Ghost on Heroku

by tonyrewin


Ghost on Heroku

Ghost is a free, open, simple blogging platform. Visit the project's website at, or read the docs on

Ghost version 1.X

The latest release of Ghost is now supported! Changes include:

  • Requires MySQL database, available through either of two add-ons:
  • HEROKU_URL config var renamed to PUBLIC_URL to avoid using Heroku's namespace


Things you should know

After deployment,

  • First, visit Ghost at to set up your admin account
  • The app may take a few minutes to come to life
  • Your blog will be publicly accessible at
  • If you subsequently set up a custom domain for your blog, you’ll need to update your Ghost blog’s PUBLIC_URL environment variable accordingly
  • If you create much content or decide to scale-up the dynos to support more traffic, a more substantial, paid database plan will be required.

Using with file uploads disabled

Heroku app filesystems aren’t meant for permanent storage, so file uploads are disabled by default when using this repository to deploy a Ghost blog to Heroku. If you’re using Ghost on Heroku with Github file uploads disabled, you should leave all environment variable GITHUB_TOKEN blank.

Configuring file uploads

To configure Github file storage, create a token bucket on your Github account, and then specify the following details as environment variables on the Heroku deployment page (or add these environment variables to your app after deployment via the Heroku dashboard):

  • GITHUB_TOKEN: Required if using Github uploads. This field is the Github token needed to authenticate with Github.

Once your app is up and running with these variables in place, you should be able to upload images via the Ghost interface and they’ll be stored in Github. ✨

How this works

This repository is a Node.js web application that specifies Ghost as a dependency, and makes a deploy button available.

Differencies with codyism/ghost-on-heroku

  • Ghost version updated
  • Using Github to store file uploads
  • Using a custom casper theme with i18n, gulp@4 and ghostHunter search support (WIP)

Updating source code

Optionally after deployment, to push Ghost upgrades or work with source code, clone this repo (or a fork) and connect it with the Heroku app:

git clone
cd ghost-on-heroku

heroku git:remote -a YOURAPPNAME
heroku info

Then you can push commits to the Heroku app, triggering new deployments:

git add .
git commit -m "Important changes"
git push heroku master

Watch the app's server-side behavior to see errors and request traffic:

heroku logs -t

See more about deploying to Heroku with git.

Upgrading Ghost

On each deployment, the Heroku Node/npm build process will auto-upgrade Ghost to the newest 1.x version. To prevent this behavior, use npm 5+ (or yarn) to create a lockfile.

npm install
git add package-lock.json
git commit -m 'Lock dependencies'
git push heroku master

Now, future deployments will always use the same set of dependencies.

To update to newer versions:

npm update
git add package-lock.json
git commit -m 'Update dependencies'
git push heroku master

Database migrations

Newer versions of Ghost frequently require changes to the database. These changes are automated with a process called database migrations.

After upgrading Ghost, you may see errors logged like:

DatabaseIsNotOkError: Migrations are missing. Please run knex-migrator migrate.

To resolve this error, run the pending migrations and restart to get the app back on-line:

heroku run knex-migrator migrate --mgpath node_modules/ghost
heroku restart

This can be automated by adding the following line to Procfile:

release: knex-migrator migrate --mgpath node_modules/ghost


If you have problems using your instance of Ghost, you should check the official documentation or open an issue on the official issue tracker. If you discover an issue with the deployment process provided by this repository, then open an issue here.


Released under the MIT license, just like the Ghost project itself.