State of commercial themes


Don’t get me wrong, I am a hugely satisfied user, but I have to grumble at the state of commercial themes.
In the 3ish years I have used Ghost, first as a Pro user, and then as a self hosted, from the pre-0.5 era to now, I have used a few themes, that i have bought.

However, I find that unlike in the Wordpress world, where theme authors/designers seem to keep them up to date to the changes in the platform, I find that a lot of theme makers abandon them quickly.

I was looking to find something for my blog, and I would whip out my credit card, but even on the Ghost Marketplace are several themes that haven’t been updated since well before the 1.0 release.

is it too much to ask for the commercial markets to unlist themes that aren’t being actively supported?

(To be fair, this is rampant on places like Themeforest as well).

As an example. I originally bought the Purus theme by from the marketplace when I first went Ghost Pro. It is still listed on the marketplace, but it was last updated in 2016, and the last listed explicit version of Ghost it supports is 0.11.3

(note: I am not picking on Golem and Purus, but that is one of the themes that I purchased that has been abandoned)

Is this ever going to get better?

How do I avoid overwrites when updating?

I was under the impression that only showcases themes which support Ghost 1.x

Regarding Purus specifically, I’m not sure how the author works, but it looks like they support 1.x (see the changelog) although not many of the newer features based on the release date

I think part of the issue with Ghost vs Wordpress is WP has a much larger userbase, and it’s a lot more mature, so theme developers either have to stay on top of everything, or someone else is going to take over because there’s a huge market. With Ghost, the market is somewhat limited, so theme developers don’t put too much effort into updating due to API changes because they’re not going to get much an ROI

That being said, I know there are a couple of pretty active theme developers here, specifically @HauntedThemes and @themeix so you might reach out to them and see how often they update their themes (I have no experience with either so I can’t tell you if they’re good or bad :grimacing:)


ok, so their website is pretty broken, because when I clicked on the Purus changelog, it reported the Rosetta changelog. But it still hasn’'t been updated since fall 2017.

I picked Purus, as it was one that I paid for early (really early). Still, if you go to ThemeForest you will find many Ghost themes still for sale from the pre 1.0 era.

I get the WP and the size of that community, but it would seem that if we (the Ghost community) woudl police the abandoned themes (and to be honest, the number of sales posted by Themforest for the Ghost themes are paltry, and probably difficult for the stronger theme makers to make enough income.

I don’t mind paying for this (I can modify a theme, but I am not really able to put enough time in to create one that is exactly what I want).

Just an observation. I do want this to get better.


We update our themes pretty often. All our themes are compatible with Ghost 1.x. If you have any questions you can drop us a message anytime.


All of our theme updated with latest version of ghost and we are committed to give support for any kind of issues regarding our themes

Thanks @vikaspotluri123 or your honest review about us. We (themeix) are passionate at ghost theme development and have plan to work more in future.

@gander2112 If you have any issues with your theme, feel free contact me also.


Haunted and Themix are very good. I personally bought a theme from ByronThemes. I don’t think Gost org does a good job advertising some of the excellent work.

Also, Ghost is a bit more tailored towards more advanced users who probably are more likely to be able to develop for themselves. Just a guess.


Link to your site?


Sure. HauntedThemes


I am also making themes for ghost from the early stage.

For example, my first Ghost theme on themeforest was released back in December 2013. I updated that theme few times. But that theme only sold 10 times. Till then I have released 22 Ghost theme on themeforest. Among them 14 theme I am still updating for Ghost latest version. The oldest theme among these 14 theme was released in January, 2015.

You may think why I am blowing my own trumpet. Well I am trying to say that most developer tries to keep themes updated. But, many people can’t keep up with the speed of ghost release cycle.

  1. Ghost being released very frequently, and features are being introduced one after one. It is sometimes difficult to include all those new features into a very old theme.

  2. In case of premium theme’s author, they update the themes which are not very old. but does it make sense to update a old theme just for the sake of update, and implement the new features which sometimes not fit with the existing design, or will look bad, or even that 3 or 4 year old theme has no market value at current time?

  3. Also there is a life cycle of every product. In my opinion we should not drag an very old product more than necessary. It happened with the official default theme Casper. Current Casper theme was designed and developed with keeping new features of Ghost 1.0.0 onward. But the old Casper themes design ( pre Ghost 1.0.0 ) was totally different design. and that was stopped being updated at version 1.4.0 ( last version of old Casper design compatible with Ghost 1.0.0 ).

So As a developer or as an user sometimes we should abandon old things and move forward with new things. It’s totally normal.

P.S. I did not want to heart any individual’s feeling or opinion, but I have just tried to explain my true, open face view on the topic from an developer point of view.

Thank you very much everyone.


GB and others,
My intent was not to shame the creators. I think that the combination of frequent changes in Ghost, many significant alterations in the expectation, and the fairly low volume of purchases are all why they get furloughed, and abandoned.

My frustration was more with the Ghost Marketplace, and the major theme vendors, having ancient, un-updated themes that they still expect to sell. I don’t want to have to dig into the nitty gritty details on the versions supported, and the last update date to ensure that I don’t waste my time.

I am glad that there are some committed designers of themes, and they are keeping current, but I suspect that unless Ghost goes far more mainstream, the demand to entice the better designers will struggle to materialize.

I really didn’t intend to offend, but more to grumble about the state of commercial offers.


I really didn’t get offended. And I totally agree with you. If there is some kind of last update date or Compatible Ghost version indication in Ghost marketplace then it will be more helpful to users.
But then as Ghost marketplace only list themes. and redirect to live demo or download site, the information should be in those sites.

In WordPress there are also lots of backdated themes. People just ignore those and choose to use new themes.

We all ghost user ( you as an user or me as an theme developer) here are trying go make ghost ecosystem better. We should speak and discuss about our good and bad experience here. There is no question of shame or offend. we are growing together.

Have a very good day.
Cheers!! :blush:

What kind of themes is the Ghost marketplace in the market for?

@gander2112 all the themes on the marketplace are 1.0 compatible. Ghost follows semver so you can be sure there are no breaking changes for themes within a major version, eg. a theme built for 1.0 is guaranteed to work on every Ghost version until Ghost 2.0 is released.

We try to keep the theme API pretty stable, you can review the changelog yourself. The majority of changes cover minor changes in functionality (eg, the {{excerpt}} helper picking up custom excerpts), addition of more flexibility in how helpers can be used (eg, {{has any="x,y"}}), or the occasional addition of new helpers for new functionality (eg, the {{reading_time}} helper), none of which break compatibility.