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East Documentation

Current Version:1.3.0 - 24 September 2020 Changelog →

👋 Theme Editing & Tools

Edit the theme files mentioned here with your text editor of choice. For example, you can use Visual Studio Code ↗ or Sublime Text ↗.

Once you finish making your changes, zip the theme files, and upload the final zip file to your Ghost website.

If you are looking for Ghost hosting, I recommend Ghost(Pro) ↗.

Watch the following short video tutorial about theme editing.

Table of Contents

Theme Installation

The first step is to unzip the downloaded package. Inside the new directory east, you will find the zipped theme and a documentation file.

Follow these steps to upload the theme to your blog:

  1. Log in to your Ghost website admin (
  2. Click Design in the left-side menu.
  3. Scroll down to the INSTALLED THEMES section.
  4. Click Upload a theme.
  5. Select the theme file (
  6. Once uploaded, click Activate now to activate the theme immediately. If you want to activate it later, click Close.

Upload the routes.yaml File (⚑ Required)

The routes.yaml file is required for member sign up, and subscription flows.

To upload the file, follow these steps:

  1. Unzip the .zip theme file.
  2. Go to the Labs page in Ghost admin (/#/settings/labs).
  3. Scroll down to the Routes section and click the Upload routes YAML button.
  4. Select and upload the routes.yaml file inside the theme zip file.

Upload a routes file in Ghost

Note: upload routes.yaml after uploading the theme zip

There will already be a default routes.yaml file uploaded to Ghost. You need to upload your theme’s routes.yaml to override the default.

Do this separately after uploading your theme zip file.

Create a New Content API Key (⚑ Required)

To enable certain features, like Search, you’ll need to create a new Content API Key. Follow these steps to create your key.

In the left-side menu of your Ghost admin, click Integrations then + Add custom integration.

Add new Ghost Custom integrations

Give the new integration a name, like “Search”, and click Create.

Name for the Ghost Custom integrations

A new content API Key will be created. When you hover over it, a Copy button will appear. Click the button to copy the key to the clipboard.

Copy Ghost Custom integrations Content API Key

Next, click Code injection from the left-side admin menu.

After replacing the API_KEY value with your API Key, add the following code to the Site Header box:

  var search_api_key = 'API_KEY';

It should look like this:

Inject Ghost Custom integrations Content API Key

Click Save.

Members / Subscriptions

Enable subscribers by checking the Enable members checkbox on the Labs page in your Ghost admin panel.

Enable subscribers

Once enabled, different parts of the theme will appear on the website:

  • Login In and Subscribe links in the sidebar
  • A post subscription form
  • If the post is set to Members Only, a Call to Action section on the Post page to encourage visitors to subscribe

Edit Plan Features

To edit plan features, edit the partials/signup-plans.hbs file.

Subscription plans in east

Remove ‘Log In’ and ‘Subscribe’ from Sidebar

To remove Log In and Subscribe from the sidebar, open the partials/sidebar.hbs file and remove lines 21 to 29

Membership Troubleshooting Tips

If for any reason the subscribe form does not work, or there is an error message, the following tips might help:

  1. If you are self-hosting your website, make sure to set up the mail config. After doing that, restart your Ghost server.

  2. The website config URL should match the URL used to access the website, as described in the Ghost docs.

Enter the URL that is used to access your publication. If using a subpath, enter the full path, If using SSL, always enter the URL with https://..

For more information about Members, connecting Stripe, and setting the package price, check the official Ghost documentation.

You can add, edit, delete, and reorder menu links on your Ghost blog in the NAVIGATION section (Admin > Settings > Design).

Ghost navigation menu

To include a static page on your navigation menu, follow these steps.

First, type the page’s name as you’d like it appear on your menu in the label field.

Ghost label field

Next, click on the item’s URL. The blog URL will already be auto-populated. Add the page slug after the final /. When you’re satisfied with your page configurations, click the blue Save button to add the page to the navigation menu.

The theme uses ghostHunter.

The search goes through the Post title and the content. It supports only Posts, not Pages.

The supported languages are German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Finnish, Dutch, Turkish, and Danish.

Tags Page

Follow these steps to create the Tags page:

  1. From the Ghost admin Pages section, create a new page and give it a title, like “Tags”.
  2. From Page settings, select the Tags template.
  3. Publish the page.
  4. To add the page to the navigation, please check the Navigation section above.

Ghost Tags Page

Note for Self-hosters

If you are self-hosting your website, you may need to do a server restart. This should get the Tags option to show up in the Template dropdown.

Contact Page

To create the Contact page:

  • Create a new Page and call it Contact for example.
  • Add your content and the contact form code using FORMSPREE as a service. Please check the code example below.
  • Publish the page.
  • To add the page to the navigation, please check the Navigation section above.
<form action="" method="POST">
  <p><input type="text" name="name" placeholder="Name"></p><br>
  <p><input type="email" name="_replyto" placeholder="Email"></p><br>
  <p><textarea name='message' placeholder="Message"></textarea></p>
  <input class='button' type="submit" value="Send">

For more information, check the How to Add a Contact Form to Your Ghost Blog blog post.


To enable Disqus as a comments system, open the partials/disqus.hbs file. Replace the aspirethemes-demos value with the disqus_shortname variable to match your Disqus account shortname.

var disqus_shortname = 'aspirethemes-demos';

So, if your Disqus shortname is exampleone, the final code above should be:

var disqus_shortname = 'exampleone';

From the theme side, that’s all you need to set up Disqus. If you have any issues with comments not loading, make sure you have registered your website with Disqus (Step 1).

If you still have issues, check the Disqus troubleshooting guide.

Disable Disqus

To disable Disqus comments, open the post.hbs file and comment or delete the line containing the {{> disqus}} text (line 110).

Disable Disqus Recommendations

Checkout the Disqus Recommendations documentation.

Disable Recommendations

If you have any issue with Disqus redirecting to any advertising pages, please disabled Tracking and Affiliate Links from your Disqus account.

Check out Keegan Leary’s blog post about this issue at

Also, be aware of Disqus trackings. Check out

So, you might want to use another commenting system.

Thanks for sharing, Keegan!

Posts Per Page

You can control how many posts display per page from the package.json file.

"config": {
  "posts_per_page": 12

The theme default value is set to 12 posts per page.

Google Analytics

To integrate Google Analytics, I recommend using the Google Analytics integration by Ghost.

Update Favicon

You can change the favicon in Ghost from Admin > General > PUBLICATION IDENTITY > Publication icon.

Update Ghost CMS favicon

Social Sharing Icons

You can customize and update a post’s social media sharing icons from the partials/share.hbs theme file.

Sidebar social media links are placed in the partials/sidebar.hbs file.

The Ghost CMS supports adding Facebook and Twitter profile URLs from the admin panel, go to General > Social accounts and add your URLs, this will update the Facebook and Twitter URLs within the location mentioned above.


For using other social accounts, the theme is using Evil Icons, which contains very simple and clean icons. Here you can find a list of the social media icons to use:


<span data-icon='ei-sc-facebook' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-github' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-instagram' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-linkedin' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-odnoklassniki' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-pinterest' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-skype' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-soundcloud' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-telegram' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-tumblr' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-twitter' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-vimeo' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-vk' data-size='s'></span>


<span data-icon='ei-sc-youtube' data-size='s'></span>

To edit or update other existed and static social links, let’s take an example from partials/sidebar.hbs file, for example, the Instagram code block:

  <a href='{{! Add Instagram handle }}' target='_blank'>
    <span data-icon='ei-sc-instagram' data-size='s'></span>

The code above contains the ICON code from the above list and the social media link (a) within a list element (li).

Next, replace your Instagram username with {{! Add Instagram handle }} value, so if your Instagram username is ghost, the new code will be:

  <a href='' target='_blank'>
    <span data-icon='ei-sc-instagram' data-size='s'></span>

If you want to remove Instagram altogether, you can delete all the code blocks, the li, a, and the icon.

You can update or delete the copyright information in the partials/sidebar.hbs file (line 67).


East ships with many languages already. But if you’d like to add another one, you’ll be able to do that too.

Theme Translation

East supports Ghost i18n and comes with German, Italian, Spanish, French Finnish, Portuguese Dutch, Turkish and Danish translation.

To use a language other than English, go to Admin > General > PUBLICATION INFO > Publication Language and enter the ISO Code.

  • da for Danish
  • de for Germany
  • du for Dutch
  • en for English
  • es for Spanish
  • fi for Finnish
  • fr for French
  • it for Italian
  • pt for Portuguese
  • tr for Turkish

Ghost Publication Language Setting

Add a New Language

To add a new language, follow these steps.

  1. Create a new file in the theme’s locales folder with the language ISO Code code. So, if the new language is Arabic, the new file name will be ar.json.
  2. Copy the en.json file content into your new file and start to translate, as shown in the following section.
  3. Go to Admin > General > PUBLICATION INFO > Publication Language and enter the language code (ar in this example).

Edit a Translation

To improve or edit a translation in a specific available language, you can open the language file in the locales folder:

| |____da.json
| |____de.json
| |____du.json
| |____en.json
| |____es.json
| |____fi.json
| |____fr.json
| |____it.json
| |____pt.json
| |____tr.json

For example, the German translation file looks like this:

  "Next": "Weiter",
  "Previous": "Zurück",
  " (Page %)": " (Seite %)",

  "Featured Post": "Featured Artikel",
  "Page Not Found": "Seite nicht gefunden",
  "Comments": "Bemerkungen",
  "Newsletter": "Newsletter",
  "1 min read": "1 minuten gelesen",
  "% min read": "% minuten gelesen",
  "Published with {ghostLink}": "Veröffentlicht mit {ghostLink}",

  "Share on Twitter": "Auf Twitter teilen",
  "Share on Facebook": "Auf Facebook teilen",
  "Share on Pinterest": "Auf Pinterest teilen",
  "Share via Email": "Teilen Sie per E-Mail",

  "Search": "Suche",
  "Type to Search": "Tippe um zu suchen",

  "Account": "Konto",
  "Log In": "Einloggen",
  "Log Out": "Ausloggen",
  "Continue": "Fortsetzen",
  "Subscribe": "Abonnieren",
  "Subscribe Now": "Abonniere jetzt",
  "Your email ": "Deine E-Mail-Adresse",
  "Please check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.": "Bitte überprüfen Sie Ihren Posteingang und klicken Sie auf den Link, um Ihr Abonnement zu bestätigen.",
  "Please enter a valid email address!": "Bitte geben Sie eine gültige E-Mail-Adresse ein!",
  "An error occurred, please try again later.": "Ein Fehler ist aufgetreten. Bitte versuchen Sie es später erneut.",

  "You've successfully subscribed to {siteTitle}": "Sie haben {siteTitle} erfolgreich abonniert.",
  "Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to {siteTitle}": "Toll! Schließen Sie als Nächstes die Prüfung ab, um vollen Zugriff auf {siteTitle} zu erhalten.",
  "Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.": "Willkommen zurück! Sie haben sich erfolgreich angemeldet.",
  "Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.": "Erfolg! Ihr Konto ist vollständig aktiviert, Sie haben nun Zugriff auf alle Inhalte.",

  "Already have an account?": "Hast du schon ein Konto?",
  "Don't have an account yet?": "Sie haben noch keinen Account?",

  "This post is for paying subscribers only": "Dieser Beitrag ist nur für zahlende Abonnenten",
  "This post is for subscribers only": "Dieser Beitrag ist nur für Abonnenten",

  "Choose your subscription": "Wählen Sie Ihr Abonnement",
  "Unlock full access to {siteTitle} and see the entire library of members-only content & updates.": "Schalte den vollen Zugriff auf {siteTitle} frei und sieh dir die gesamte Bibliothek mit Inhalten und Updates nur für Mitglieder an.",
  "Subscribe to {siteTitle}": "Abonnieren bei {siteTitle}",

  "Welcome back!": "Willkommen zurück!",
  "Log Into your account again.": "Melden Sie sich erneut in Ihrem Konto an.",
  "Send login link": "Anmeldelink senden",

  "Nice, you're a subscriber!": "Schön, dass Sie Abonnent sind!",
  "You have an active {siteTitle} account with access to all posts.": "Sie haben ein aktives {siteTitle} Konto mit Zugriff auf alle Posts.",
  "You're a subscriber to free members updates": "Sie sind Abonnent der kostenlosen Mitgliederaktualisierungen",
  "You are subscribed to free updates from {siteTitle}, but don't have a paid subscription to read all the posts.": "Sie haben kostenlose Updates von {siteTitle} abonniert, haben jedoch kein kostenpflichtiges Abonnement, um alle Beiträge zu lesen."

Each line consists of a left key ("Next") and a right value ("Weiter").

The key is plain English that exists in all translation files and should not be changed. You should change only the value.

If you have any suggestions to improve a current translation or add a new language, please contact me.

Theme Deploy with GitHub Actions

East comes integrated with the Deploy Ghost Theme ↗ Github action.

East Documentation GitHub Actions

I have written about this at How to Deploy Your Ghost Theme Using Github Actions ↗. All you need to do is follow steps 1 and 2.

Theme Development

If you are a developer and need to do heavy customization work, the theme uses Gulp to compile Sass and JavaScript. This improves the development flow and makes it much faster.


Changing any hbs file, for example, the post.hbs file does not require being in development mode with gulp running. Just edit the file in your preferred editor and upload it.

First, make sure you have Node.js, npm, Gulp CLI, and Bower installed. Check My Current Setup.

Run the following command in the theme root directory to install npm and bower dependencies.

npm install

To start Gulp, run:


This will compile Sass and JavaScript files and start watching changes as you edit files.

Gulp will produce two files:

  • assets/js/app.min.js: The final main JavaScript file
  • partials/compiled/inline-css.hbs: The final CSS file

If you are working with Gulp, it’s recommended you avoid editing these files. Instead, do customizations in assets/sass for CSS or in assets/js/app.js JavaScript. This way, you can make sure the flow is going in the right direction and never lose any changes.

My Current Setup

In case you are wondering what my current environment set up is and which package versions I use, take a look at the following:

$ node -v

$ npm -v

$ bower -v

$ gulp -v
CLI version: 2.2.0
Local version: 4.0.2

This environment works well for running Ghost and also for theme development.

I use macOS Big Sur.

Code Injection

Another choice for customization is to use the Ghost Code Injection settings in Ghost admin.

For a CSS example, you can use the following code in the Site Header section to change the logo color and font size.

  .c-logo__link {
    color: #4550E5;
    font-size: 32px;

Watch the following short video about Ghost Code Injection, how it works, and how to use it.

Zip Theme Files

To create a zip file after your theme changes, you can use one of the following options.

Use one of the first two options if you are on a Theme Development mode.

1. Using the command line
zip -r east -x '*node_modules*' '*bower_components*'

This will exclude the node_modules and bower_components directories from the final zip file.

2. Using Gulp

If you are running gulp, you can type the gulp zip command to do this.

3. Using your computer program

You can compress it as a standard folder just like you do with any other folder on your computer. If you are on Mac, right-click on it to view the context menu. Then, click the “Compress” option.

Theme Update

You may be wondering: how can I update my theme to the latest theme version?

There are two choices:

  • Keep your current theme and replace only the changed files from the new version. You can find the modified files on the theme page Changelog
  • Use the latest version as a starting point and redo your theme changes and customizations

One way to reduce the need for redoing customizations is to use the Code Injection tool. This is very helpful for adding custom CSS and tracking code. Keeping your custom CSS code with Code Injection is always recommended.

Tell me your feedback and your experience

I'm open to your feedback and to hear about your experience. If you have about one minute, please send your thoughts through this Google Form ↗.

Thank you for your time!

👋 Support

Have any questions? I'm here to help 😊

Contact Ahmad
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Ahmad Ajmi