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.

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The internet is such a big part of all our lives, it’s hard to remember a time when it didn’t exist. But in reality it only came into being as we now know it in 1991. The Internet cannot be attributed in its entirety to any one single person or organisation, but rather a collaboration that evolved over time and had many contributors.

The idea of a secure way of worldwide communication was first mooted by the US Government in the 1950s in response to the Cold War and the increasing security threat from the Soviet Union. After the USSR launched the world’s first manmade satellite in October 1957, the USA realised that something needed to be done. Although Sputnik was far from an unmitigated success, it did send shockwaves through the West and concentrated the minds of the most talented Western scientists and engineers.

Over the next few years, the US began to take scientific research and development much more seriously, adding various science-based courses to the schools curriculum and awarding government grants to scientific institutions. They formed NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ARPA (the Advanced Research Projects Agency) who were tasked with the development of space technologies such as weapons and computers.

By Rob Johnson 08 Sep, 2017

Have you ever wondered why your website doesn’t seem to attract as many people as your competitors’?

It’s actually far simpler than you think to create a website that will become a successful marketing tool for your business. Whatever business you’re in, everyone should have an online presence. But all too often business owners think of a website as just something that they think they should have rather than as the extremely effective marketing tool it should be.

It’s much easier than you think to get a website up and running and attracting visitors and there are many simple strategies you can implement that a) don’t cost the earth and b) don’t require a degree in marketing to understand. I have listed a few of them below to get you started…

1.  Don’t copy and paste your print material

Don’t simply copy your print marketing material. Writing for your website is completely different and is actually far easier than you think. Your visitors don’t want to sit and read a novel, they want clear and concise information that will draw them in and ultimately prompt them to carry out whatever it is you want them to do i.e. sign up to a newsletter, buy your products or make a booking

By Rob Johnson 30 Aug, 2017

One issue that we found and got many repeated complaints from clients that Magento takes more to load – essentially, it’s very resource consuming and has slow download speed. Major search engines like Google highly recommend and promote fast loading websites.

There are few tips and actions that our experienced Magento developers at Red Rocket have applied and we’d like to share that if it helps.

So, where do you start with speeding up Magentousing .Htaccess file? The first thing you need to do is to analyse the overall speed of your Magento page, before any changes have been made. We would recommend to use three tools which can be found below:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • WebPageTest
  • GTmetrix

Speed Up Magento via Your .htaccess File

Step 1: Gzip Compression For Magento

By compressing this page with GZIP, 76.1% bandwidth was saved.  

You will need to enable Gzip Compression for Magento. To enable GzipCompression simple find add below code in your root .htaccess.

< ifModulemod_gzip.c> mod_gzip_on Yes mod_gzip_dechunk Yes mod_gzip_item_includefile.(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$ mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$ mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.* mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.* mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.* mod_gzip_item_excluderspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.* < /ifModule >


Step 2: (optional) Compressing CSS and JavaScript files

Next we want to compress items such as CSS and javascript etc. Simply add the following lines of text directly into the htaccess file.

## compress text, html, javascript, css, xml: AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript # Or, compress certain file types by extension: < files *.html> SetOutputFilter DEFLATE < /files>


Step 3: Leverage Browser Caching and Expires Headers

The third thing to do is Leverage Browser Caching and Expires Headers. This piece of code can make a huge difference and will reduce the number of HTTP request, which is a huge benefit for any returning visitors to your website.

< IfModulemod_expires.c> # Enable expirations ExpiresActive On # Default directive ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 month" # My favicon ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year? # Images ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 month" ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 month" ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 month" ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 month" # CSS ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month? # Javascript ExpiresByType application/javascript "access plus 1 year" < /IfModule>


Step 4: Enable Output Compression

This section will essentially turn on the module called apache mod_deflate, which will compress css, text, and javascript before it is sent to the browser. This will considerably reduce the download size. In order to enable, uncomment the appropriate lines so that it looks like the below:

## enable apache served files compression ## http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html#gzip # Insert filter on all content SetOutputFilter DEFLATE # Insert filter on selected content types only AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css text/javascript application/javascript # Netscape 4.x has some problems... BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html # Netscape 4.06-4.08 have some more problems BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip # MSIE masquerades as Netscape, but it is fine BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html # Don't compress images SetEnvIfNoCaseRequest_URI\.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzipdont-vary # Make sure proxies don't deliver the wrong content Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary


Step 5: Enable Expires Headers

Normally browsers use Expires headers to checkfor how long a page component can be cached. Components that are static such as images, should have headers like far-future expires, but essentially, every page components should have expires headers. To enable this feature, simply uncomment the appropriate line and write “ExpiresActiveOn” just above it. Check below:

## Add default Expires header ## http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html#expires ExpiresActive On ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 year"


Step 6: Disable ETags

ETags are used by browsers to check and validate cached components across subsequent visits. They can slow down a site served from a cluster if the cluster hasn’t implemented them properly. It is best to just turn them off as follow

## If running in cluster environment, uncomment this ## http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html#etags FileETag none


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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.


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