The Ghost publishing platform is known for its speed and simplicity, in contrast to the often bloated instances of older platforms like Wordpress. Thus, its unsurprising that many themes for Ghost embrace light and minimal design. At the same time, they need to support the breadth of functionality that Ghost offers. Here are the 5 best minimal themes for Ghost.
Nubia is deceptively simple, with lots of hidden functionality that gets out of your way until you need it. For example, social sharing icons fade in when you mouseover posts on the home page. Individual posts feature a sidebar with additional widgets like recent posts and an Instagram feed.
Of course, the frontend makes up only half of a great theme. Users of Nubia also praised its code quality, documentation, and ease of customization. As a premium theme, there’s dedicated support as well. It’s hard to go wrong with Nubia, whether you’re making a personal blog or magazine website.
Attila is one of the most popular free themes for Ghost out there, and it’s easy to see why. Its Medium-inspired aesthetic shines the spotlight on your content. Navigation is simple, with clear pagination, a collapsible side navbar, and breadcrumbs. While it doesn’t support as many widgets, there are nice touches like reading progress for posts and subscribers support.
Attila is best suited for personal blogs thanks to its clean interface and reading-focused design. If there’s one criticism, it would be that Attila is too light - font weights can be a little small, and a dark mode would be welcome.
If you like Attila but are looking for a free theme with featured images, Bleak is your best bet. The home page has a grid layout that supports featured images and posts. Meanwhile, the fade-in animations throughout the theme creates a buttery-smooth feeling as you browse the site.
Built by the same developer as Attila, it’s unsurprising that navigation shines in this theme, with previous/next post pagination and a navigation modal. There are little touches like post counts for tags and authors that fill out the rest of the theme.
With free themes, there’s always the worry about lack of support, but thankfully, Bleak enjoyed a new release in September 2018 that brings it up to speed with Ghost 2.0.
Astro is another Medium-inspired theme with the premium treatment. The homepage is the familiar minimal feed, but individual posts featured beautiful banner images and an elegant reading progress tool. Animation is used lightly and effectively throughout the theme. Astro supports the latest Koenig editor.
Astro’s major selling point is its blazing-fast performance, with a 100/100 Google PageSpeed score and 0.4-second Pingdom Load Time.
Despite its name, Subtle stands out from the usual “grid and typography”-style minimal themes with its big, bold splash photo on its homepage. It adds a touch of elegance with serif fonts and gold accents, but maintains its minimal aesthetic throughout. Little animations and quality-of-life features like reading progress indicators are sprinkled throughout, making navigation a delight.
The usual features like multiauthor, code syntax highlighting, and Disqus commenting are present. Plus its updated to support the latest Ghost 2.0 features, so you can always be assured it’ll keep up with new features. If you’re looking for a minimal theme that’s a little more unique, Subtle might be the theme for you.