Getting Started

Welcome to the Commonplace Theme

Feature image for Welcome to the Commonplace Theme

Hi there! I developed the Commonplace Theme for use as a business blog theme, ideal for those of you who need to start doing content marketing.

You may see this theme in action in my businesses: as well as on

To download this theme, head to The Commonplace Theme.

I've developed a number of features for this theme, and it's worth looking at them in this post:


Pullquotes are quotes that are pulled to the side of the article. There are two kinds of snippets included in the Commonplace theme: left and right.

Paragraphs wrap naturally around pullquotes. As we see here:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

You may add these pullquotes to your articles by using the following html in the body of your post:

As an aside, it's entirely possible to add images to a pullquote. See this post as an example.

Book Summaries Row

You've probably noticed that there are a row of posts across the front page of this theme, bisecting the main content feed. It looks like this:

How do you get some posts to show up in that row?

The answer is that you'll need to tag a post with a tag named books. (It could also be named Books). Posts with this tag will appear on the "Book Summaries" row. If no posts with that tag exists, then the entire row will not show up.

But what if you want to change the tag to something else? Or say that you want to modify the text 'Book Summaries', which appears as a header above it?

You may do this by unzipping the theme file and modifying home.hbs. You may view home.hbs on Github here.

You'll notice that the file contains a section with two comments, which looks like this:

To modify it, make your changes where the two comments indicate you should change them. For example, say we want posts with the tag gear to show up in the row, instead of ones tagged books. We also want to rename 'Book Summaries' to 'Gear Reviews'.

We'll modify the section like so:

Then, we'll modify locales/en.json to look like this:

Note: locales/en.json is the file that Ghost uses for internationalisation. It just so happens that every piece of text in the Commonplace Theme may be modified via modifying that file.

Post Templates

Post templates are custom templates that change the look of an individual post. This theme comes with two templates: featured and book review.

When you're composing a new post in Ghost, scroll down in the Post Settings panel until you see the Templates section. If you select Feature, your post will look like this (click here for the actual example):

An example of the 'Feature' post template

If, on the other hand you select the Book Review template, your post will look like this (click here for actual example):

An example of the 'bookreview' template

I tend to use the Book Review template to review books, and the Feature template for evergreen tentpole content I want to link to from the sidebar.

Changing The Copy

If you need to change the copy of anything on this theme, unzip the theme and open up the locales folder. Every line of text in this theme uses Ghost's internationalisation support, so you may make a copy of locales/en.json and create a new language file.

Or, if you want to modify the copy of just one element (e.g. the subscribe box), modify en.json directly. For instance, if you want to modify the text to read "Subscribe now or prepare to die!", your en.json would look like this:

There you go! If you're a developer, feel free to head over to to download the source.


Previous post

← Average is Over