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Petra Ghost Theme — Documentation

Theme version: 1.0.3 — 13 October 2023 Changelog

Theme Editing & Tools

Edit the theme files mentioned here with a code editor. I recommend Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text. Don’t use TextEdit on Mac.

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

If editing the routes.yaml file, make sure to upload it after every change you make.

Watch the following short video tutorial about theme editing.

If you're looking for Ghost hosting, I recommend Ghost(Pro).

Table of Contents

Theme Installation

To begin, unzip the downloaded package by double-clicking it on a Mac or by right-clicking and selecting “Extract All” on Windows.

Inside the new petra folder, you will find the theme file and an online documentation file.

Follow these steps to upload the theme to your website:

  1. Log in to your Ghost website admin (
  2. Click the settings icon ( ) at the bottom of the left-hand side.
  3. Go to Site > Design & branding.
  4. Click Customize > Change theme.
  5. Click Upload theme and select the theme file.
  6. Once uploaded, click Activate now to activate Petra.

Upload the routes.yaml File (⚑ Required)

To upload the file, follow these steps:

  1. Unzip the file — the one you uploaded to your website — on your computer.
  2. In your Ghost admin, click the settings icon ( ) at the bottom of the left-hand side.
  3. Go to Advanced > Labs.
  4. Click Open > Beta features.
  5. From the Routes section, click Upload routes YAML button.
  6. Select and upload the routes.yaml file inside the theme folder.
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.


The homepage will show a list of content sections.

Homepage Content

Petra Ghost Theme Custom Homepage Setting

➀ In Ghost admin, create a new Page.

➁ In Page settings, set the Page URL as home.

Petra Ghost Theme Custom Homepage Setting

➂ Add your content, Excerpt, upload your feature image.

Above the title in the Ghost editor, click the + Add feature image to upload your image.

Petra Ghost Theme Custom Homepage feature Image

➃ Click Publish.

Now, go to your website homepage, and your content is visible.

Homepage Metadata Note

Due to a Ghost limitation not exposing the custom homepage data, the homepage Metadata information will be coming from the admin General and Branding settings.

  • From the site admin Settings > General, you can set up the Title & description.
  • From the site admin Settings > Design > Brand, you can set up the Publication cover. You can upload the same image as the homepage feature image if you have already uploaded one.

Metadata is helpful for Search Engine Optimization and sharing your website on social media sites to have a nice-looking preview.

The Twitter card and Facebook card meta settings under Settings > General are helpful if you want to customize the look for these specific sites.

It might take some time for the social media site to fetch the new image and to see the changes; give it some time. You can also use a tool like Twitter Card validator for testing.

Homepage Highlight Boxes

Petra Ghost Theme Homepage Highlight Boxes

Think of the Highlight Boxes section as a wall where you can add links to your important pages, whether on your website or other websites. For example, you can add a link to your online course, shop, podcast, or book. You got the point.

The Highlight Boxes section is invisible by default. To show it:

  1. Go to your Ghost admin Settings > Design & branding > Homepage
  2. Activate the Show highlights section option
Petra Ghost Theme Homepage Highlight Boxes Setting

Update the Highlight Boxes

Unzip the file — the one you uploaded to your website — on your computer.

Petra Ghost Theme Homepage Highlight Theme Unzip

Open the petra folder using a code editor and open the theme /partials/home/highlights.hbs file. You can find four default boxes.

Petra Ghost Theme Homepage Highlight Theme File In Editor

Each Highlight box contains:

  1. Highlight link
  2. Highlight icon
  3. Highlight title
  4. Highlight description
<a href='#' class='c-card-highlight'>
  <div class='c-card-highlight__head'>
    <span class='c-card-highlight__icon'></span>
    <h3 class='c-card-highlight__title'>Consulting</h3>
  <p class='c-card-highlight__description'>Would love working together? Let’s do that.</p>

Let’s update the above example with new data. I will make a box to link to my Goodreads profile, so I will:

  1. Replace the link href # value in the first line with my page URL
  2. Add a custom icon — see the icon example below or you can also use an emoji
  3. Instead of Consulting, let’s use Books
  4. And replace the description

The previous example might look like this:

<a href='' class='c-card-highlight'>
  <div class='c-card-highlight__head'>
    <span class='c-card-highlight__icon'></span>
    <h3 class='c-card-highlight__title'>Reading</h3>
  <p class='c-card-highlight__description'>Checkout my Goodreads profile and reading list.</p>

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

Dingbat ❊

✁ ✂ ✃ ✄ ✅ ✆ ✇ ✈ ✉ ☛ ☞ ✌ ✍ ✎ ✏ ✐ ✑ ✒ ✓ ✔ ✕ ✖ ✗ ✘ ✙ ✚ ✛ ✜ ✝ ✞ ✟ ✠ ✡ ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥ ✦ ✧ ★ ✩ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯ ✰ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✴ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ✺ ✻ ✼ ✽ ✾ ✿ ❀ ❁ ❂ ❃ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉ ❊ ❋ ● ❍ ■ ❏ ☺ ☻ ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠ • ◘ ○ ❐ ❑ ❒ ▲ ▼ ◆ ❖ ◗ ❘ ❙ ❚ ❛ ❜ ❝ ❞ → ☀ ↳ ⤷ ✌︎ ☼ 

➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉

➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓

Fleuron ❦

❦ ❧ ☙

To control how many Featured or Recent posts to show, go to your Ghost admin Settings > Design & branding > Homepage

You will find two input settings:

  • Number of featured posts default value is 2, which will only show two featured posts.
  • Number of recent posts default value is 6, showing only the recent six posts excluding featured posts.

Input values you can use:

  1. Number, 1, 2 or 3 or any number you want to include
  2. all to show all posts
  3. none to show nothing
Homepage Number of Featured and Recent Posts Settings

Tags Page

The Tags page will automatically pull all your website tags.

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. Click Publish to publish the page.
  4. To add the page to the navigation, please check the Navigation section.
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.

Changing Colors

You can change all your website colors from the admin settings.

Go to your website admin Settings > Design > Site design > Site-wide to show color settings.

Petra Ghost CMS Theme Colors Settings

Colors Explained

  1. Text color primary. Main text color for site content
  2. Text color secondary. Text color for post date and image caption elements
  3. Border color. Color of the border, for example, the border around post cards
  4. Background color primary. The main background color
  5. Background color secondary. For site footer, post card hover background, Highlight boxes hover background, and a placeholder for images before loading.

You can also set the Accent color from the admin Settings > Design > Brand > Accent color. The Accent color is used for the content Header Card with the background set to the Accent color and also for the Homepage Highlight Boxes.

Ghost Accent Color Setting

Color Tools

The following are some online websites and tools to help with color inspiration. Please make sure you choose an accessible color scheme; this is important for readers.


Petra has different interface elements for membership features.

  1. Homepage top subscribe form in the introduction section
  2. Global subscribe form at the end of every page
  3. Call to action section on the post page to encourage visitors to subscribe if the post is for members only

If the visitor is already logged in, all the forms will be hidden automatically.

Remove Membership Components from the Theme

If you want to disable membership from your website, you can do the following from the website admin. After doing this, all the theme/website membership elements like header links and forms will be removed.

  1. Go to your Ghost admin Settings > Membership > Access > Subscription access
  2. Select Nobody
  3. Click Save

Remove homepage top subscribe form

Add the following CSS code into the Ghost admin Code Injection Site Header.

  .c-content--home .c-subscribe {
    display: none;

Click Save.

Remove the global subscribe form

Add the following CSS code into the Ghost admin Code Injection Site Header.

  .c-section--newsletter {
    display: none;

Click Save.

Remove Ghost Portal / The Bottom Right Button

This is the Ghost Portal button; you can disable it from the Ghost admin. More information at Portal Look and feel.

Remove Ghost Portal

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. First, ensure you run the latest version of Ghost.

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

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

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

If you still have an issue using Ghost Pro, please get in touch with the Ghost team. If you use any self-hosting provider, please get in touch with them for help.

There is nothing to do from the theme side. Also, you can try the original theme demo to double-check that everything is working fine.

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

Post Feature Image Size

The post feature image ideal size to upload is 1054 × 702. The visible size is 527 × 351, but double it to 1054 × 702 to look sharper on retina displays.

You can add, edit, delete, and reorder navigation menu in Ghost Admin from the Settings > Site > Navigation > Primary.

Ghost CMS navigation menu

Add New Page to Navigation

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

Ghost CMS label field

Next, click on the item’s URL. The blog URL will already be auto-populated. Add the page slug after the final /.

Click the Save button.

Add Blog Page to Navigation

To add the blog item to the site navigation, add it as a navigation item. Make sure to set the destination URL to /blog/ like the following screenshot.

Ubud Ghost Theme Blog Navigation Item

Add a Hyphen (-) followed by a space before the navigation Label to add a dropdown menu.

Ghost dropdown navigation menu

In this example, Contact will be the parent item with Blog and Archive as child items.

Like Header Navigation, you can add the footer navigation links from the Ghost admin Settings > Site > Navigation > Secondary.

Petra uses the Ghost Native Search.

  1. Go to your Ghost admin Settings > Design > Site design > Site-wide
  2. Toggle the Show search option off
  3. Click Save


The theme comes with Ghost Native Comments integration. You can turn the comments on from your Ghost admin Settings > Membership > Commenting.

Learn more about Ghost comments.

Ghost developer documentation for comments.

The theme file for Ghost comments partials/comments/ghost.hbs.

Ghost supports adding only Facebook and Twitter URLs. Go to Settings > General > Social accounts and add your URLs from your site admin.

By default, Ghost fills these fields with the Ghost social links. If you don’t have Twitter and Facebook, you can remove the default ones, and the links will disappear from the theme.

Ghost CMS Theme Social Accounts

Petra supports adding Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Linkedin URLs. Go to Settings > Design > Site-wide.

Petra Ghost Theme Social Media Accounts Settings

The social links theme file is at /partials/social-links.hbs.


Petra comes in many languages already. But if you’d like to add another one, you’ll be able to do that too.

Theme Translation

Petra supports Ghost i18n and comes with Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Finnish, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, and Danish translations.

To use a language other than English, go to your Ghost admin Settings > General > PUBLICATION INFO and enter the ISO Code into the Publication Language field.

The following is a list of the available theme languages with the code to use.

  • ar for Arabic
  • da for Danish
  • de for Germany
  • en for English
  • es for Spanish
  • fi for Finnish
  • fr for French
  • it for Italian
  • nl for Dutch
  • pt for Portuguese
  • tr for Turkish
Ghost Publication Language Setting

Add a New Language Translation

If the theme does not have a translation for your language, follow the following steps to add a new language translation.

  1. Create a new file using a code editor in the theme’s locales folder with the ISO Language Codes code. Foe example, if the new language is Japanese, the ISO code will be jaand the file name will be ja.json.
  2. In the same locales folder, open the en.json file and copy its content into your new language file.
  3. Start translating, as shown in the following Edit Translation section.
  4. Go to your Ghost admin Settings > General > PUBLICATION INFO and enter your language ISO code into the Publication Language field. For example, ja.
  5. Click Save settings.

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

You may want to restart Ghost or deactivate and activate the theme again to make the new changes effective.

Edit Translation

To improve or edit a translation in a specific available language, you can open the language file using a code editor in the /locales/ theme folder:

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

For example, the German translation file (de) looks like this:

  "Skip to content": "Zum Inhalt springen",

  "Page Not Found": "Page Not Found",

  "Featured Posts": "Featured Posts",
  "Recent Posts": "Recent Posts",
  "Next": "Next",

  "Comments": "Kommentare",

  "1 min": "1 minuten",
  "% min": "% minuten",

  "Loading": "Wird geladen",
  "Load More": "Weitere Artikel",

  "Subscribe": "Abonnieren",
  "Email address": "Email address",
  "Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.": "Abonnieren Sie, um die neuesten Beiträge in Ihrem Posteingang zu erhalten.",
  "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.",

  "This content is for Members": "Dieser Inhalt ist für Mitglieder",
  "This content is for Paid Members": "Dieser Inhalt ist für bezahlte Mitglieder",
  "This content is for Subscribers on the ": "This content is for Subscribers on the ",
  "Upgrade your account": "Aktualisieren Sie Ihr Konto",
  "Already have an account?": "Hast du schon ein Konto?",

  "Published with {ghostLink} & {themeLink}": "Veröffentlicht mit {ghostLink} & {themeLink}"

Each line consists of a left key ("Loading") and a right value ("Wird geladen").

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.

Portal Text & Translation

There is no way to change or translate the Portal text or other parts of the website like Comments and Search labels. It is also not possible to translate the newsletter emails your subscribers receive. These are core Ghost components and not part of the theme layer; we can’t control them.

I suggest reaching out to the Ghost team ( ); so they might work on this issue or have a workaround.


RTL means right to left. Turning on RTL makes the theme readable for languages written from right to left, like Arabic or Hebrew.

To enable the RTL option, open the partials/head.hbs theme file using a code editor and change line 7 to {{> css/dist/style-rtl }}.

Save the file and upload the theme to your Ghost blog.

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

Multiple Languages Support

The theme supports Ghost translations for different languages, which means if you set the site language to French, some parts of the theme will change to French, for example, button labels.

On the other hand, having multiple languages on one website is not supported out of the box in Ghost, so the theme is.

Posts Per Page

You can control how many posts to display per page from the theme package.json file. Open that file using a code editor and change the posts_per_page value from 15 to a number.

"config": {
  "posts_per_page": 15

The theme default value is set to 15 posts per page.

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

Typography Drop Caps

The theme comes with different styles of typography drop caps. It will apply to the first letter of the first word in a given paragraph.

To add a drop cap style to a paragraph.

  1. Add an HTML card to your Post or Page content editor
  2. In that HTML card, add a <p> </p> HTML element with the Drop Cap CSS class. For example, <p class='u-drop-cap-small'> </p>. Check below for the available classes for each style
  3. Add your paragraph text whith that <p> </p> HTML element
Petra Ghost Theme Typography Dropcap HTML Card

There are currently two styles available.

➊ Small Drop Cap

  • CSS class → u-drop-cap-small
  • Example ↓
<p class='u-drop-cap-small'>TEXT HERE</p>

The result.

Petra Ghost Theme Typography Dropcap

➋ Large Drop Cap

  • CSS class → u-drop-cap-large
  • Example ↓
<p class='u-drop-cap-large'>TEXT HERE</p>

The result.

Petra Ghost Theme Typography Dropcap Large

To save time each time you create a new Drop Cap, you can create it as a snippet.

Changing Theme Typeface

Petra is using one typeface, DM Sans.

The theme loads DM Sans using Google Fonts in the theme partials/typography.hbs file. It is then assigned as a CSS Variable and other system fonts as a backup as the following example.

:root {
  --font-family: 'DM Sans', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

To change the typeface to any from Google Fonts, use Code Injection Site Header.

For example, if you want to use the Roboto typeface from Google Fonts. Your code in Code Injection might be like this.

<link href=';400;700&display=swap' rel='stylesheet'>

  :root {
    --font-family: 'Roboto', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

If you have a custom typeface, check out the Loading Custom Typeface section below.

You might find the following posts helpful as well:

Loading Custom Typeface

I assume you have the font files and the initial @font-face CSS code for loading the font. Something similar to the following code.

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Atyp';
  src: local('Atyp Text Regular'), local('Atyp-Text-Regular'),
    url('AtypText-Regular.woff2') format('woff2'),
    url('AtypText-Regular.woff') format('woff'),
    url('AtypText-Regular.ttf') format('truetype');
  font-weight: 400;
  font-style: normal;

Create a new folder in the theme under /assets and name it fonts, for example, then copy your font files there.

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

In Ghost admin Code Injection, add your @font-face code with the new font files path wrapped in the <style> element.

  @font-face {
    font-family: 'Atyp';
    src: local('/assets/fonts/Atyp Text Regular'), local('Atyp-Text-Regular'),
        url('/assets/fonts/AtypText-Regular.woff2') format('woff2'),
        url('/assets/fonts/AtypText-Regular.woff') format('woff'),
        url('/assets/fonts/AtypText-Regular.ttf') format('truetype');
    font-weight: 400;
    font-style: normal;

This should load the fonts. Then you can use the font and do your styling for the body and so on.


RSS is a way for people to receive updates from your website by adding your website’s RSS link to their RSS application (Feedly for example). Once you publish content, they will receive a notification.

If your website is private, the RSS URL will not function properly. Once your website is made public, the URL will work as expected.

Since Ubud uses /blog/ URL for posts, you can access the RSS feed at instead of For example,

Publication icon

You can change the favicon from the Ghost admin Settings > Design & branding > Brand > Publication icon.

Syntax Highlighting

You can add a fenced code block by placing triple backticks ``` before and after the code block. For example:

pre {
  background-color: #f4f4f4;
  max-width: 100%;
  overflow: auto;

This will produce the following gray look:

Ubud Ghost Theme Syntax Highlighting

To highlight a code block, add the language alias like css or js to the code block. For example, the CSS code in the previous example will wrap between ```css and ``` as follows:

pre {
  background-color: #f4f4f4;
  max-width: 100%;
  overflow: auto;

This will produce the following colored look:

Ubud Ghost Theme Syntax Highlighting with prismjs

To add inline code, wrap the text between two backticks ` `.


The theme ships with Prism.js, a lightweight, robust, and elegant syntax highlighter.

The initial Prism package includes some languages, like Markup, CSS, C-like, and JavaScript.

You can add support for more languages by adding the Prism autoloader script, which will automatically load the languages you need. T do this, add the following script to the website admin Code Injection (Site Footer).

<script src="" integrity="sha512-fTl/qcO1VgvKtOMApX2PdZzkziyr2stM65GYPLGuYMnuMm1z2JLJG6XVU7C/mR+E7xBUqCivykuhlzfqxXBXbg==" crossorigin="anonymous" referrerpolicy="no-referrer"></script>

Click Save.


Ghost has limited support for footnotes, which means it doesn’t support footnotes outside of the editor Markdown card. So, if your article content is in Markdown, this will work fine for you.

For creating a footnote, check out the Markdown Guide – Footnotes for more information about the syntax. You can check out how the theme renders this example in the demo. So, in your editor, you need to add a new Markdown card and your footnote inside.

The theme will render what the editor can do; the theme has no built-in footnotes support but Ghost. Check out this theme demo example.

Check out this Forum discussion for more information and probably some ideas and workarounds.

I have not done any work to support footnotes beyond the basic Ghost Markdown implementation, so I’m afraid I can’t give any advice here.

Theme Deploy with GitHub Actions

Petra comes integrated with the Deploy Ghost Theme Github action. The purpose of the GitHub action is to take the theme from the GitHub repo and send it to your website.

Petra ghost theme — documentation Ghost CMS Theme GitHub Actions

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

The Deploy Ghost Theme action is software by Ghost and works with any Ghost install, whether you self-host Ghost or use Ghost Pro.

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.

Check out How to use Code Injection Ghost guide for more information.

Customize Logo Size

If you are using an image as a logo (instead of the site name) and want to change the logo size, use the following code in Code Injection.

  .c-logo__img {
    max-height: 40px;

The default value is 40px, so you can increase this value to match your preference.

If the logo image has a large white space around it, trim that space with a photo editing app before uploading for better results.

You can update the footer copyright line information from the theme partials/structure/footer.hbs file. Open and edit that file using a code editor.

If you just want to remove the Published with Ghost… part, copy and paste the following code into the Ghost admin Code Injection Site Footer.

  var footer_copy = document.querySelector('.c-footer-copy'),
  footer_copy_visible_part = footer_copy.innerText.split('-')[0];
  footer_copy.innerText = footer_copy_visible_part;

Zip Theme Files

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

Ghost theme zip on macOS

Have any questions? Contact Ahmad

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