The ultimate Hugo theme
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Ultimate Hugo Theme

Ultimate is a Hugo theme developed by Session Technologies which focuses on the following aspects:

  • Editors peace of mind: deliver a simple workflow for editors to change contents, using an intuitive folder and file structure
  • Layout flexibility: allow editors to compose their pages using pre-defined section layouts in different orders, across all website pages
  • Feature-rich: Multi-language, simple integration with Google Analytics, Jivo chat, Privy and more
  • Documentation and tutorials on how to go live with a website built with the Ultimate theme
  • Production-ready: Responsive, uber-fast w3c validated, SEO-optimised (<meta> configuration)
  • Truly open source: only uses open source libraries with permissive licenses, such as MIT and Apache Software License (ASL), which are listed below. All code in this repository is released under ASL 2.0
  • Ongoing maintenance, updating to latest libraries, fixing bugs, extending section layouts and other theme features

If you're new to Hugo, checkout how to get started.

If you want to know how to use this theme, read more on editing content and defining page layouts.

If you want to know how to setup GitHub Pages to host your website and Travis CI to continuously build your changes, read more on how to go live.

If you want to see the theme in action, visit the website; you can check the code on GitHub and run it locally with few simple steps.

Getting started with Hugo and GitHub

If you're new to Hugo and/or GitHub, this section will help you getting started. Open a terminal on your workstation and follow the steps below.

Install Hugo

Installing Hugo is normally quite trivial, but depends on your operating system and package manager you want to use; checkout all the options on the Hugo docs, before moving forward.

When Hugo is installed, you'll be able to run the hugo command; first, let's make sure version is 0.49 or higher.

$ hugo version

Hugo Static Site Generator v0.49.2/extended darwin/amd64 BuildDate: unknown

Install Git

To interact with GitHub Pages, our preferred way to publish our website, we must install Git, a system to store, share and publish the website code; follow this documentation and try to run git on your terminal.

Creating your first site

A website (site, in Hugo terms) can be easily created using the command hugo new site [site name], where [site name] is the name of your site; this will create a folder with files and sub-folder that are explained below. For easy access and editing, make sure you use Sublime Text or similar tools.

The config.toml file is the main website configuration; make sure to edit baseURL, languageCode and title, to reflect your website info; more configuration will be added during the theme configuration.

The content and data folders contain the text data that is rendered in the website, including titles, paragraphs, image paths and names.

The layouts and static folders contain HTML, JS, CSS and other custom elements that override what's provided by the theme; the static folder also includes content images.

The archetypes folder is used to simplify the creation of new website pages.

Adding a theme

The themes folder contains the theme folder, which can be chosen among a hige selection; it's quite simple to download and enable a theme:

  • Download the ZIP file from the GitHub project homepage
  • Extract it into the themes folder, for example in themes/ultimate-hugo
  • Add theme = "ultimate-hugo" to your config.toml file

First local run

Now that the site is in place, you can start hugo server and preview the website locally; point your browser on http://localhost:1313 and see what happens.

Don't expect much, there is no theme configuration and no content; see below how to build your own website structure using the Hugo Ultimate theme.

Ultimate Hugo - Theme configuration and content editing

Ultimate is a Hugo theme that have been designed for reusability; every page is divided into sections; a section is composed by:

  • a layout, which can be either provided by the theme (see themes/ultimate-hugo/layouts/partials/sections) or defined in the layouts/partials/sections; for example, the themes/ultimate-hugo/layouts/partials/sections/grid.html defines the grid section layout
  • some data, defined in data/sections.yml; for example, the following structure in sections.yml defines the section data for of a grid layout:
    backgroundcolor: "#f6f6f8"
    title_i18n: grid1_title
    subtitle_i18n: grid1_subtitle
      - ionicon: compass
        name_i18n: grid1_item1_name
        text_i18n: grid1_item1_text
      - ionicon: ribbon
        name_i18n: grid1_item2_name
        text_i18n: grid1_item2_text

To complete the configuration of the Ultimate theme, run the following actions:

  • Copy themes/ultimate-hugo/sample-site/config.toml into config.toml, in the project root folder
  • Copy themes/ultimate-hugo/sample-site/i18n/en.yaml into i18n/en.yaml
  • Copy themes/ultimate-hugo/sample-site/data/sections.yml into data/sections.yml
  • Copy themes/ultimate-hugo/sample-site/archetypes/ into archetypes
  • Add a website logo in static/img/logo.png

If you're on MacOS or Linux, you can simply run the following command from the root project folder and run the sample website locally.

hugo server

Now you have the Ultimate theme completely configured and some demo data to play with; in the next section we will create the website pages and customise their layouts.

Creating the website homepage

Let's start building the homepage:

hugo new

The command will create a file in content/, with some initial content.

Editing contents

  • General website setup
  • Edit homepage content
  • Add a page
  • Page structure
  • Add images
  • Add/remove languages

Define page layouts

  • Show/hide header and footer
  • Configure homepage layout
  • Configure pages layout
  • Override JS and CSS files (ie updating libraries)

Go Live

  • dev/master/gh-pages branching in GitHub
  • Dev Preview
  • GitHub pages setup
  • Travis CI setup

Libraries and licenses


  • Open Sans
  • Ubuntu


  • Using or any other CMS that allows full content editing
  • Theme extensibility (ie "registering" new HTML layout pages)
  • LinkedIN blogpost - "building static website in a post-wordpress era"