Welcome to Ghost

👋 Welcome, it's great to have you here.

We know that first impressions are important, so we've populated your new site with some initial getting started posts that will help you get familiar with everything in no time. This is the first one!

A few things you should know upfront:

  1. Ghost is designed for ambitious, professional publishers who want to actively build a business around their content. That's who it works best for.
  2. The entire platform can be modified and customised to suit your needs. It's very powerful, but does require some knowledge of code. Ghost is not necessarily a good platform for beginners or people who just want a simple personal blog.
  3. For the best experience we recommend downloading the Ghost Desktop App for your computer, which is the best way to access your Ghost site on a desktop device.

Ghost is made by an independent non-profit organisation called the Ghost Foundation. We are 100% self funded by revenue from our Ghost(Pro) service, and every penny we make is re-invested into funding further development of free, open source technology for modern publishing.

The version of Ghost you are looking at right now would not have been made possible without generous contributions from the open source community.

Next up, the editor

The main thing you'll want to read about next is probably: the Ghost editor. This is where the good stuff happens.

By the way, once you're done reading, you can simply delete the default Ghost user from your team to remove all of these introductory posts!

Writing posts with Ghost ✍️

Ghost has a powerful visual editor with familiar formatting options, as well as the ability to seamlessly add dynamic content.

Select the text to add formatting, headers or create links, or use Markdown shortcuts to do the work for you - if that's your thing.

Rich editing at your fingertips

The editor can also handle rich media objects, called cards.

You can insert a card either by clicking the  +  button on a new line, or typing  /  on a new line to search for a particular card. This allows you to efficiently insert images, markdown, html and embeds.

For Example:

  • Insert a video from YouTube directly into your content by pasting the URL
  • Create unique content like a button or content opt-in using the HTML card
  • Need to share some code? Embed code blocks directly
<header class="site-header outer">
    <div class="inner">
        {{> "site-nav"}}
    </div>
</header>

Working with images in posts

You can add images to your posts in many ways:

  • Upload from your computer
  • Click and drag an image into the browser
  • Paste directly into the editor from your clipboard
  • Insert using a URL

Once inserted you can blend images beautifully into your content at different sizes and add captions wherever needed.

The post settings menu and publishing options can be found in the top right hand corner. For more advanced tips on post settings check out the publishing options post!

Publishing options

The Ghost editor has everything you need to fully optimise your content. This is where you can add tags and authors, feature a post, or turn a post into a page.

Access the post settings menu in the top right hand corner of the editor.

Post feature image

Insert your post feature image from the very top of the post settings menu. Consider resizing or optimising your image first to ensure it's an appropriate size.

Structured data & SEO

Customise your social media sharing cards for Facebook and Twitter, enabling you to add custom images, titles and descriptions for social media.

There’s no need to hard code your meta data. You can set your meta title and description using the post settings tool, which has a handy character guide and SERP preview.

Ghost will automatically implement structured data for your publication using JSON-LD to further optimise your content.

{
    "@context": "https://schema.org",
    "@type": "Article",
    "publisher": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "Publishing options",
        "logo": "https://static.ghost.org/ghost-logo.svg"
    },
    "author": {
        "@type": "Person",
        "name": "Ghost",
        "url": "http://demo.ghost.io/author/ghost/",
        "sameAs": []
    },
    "headline": "Publishing options",
    "url": "http://demo.ghost.io/publishing-options",
    "datePublished": "2018-08-08T11:44:00.000Z",
    "dateModified": "2018-08-09T12:06:21.000Z",
    "keywords": "Getting Started",
    "description": "The Ghost editor has everything you need to fully optimise your content. This is where you can add tags and authors, feature a post, or turn a post into a page.",
    }
}
    

You can test that the structured data schema on your site is working as it should using Google’s structured data tool.

Code Injection

This tool allows you to inject code on a per post or page basis, or across your entire site. This means you can modify CSS, add unique tracking codes, or add other scripts to the head or foot of your publication without making edits to your theme files.

To add code site-wide, use the code injection tool in the main admin menu. This is useful for adding a Facebook Pixel, a Google Analytics tracking code, or to start tracking with any other analytics tool.

To add code to a post or page, use the code injection tool within the post settings menu. This is useful if you want to add art direction, scripts or styles that are only applicable to one post or page.

From here, you might be interested in managing some more specific admin settings!

Managing admin settings

There are a couple of things to do next while you're getting set up:

Make your site private

If you've got a publication that you don't want the world to see yet because it's not ready to launch, you can hide your Ghost site behind a basic shared pass-phrase.

You can toggle this preference on at the bottom of Ghost's General Settings:

Ghost will give you a short, randomly generated pass-phrase which you can share with anyone who needs access to the site while you're working on it. While this setting is enabled, all search engine optimisation features will be switched off to help keep your site under the radar.

Do remember though, this is not secure authentication. You shouldn't rely on this feature for protecting important private data. It's just a simple, shared pass-phrase for some very basic privacy.


Invite your team

Ghost has a number of different user roles for your team:

Contributors
This is the base user level in Ghost. Contributors can create and edit their own draft posts, but they are unable to edit drafts of others or publish posts. Contributors are untrusted users with the most basic access to your publication.

Authors
Authors are the 2nd user level in Ghost. Authors can write, edit  and publish their own posts. Authors are trusted users. If you don't trust users to be allowed to publish their own posts, they should be set as Contributors.

Editors
Editors are the 3rd user level in Ghost. Editors can do everything that an Author can do, but they can also edit and publish the posts of others - as well as their own. Editors can also invite new Contributors+Authors to the site.

Administrators
The top user level in Ghost is Administrator. Again, administrators can do everything that Authors and Editors can do, but they can also edit all site settings and data, not just content. Additionally, administrators have full access to invite, manage or remove any other user of the site.

The Owner
There is only ever one owner of a Ghost site. The owner is a special user which has all the same permissions as an Administrator, but with two exceptions: The Owner can never be deleted. And in some circumstances the owner will have access to additional special settings if applicable. For example: billing details, if using Ghost(Pro).

It's a good idea to ask all of your users to fill out their user profiles, including bio and social links. These will populate rich structured data for posts and generally create more opportunities for themes to fully populate their design.

Next up: Organising your content

Organising your content

Ghost has a flexible organisational taxonomy called tags which can be used to configure your site structure using dynamic routing.

Basic Tagging

You can think of tags like Gmail labels. By tagging posts with one or more keyword, you can organise articles into buckets of related content.

When you create content for your publication you can assign tags to help differentiate between categories of content.

For example you may tag some content with  News and other content with Podcast, which would create two distinct categories of content listed on /tag/news/ and /tag/weather/, respectively.

If you tag a post with both News and Weather - then it appears in both sections. Tag archives are like dedicated home-pages for each category of content that you have. They have their own pages, their own RSS feeds, and can support their own cover images and meta data.

The primary tag

Inside the Ghost editor, you can drag and drop tags into a specific order. The first tag in the list is always given the most importance, and some themes will only display the primary tag (the first tag in the list) by default.

News, Technology, Startup

So you can add the most important tag which you want to show up in your theme, but also add related tags which are less important.

Private tags

Sometimes you may want to assign a post a specific tag, but you don't necessarily want that tag appearing in the theme or creating an archive page. In Ghost, hashtags are private and can be used for special styling.

For example, if you sometimes publish posts with video content - you might want your theme to adapt and get rid of the sidebar for these posts, to give more space for an embedded video to fill the screen. In this case, you could use private tags to tell your theme what to do.

News, #video

Here, the theme would assign the post publicly displayed tags of News - but it would also keep a private record of the post being tagged with #video. In your theme, you could then look for private tags conditionally and give them special formatting.

You can find documentation for theme development techniques like this and many more over on Ghost's extensive theme documentation.

Dynamic Routing

Dynamic routing gives you the ultimate freedom to build a custom publication to suit your needs. Routes are rules that map URL patterns to your content and templates.

For example, you may not want content tagged with News to exist on: example.com/tag/news. Instead, you want it to exist on example.com/news .

In this case you can use dynamic routes to create customised collections of content on your site. It's also possible to use multiple templates in your theme to render each content type differently.

There are lots of use cases for dynamic routing with Ghost, here are a few common examples:

  • Setting a custom home page with its own template
  • Having separate content hubs for blog and podcast, that render differently, and have custom RSS feeds to support two types of content
  • Creating a founders column as a unique view, by filtering content created by specific authors
  • Including dates in permalinks for your posts
  • Setting posts to have a URL relative to their primary tag like example.com/europe/story-title/
Dynamic routing can be configured in Ghost using YAML files. Read our dynamic routing documentation for further details.

You can further customise your site using Apps & Integrations.