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Integrating Bootstrap with the Casper Ghost Theme

 blog  bootstrap  css  programming  ghost  theme  casper

I have been working on my blog lately to customize the theme and provide some features that I wanted. I started with the default Ghost theme (Casper) and modified it to suit my needs.

I have shared my theme (I named it "Ghost Cerkit Theme") on GitHub in a new repository:

Ghost Cerkit Theme

I added a few features, like Google custom Search and Disqus comments. I also added a sidebar that shows Author information for the author of the first post on the site. This is for blogs that have a single author that want to show their information on all pages (except the Author page, where it is suppressed).

To use the theme, there are a few customization options that you'll have to change. The hardest one is probably the Google custom search. Instructions for how to create a custom search engine can be found on the Ghost website. In order for your custom search to work, you will need to put your search engine id in the hidden cx form field on the search form.

I had to make significant changes to the screen.css file in order for Bootstrap to work properly. There are a lot of settings in the default theme that interfere with Bootstrap. I believe the best way to see what changed would be to view the diffs for the css file (and some of the core .hbs templates).

In addition to the custom search form, I also added the ability for the user to change the current site theme. Since the custom theme utilizes Bootswatch themes, I was able to add a selection box containing all of the Bootswatch themes. When the user picks a new theme, the site changes to that theme and stores its name in a cookie on the user's browser. Whenever the user visits a page on the site in the future, the chosen theme is used instead of the default theme. There is also a reset button to return the site to the original theme as defined by the site owner. It is possible to hide the theme selector. Just add the following code to the header:

showThemeSelector = false;

I also replaced the Casper pagination control with a Bootstrap pagination control that shows more detail. However, in order for this to work, I had to utilize JavaScript. This might affect SEO a bit, but with the theme retaining the meta tags for navigation, I don't think there will be a major impact.

I will be writing up additional blog entries about how I implemented the Bootstrap pagination for Ghost as well as an entry about the theme selector.

The theme still needs some polish to remove all of the CSS that interferes with Bootstrap. I worked as hard as I could to remove any customizations that are specific to my personal site, but there are still some things that need to be done in order for it to work completely.

I retained the MIT license on the original Casper theme so that there are no constraints on usage. I thought about licensing it under GPL 2, but adding a more restrictive sublicense seemed inappropriate in this case. If you use the code and feel inclined to give me attribution, that would be great. Just link to my website (https://cerkit.com).