Knowledge Base

Ghost basics

You've decided to start blogging, and you want to use Ghost. This article provides what you need to get up and running.

Step 1: Install Ghost

The first step is to install Ghost on your account. If you haven't ordered a hosting account yet, this is very easy. When you order your hosting package with A2 Hosting, simply select Ghost in the list of auto-installation options. After your account is set up, Ghost will be ready and waiting for you.

If you have already ordered a hosting account with A2 Hosting, there are two ways to install Ghost:

  • Softaculous: Softaculous is an automated application installer that A2 Hosting provides with managed hosting accounts. It enables you to install a wide range of applications on your account with just a few clicks, including Ghost. For information about how to install Ghost using Softaculous, please see this article.
  • Manual installation: You can install Ghost manually, though this requires significant additional work on your part (you must install Ghost and Node.js manually). For information about how to install Ghost manually, please see this article.

After Ghost is installed on your account, it's time to start making your site your own.

Step 2: Import content (optional)

This step is optional. You may already have existing content that you want to import into Ghost, such as raw text or posts from another blogging application. Unfortunately, because there are a huge number of blogging applications, each with its own storage format, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to importing existing content into Ghost.

The simplest way to import content into Ghost is to simply copy-and-paste raw text. However, if you have existing WordPress content, you can migrate it to Ghost. For information about how to do this, please see this article.

Step 3: Customize Ghost

Before you starting creating and posting content, you should do some site customization. Ghost makes this easy with its theme support.

A theme provides a site's look-and-feel, including fonts, colors, page layouts, and more. There are many themes available for Ghost, both free and paid. To get an idea of the variety of themes that are available, please visit

After you choose a theme, all you need to do is install it, and your site instantly has a completely new visual appearance. For information about how to install themes in Ghost, please see this article.

While themes modify site appearance, plugins extend and enhance site functionality. Currently, Ghost does not have plugin functionality, but it is under active development.

Step 4: Create content

You've installed Ghost and done some basic site customization. Now it's time to get down to the business of actually creating and sharing content!

Posts and pages

Ghost makes a distinction between two types of content, posts and pages:

  • Posts are chronologically ordered on the home page, with the newest posts at the top.
  • Pages contain content that does not change (also referred to as static). As a result, they are not listed by date. Common examples of static pages are “About me” or “Contact us” pages. A blogging site is often composed mainly of posts, with only a few static pages.

Typically, you'll initially create a few static pages when first setting up your site, and then leave them untouched. On the other hand, you'll be creating and editing new posts frequently.

To create a new post or page for your site, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Ghost as the administrator. The dashboard appears.
  2. In the left pane, click New Post:

    Ghost - Add new post

  3. In the Your Post Title text box, type a title for the post or page, such as Hi mom:

    Ghost - Add post title

  4. In the large text box, type the content for the post or page:

    Ghost - Add post content

    • Ghost uses Markdown, which is a simplified way to add formatting to your content. For example, text surrounded by double asterisks (**) indicates bold text. Ghost supports keyboard shortcuts for almost all of the Markdown that it supports, so you don't have to remember any complicated syntax. For example, to mark text bold, highlight the text and then press Ctrl+B. To view Ghost's quick reference for Markdown, click the Ghost - Markdown quick reference icon icon.
    • As you type content, the Preview pane displays a live preview of what the content will look like when it is published.
  5. To view the settings for the post, click the Ghost - Post settings icon icon. The Post Settings pane appears:

    • To add an image to the post, click Add post image.
    • To save the content as a static page instead of a post, select the Turn this post into a static page check box.
  6. To save the content as a draft and work on it later, click SAVE DRAFT. Because this is a very simple example, go ahead and click Ghost - Publish icon, and then click Publish Now. The post appears on the home page immediately.

    • The SAVE DRAFT feature is perfect for capturing ideas when you're not ready yet to publish content for the world to see.
    • To delete the post without saving it, click Ghost - Publish icon, and then click Delete Post.

Step 5: Manage comments

After you post content, you may want readers to be able to add comments and discuss what you have written.

Ghost currently does not have a built-in commenting system, but you can add this functionality. For information about how to do this, please see this article.