Get started with your membership publication today with any Ghost install and a members enabled theme.

It's possible to create a new site with Ghost and turn it into a membership and subscription based publication in a few steps. This page is intended for those who want to use a pre-built theme to get started with members. For more advanced setup docs, check out the theme development section below.

Create a Ghost publication

If you don't already have one, you'll need to spin up a new site with Ghost. The quickest way to do this is using our hosted Ghost(Pro) service, which has an unlimited 14-day trial if you're new here and want to put the software through its paces.

Alternatively, you can self-host Ghost using our install guide. To enable Members on a self-hosted install of Ghost, securing your site via SSL is a requirement - this is done for you in Ghost(Pro).

If you're an existing Ghost user, you'll need to ensure you're running v3.0 or higher - read more about upgrades for self-hosted installs. Ghost(Pro) customers will automatically be upgraded - contact support if you'd like to expedite this process.

Turn the members feature on

Once your site is up and running, log in to your publication admin area as the site owner and navigate to the Labs screen. In here you'll be able to turn members on using the toggle button. Only site owners are able to perform this action.

Member settings in Ghost Admin

Once this is done, you've successfully enabled all members features within your Ghost publication 🎉

Connect a Stripe account

From the Labs page you'll also see a range of members settings. This is where you can connect a Stripe account if you intend to use Ghost to take payments from your readers.

Stripe is our exclusive payments partner. If you don't already have a Stripe account you can create one here. For existing Stripe users, we recommended logging in to Stripe and creating a new account from the Stripe dashboard to use for your Ghost integration.

Connect your Stripe account

To integrate your Stripe account with Ghost, copy and paste your Stripe Publishable key and Stripe Secret key into Ghost. Find your Stripe API keys here.

Once your account is connected, use the subscription pricing section to create pricing plans for your members to subscribe to.

Set subscription pricing in Ghost

When you enter your pricing in Ghost, it will automatically create those plans in Stripe for you, providing your account has been successfully connected.

If you decide to change your pricing for any reason, simply change it in Ghost and the rest will happen in Stripe automatically.

Upload a members enabled theme

The final piece of the puzzle: uploading a members enabled theme.

Themes that are members enabled allow you to place forms on your site that visitors can use to sign up as members or subscribe to one of your pricing plans.

Pre-built members themes

We have released a purpose-built members theme called Lyra, which is available for anyone to use:

Lyra theme preview

This theme can be installed exactly as it is to support all of the features in members, so you can get started right away.

Download the theme here, then follow these two steps to install it on your Ghost site:

  1. Download the theme as a .zip file and head to the design settings menu in your site's admin to upload it as your active theme.
  2. Within the download is a routes.yaml file. Upload this single file using Routes on the Labs page.

Upload a routes file in Ghost

That's it! Your website now fully supports member sign up flows and subscriptions. Content marked as public will appear on your site to all visitors. Members will be able to enter their email to sign up, and once they've done that, they'll be able to support your work via a recurring subscription.

Subscription page members theme

Creating custom themes

Ghost comes with a sensible Handlebars theme layer which means you can totally customise an existing theme (like the one we just installed above) or build an entire theme from scratch with some HTML and CSS knowledge.

Use the theme development section of these docs to find all of the information you'll need to get started with a custom members theme.