Gatsby Starter Ghost with Simply Theme

A starter template to build lightning fast websites with Ghost (as headless CMS in this case) & Gatsby, using the excellent Simply Ghost Theme.
Rewritten from Handlebars theme to React/Gatsby.




? What is working

❌ What is not yet working

  • Logo Light / Dark Mode
  • Different Home Page variants and Post formats
  • Pagination Infinite Scroll – not for static sites
  • Comments
  • Membership features

✏ What could be improved

  • Move videoResponsive and resizeImageGalleries to build time using some rehype plugin
  • Convert this from a starter to a proper theme
  • Extract pretty dates from GraphQL to apply locale to them

? Installing

# With Gatsby CLI
gatsby new gatsby-starter-ghost

# From Source
git clone
cd gatsby-ghost-simply

Then install dependencies



?‍♂️ Running

Start the development server. You now have a Gatsby site pulling content from headless Ghost. Please ensure you have the Simply Ghost Theme installed in your Ghost instance, including all the Routes if you want to use all the features.

gatsby develop

By default, the starter will populate content from a default Ghost install located at

To use your own install, you will need to edit the .ghost.json config file with your credentials. Change the apiUrl value to the URL of your Ghost site. For Ghost(Pro) customers, this is the Ghost URL ending in, and for people using the self-hosted version of Ghost, it’s the same URL used to access your site.

Next, update the contentApiKey value to a key associated with the Ghost site. A key can be provided by creating an integration within Ghost Admin. Navigate to Integrations and click “Add new integration”. Name the integration appropriately and click create.

    "apiUrl": "",
    "contentApiKey": "9cc5c67c358edfdd81455149d0"

Finally, configure your desired URL in siteConfig.js, so links (e. g. canonical links) are generated correctly. You should also update other values in there needed for menu, social sharing and search.

    menuDropdown: [
            label: `About`,
            url: `/about`,
    followSocialMedia: [
            service: `youtube`,
            title: `YOUR_TITLE`,
            url: `YOUR_URL`,
    searchSettings: {
        key: `YOUR_GHOST_API_KEY`,
        url: `YOUR_GHOST_URL`,
        /* This is optional */
        options: {
            keys: [`title`, `plaintext`],
            limit: 10,
        /* This is optional to perform filtering of the ghost api */
        api: {
            resource: `posts`,
            parameters: {
                limit: `all`,
                fields: [`title`, `slug`, `plaintext`],
                filter: ``,
                include: ``,
                order: ``,
                formats: ``,

Demo and the repo is the “maximum version” with all possible types of Home Page variants, Post Templates, Portfolio, Docs, etc. Adjust/remove as needed.


✈ Deploying with Netlify

The starter contains three config files specifically for deploying with Netlify. A netlify.toml file for build settings, a /static/_headers file with default security headers set for all routes, and /static/_redirects to set Netlify custom domain redirects.

To deploy to your Netlify account, hit the button below.

Deploy to Netlify

Content API Keys are generally not considered to be sensitive information, they exist so that they can be changed in the event of abuse; so most people commit it directly to their .ghost.json config file. If you prefer to keep this information out of your repository you can remove this config and set Netlify ENV variables for production builds instead.

Once deployed, you can set up a Ghost + Netlify Integration to use deploy hooks from Ghost to trigger Netlify rebuilds. That way, any time data changes in Ghost, your site will rebuild on Netlify.


⚡ Optimising

You can disable the default Ghost Handlebars Theme front-end by enabling the Make this site private flag within your Ghost settings. This enables password protection in front of the Ghost install and sets <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> so your Gatsby front-end becomes the source of truth for SEO.


? Extra options

# Run a production build, locally
gatsby build

# Serve a production build, locally
gatsby serve

Gatsby develop uses the development config in .ghost.json – while Gatsby build uses the production config.


? Copyright & License

Copyright (c) 2021 anarion80 – Released under the GPLv3 license.


View Github