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Astro Cactus

Astro Cactus is a simple opinionated starter built with the Astro framework. Use it to create an easy-to-use blog or website.

Table Of Contents

  1. Key Features
  2. Demo
  3. Quick start
  4. Preview
  5. Commands
  6. Configure
  7. Updating
  8. Adding Posts
  9. Pagefind search
  10. Analytics
  11. Deploy
  12. Acknowledgment

Key Features

Demo 💻

Check out the Demo, hosted on Netlify

Quick start

Create a new repo from this template.

# npm 7+
npm create astro@latest -- --template chrismwilliams/astro-theme-cactus

# pnpm
pnpm dlx create-astro --template chrismwilliams/astro-theme-cactus

Deploy with Netlify Deploy with Vercel


Astro Theme Cactus in a light theme mode

Astro Theme Cactus in a dark theme mode


Replace pnpm with your choice of npm / yarn

Command Action
pnpm install Installs dependencies
pnpm dev Starts local dev server at localhost:3000
pnpm build Build your production site to ./dist/
pnpm postbuild Pagefind script to build the static search of your blog posts
pnpm preview Preview your build locally, before deploying
pnpm sync Generate types based on your config in src/content/config.ts


  • Edit the config file src/site.config.ts for basic site meta data
    • Read this post for adding webmentions to your site, otherwise set to an empty value.
  • Update file astro.config.ts site property with your own domain.
  • Replace & update files within the /public folder:
    • favicon.ico & other social icons
    • robots.txt - update the Sitemap url to your own domain
    • manifest.webmanifest
  • Modify file src/styles/global.css with your own light and dark styles.
    • You can also modify the theme(s) for markdown code blocks generated by Expressive Code. Astro Cactus has both a dark (dracula) and light (github-light) theme, which can be found in src/site.config.ts. You can find more theme(s) and options here.
  • Edit social links in src/components/SocialList.astro to add/replace your media profile. Icons can be found @, per Astro Icon's instructions.
  • Create / edit posts for your blog within src/content/post/ with .md/mdx file(s). See below for more details.
  • OG Image:
    • If you would like to change the style of the generated image the Satori library creates, open up src/pages/og-image/[slug].png.ts to the markup function where you can edit the html/tailwind-classes as necessary. You can also use this satori playground to aid your design.
    • If you would like to generate svg og images rather than the default .png ones, you will need to remove the @resvg/resvg-js library, and return the svg within the body of the get function from the file src/pages/og-image/[slug].png.ts.
    • You can also create your own og images and skip satori generating it for you by adding an ogImage property in the frontmatter with a link to the asset, an example can be found in src/content/post/ More info on frontmatter can be found here
  • Optional:
    • Fonts: This theme sets the body element to the font family font-mono, located in the global css file src/styles/global.css. You can change fonts by removing the variant font-mono, after which TailwindCSS will default to the font-sans font family stack.


If you've forked the template, you can sync the fork with your own project, remembering to not click Discard Changes as you will lose your own.

If you have a template repository, you can add this template as a remote, as discussed here.

Adding posts

This theme utilises Content Collections to organise Markdown and/or MDX files, as well as type-checking frontmatter with a schema -> src/content/config.ts.

Adding a post is as simple as adding your .md(x) files to the src/content/post folder, the filename of which will be used as the slug/url. The posts included with this template are there as an example of how to structure your frontmatter. Additionally, the Astro docs has a detailed section on markdown pages.


Property (* required) Description
title * Self explanatory. Used as the text link to the post, the h1 on the posts' page, and the pages title property. Has a max length of 60 chars, set in src/content/config.ts
description * Similar to above, used as the seo description property. Has a min length of 50 and a max length of 160 chars, set in the post schema.
publishDate * Again pretty simple. To change the date format/locale, currently en-GB, update the date option in src/site.config.ts. Note you can also pass additional options to the component <FormattedDate> if required.
updatedDate This is an optional date representing when a post has been updated, in the same format as the publishDate. Note that by providing this field, the sorting function, found in src/utils/post.ts, sortMDByDate will order by this field rather than its published date.
tags Tags are optional with any created post. Any new tag(s) will be shown in &, and generate the page(s)[yourTag]
coverImage This is an optional object that will add a cover image to the top of a post. Include both a src: "path-to-image" and alt: "image alt". You can view an example in src/content/post/
ogImage This is an optional property. An OG Image will be generated automatically for every post where this property isn't provided. If you would like to create your own for a specific post, include this property and a link to your image, the theme will then skip automatically generating one.
draft This is an optional property as it is set to false by default in the schema. By adding true, the post will be filtered out of the production build in a number of places, inc. getAllPosts() calls, og-images, rss feeds, and generated page[s]. You can view an example in src/content/post/

Frontmatter snippet

Astro Cactus includes a helpful VSCode snippet which creates a frontmatter 'stub' for a blog post, found here -> .vscode/post.code-snippets. Start typing the word frontmatter on your newly created .md(x) file to trigger it. Visual Studio Code snippets appear in IntelliSense via (⌃Space) on mac, (Ctrl+Space) on windows.

Pagefind search

This integration brings a static search feature for searching blog posts. In its current form, pagefind only works once the site has been built. This theme adds a postbuild script that should be run after Astro has built the site. You can preview locally by running both build && postbuild.

Search results only includes blog posts. If you would like to include other/all your pages, remove/re-locate the attribute data-pagefind-body to the article tag found in src/layouts/BlogPost.astro.

It also allows you to filter posts by tags added in the frontmatter of blog posts. If you would rather remove this, remove the data attribute data-pagefind-filter="tag" from the link in src/components/blog/Hero.astro.

If you would rather not include this integration, simply remove the component src/components/Search.astro, and uninstall both @pagefind/default-ui & pagefind from package.json. You will also need to remove the postbuild script from here as well.

You can reduce the initial css payload of your css, as demonstrated here, by lazy loading the web components styles.


You may want to track the number of visitors you receive to your blog/website in order to understand trends and popular posts/pages you've created. There are a number of providers out there one could use, including web hosts such as vercel, netlify, and cloudflare.

This theme/template doesn't include a specific solution due to there being a number of use cases and/or options which some people may or may not use.

You may be asked to included a snippet inside the HEAD tag of your website when setting it up, which can be found in src/layouts/Base.astro. Alternatively, you could add the snippet in src/components/BaseHead.astro.


Astro docs has a great section and breakdown of how to deploy your own Astro site on various platforms and their idiosyncrasies.

By default the site will be built (see Commands section above) to a /dist directory.


This theme was inspired by Hexo Theme Cactus