Share this project


Share this project

Ghost: Just a Blogging Platform's video poster

An open source blogging platform which makes writing pleasurable and publishing simple. Read more

London, UK Software
Share this project
pledged of £25,000 goal
seconds to go


This project was successfully funded on May 28, 2013.

An open source blogging platform which makes writing pleasurable and publishing simple.

London, UK Software
Share this project

About this project

Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get involved with supporting Ghost. Head over to for more information.

What People Are Saying About Ghost

Forbes - "If Mr. O’Nolan and Ghost deliver on their big idea that is now a funded project, content innovation may return to the forefront of disruptive conversation." 

Wired - "Ghost aims to reboot blogging ... a combination of user-focused design, open-source code & non-profit company"

TechCrunch - "Ghost will take your boring blog to the next astral plane ... it looks so darn beautiful."

Mashable - "Is This Kickstarter Project the Future of Blogging?" 

ProBlogger - "a simply, elegantly designed and useful interface ... I’m really excited to see this developed"

Ignite100, Europe's £1 million startup accelerator programme - "Awesome work."

AGBeat - "first exciting thing to happen to blogging in years"

What do You Have to Say About The World?

Ghost is a platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. It's beautifully designed, completely customiseable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even (gasp) fun to do. It's simple, elegant, and designed so that you can spend less time messing with making your blog work - and more time blogging.

Writing for The Web. Done Right.

Ghost has a smart writing screen. Markdown on the left, and a live preview on the right. Write down your ideas and format them on the fly, never pausing to click on endless formatting buttons, never having to write long/painful HTML to express your ideas. You can even theme the preview pane to match your blog's formatting exactly.

A Dashboard That Makes Sense

Ghost grabs all the important data about your blog and pulls it into one place, so you can see it all together. No more clicking through tens of browser tabs to view your traffic, social media subscriptions, content performance or news feeds. Drag and drop the widgets most important to you into your own custom dashboard, and stay on top of your blog's performance.

Simple Content Management

Ghost does something ridiculously simple when it comes to your content. It lets you browse and preview you all your stuff within a single view, just like you're already used to with your email. Save time, save energy, browse and manage your content without over-click syndrome.

Ready for Sharing and Search

Ghost comes ready to connect to your social media services right out of the box. No endless plugins required to do stuff that everyone with a blog wants to do. Connect your blog to publish to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, rank properly in search engines, and much more.

Customise it Completely

Ghost is Open Source, and it's all yours. You can write themes for it so your blog can have its own design. You can write plugins for it to add your own functionality. You can host it on your laptop, or you can host it on a public server. The code is open, and so is the MIT license. No restrictions.

We're incredibly proud to announce that WooThemes have backed us at the partner level and will be creating themes for Ghost.

"WooThemes wanted to support Ghost and see it become a reality, because we want our users to experience the same awesomeness. As such, we'll be working closely with the Ghost team to get some of our themes Ghost-ready" - Adii Pienaar

Not Just for Solo Bloggers

The first version of Ghost is focused on small blogs, but Ghost was born out of many frustrations. One of those was managing online newsrooms. Want to build the next Mashable? We're building Ghost to scale with features that allow news sites and magazines to manage editors and authors and content in a way that makes sense.

Mobile Friendly

Inspiration can strike anywhere, not just when you're sitting behind a computer. So, Ghost works where you work. Ghost is a fully responsive web application that works on all devices. Not just moderating comments or token functionality. The whole thing.

Made for Love, not for Profit

Ghost is a non-profit project. If successfully funded, Ghost will be legally registered as a not-for-profit organisation. Why should you care? It means that no one owns shares of monetary value in the project. We're building Ghost because we want online publishing to be better. We want to make decisions focused on that goal, not on building a startup that we can sell to Facebook for $1billion. 

Being a non-profit means that any money Ghost makes can only ever be used to re-invest in making Ghost better. Not making shareholders rich.

Use Ghost in The Cloud + Help us Grow

This Kickstarter project is all about building Ghost v1.0 and delivering it to our backers - but we don't just want to stop there. The majority of the problems which exist with self-hosted blogs, exist due to complications with hosting. That's something we want to solve.

We're setting up world-class hosted platform that allows you to set up a new Ghost blog in just a couple of clicks 

You'll need hosting for your blog no matter what, but our service will be the most powerful way of running Ghost - and the easiest to get started with. You'll have the full Ghost software with all bells, whistles, themes, plugins, and some extras that are only available with us (like automatic updates and backups).

What's more by choosing to run your blog through our hosted platform, you'll be investing in the future of the software. 

Every penny we make from our hosted customers will be re-invested to make Ghost better and grow the platform. 

The sad thing about Open Source software projects funded on Kickstarter is that they usually have an initial flurry of activity when they launch, and then they slowly but surely die off when the money runs out because they have no business model to keep going. We want to build Ghost to be a self-sustaining open source project. 

Users hosting with us = revenue = development = better software = more users = more revenue = more development = well... you get the idea.

How Does it Work?

We're incredibly excited about creating the first fully-featured blogging platform in the world that's built entirely with JavaScript.

Ghost is a Node.js application powered by the Express framework. Ghost ships with SQLite, which means it can run pretty much anywhere - however everything is connected through JugglingDB ORM, adding future support for many other database formats.

Ghost will be available via NPM, making it extremely simple (and fast!) to install on all major environments.

Ghost theming is done with Handlebars, which keeps our business and view logic separated. Mmmm semantic + sexy. If you know how to write WordPress themes, you'll be writing Ghost themes in under 5 minutes. Here's an example.

Of course there's also support for customising and extending your blog with additional functionality via plugins with helpers and data filters built right into Ghost. We'll also be supporting full international translations from the word go using Node Polyglot.js.

Finally, Ghost is being released under the MIT License. It's pretty much the most free Open Source license out there. It means you can do whatever you want with Ghost, and you can choose whatever license you want when you build something with Ghost. Want to release a GPL Ghost theme? That's fine. Want to release an MIT theme? That's fine too.

Where We Are Now

We've been slowly working on Ghost since I posted up the idea in November. As you can see from the video, we have a real working prototype - but there's still a lot to do.

With your support we can work hard to finish the first complete release of Ghost and get it out into the world. Your backing will help fund:

  • Development time. We want to work on Ghost and nothing but Ghost in 2013. We want to ship the first public version of Ghost by the end of the summer.
  • Legal stuff. We need to do a couple of important things like register trademarks, and register properly as a non-profit organisation.
  • Infrastructure. We've got tons of work to do to complete the Ghost community website and platform to allow us to properly support users, provide hosting, and be the home of Ghost. We want to complete this by the end of the year.

The People Behind Ghost

My name is John O'Nolan. I've been building websites (but mainly blogs) with WordPress since 2005, a year after it was launched. From 2009-2011 I worked as the Deputy Head of the WordPress UI Group, where I helped to design and develop the WordPress user interface - and spoke at conferences all over the world about designing WordPress. I've designed, built, and worked on blogs for companies including Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic Airways, easyJet, MTV,, Tourism Australia, Tourism Spain, WooThemes, W3 Edge and many others.

My main partner in crime, Hannah Wolfe, is a Senior Developer at where she is currently working with a small team focused on a little site called Hannah has been developing WordPress sites for over 7 years and prior to MOO - worked as a developer for a web agency, building websites (and blogs) for large household names in the UK.

Equally, this first prototype of Ghost would not have been possible without the generous contributions of many other people:

Risks and challenges

With a software development project like this, the biggest risk and challenge is inevitably shipping on time. To combat delays, we'll be setting regular milestones and making sure we hit them + keep our backers updates. We will be prioritising schedule above features.

Our other biggest challenge will be setting up the hosted platform and infrastructure to support our Ghost customers. Hosting is the area where we have the least experience, and the most to learn. This will not in any way inhibit or delay the creation of the software itself.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • I appreciate that some of the rewards have been a little hard to understand because they list different estimated delivery dates. The timeline we are aiming for (note: aiming) is as follows:

    * May 2013 - Completion of Kickstarter
    * June 2013 - Nightly/Weekly releases to VIP level and higher backers
    * August 2013 - Release to ALL Kickstarter backers
    * September 2013 - Public release on Github
    * November 2013 - Release of the hosted platform to Kickstarter backers
    * January 2014 - Release of the hosted platform to the general public

    Last updated:
  • Thanks! We need all the help we can get! In the early stages we're trying keep the core team small but focused and working in a private repository. As soon as we ship the first version of Ghost this summer, we'll open the entire codebase up to contribution from anyone who wants to submit a pull request via Github. That being said, if you're a JavaScript/Node God (or Goddess) - we'd love to talk to you. You can find us on the #Ghost channel on Freenode, or on Twitter @TryGhost.

    Last updated:
  • Yes.

    Last updated:
  • Yes.

    Last updated:
  • We're fascinated by the challenge of building Ghost on Node! There are many decisions in other platforms which are made as a result of technical limitations with the technologies they're built on. Node (while not perfect, as nothing is) lets us approach everything at a fundamentally low level and get around a lot of the barriers which have, until now, been taken for granted when working on something like this. Not to mention that Ghost will live on Github, where an extremely large+active JavaScript outnumber pretty much everyone else. We're excited about being a part of that. Oh, and don't rule out the potential for real-time workflows, we've got lots of ideas for the future here - multi-author collaboration being but one example in a long list!

    Last updated:
  • Yes. Ghost will have an importer that supports importing data from many other platforms. We will add support for platforms based on demand from users. We'll be aiming to support a WordPress import as a priority, however this may not be ready for the initial launch.

    Last updated:
  • We'll be supporting full international translations from the word go using Node Polyglot.js. Once we finalise the initial release, there will be opportunities for anyone who has the desire to do so - to help us translate Ghost into other languages.

    Last updated:
  • Noted. Haters gonna hate. See also: Ironic Backer Reward.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge £5 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    LAST MINUTE FLASH SALE: We're giving 50 backers 50% off 50 copies of Ghost for the next (slightly-more-than) 50 hours! Tell your friends who've been on the fence about the £10 level that they could grab themselves a great deal if they're very quick!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £10 or more

    2,875 backers

    Thanks for helping make this project a reality. The software will be released by digital download to Kickstarter backers before anyone else. NOTE: This project is being funded in Great British Pounds, but you CAN back it in your own currency from anywhere in the world! Woo! £1 is around $1.50.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £25 or more

    1,167 backers

    You get an early access copy of Ghost. You'll also get to RESERVE YOUR USERNAME on the TryGhost community website, which will be the home of Ghost themes, plugins, support forums, documentation, and user profiles. You also get THREE MONTHS FREE on our hosted service so you can set up a public blog in mere seconds. If you want the best and easiest way to launch a blog with Ghost, this is it.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £42 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD MEANING OF LIFE SPECIAL. The first 100 backers get access to the Ghost Founder Pack at nearly 30% off! This is limited to the first 100, once they're gone - they're gone!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £60 or more

    577 backers

    You get an early access copy of Ghost, reserve your username on the community website. You also get SIX MONTHS FREE on our hosted service and a FOUNDER emblem forever marked next to your username on the community site. You will be listed as a contributor on the first public release of Ghost - etched into history.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £120 or more

    142 backers

    You get an early access copy of Ghost, reserve your username + founder emblem on the community website, listed as a contributor on the first release. You also get access to private WEEKLY DEVELOPMENT RELEASES as we build Ghost, and ONE YEAR FREE ON OUR HOSTED SERVICE. This means you'll be using Ghost and giving us feedback on it at least 3 months before anyone else.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £250 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    You get everything in the super VIP pack, but you also get access to the Ghost Nightly releases as well as the Theme and Plugin documentation *as we write it*. We'll help you get started with developing themes and plugins on top of Ghost and we'll promote one of your products for ONE YEAR on the official Ghost website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £666 or more

    11 backers Limited (19 left of 30)

    You get everything in the Developer Special, but you also get a top-secret email address that gives you direct, priority access to the Ghost development team. We'll help you convert your blog (or your themes) to Ghost, and ask you to help us with planning the official Ghost open marketplace. Oh, and you're also invited to our launch party in London.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £1,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    SPONSOR A GHOST RELEASE: Being a release sponsor means we'll name a release of Ghost after you and thank you publicly on our blog, social media channels, and newsletter (with your logo and link) when it goes out. Not only that, but you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special! We'll organise with you which release you'd like to be a part of, and you'll be featured heavily when it goes out.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £3,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    If Ghost is successfully funded, I will get a large (like, coffee cup radius) tattoo of the WordPress logo! I'll make a video of it and send it to you. Presumably you'll publish it on the internet, so all can revel in my humiliation. You'll also get everything in the Elite Developer Special. See? Even if you don't like the idea, you can still help. HATERS GONNA... BE PRODUCTIVE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £5,000

    8 backers All gone!

    You don't just believe in this early version of Ghost, you believe in the vision and what it stands for. Being a Ghost partner means you will be a part of all our launch activities and gets your logo + link on every page of our site and newsletters for at least the next year. We'll help you convert (or set up from scratch) one Ghost blog and feature you as a case study on our site.
    And, of course, you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special. Put your company firmly behind backing this open source project and it won't soon forget you.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £5,000

    1 backer Limited (7 left of 8)

    THE SILVER PARTNER LIST: After the wild 8-day sellout success of the initial Ghost Partner List, we're bringing you the Silver Partner List. We now have 8 more slots for companies who want to get behind Ghost in a very real way. Being a Ghost Silver partner means you get your logo and link prominently on the 'Partners' page of the website as well as in the newsletters for our major and minor releases for the next year. You'll also get a logo/link in the final Kickstarter update of the campaign. We'll help you convert (or set up from scratch) one Ghost blog and feature you as a case study on our site. And, of course, you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (29 days)