Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
298 lines (212 sloc) 12 KB
title linktitle description date publishdate lastmod keywords categories menu weight draft aliases toc
URL Management
URL Management
Hugo supports permalinks, aliases, link canonicalization, and multiple options for handling relative vs absolute URLs.
content management
parent weight


The default Hugo target directory for your built website is public/. However, you can change this value by specifying a different publishDir in your site configuration. The directories created at build time for a section reflect the position of the content's directory within the content folder and namespace matching its layout within the contentdir hierarchy.

The permalinks option in your site configuration allows you to adjust the directory paths (i.e., the URLs) on a per-section basis. This will change where the files are written to and will change the page's internal "canonical" location, such that template references to .RelPermalink will honor the adjustments made as a result of the mappings in this option.

{{% note "Default Publish and Content Folders" %}} These examples use the default values for publishDir and contentDir; i.e., public and content, respectively. You can override the default values in your site's config file. {{% /note %}}

For example, if one of your sections is called posts and you want to adjust the canonical path to be hierarchical based on the year, month, and post title, you could set up the following configurations in YAML and TOML, respectively.

Permalinks Configuration Example

{{< code-toggle file="config" copy="false" >}} permalinks: posts: /:year/:month/:title/ {{< /code-toggle >}}

Only the content under posts/ will have the new URL structure. For example, the file content/posts/ with date: 2017-02-27T19:20:00-05:00 in its front matter will render to public/2017/02/sample-entry/index.html at build time and therefore be reachable at

You can also configure permalinks of taxonomies with the same syntax, by using the plural form of the taxonomy instead of the section. You will probably only want to use the configuration values :slug or :title.

Permalink Configuration Values

The following is a list of values that can be used in a permalink definition in your site config file. All references to time are dependent on the content's date.

:year : the 4-digit year

:month : the 2-digit month

:monthname : the name of the month

:day : the 2-digit day

:weekday : the 1-digit day of the week (Sunday = 0)

:weekdayname : the name of the day of the week

:yearday : the 1- to 3-digit day of the year

:section : the content's section

:sections : the content's sections hierarchy

:title : the content's title

:slug : the content's slug (or title if no slug is provided in the front matter)

:filename : the content's filename (without extension)


Aliases can be used to create redirects to your page from other URLs.

Aliases comes in two forms:

  1. Starting with a / meaning they are relative to the BaseURL, e.g. /posts/my-blogpost/
  2. They are relative to the Page they're defined in, e.g. my-blogpost or even something like ../blog/my-blogpost (new in Hugo 0.55).

Example: Aliases

Let's assume you create a new piece of content at content/posts/ The content is a revision of your previous post at content/posts/ You can create an aliases field in the front matter of your new where you can add previous paths. The following examples show how to create this field in TOML and YAML front matter, respectively.

TOML Front Matter

{{< code file="content/posts/" copy="false" >}} +++ aliases = [ "/posts/my-original-url/", "/2010/01/01/even-earlier-url.html" ] +++ {{< /code >}}

YAML Front Matter

{{< code file="content/posts/" copy="false" >}}

aliases: - /posts/my-original-url/ - /2010/01/01/even-earlier-url.html

{{< /code >}}

Now when you visit any of the locations specified in aliases---i.e., assuming the same site domain---you'll be redirected to the page they are specified on. For example, a visitor to will be immediately redirected to

Example: Aliases in Multilingual

On multilingual sites, each translation of a post can have unique aliases. To use the same alias across multiple languages, prefix it with the language code.

In /posts/

    - /es/posts/my-original-post/

From Hugo 0.55 you can also have page-relative aliases, so /es/posts/my-original-post/ can be simplified to the more portable my-original-post/

How Hugo Aliases Work

When aliases are specified, Hugo creates a directory to match the alias entry. Inside the directory, Hugo creates an .html file specifying the canonical URL for the page and the new redirect target.

For example, a content file at posts/ with the following in the front matter:

title: My New post
aliases: [/posts/my-old-url/]

Assuming a baseURL of, the contents of the auto-generated alias .html found at will contain the following:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <link rel="canonical" href=""/>
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
    <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url="/>

The http-equiv="refresh" line is what performs the redirect, in 0 seconds in this case. If an end user of your website goes to, they will now be automatically redirected to the newer, correct URL. The addition of <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> lets search engine bots know that they should not crawl and index your new alias page.


You may customize this alias page by creating an alias.html template in the layouts folder of your site (i.e., layouts/alias.html). In this case, the data passed to the template is

Permalink : the link to the page being aliased

Page : the Page data for the page being aliased

Important Behaviors of Aliases

  1. Hugo makes no assumptions about aliases. They also do not change based on your UglyURLs setting. You need to provide absolute paths to your web root and the complete filename or directory.
  2. Aliases are rendered before any content are rendered and therefore will be overwritten by any content with the same location.

Pretty URLs

Hugo's default behavior is to render your content with "pretty" URLs. No non-standard server-side configuration is required for these pretty URLs to work.

The following demonstrates the concept:


Ugly URLs

If you would like to have what are often referred to as "ugly URLs" (e.g.,, set uglyurls = true or uglyurls: true in your site's config.toml or config.yaml, respectively. You can also use the --uglyURLs=true flag from the command line with hugo or hugo server.

If you want a specific piece of content to have an exact URL, you can specify this in the front matter under the url key. The following are examples of the same content directory and what the eventual URL structure will be when Hugo runs with its default behavior.

See Content Organization for more details on paths.

└── content
    └── about
    |   └──  // <-
    ├── posts
    |   ├──   // <-
    |   ├── happy
    |   |   └──  // <-
    |   └──  // <-
    └── quote
        ├──       // <-
        └──      // <-

Here's the same organization run with hugo --uglyURLs:

└── content
    └── about
    |   └──  // <-
    ├── posts
    |   ├──   // <-
    |   ├── happy
    |   |   └──    // <-
    |   └──  // <-
    └── quote
        ├──       // <-
        └──      // <-


By default, all relative URLs encountered in the input are left unmodified, e.g. /css/foo.css would stay as /css/foo.css. The canonifyURLs field in your site config has a default value of false.

By setting canonifyURLs to true, all relative URLs would instead be canonicalized using baseURL. For example, assuming you have baseURL =, the relative URL /css/foo.css would be turned into the absolute URL

Benefits of canonicalization include fixing all URLs to be absolute, which may aid with some parsing tasks. Note, however, that all modern browsers handle this on the client without issue.

Benefits of non-canonicalization include being able to have scheme-relative resource inclusion; e.g., so that http vs https can be decided according to how the page was retrieved.

{{% note "canonifyURLs default change" %}} In the May 2014 release of Hugo v0.11, the default value of canonifyURLs was switched from true to false, which we think is the better default and should continue to be the case going forward. Please verify and adjust your website accordingly if you are upgrading from v0.10 or older versions. {{% /note %}}

To find out the current value of canonifyURLs for your website, you may use the handy hugo config command added in v0.13.

hugo config | grep -i canon

Or, if you are on Windows and do not have grep installed:

hugo config | FINDSTR /I canon

Set URL in Front Matter

In addition to specifying permalink values in your site configuration for different content sections, Hugo provides even more granular control for individual pieces of content.

Both slug and url can be defined in individual front matter. For more information on content destinations at build time, see Content Organization.

From Hugo 0.55, you can use URLs relative to the current site context (the language), which makes it simpler to maintain. For a Japanese translation, both of the following examples would get the same URL:

title: "Custom URL!"
url: "/jp/custom/foo"
title: "Custom URL!"
url: "custom/foo"

Relative URLs

By default, all relative URLs are left unchanged by Hugo, which can be problematic when you want to make your site browsable from a local file system.

Setting relativeURLs to true in your site configuration will cause Hugo to rewrite all relative URLs to be relative to the current content.

For example, if your /posts/first/ page contains a link to /about/, Hugo will rewrite the URL to ../../about/.

You can’t perform that action at this time.