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Contentful is a Hugo theme mainly targeted for personal and one-man-show blogs that focuses on being contentful by having the most minimal format maintaining readability; beautiful sane defaults while using modern web standards and features in this day and age. It understands that not all use cases are possible with this theme so it also aims to be easy to extend and modify implementing the feature that you want. Primarily tested on Chromium-based and Firefox-based web browsers.

It could also serve as a pretty introduction to Hugo themes since there not much going on.

Oh right, this also applies as my first practical application for reading Practical Typography by Matthew Butterick. Let's see how this turns out.

Getting started with this theme is pretty easy. All it needs is the title field from your site config.


There's a demo available at the demo branch with the live version at It features a multilingual site with the default settings and a dedicated section to recipes for extending this theme.

Feature list

The quickest way to describe Contentful in one go is a list.

The core feature of Contentful is to be easy to extend while providing sane and modern foundations, if you don't want to. Here are the default features of the theme provides:

  • Beautiful reader-mode default layout.
  • Dark mode toggle.
  • Focus on web accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO) including Twitter cards and Open Graph protocol.
  • Google Analytics and Disqus integration.
  • Web accessible-ready by following the standard practices as referred to by the W3C.

As previously mentioned, this theme is made to be easily extensible. With some integration with the huge ecosystem of Hugo, you can make the theme feature the following highlights.

More possibilities are there if you tinker it with your own modifications.

Project goals

  • A clean reader interface for your content that is easy to modify to your liking.
  • Make it easy for the user to seamlessly migrate or switch between themes.
    • Which means, no custom shortcodes, archetypes, or (lots of) frontmatter variables.
  • Focus on making it accessible to visually-impaired users.
  • A low web budget of less 30KB that can load under 1 second (with the default configuration, anyways).


I assume you already have Git and Hugo installed. For future reference, the minimum Hugo version required is at v0.74. Furthermore, the following instructions are done as if you're in a Hugo directory.

You can install the Hugo theme in two ways.

Using Hugo module

You can quickly add this theme as a Hugo module. Hugo modules are only available in Hugo v0.56.0. It also requires a Go runtime and Git installed.

To get started, initialize your Hugo project as a Hugo module.

hugo mod init $HUGO_MODULE_NAME

Add the theme as a Hugo module by adding the appropriate setting in your site configuration. The below snippet immediately adds the theme and set the module as your theme immediately (assuming it's in TOML format).

    path = ""

Then run hugo mod get or a Hugo server (i.e., hugo serve) to get the dependency. For updating the module, run hugo mod get -u.

Using this option also provides a convenient option to specify the version of the theme with a single change. You can specify the version by just adding a tag to the path (e.g., or a commit (e.g., For more information, see how to specify Go modules since Hugo modules are built on top of it.

Additionally, you can vendor the theme project with hugo mod vendor if you intend to fully modify the project. See the related section for more information.

The theme folder

This simply involves copying the project into the theme folder (i.e., themes/). You can simply download the project either with the GitHub archive export. Since it is hosted on a Git repo, you can simply clone it like the following command.

git clone themes/contentful

If you intend to make major modifications for yourself, you can keep the project either as a Git submodule (e.g., git submodule add $GIT_REPO themes/contentful) or as a Git subtree (e.g., git subtree add --prefix themes/contentful --squash).

To try the theme out, just execute Hugo using the theme like in the following command.

hugo server --theme contentful

If you're decided to use this theme and don't want to bother using the --theme option, just set it in your site configuration with the theme field and you're done!


The theme tries to use as little custom parameters as possible. Thus, it would be pointless if I lay them all out since they're already explained from the official documentation. Instead, I decided to create an example configuration for you to explore. The following example assumes you're using a TOML file for your configuration (config.toml) and installing the theme with Hugo modules.

baseURL = ""
title = "Contentful"
enableGitInfo = true
paginate = 20

    path = ""
    path = ""

        name = "John Doe"
        email = ""

        # This key is used for more readable links to translated versions.
        languageName = "English"

        languageName = "Tagalog"

        suffixes = ["atom"]

        suffixes = ["rss"]

        mediaType = "application/rss+xml"
        baseName = "index"

        mediaType = "application/atom+xml"
        baseName = "index"

    home = ["HTML", "RSS", "ATOM", "JSON"]
    section = ["HTML", "RSS", "ATOM", "JSON"]

        name = "About"
        url = "about/"

        name = "Categories"
        url = "categories/"

        name = "Tags"
        url = "tags/"

    # Enable table of content generation (only valid for Markdown and Asciidoctor files to be parsed by Hugo's built-in parsers).
    toc = true

For the author configuration, it is a map with each key holding a map value. The value only requires name and you can set the structure to your own liking. Most opt for an additional email key for web feeds. My web feed layout searches for them as well as a url key.

Page configuration

Similar to the site configuration, this theme tries to minimize the use of custom parameters to be easily extensible. Here's the exhaustive list of those parameters.

  • toc indicates if the table of contents is to be shown. This only works as expected for Markdown. For other formats such as Asciidoctor-flavored files, you have to apply the attribute toc globally and enable the site parameter toc.

  • author is similar to the site author map with the name as the only required key.


This theme is inspired by the following beautiful and minimal pieces of work:

Frequently asked questions

  • How to hide a post from being listed?

    • You can make use of the build options with _build.list have a value of never. Though, this is only available in Hugo v0.65.0 and above.
  • How to extend with custom styling?

    • Simply create assets/css/extend.css and you're on your merry way. This will be appended with the main stylesheet so it will still be in one file.
  • Table of contents for Asciidoctor?

    • You can enable it with markup.asciidocExt.attributes.toc set to true in the site config. Then enable it with params.toc (e.g., params.toc = true) also in the site config to globally apply to all posts. You can also enable it in your content with the toc frontmatter.
  • Theme-specific custom shortcodes?

    • No. This theme only aims to be a skin/UI for your content so you can easily migrate your content from one theme to another.


This theme is licensed under MIT license. Please see the original license file for more details.


A Hugo theme that focuses on content readability, theme extensibility, and minimal and smooth reader interface.







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