Ghost is a free, open source blogging platform written in JavaScript. It’s easy to use once you’ve installed it, and here’s how to do so.
WordPress has long been the default choice for creating blogs. You can also use it for e-commerce websites, forums, landing pages, event microsites, and more. But features like SEO or social sharing are only available via plugins.
Ghost is a simple blogging platform that lets you publish, share, and grow your business around content. Like every CMS, you can test Ghost on your local computer.
We’ll show you how to run Ghost CMS locally on Mac and PC.
Ghost CMS requires the following:
If you don’t need multiple versions of Node.js and are just getting started with Ghost CMS, follow our step-by-step guide to install Node.js and npm. After installing Node, you can skip this section altogether and move on to using Ghost CLI.
However, if you’re using multiple Node.js versions, Node Version Manager (NVM) can ease the installation process. It also keeps track of what version you’re using and lets you switch between them easily.
Before you proceed with the NVM installation, uninstall any existing versions of Node.js. On Windows, you should also delete any Nodejs directories to avoid potential complications. This Stack Overflow post explains the process. Also back up any global npmrc config, usually located in %AppData%npmetcnpmrc.
Ghost recommends steps to take if you run into problems during a local installation through NVM. You must ensure that you have installed ghost-cli in the correct environment.
NVM for Windows is an easy-to-use, command-line tool to manage multiple installations of Node.js on Windows. Head to the releases page and download After finishing the installation, press Win + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin). Then type:
You’ll see the version number (the current release is 1.1.9) and the list of useful commands.
Now install Node using NVM:
The package gets installed to “%AppDataRoamingnvm” and symlinked to Program Files. Now type in:
To check the version number of Node and npm.
Head to NVM for Mac webpage and install this script using Terminal:
The script clones the nvm repository to ~/.nvm, a hidden folder in your home directory. It also tries to add configuration to the correct profile for bash (~/.bash_profile) or zsh (~/.zshrc). Since macOS 10.15 Catalina, the default shell is zsh, and nvm will look for .zshrc to update the configuration.
In Finder, press Cmd + Shift + Period to see hidden folders and files.
If the .zshrc file is missing, you’ll have to create it:
Then run the install script again. Now enter:
If you see the version number, it means the installation was successful. Now install Node:
Run node -v and npm -v to check the version number of node and npm.
Ghost-CLI is a command-line tool to install, configure, and update Ghost with a single click. The CLI is available as an npm module and you can install it via either npm or yarn. To install the CLI, type:
As you install ghost-cli, the tool will audit the npm package and notify you of any vulnerabilities. You should then run:
Then, take the suggested steps before installing Ghost.
The CLI tool performs various operations to maintain the Ghost CMS environment. It creates a folder structure, takes care of user permissions, and manages any existing Ghost installation.
After installing Ghost CLI, run ghost help to ensure that the installation was successful and to see the list of available commands.
Step 1: Create a new folder where you want to install the Ghost app. Type in:
“UserName” is the user account name of your PC. Then enter:
Step 2: cd into the ghost installation folder:
Step 3: Then type in:
While installing Ghost, you’ll see the firewall prompt to allow NodeJS access to the internet. Make sure to tick the Private Network option or you won’t be able to view your Ghost blog. In addition, you’ll get a link:
Paste it into your browser to see this screen.
Step 4: Enter the details to view your local site. To see the Ghost CMS admin panel, go to:
Step 1: Create a folder and “cd” into it:
Step 2: Type in:
Step 4: Just like in Windows, you’ll get a link:
Paste it into your browser to see the setup screen.
Several useful commands allow you to manage your Ghost blog. Here are some of the most important:
Ghost is a simple blogging platform but it’s also a feature-rich application with a wide variety of use cases. If you follow the procedure carefully, it won’t take long to install and set up your site.
If you want to develop a professional site, you’ll need to consider usability, SEO, and more. Read our guide on things to plan out before creating your website.
With his M.Optom Degree in Eye Care Speciality, Rahul worked as a lecturer for many years in the college. Writing and teaching others is always his passion. He now writes about technology and make it digestible for readers who don’t understand it well.
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