Keeping your Ghost version up to date is the best way to ensure that you have access to all the latest features of the platform.

If you still haven’t updated, here’s what you’re missing:

As a Ghost(Pro) customer we handle updating your site for you with each minor point release, every week. For major version releases, such as Ghost v5, there are some responsibilities that are up to you to manage as the site owner.

In this guide we cover how to start your upgrade, as well as how to upgrade if using an official theme, premium theme, or custom theme.

How to upgrade Ghost versions

  1. Login to Ghost Admin as the publication owner user.
  2. Click the link contained in the banner at the top of Ghost Admin, and follow the prompts to upgrade your site.
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During your upgrade, Gscan (our theme compatibility tool) will scan your theme to check for potential errors. If your theme contains critical errors, your upgrade will be blocked until you’ve uploaded a theme on your site that is compatible with the latest major version.

If the active theme installed on your site requires changes for compatibility, you’ll need to update your theme before trying the upgrade again.

Upgrading with Casper
If using the default theme, Casper, Ghost and your theme will be automatically upgraded with each version.

Upgrading with an official Ghost theme
All other official themes will need to be re-installed within Ghost Admin in the Settings → Design area to support the latest version of the platform. All official themes are kept up-to-date with the latest version of Ghost. You can read more on how to update official themes in this guide.

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If you have made changes to one of our official themes, this is considered a custom theme. You’ll need to follow the instructions below for premium and custom themes

Upgrading with a premium or custom-built theme
If your theme is not an official Ghost theme, it may need an update before you can upgrade.

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If using a theme that you’ve purchased, check with your theme developer’s website first, to obtain the latest compatible version.

To check if your theme is compatible, you can download your active theme from the Settings → Design area in Ghost Admin, and run the theme zip file through Gscan, our theme compatibility tool.

Gscan will scan your theme files to check for errors, deprecations and other compatibility issues that will need to be corrected before you can upgrade. Gscan will also indicate which files require changes, as well as provide supporting documentation and code examples, to make updates easier to manage.

To update your theme, you will need to unzip the theme files locally, so that changes recommended by Gscan can be made using an HTML editor.

When you’ve finished updating your theme for compatibility, the theme directory will need to be compressed as a .zip file, and uploaded back to the site from the Settings → Design area for activation.

Once your updated theme is activated on the site, you can proceed with your upgrade.

If you aren’t able to make changes to your theme, you can always switch to an official theme—in the past year we’ve added several new themes, and incorporated design settings, to allow for powerful customizations without the need to code.

What will happen if I don’t upgrade today?

Version 4 of Ghost will reach its end of life on 31st January 2023. At this point, we will upgrade any sites on Ghost(Pro) that are still on version 4. If a site’s theme is not compatible with version 4, we will activate our default theme, Casper, on the site to allow the upgrade.