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Mainroad is a responsive, simple, clean and content-focused Hugo theme based on the MH Magazine lite WordPress theme.




  • Responsive design
  • Main & secondary menus
  • Widgetized sidebar
  • Translations. Over 15 languages and counting
  • Configurable theme settings (sidebar position, author box, post navigation, highlight color) via config.toml
  • Hugo internal templates (Open Graph, Schema, Twitter Cards, Disqus, Google Analytics)
  • Wide cross-browser compatibility
    • Desktop: IE11+, Chrome, Firefox, Safari
    • Mobile: Android browser (on Android 4.4+), Safari (on iOS 7+), Google Chrome, Opera mini
  • Custom Google Fonts support, MathJax, Table of Contents, SVG icons and much more…


Before starting, please be sure that you have installed Hugo and created a new site. After that, you ready to install Mainroad.

In your Hugo site themes directory, run:

git clone

Or, if you don't plan to make any significant changes, but want to track and update the theme, you can add it as a git submodule via the following command:

git submodule add

Next, open config.toml in the base of the Hugo site and ensure the theme option is set to mainroad:

theme = "mainroad"

For more information read the official setup guide of Hugo.


Config.toml example

baseurl = "/"
title = "Mainroad"
languageCode = "en-us"
paginate = "10" # Number of posts per page
theme = "mainroad"
disqusShortname = "" # Enable Disqus comments by entering your Disqus shortname
googleAnalytics = "" # Enable Google Analytics by entering your tracking id

[Author] # Used in authorbox
  name = "John Doe"
  bio = "John Doe's true identity is unknown. Maybe he is a successful blogger or writer. Nobody knows it."
  avatar = "img/avatar.png"

  description = "John Doe's Personal blog about everything" # Site description. Used in meta description
  copyright = "John Doe" # Footer copyright holder, otherwise will use site title
  opengraph = true # Enable OpenGraph if true
  schema = true # Enable Schema
  twitter_cards = true # Enable Twitter Cards if true
  readmore = false # Show "Read more" button in list if true
  authorbox = true # Show authorbox at bottom of pages if true
  toc = true # Enable Table of Contents
  pager = true # Show pager navigation (prev/next links) at the bottom of pages if true
  post_meta = ["author", "date", "categories", "translations"] # Order of post meta information
  mainSections = ["post", "blog", "news"] # Specify section pages to show on home page and the "Recent articles" widget
  dateformat = "2006-01-02" # Change the format of dates
  mathjax = true # Enable MathJax
  mathjaxPath = "" # Specify MathJax path
  mathjaxConfig = "TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML" # Specify MathJax config
  googleFontsLink = ",400i,700" # Load Google Fonts
  customCSS = ["css/custom.css"] # Include custom CSS files
  customJS = ["js/custom.js"] # Include custom JS files

  subtitle = "" # Deprecated in favor of .Site.Params.logo.subtitle
  highlightColor = "" # Deprecated in favor of

  highlightColor = "#e22d30" # Override highlight color

  # Override font-family sets. Secondary font-family set responsible for pre, code, kbd, and samp tags font
  # Take care of different quotes OR escaping symbols in these params if necessary
  fontFamilyPrimary = "'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif"
  fontFamilySecondary = "SFMono-Regular, Menlo, Monaco, Consolas, 'Liberation Mono', 'Courier New', monospace"

  image = "img/placeholder.png" # Logo image. Path relative to "static"
  title = "Mainroad" # Logo title, otherwise will use site title
  subtitle = "Just another site" # Logo subtitle

  visibility = ["list", "post"] # Control thumbnail visibility

  home = "right" # Configure layout for home page
  list = "left"  # Configure layout for list pages
  single = false # Configure layout for single pages
  # Enable widgets in given order
  widgets = ["search", "recent", "categories", "taglist", "social", "languages"]
  # alternatively "ddg-search" can be used, to search via DuckDuckGo
  # widgets = ["ddg-search", "recent", "categories", "taglist", "social", "languages"]

  recent_num = 5 # Set the number of articles in the "Recent articles" widget
  categories_counter = false # Enable counter for each category in "Categories" widget
  tags_counter = false # Enable counter for each tag in "Tags" widget

  # Enable parts of social widget
  facebook = "username"
  twitter = "username"
  instagram = "username"
  linkedin = "username"
  telegram = "username"
  github = "username"
  gitlab = "username"
  bitbucket = "username"
  email = ""

# Custom social links
  title = "Youtube"
  url = ""
  icon = "youtube.svg" # Optional. Path relative to "layouts/partials"

  title = "My Home Page"
  url = ""

A good idea is not to copy all these settings without understanding how it works. Use only those parameters that you need.

For more information about all available standard configuration settings, please read All Hugo Configuration Settings.

Front Matter example

# Common-Defined params
title: "Example article title"
date: "2017-08-21"
description: "Example article description"
  - "Category 1"
  - "Category 2"
  - "Test"
  - "Another test"
menu: main # Optional, add page to a menu. Options: main, side, footer

# Theme-Defined params
thumbnail: "img/placeholder.png" # Thumbnail image
lead: "Example lead - highlighted near the title" # Lead text
comments: false # Enable Disqus comments for specific page
authorbox: true # Enable authorbox for specific page
pager: true # Enable pager navigation (prev/next) for specific page
toc: true # Enable Table of Contents for specific page
mathjax: true # Enable MathJax for specific page
sidebar: "right" # Enable sidebar (on the right side) per page
widgets: # Enable sidebar widgets in given order per page
  - "search"
  - "recent"
  - "taglist"

For more information about front matter variables read Hugo Front Matter from Hugo official documentation.


Mainroad allows you to set a custom logo in the site header. You may use text, or image, or both. Use the following options in your site config:

  image = "img/placeholder.png"
  title = "Mainroad"
  subtitle = "Just another site"

Please be noted that the logo image will display at a maximum width of 128 pixels and a maximum height of 128 pixels when you use text and image simultaneously. When the only logo image is active, it will display at a maximum height of 256 pixels. Ideally, your image should be SVG.

Thumbnail visibility

By default, a thumbnail image has shown for a list and single pages simultaneously. In some cases, you may want to show a thumbnail for list-like pages only and hide it on single pages (or vice versa). Control global thumbnail visibility via config.

  visibility = ["list"]

Besides global configuration, you can change thumbnail visibility individually with extended thumbnail notation via front matter.

  src: "img/placeholder.png"
    - list
    - post


Mainroad comes with a configurable sidebar that can be on the left, on the right, or disabled. The default layout can be specified in the [Params.sidebar] section of the configuration. The position can be specified for home, list and single pages individually. Use the keys home, list and single with values "left", "right" or false. The layout can be configured per page, by setting the sidebar parameter with one of the same values in the page's front matter.

The sidebar consists of multiple widgets. Widgets can be enabled individually using the widgets key with a list of widget names as value. You can add your own widgets, by placing a template under layouts/partials/widgets/<name>.html. The list of widgets can be overwritten from a page's front matter.

Some widget respect optional configuration. Have a look at the [Params.widgets] and [] sections in the example configuration above.


Mainroad supports multiple menus. The main menu is fully responsive and displayed right under the site header. The secondary menus side and footer are displayed in a sidebar widget and the page footer. To add a page to a menu, add a menu: <menu> parameter to the page's front matter:

menu: main # Add page to a main menu

You can also add a page to multiple menus by providing a list:

menu: ["main", "side", "footer"] # Add page to a main, side, and footer menu

Note: Don't forget to enable the sidemenu widget in the widgets configuration param if you want to use the side menu.

Note: Please keep in mind that Mainroad menus don't support nested items i.e. submenus.

Social Widget: custom links

Mainroad contains built-in social links in the social widget. In addition, you can also set custom social links by adding to your config.toml. Here is an example.

  title = "Youtube"
  url = ""
  icon = "youtube.svg"

Note: You need to put your icon file in layouts/partials directory under your project's root if you want to display an icon of your social link. The icon filed, which is optional, should be a path relative to layouts/partials.

Note: Only SVG files are supported to be used as custom social icons in the current version. If you use any files of another format, PNG for example, a compile error will be raised by Hugo.

Note: Not every SVG icon can be used. For better results, it should be one-color SVG file with a special class attribute {{ with .class }}{{ . }} {{ end }} and 24x24 size. At a minimum, custom SVG icon needs these attributes:

<svg class="{{ with .class }}{{ . }} {{ end }} icon" width="24" height="24">...</svg>


Have you found a bug or got an idea for a new feature? Feel free to use the issue tracker to let me know. Or make directly a pull request, but please respect the following contributing guide.


This theme is released under the GPLv2 license.