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Minimal Academic

Minimal Academic is a two-column Hugo theme for personal sites. See the live demo here and read about my experience here.

Minimal Academic Theme screenshot

This theme is designed to be simple and unobtrusive, featuring a clean color palette and consistent formatting throughout, with an emphasis on a beautiful hero image as the masthead. Google Analytics and Disqus are supported out of the box.

Getting started

I'm assuming you've already installed Hugo and have created a new project. You can follow instructions for that here.

  1. In the root folder of your Hugo project, run:

    cd themes
    git clone
  2. The exampleSite directory contains all of the necessary resources to launch the site. Due to #3, you will need to change the theme value to "../../". Run hugo server from here and point your browser to http://localhost:1313/ to test it out.

  3. Copy config.toml from exampleSite to your project's root folder to use it. Note that you'll need to change the theme value to minimal-academic for it to work. This is also where you'll change the title of your site, add your own social media links, configure Google Analytics and Disqus, etc.

  4. Upload your own avatar and hero image by replacing portrait.jpg and hero.jpg in /static/img/.

  5. Create some content! Either copy the .md files from exampleSite as a template or use the hugo new command.

Helpful tips

  • Running hugo server with the --watch and --verbose flags makes development much faster and debugging much easier.
  • Sometimes your browser will cache resources to improve performance, so your changes will not appear. To get around this, on Chrome, control + click the refresh button and it will do a hard fetch of resources.


There's still more to do:

  • taxonomies
  • support for other languages
  • SCSS with an asset pipeline

Please feel free to submit an issue or create a pull request!


This theme is released under the MIT License. For more information, please read the license.


  • Initial Hugo template used to get started: Hugo Academic
  • Layouts used for inspiration: Minimal Mistakes and Marco Arment's blog
  • Avatar photo used in example site: Photo by Philipe Cavalcante on Unsplash
  • Hero photo used in example site: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


A two-column Hugo theme for personal sites.







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