment. Some popular code editors include Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, and Notepad++.

Step 4: Open the theme files in a code editor

Ghost themes
Figure 2: Open the theme files

To begin customizing your Ghost theme, open the theme files in the code editor. Before opening the theme folder make a backup copy before proceeding with any modifications. You can use any code editor that you prefer, such as Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text.

Step 5: Edit the Theme Files

Once you have a copy of your theme, you can start editing the code. The main files you'll be working with are usually located in the theme's root directory and include files like default.hbs, post.hbs, index.hbs, and partials folder.

These files typically use Handlebars, a templating language. Handlebars allow you to dynamically render content and make use of variables, conditionals, and loops.

To customize your theme, you can modify the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code in these files. You can change the layout, typography, colors, add or remove sections, and more, depending on your requirements and coding skills.

Before making any changes, create a complete backup of your theme files. Exercise caution when editing theme files. Improper modifications may cause errors and design inconsistencies

Step 6: Adding Custom Assets

You may want to add custom assets, such as images, fonts, or JavaScript files, to enhance your website's design and functionality. Upload these assets to the appropriate folders within your theme directory, and update the theme files accordingly to incorporate them into your website.

Step 7: Save your changes

premium ghost theme
Figure 3: Save your changes

After changing your Ghost theme files, you should save all changes and upload the theme files to your Ghost Admin panel.

Note: Always save your theme files after making changes to anything in them to avoid potential data loss.

Step 8: Preview and Test

ghost themes
Figure 4: Preview and test

Start or restart your local Ghost development server to examine how your tweaks affect the look of your blog. To ensure a responsive design, preview your blog and test your updates on various devices and screen sizes.

Step 9: Publish the Customized Theme

  • After completing your customization on localhost, compress the theme folder into a zip file for uploading to the live server.
  • Go to the live server and log in to the Ghost admin panel. Click on Design in the left sidebar.
  • Click on the Upload a theme button and select the modified theme zip file.
  • After uploading, activate the customized theme to make it live on your website.

That's it! You have successfully customized your Ghost theme. Remember to keep backups of your theme files and test any changes thoroughly before making them live on a production site.

Maintaining Your Customization

Keep your customized theme up-to-date as you update and evolve your Ghost website. Regularly check for theme updates and ensure compatibility with new versions of Ghost CMS. Additionally, maintain a backup of your customized theme files to avoid any potential data loss during updates or migrations.

By following these steps and investing time and effort into customizing your Ghost theme, you can create a visually stunning and unique website that sets you apart.


Do you have any questions about the customization of the Ghosts theme? We have answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Can I customize any Ghost theme?

Yes, you can customize any Ghost theme if you have access to the theme files. However, keep in mind that some themes may have specific limitations or require advanced coding knowledge for certain modifications.

Do I need to know how to code to customize my Ghost theme?

To personalize your Ghost theme, you don't need to be an expert, however, having some coding experience can be useful. Even if you're a newbie, the Ghost manual offers instructions and resources to help you with adjustments.

How do I customize a Ghost theme?

There are two ways to customize a Ghost theme:

  • Using the Ghost Admin Panel: The Ghost Admin Panel allows you to customize some aspects of your theme, such as the colors, fonts, and layout.
  • Editing the theme files: If you want to make more extensive changes to your theme, you can edit the theme files directly. This requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What are some of the things I can customize in a Ghost theme?

Here are some of the things you can customize in a Ghost theme:

  • Colors: You can change the colors of your website's background, text, and links.
  • Fonts: You can change the fonts that are used on your website.
  • Layout: You can change the layout of your website's pages.
  • Content: You can add custom content to your website, such as a footer or a sidebar.
  • Behavior: You can change the behavior of your website, such as how the menus work or how the search function works.


In conclusion, customizing a Ghost theme is a great way to make your site unique and reflect your own personal style. By following the steps in this blog post, you can easily customize a Ghost theme to your liking.

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