Ghost Themes

... another approach to theming

WordPress Vienna January 2014 Meetup

Thomas Kräftner / @tkraftner

WordPress themes

  • PHP + WordPress API
  • full access to WordPress (DB, File-System,...)
  • a lot of logic (functions.php)
  • sub-themes

Ghost themes

  • Handlebars templates + Ghost Helpers
  • only access to passed data
  • (almost) no logic
  • no sub-themes

Theme structure

  • handlebar templates (hbs)
  • CSS
  • JS
  • nothing comparable to functions.php


{{#foreach posts}}



(almost) HTML

How does this compare to WordPress?

No Logic

  • - even if-switches can't be done most of the time
  • - depend on helpers
  • - all in all way less possibilities...
  • + ...therefore easier for designers
  • + less security risks
  • + clear separation between logic and layout

How does this compare to WordPress?

Ghost-Themes aren't complete "site-packages"

  • - sites will need a bundle of theme and apps...
  • -/+ ... as themes can't setup a whole website
  • + more modular setup


I love the flexibility of WordPress that lets you define the border between layout and logic yourself. But Ghost Themes are a good reminder that you should be careful if/when this makes sense.

Ghost themes are great for designers, frontend developers and amateurs as there isn't even the option of coding backend logic.


Thanks for listening!

Thomas Kräftner / @tkraftner

Further reading: