Manually upgrade Ghost Blogging Platform Using Cpanel

This guide will teach you how to manually upgrade ghost if you are using Cpanel, and shared hosting. This guide does not apply to those self managing their own server via Apache/Ngix/Linux, etc. You must also have some basic knowledge of Cpanel.

About this version

This tutorial is written for the newest version of Ghost, ver. 0.11.7 which won’t be available for Softaculous users at least for a few days. You can read more about what this version improves upon in the release page.

Backup your Content

Before starting or attempting anything, you want to make sure you have a shiny copy of all your content in case disaster strikes.

1. Locate your Ghost Install Folder

The first step is of course locating your folder’s install location. This can be a bit tricky, but in my case, it was located in the public html folder and inside was my domain name so something along the lines of public_html/ You can’t miss it. The folder will contain files such as content ,core , node modules .

2. Take Appropiate Steps

The first step is to copy the ‘ content ‘ folder as this contains your data, images, and theme. You might also want to create a .json export file using the Labs tool. A detailed guide can be found here for your convenience. I only copied the /content folder and that was enough for my purpose.

Ghost 0.11.7

Grab the latest copy from the developer’s website , and log into Cpanel. Navigate to the File Manager and create a temporary location to upload and extract your ghost upgrade folder. It is not recommended to extract the folder in your current ghost installation directory, as it can accidentally delete the ‘ content ‘ folder.

Manual Steps

Once you’ve successfully uploaded the compressed update folder to a temporary location, right-click and choose ‘Extract’ from the list of options. The first step is to delete the /content folder. You don’t want it to accidentally overwrite your data. Note: If you are using the default theme, Casper you might want to extract it before deleting the /content folder. The Casper theme file can be found inside /content/themes/casper.

Prepping the Install Folder

Navigate to your current installation directory. Make sure you are in the correct directory, and not the temporary directory you just created.

Delete: /Core : This contains all the system files that make up the Ghost blogging platform. Make sure you delete this directory. Delete index.js and all the files that end in .md/.json

Do not delete: /content (Contains your data) and do not delete config.js or the remaining of the files. Simply allow them to be naturally overwritten.Do not remove .htcaccess, cron.php.

Complete the upgrade

Navigate back to the temporary location you just created. Select all the files + copy to your current install folder. This will create a new /core folder, and overwrite old files. If needed, make sure you copy over the ‘casper’ theme file from /content/themes/casper to the appropriate folder. Make sure permissions match. /Content, /Core, and /Node-modules should be set to 755, and the rest to 644.

Restart Ghost Manually

This part of the guide is somewhat tricky. Unlike self-managed web masters, you do not have the luxury of executing simple commands. Navigate to Softaculous. Softaculous can be found in the very bottom tab of Cpanel under ‘ Softaculous App Installer ‘ and browse to blogs which can be found under the sub tab labeled categories. In the side menu or the recent app installers, you should see the ghost app. Click on it and scroll down to see your current installations. It’ll things such as detail version, admin, and options. Under options, click on edit. You’ll be given an overview of your url, database name, etc. Scroll down until you reach Node.js Service and you will see a box that reads ‘ Choose action for Node.js Service ‘. Choose Restart and save. Now, refresh your site. You should be met with a ‘ 503 Server Error ‘. Do not panic. Return to Node.js Service and choose start . This time the process will take much longer, and may even seem as if Cpanel froze. When it completes, refresh your site once or twice, and the 503 server error will disappear. Congratulations, you’ve upgraded ghost manually to the latest version without the use of commands.

Verify the Update Went Through

If everything went well, you should have to login again as we just restarted the service. To make sure you are running the latest version of ghost, click on the ↓ beside your site name in the admin panel, which is above the search bar, and click on ‘ About Ghost ‘ . The correct version will read: 0.11.7, and it should be marked as production.
I hope this guide was useful to those stuck using shared web hosting and Cpanel. Cheers!

Note: Pictures will be added at some point!