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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
      • Automatic TOCs based in content headers placed in sidebar
      • Choose Share Buttons type
      • Commenting system
        • Disqus
    • directory/category lists
      • If /static/img/cover.jpg exists, it is added as the background of the homepage header section
  • SEO

    • Hugo internal templates
      • Open Graph
        • {{- template "_internal/opengraph.html" . -}}
      • Schema metatags
        • {{- template "_internal/schema.html" . -}}
        • When an article is updated, it automatically generates dateModified itemprop and shows the Last Updated info in the article. It obtains the data from the git repo.
      • Twitter Cards
        • {{- template "_internal/twitter_cards.html" . -}}
    • produces
      • minified HTML
      • SASS compiled in one CSS file
      • One javascript file
    • Multilingual:
      • In head: Each page specifies other languages versions in meta as specified in Tell Google about localized versions of your page like: - <link rel="alternate" hreflang="lang_code" href="url_of_page" />
      • In footer: Show alternative page translations, falling back to site available languages if a specific page doesn't have translation
  • Analytics

    • Google Analytics
    • Bing
  • Monetization:

    • Google Adsense:
      • Page level
      • Automatic ads just setting up config key
    • Optional support buttons in articles:
  • Content in tree directory structure of arbitrary depth supported

    • nested directories, each directory having its own articles and possible other directories
  • Third-party apps

    • Twitter Bootstrap 4
    • Icons: Fontawesome 5
  • Author box for each article.

    • Only shown in pages if bio is set at [] in configuration.
    • Can be hidden with frontmatter: hide_author: true
  • About me page in footer if page_about_me_relurl set in configuration for each language.

       page_about_me_relurl = "/about/"
  • Previous/Next article buttons when displaying a single article.

  • Generates an rss+xml Atom file, an XML-based Web content and metadata syndication format, for each directory/subdirectory.

    • Example for URL:" includes the link: <link href="" rel="alternate" title="Simple IT 🤘 Rocks" type="application/rss+xml"/>

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:

PATH                                            URL

|-- en
|   |--                               /
|   |--                 /a-root-level-article/
|   |--                                /about/
|   |-- bar-first-level-section                 /bar-first-level-section/
|   |   `--              /bar-first-level-section/bar-page-in-section/
|   |-- baz-first-level-section                 
|   |   `--                           /baz-first-level-section/
|   `-- foo-first-level-section                 
|       |--                           /foo-first-level-section/
|       |-- foo-second-level
|       |   |--                       /foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/
|       |   |-- foo-third-level
|       |   |   |--                   /foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/foo-third-level/
|       |   |   `--  /foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/foo-third-level/page-at-foo-third-level/
|       |   `--     /foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/
|       `--            /foo-first-level-section/page-at-section-level/
`-- es
    |--                               /es/
    `-- foo-seccion-primer-nivel
        |--                           /es/foo-section-primer-nivel
        `-- foo-segundo-nivel                   
            |--                       /es/foo-section-primer-nivel/foo-segundo-nivel
            `--      /es/foo-section-primer-nivel/foo-segundo-nivel/pagina-en-segundo-nivel/

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 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 by OpenGraph and Twitter, add the metadata to the resources frontmatter section and put the image in the newly created directory /content/foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/victor_hugo.jpg.

The featured image resource name must be cover so it will be used as the featured image of the article.

This follows the standard name name defined by Hugo for Twitter Cards featured image.

Rest of images should be configured in an images array in front matter, being the first one the featured image. This will be used in Facebook's OpenGraph metadata and Twitter Cards image section, so it is displayed when sharing them.

In images array, the full path after content directory preppended to image name should be used, as Hugo loads them preppending the website's domain.

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: ''
- foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/victor_hugo.jpg
- foo-first-level-section/foo-second-level/page-at-foo-second-level/dcu_models.jpg
- name: cover # this should be the name if you want it to appear as article's featured image and used by OpenGraph and Twitter cards
  src: victor_hugo.jpg
  title: "Portrait photograph of Victor Hugo"
  params: #can be ommited
    license: "Public Domain"
    original: ""

## Overview

Hey! I have an image that it is not featured, look:

<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" />.

Adding pages in multiple languages

To add a new language, just specify it in the [languages] section of config.toml and create a subdirectory in /content as specified at Translation by content directory .

Then for each page or section:

Set translationKey for _index and pages and their slug as directory or filename. I use the slug of the section/page I am translating as the translation key, for example for /content/en/foo/

  • EN: /content/en/foo/

    translationKey = "foo"
  • ES: /content/es/foo-slug-in-spanish/

    translationKey = "foo"

Same process for pages.

Then each level of the hierarchy will have its corresponding page in the other language, and subdirectories will also be translated.


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.

Website in subdirectory

If the website is located in a subdirectory like then URLs should be generated with an absolute path with the following configuration:

canonifyURLs = true

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 instance 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.

Or include them with a SCSS include:

  • for custom_variables.scss:
@import "../../themes/simpleit-hugo-theme/assets/sass/custom_variables.scss";

and for styles.scss

@import "../../themes/simpleit-hugo-theme/assets/sass/styles.scss";

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.


Responsive Hugo theme for hierarchical content websites








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