How to pick a Ghost theme
If you haven't already used Ghost, I encourage you to get set up on whatever your hosting platform is, and choose one of the free themes available right within the admin panel. (I recommend https://ghost.org for newbies and non-technical folks who want everything to 'just work'.) You may not see your perfect theme there, but playing with an existing free theme will give you a better sense of what you do and don't want in your theme. Try a couple! If you need help switching your theme, see these directions to get to the themes page. You don't need to upload a theme if you're picking one of the themes shown in the admin panel - just click to activate!
Features you might want to look for:
- Custom membership pages (any theme can use the Portal pop-ups, but some themes include additional pages)
- Nicely formatted page for displaying a list of tags
- Nicely formatted page for displaying a list of authors
- A home/landing page layout that matches your content. You could also buy a landing page separately, if you don't like the one in the theme. (See notes about custom themes below.
- How much the theme focuses on text vs images.
- Display of tags on posts (if you want them)
- Styling that matches your wants
Some users stop here. They find a built in theme that's perfect or almost perfect with a little customization, and don't shop further. Many users do small customizations with code injections. You can also fire up an editor and make changes to the theme files themselves, or you could hire me to do the work for you.
Other users won't find the free themes available through Ghost Pro to be enough. If that's you, the next step would be to look for a theme elsewhere. Below I've provided a set of links to available themes. The theme you choose can be customized, just like one of the built in themes.
Should you pay someone to build you a theme from scratch? How big is your budget? It's almost certainly going to be more cost effective to start from an existing theme that has 90% of what you want in terms of style and function and to add the rest, rather than starting from zero. So, I always encourage potential clients to go shopping. You may find your perfect theme from the list below, and only need a little custom work. Theme writers make their money (er... for paid themes anyway) by selling a theme multiple times. Take advantage of that discounted price for their labor!
It's time to go shopping! Read on!
Where to find your new favorite Ghost theme
A WordPress theme will not install, no matter how much you love it.
Here are some places to look for themes:
Sites offering both free and paid themes
(There are also many free themes on the Ghost Marketplace, but here are some more!)
Big 'theme marketplaces' that include Ghost:
There are Ghost themes on CreativeMarket (link which refuses to be a Bookmark card for some reason). I haven't found it to be a great place to find up to date themes, however, and many themes aren't tagged for Ghost version. Frustrating!
Can you convert another type of theme to a Ghost theme?
HTML layouts can absolutely be converted to be Ghost themes. There are lots of great templates out there for HTML that could be tweaked to run on Ghost, with or without the ability to edit the content in the Ghost editor later. (Making them editable in the Ghost editor is more work, but definitely possible.)