Hugo theme for hierarchical content websites
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SimpleIT Hugo Theme

Responsive Hugo theme displaying articles by directory.

Homepage displays the full directory tree structure and each section/"subsection" its own articles and nested sections.

SimpleIT Hugo Theme screenshot

Table of Contents



  • mobile-first design
  • two main layouts: single page and lists
  • Automatic TOCs in separate sidebar from content
  • Hugo internal templates (Open Graph, Twitter Cards, Disqus, Google Analytics)
  • Google Adsense:
    • Page level
    • Automatic ads
  • Buy me a coffee button in articles
  • tree content structure of arbitrary depth supported
  • third-party apps
    • Bootstrap 4
    • Fontawesome 5
  • Choose Share Buttons type
    • static generated with (fast, minimal footprint)
    • each site javascript share buttons (Google, Twitter and Facebook with counter)

Nested subcategories

The nested subcategories (aka.:sections/nested sections) get the same URLs as the directory structure, for example, the following directory/files would be available at these URLs:

Directory URL

Adding content

$ hugo new <sections>/<article>.md

There are two types of Posts, with and without images. The cleanest way to have them is to create a directory for those posts that have images, and put all the post's images in that directory.

Adding posts without images

A post without a cover image should be created with the slug as the filename inside the directory you want, for example, to create the post you should create the file /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/

slug will be obtained from post's filename

title: "Post example without images"
date: 2019-01-10
subtitle: ''
description: ''

## Overview

Here I don't use any image!

Adding posts with images

Posts with images can have two types of images:

  • Cover image
    • Displayed at the top section of the post
    • Used in Facebook's OpenGraph / Twitter cards metadata (a.k.a. the image that will be displayed when sharing the post in those Social Networks)
    • Should be defined at post's frontmatter.
  • Content images
    • Images used along the post content

For example, to create the post you should create the directory with the slug name and content inside the directory as an file /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/

All images used by this post goes inside the above directory (/content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/)

And slug will be obtained from post's directory name.

To add the cover image, so it can be displayed used add the metadata to the resources section and locate the image in the newly created directory /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/victor_hugo.jpg.

Then other images in same directory and used in content /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/dcu_models.jpg

title: "Post example with images in cover and content"
date: 2019-01-10
subtitle: ''
description: ''
- name: header
  src: victor_hugo.jpg
  title: "Portrait photograph of Victor Hugo"
  params: #can be ommited
    license: "Public Domain"
    original: ""

## Overview

Hey! I have an image. 

<img class="img-fluid" alt="model diagram" src="dcu_models.jpg" /> 

Tree directory structure of /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/ would look like:

|_ dcu_models.jpg
|_ victor_hugo.jpg

Adding images used in many posts

You can also add images to site's root at /assets/img/ and then use it directly referring them with full path /img/.....

For example, for my_image.png at /assets/img/ then it can be used in multiple posts: <img class="img-fluid" alt="example image" src="/img/my_image.png" />.


Two options:

As a git submodule

$ git submodule add -f themes/simpleit-hugo-theme

If you don't have Hugo with git

Inside the folder of your Hugo site run:

$ cd themes
$ git clone

Updating the theme

After installing the theme, if you added it as a git submodule, you can update it with:

git submodule update --remote --merge

Run locally

In order to see your site in action, run Hugo's built-in local server.

$ hugo server -t simpleit-hugo-theme

Now enter localhost:1313 in the address bar of your browser.

Or just set theme="simpleit-hugo-theme" in your configuration.

Theme config

Have a look at /exampleSite/config.toml for theme customization options.

Customizing styles for your website

If you want to change some styling to fit your own website needs, copy the following files to your website root path and edit them:

  • assets/sass/custom_variables.scss: customize variables used by Bootstrap.
  • assets/sass/styles.scss: your main website styles with all Bootstrap variables avaiable.

Notes for developers

If you plan to change something or contribute to theme development keep in mind that this theme uses npm to handle packages, to install its dependencies:

$ cd themes/simpleit-hugo-theme
$ make install

All Bootstrap and Fontawesome SASS variables are available to

  • customizing the variables

    In assets/sass/custom_variables.scss you can customize Bootstrap.

  • use variables in assets/sass/styles.css

    For example, using Fontawesome variables like $fa-var-twitter, in assets/sass/styles.scss:

    .twitter {
        @include fa-icon;
        @extend .fab;
      	&:before {
      		content: fa-content($fa-var-twitter);

    or using Bootstrap variables like $kbd-bg , in assets/sass/styles.scss:

    .shell {
      background-color: $kbd-bg;


Building or serving the website:

$ cd themes/simpleit-hugo-theme
$ make build

Serving the theme with changes:

$ cd themes/simpleit-hugo-theme
$ make serve


Single page screenshot:

SimpleIT Hugo Theme single page screenshot


Did 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.

Websites using theme

Hugo websites using this theme:

Add your own website here with a Pull Request!


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