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Version 2.3

A Bootstrap 3 blog theme for the Pelican static site generator.

VoidyBootstrap is a Pelican theme that aims to be mobile friendly, responsive, flexible and easily customisable. It can be used in single column mode, or responsive 2 column mode with sidebar.

While the theme provides lots of customisation options, care has been taken to make it usable right out of the box with minimal configuration and sensible defaults -- albeit with the ubiquitous Bootstrap look and feel. But that's kind of the idea with this theme -- start with bog standard Bootstrap, then customise as much or as little as you like.

On larger screens, with the sidebar enabled, you get a clean and responsive 2 column layout. At the top there's a navbar containing page links, and jumbotron area. The default sidebar has category links and optional tag-cloud. Font Awesome 5 is used for icons.

VoidyBootstrap is functional but deliberately minimal in terms of design. It can be used as is, if your design need are modest and all you want is basic theme that "just works", with all the common features you'd expect from a blog theme. But for those who do want to tinker and customise, it can be used as a starting point for creating custom Bootstrap-based websites. This theme has many features designed to facilitate creating a custom design on top of the default Bootstrap base it provides. Regardless of whether you use few or many of the customisation features provided, what you get is a carefully crafted Pelican theme that tries to accommodate common blogging needs and provide ways to easily accomplish common customisations. It strives to be as minimal, flexible and unopinionated as possible, while still being as usable and simple as possible.

Customised CSS, JavaScript and other modifications can be easily incorporated using configuration settings, and content can be added to the base layout (without modifying existing templates) by strategically adding template fragments.


Clone this repo, then in your set the THEME variable to point to it:

THEME = 'path/to/voidy-bootstrap/'

Out of the box what you get is the stock standard Bootstrap 3 look and feel. To customise things see below.

Example Settings

All of these are optional, but here is a basic example of common settings you might want to configure.

The following should be set in

SITESUBTITLE ='Sub-title that goes underneath site name in jumbotron.'
SITETAG = "Text that's displayed in the title on the home page."

    'href': '',
    'integrity': 'sha384-DNOHZ68U8hZfKXOrtjWvjxusGo9WQnrNx2sqG0tfsghAvtVlRW3tvkXWZh58N9jp',
    'crossorigin': 'anonymous'

# Extra stylesheets, for bootstrap overrides or additional styling.
STYLESHEET_FILES = ("pygment.css", "voidybootstrap.css",)

# Put taglist at end of articles, and use the default sharing button implementation.
CUSTOM_ARTICLE_FOOTERS = ("taglist.html", "sharing.html", )
CUSTOM_SCRIPTS_ARTICLE = "sharing_scripts.html"

# Default sidebar template. Omit this setting for single column mode without sidebar.
SIDEBAR = "sidebar.html"

        ('Twitter', '',
         'fab fa-twitter-square fa-fw fa-lg'),
        ('LinkedIn', 'https://linkedin-url',
         'fab fa-linkedin fa-fw fa-lg'),
        ('BitBucket', '',
         'fab fa-bitbucket fa-fw fa-lg'),
        ('GitHub', '',
         'fab fa-github-square fa-fw fa-lg'),

The following are probably better suited for

FEED_ALL_ATOM = 'feeds/all.atom.xml'

DISQUS_SITENAME = "disqussitename"
GOOGLE_ANALYTICS = "UA-xxxxxxxxxx"
TWITTER_USERNAME = "twitterusername"

Basic Configuration and Customisation

By default all required CSS and JavaScript files are downloaded from CDNs. Intentionally little is supplied in the theme's static/css. Just a pygment.css file, and a sample css file (voidybootstrap.css) with very minimal styling is provided as a starting point.

The simplest way to customise things is to override the standard Bootstrap styles as necessary. The theme intentionally avoids loading any additional stylesheets by default, but this can easily be done by using the STYLESHEET_FILES setting. STYLESHEET_FILES is a list for specifying additional stylesheets that will be loaded by the base.html template after the main Bootstrap CSS file. Place any CSS stylesheet files you may require in the static/css directory and add the filenames to the STYLESHEET_FILES setting in

For example, if you've placed your own CSS styling in a stylesheet called custom.css (possibly using voidybootstrap.css as a starting point), then you would need something like this in your

STYLESHEET_FILES = ("pygment.css", "custom.css",)

Custom Bootstrap

As an alternative, or in addition, you can easily replace the standard Bootstrap file with a customised one. The BOOTSTRAP_STYLESHEET setting is provided for this. The default behaviour -- if this variable is not set -- is that a standard bootstrap.min.css will be used from a CDN.

To use a different (i.e. customised) Bootstrap stylesheet, set BOOTSTRAP_STYLESHEET to the filename of a stylesheet to use instead.

This could be a customised Bootstrap stylesheet compiled manually from the Bootstrap source files, or perhaps one obtained from an online source.

For example, you could use the Bootstrap customizer to create your own customised Bootstrap CSS file. Place that file in static/css and set BOOTSTRAP_STYLESHEET to its filename.

Similarly, a Bootswatch theme can be easily integrated. Select a theme and download the files. Place all the necessary CSS files in static/css. Set BOOTSTRAP_STYLESHEET to the filename of the main Bootstrap CSS file, and specify any additional CSS files in the STYLESHEET_FILES list.

Further Customisation

Like any other Pelican theme, you can just take the templates provided and modify them to your liking. However, if you're happy with the overall layout and just want to add/subtract things here are there, this theme provides options for incorporating your own partial templates into the base layout (with basic defaults provided in templates/includes). For simple customisations, this provides a relatively straightforward way to isolate modifications and keep up to date with upstream changes.

Template partials are settings that can be configured in to point to filenames of custom template fragments. These template fragments will either add or replace content in the default layout provided by the theme. For example, if contains the line:

CUSTOM_FOOTER = "custom/footer.html"

Then the bottom of every page will contain whatever is in the template file located at:


See the "Custom Includes" section below for further details.

Note that these partial templates must be relative to the theme's templates/includes/ directory.

Standard Settings

VoidyBootstrap honors the following standard Pelican settings:


For the most part they should work as expected, although some may behave slightly differently than in the default Pelican theme (see next section).


This theme supports the following configuration settings. All are optional.

Sub-title -- displayed in jumbotron.
Text that will be placed in the title on the home page.
Default value for HTML meta description tag. Individual articles and pages can specify their own meta description by using the theme's custom description metadata tag.
Bootstrap CSS file to use instead of default, as described above.
Dict with data for Font Awesome CDN link. See example above. Only 'href' is strictly required.
Deprecated. Use STYLESHEET_URL_LINKS instead.


A list of dicts with data for generating stylesheets links in HEAD by the base.html template, like CSS files from a CDN. Useful for adding the bootstrap theme CSS, for example. Each dict should at least specify a 'href' key. All key/value pairs in the dict will be added as attribute/value to a link element in the page HEAD.


Like STYLESHEET_URL_LINKS but without the rel="stylesheet", so can be used for adding arbitrary custom links in page HEAD.
An list of filenames (relative to the /theme/css/ directory) for additional stylesheets that should be pulled in by the base.html template.
No default CSS files at all will be used if this is set to True. In this case the only stylesheets used will be those specified in STYLESHEET_FILES and STYLESHEET_URL_LINKS. This setting is provided to give more control over which specific Bootstrap (and Font Awesome) CSS files are used (i.e. it allows a specific version to be configured through settings). But it means for things to work properly at a minimum the Bootstrap and Font Awesome need to be configured using the STYLESHEET_* settings.
Don't load any default JavaScript in the base template. If this is set to True, at a minimum jQuery and the Bootstrap JavaScript must be provided via JAVASCRIPT_FILES and/or JAVASCRIPT_URLS.
Don't display navbar at the top of the page. (If required a custom navigation template can be configured via CUSTOM_SITE_HEADERS.)
Similar to the STYLESHEET_* settings, these allow arbitrary JavaScript files to be loaded. They will be referenced at the bottom of base.html, after any default script files.
URL of archives page. Default is archives.html. Can be used in conjuction with ARCHIVES_SAVE_AS for a "clean" URL.
Set to a valid Twitter username to enable the twitter sharing button.
If set to True, Twitter Card meta-data will be added to article pages. If this is enabled, TWITTER_USERNAME must also be set.
Set to True to enable Facebook Open Graph meta-properties.
Facebook App ID.
Value for Open Graph article:author property, which will be set on article pages.
Default value for Open Graph og:image property on index pages.
Default value for Open Graph og:image property (and Twitter card image, if enabled) on articles and pages. The custom social_image metadata tag can be used to specify a per-article (or per-page) value, which will always take precedence
Allows an alternative favicon filename to be specified.

Sidebar Settings

As of version 2.0 of VoidyBootstrap, the sidebar is optional. To enable the default sidebar, add the following line to your

SIDEBAR = "sidebar.html"

This will give you a simple sidebar with social media links and a list of Categories, which can be customised using the options described in this section.

Optionally, if you'd like to use the LINKS setting or include a list of tags in the default sidebar, add the following to after SIDEBAR:

CUSTOM_SIDEBAR_MIDDLES = ("sb_links.html", "sb_taglist.html", )

As of Pelican 3.6 tag cloud support has been removed from Pelican, so if you'd like a proper tag cloud in the sidebar you'll need to configure the tag_cloud plugin and add the following to

CUSTOM_SIDEBAR_MIDDLES = ("sb_tagcloud.html", )

The "sidebar" is an area where many sites will require something specific and it's unlikely any particular implementation will satisfy everyone all the time. However, there are things that commonly appear in sidebars (e.g. author bio, categories, tag cloud, etc), so the theme includes a default sidebar template that provides a fairly typical sidebar implementation. The default sidebar has a few customisation settings so that common things can be added and configured via settings in (as described in this section), but it's intended more as a starting point for custom implementations rather than an attempt to satisfy all possible use cases.

For those who might want something completely different in a sidebar, just create your own sidebar template (possibly using includes/sidebar.html as a starting point), and then set SIDEBAR to point to it. This will completely replace the theme's default sidebar with whatever is in your custom sidebar template.

But for those happy enough to stick with the default sidebar, the following settings are available to customise it:

Social media links to display in sidebar. This option is handled a bit differently than in the default Pelican theme. This should be a list/tuple where each element is a tuple with 3 elements: (name, URL, Font Awesome icon class). (See the "Example Settings" section above for an example.) The last element (icon class) can be omitted, in which case a generic icon will be used instead.
Optional list of arbitrary links to display in the sidebar. Each element must be a tuple with 2 elements: (link title, URL). For this option to work with the default sidebar, "sb_links.html" needs to be added to CUSTOM_SIDEBAR_MIDDLES (as shown above).
A list of categories is displayed in the sidebar by default. Set this option to True to disable this category list.
The number of columns in the Bootstrap grid the sidebar should take up. The default is 3.


Custom Includes

VoidyBootstrap allows for custom content and markup to be added through the use of partial templates.

The following settings (all optional), if specified, should be set to filenames of appropriate template fragments that will be included at strategic points from the primary templates. They will override or add to existing sections of content. All filename paths must be relative to the theme's templates/includes directory.

Note that in the following setting names, an "*" (asterisk) represents a page type, possible values of which are: INDEX, ARTICLE, PAGE, CATEGORY, TAG, AUTHOR, ARCHIVES.

(Also note that in Version 2.0 of this theme, many settings were renamed, and many new ones added. See CHANGES.rst.)

List of templates that will replace the default site header area (i.e. the jumbotron area).
Add custom content after the site headers, before the main container, and outside any container dev (and therefore before any content columns).
Similar to CUSTOM_HEADER_*, but inside the main container div. Not inside any row or column, so any content here will span across the top of both columns (in 2 column mode).
Template fragment that will be inserted at the top of the content column, before anything else.
These will be included right at the bottom of the content column.
These will be included at the bottom of the main container, after the columns. Content will end up inside a container but outside of columns, spanning across the bottom, below both columns (in 2 column mode).
List of templates that will replace the default article header provided in includes/article_header.html on article pages only.
List of templates that will replace the default article header provided in includes/article_header.html on index pages only.
Template fragment that will be inserted just before the start of the article body text (after any headers, image and standfirst).
List of templates that will included at the bottom of articles/pages, after the body text but before the comments. Can be used to configure any appropriate content, like sharing buttons, taglist, etc.
Footer template to be included by base.html. Anything here (e.g. copyright text) will appear between footer tags at the bottom of every page.
Template fragment for any additional javascript code specific to articles, pages and archives respectively (useful for things like social media sharing code). Will be included at the bottom of pages, just before the closing body tag. Set to includes/sharing_scripts.html to use the default provided implementation.
As above, but will be included on every page.
Included by sidebar.html at the top of the sidebar. Provides a convenient place for an "about" blurb, for example.
Included by sidebar.html at the bottom of the sidebar.
List of templates that will be included by sidebar.html after Categories but before CUSTOM_SIDEBAR_BOTTOM. Provided mainly as an easy way to use the default tag cloud implementation. Realistically, if you're doing more customisations than this in your sidebar, a better option is just to create your own implementation of sidebar.html and use this instead (as described in "Sidebar Settings").
Included by index.html in the head section. Can be used to add extra HTML meta tags to index pages, for example.
Included by base.html in the head section.

Custom Metadata Tags

This theme supports the following (optional) custom metadata tags for use in articles and pages.

Can be used in pages and articles to provide a value for the HTML meta description tag, and social meta data (i.e. Open Graph).
Text for a summary/intro paragraph that will be placed at the start of an article. This paragraph will be given a CSS class of "standfirst" so that additional styles can be applied.
Set to an image filename (relative to {{ SITEURL }}/images/) to provide a value for an article's og:image meta property.
Set to an image filename (relative to {{ SITEURL }}/images/) to display a (responsive) "featured image" at the top of an article, underneath any standfirst.
Pages only. A itemtype for the page. Default is "WebPage".
Pages only. Filename of a JavaScript file (relative to theme/js/ directory) to load for this page.

Security Considerations

By default, this theme obtains various dependency files (styles, scripts, etc) from CDNs. In an attempt to follow current security best practices, files linked from CDNs are retrieved via HTTPS, and use integrity attributes.

In addition, if your server has a Content-Security-Policy (CSP) header configured, it should take into account the CDNs used by the theme.

For example, a policy in Nginx configuration syntax that covers the external resources used by this theme might look something like:

add_header Content-Security-Policy "default-src 'none' ; img-src 'self' ; font-src 'self' ; form-action 'self' ; frame-ancestors 'none' ; media-src 'self' ; script-src 'self' ; style-src 'self' " ;



Screenshot of VoidyBootstrap theme with default Bootstrap 3 styling.


Licensed under the MIT License


A Pelican theme based on Bootstrap. A modern mobile-friendly theme using Bootstrap 3 and FontAwesome 4.







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