Recommendations (beta) - Ghost Changelog

We're introducing a simple cross-promotion mechanism for all publishers, on any platform. Ghost now includes the first native Recommendations feature that's compatible with the entire open web.

In the past couple of years Recommendations have become a super popular way for publishers to support and amplify each other's work — and for good reason! They're a very effective way to grow your audience, so we've had a lot of demand from users to make this possible on Ghost.

The dirty secret about Recommendations, though, is that most platforms have designed them primarily to boost their own growth. You can't recommend anything you like, you can only recommend other people who use their product.

We wanted to give publishers the ability to benefit from cross promotion without limits or hidden incentives, so we decided to do things differently. We built a full Recommendations system for Ghost that's compatible with any platform, website, or publisher out there — so you can recommend whoever you like.

When you share favourite movies with friends, you probably don't limit your recommendations exclusively to titles available on Netflix.

Here's how it works

Get started by curating a list of your favourite publishers and sites. Ghost will show recommendations to new members on signup, and give you simple stats so you can see how recommendations are performing — and who's recommending you.

Recommendations in Ghost work automatically with any site — but also have extra features available, depending on platform support. Where available, Ghost will deliver notifications to other publishers when you start recommending them, with an invitation to recommend you back.

Ghost will also automatically show 1-click subscribe buttons for any platforms that have support for it.

These features are based on open standards, which any platform can adopt and integrate with to become part of the largest network in the world: The open web.

About the beta

We've been trialing recommendations privately with a handful of publishers, and now we're opening it up to everyone. We're releasing this now as a public beta, which means anyone can use it, but we're still working on it.

Expect to see more iterations and improvements, as we learn from how this feature is used once adopted by a larger audience.

Finally, of course, what would a post about Recommendations be without sharing some of our own? You can add a link to show Recommendations anywhere on your site like this:

Our Recommendations →

Recommendations can also be natively integrated into your Ghost theme. Our official themes already have support built-in, and theme developers can explore our new Recommendations Developer Docs.

Ghost(Pro) users can log in and start enjoying all of this right away! You can create and manage recommendations under Settings → Recommendations

If you're a developer, self-hosting Ghost, you'll need to update to the latest version to get access to everything that's new.


Just read this in the newsletter and already shared it with countless people.

Love how it’s entirely built on open standards and the opportunities this gives :raised_hands:


Cool! For anyone not ready to update the theme, all you need to do to make a button or link to open the recommendations is this:


(You’ll need a version of portal that supports it, but that should get anyone on the latest version of Ghost, including anyone on Ghost Pro taken care of, while you wait for an update to your theme / to make time to add it to your customized theme.)

I’m totally going to add a big list of sites I’ve worked on. But not today…


So I see in the documentation that the default recommendations code is using #each, which I didn’t think Ghost themes support? Has that changed, or should themes including their own recommendations.hbs file rewrite with #foreach?

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When working with theme data, foreach is always the way to go.

However, there were some difficulties with how recommendations works that made it necessary to use each in this case. Engineers are still investigating to see if it’ll be possible to get foreach to work in a future update.

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I like it!

Is the order of recommendations shown random? Or is there a pattern to it?

Also… It’s generally interesting to me that this is part of the portal at all… I guess the idea is, “you signed up for my newsletter, you might also like…” But most people who visit my blog do not sign up, and most people who are already signed up don’t go browsing through the portal regularly.

So I’d like to be able to add a recommendations card to, say, my links / recommendations page. Ideally, I’d like to be able to split different kinds of recommendations—I have a section on blogs and another on magazines—so maybe recommendations could be an open-ended card, which we can snippet into different contexts, like, here’s a snippet of my favorite magazines for tailoring, here’s a snippet of my favorite blogs for casual style, here’s a snippet of recommended youtube channels.

I can obviously do that as is, but I like the idea of a dedicated system and user interface for recommendations, and think you did a good job with the UI as is, so I’d like to integrate the system into pages as a card.


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