Are you looking for a free theme that makes the most of Ghost’s new email sign up and membership features? This is the perfect place to start. In this article, we have pulled together the best Free Ghost Themes that put email newsletter sign ups front and center. And as an added bonus, we’ve thrown some of the best premium newsletter-first themes in there as well.
If you are not yet familiar with Ghost, it is a free, open-source Content Management System written in Node.js. It is meant to be an alternative to Wordpress that offers a more slimmed-down, simple writing experience that lets you focus more on creating your content than configuring your website. As a result, it has less features and less bloat than Wordpress, creating a very minimal and enjoyable platform.
One of the things that we like best about Ghost, is their suite of membership features. Out of the box, with minimal additional configuration, you are able to collect newsletter sign ups, send email newsletters, add content paywalls and sell premium memberships. This is a very powerful set of features that we feel is heading in the exact direction that small and independent publishers should be going to create sustainable businesses around their content.
To show you what’s possible with Ghost, we’ve gathered the best themes out there currently that take advantage of these newsletter sign up and membership features.
Best Free Ghost Themes
Newsliner is our high quality free and open-source Ghost theme. We built Newsliner specifically to take advantage of Ghost’s new membership features, so if you are looking for an engaging magazine design that maximizes newsletter sign ups, look no further.
It has a catchy hero image that puts newsletter sign ups front and center, while allowing some content to be blocked for readers who haven’t yet signed up. It is fully responsive, with easily customizable colors and fonts.
We built Newsliner with local news sites in mind, but it can be used by anyone who is looking for a newsletter-first, magazine theme for Ghost.
Liebling is a clean and responsive magazine theme for Ghost that has an eye-catching hero image at the top of the page with a card-grid story design underneath. We like the way the “Subscribe” button is put right in the middle of the hero image and the calls to action at the end of every blog post. The theme also has a dark-mode option for those who prefer a darker design.
Dawn used to be a paid theme but has been made open-source since being acquired by the team that runs Ghost. (So it’s kind of like getting a paid theme for free!) We like the minimal, responsive layout that puts subscriptions at the center of the site. If you are looking to start a simple personal blog that takes advantage of Ghost’s membership features, this is a great place to start.
Lyra is another free, open-source theme brought to you by the Ghost team. It is very similar to their basic, Casper starter theme, but showcases their membership features more prominently. We like the simplicity of the theme and the examples that it shows for locking some posts for subscribers only.
Best Premium Ghost Themes
One of the reasons we built our Newsliner Ghost theme, is that there just aren’t that many free and open-source themes out there that really take advantage of Ghost’s newsletter sign up and membership features. There are, however, some paid themes that do this impressively - so either take these as inspiration for modifying a free theme or pay a little extra to get the most of Ghost’s features right away.
The Substation theme for Ghost is meant to give you all of the functionality you can get from Substack, but by using Ghost’s membership features. Like Substack, we really like how the design of the theme drives people to sign up for your email newsletter, as it is the first thing you see when you enter the blog. It also has paid membership options so you can paywall some of your content for paid subscribers only using Stripe’s integration with Ghost.
Futura is a bit of a throwback Ghost theme that has the feel and design of a blog from 10 years ago. We like the subscribe call to action built into the sidebar of the home page. It also has comments from Disqus integrated by default. If the design suits your taste, it is a good option for a blog that puts emphasis on its newsletter.
The Hue theme for Ghost is primarily designed for podcasts. It aims to give a clean and attractive design that is fully responsive and brings good organization to your different podcast episodes. We like how prominently the newsletter subscription is placed at the top of the home page.
Krabi is a modern blog theme for Ghost that really makes the most out of Ghost’s membership features. We like the prominent sidebar prompting email newsletter sign ups and its paid membership support.
That’s everything for now. Although there are lots of other Ghost themes out there, there are still not very many themes that are taking advantage of the new newsletter sign up and membership capabilities. But as we find more themes, we will be sure to add them.
Additionally, we are planning to expand our free Newsliner theme into a premium theme offering more features, so be sure to Contact Us to let us know what else you might want to see in your ideal theme.