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Hugo Serif Theme

Serif is a modern business theme for Hugo. It contains multiple content types and pages. The theme is fully responsive, blazing fast and artfully illustrated.

Live Demo | Zerostatic Themes | Support our work - Star this repo 💖

Hugo Serif Theme screenshot


Content Types

  • Services (Markdown)
  • Team (Markdown)
  • Features (Data)


  • SCSS (Hugo Pipelines)
  • Full Responsive design
  • Bootstrap 4.4 grid and media queries only
  • Uncomment @import 'bootstrap/bootstrap'; in style.scss to use the entire Bootstrap framework


  • 100/100 Google Lighthouse speed score
  • Under 50KB without images or 80KB with images and illustrations
  • No jQuery, only a tiny bit of vanilla Javascript for the mobile menu.


  • 100/100 Google Lighthouse SEO score
  • 100/100 Google Lighthouse accessibility score
  • Configure Google Analytics in config.toml
  • Configure Google Analytics using env variable HUGO_GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_ID compatible with Netlify.
  • Configure meta tags and OG meta tags for the homepage in config.toml
  • Override any meta tags on a per page basis
  • Semantic HTML document structure


  • Responsive menu managed in config.toml
  • Animated hamburger menu on mobile


  • Robust example content included
  • Royalty free illustrations included


  • No hardcoded content in the layouts
  • Plenty of examples of using range and where to loop over various sections/content types
  • Examples of range by Param
  • Examples of using data content (data/contact.yaml and data/features.json)
  • Example of passing .Site . (context) and custom variables to partials - see layouts/page/contact.html - {{ partial "call.html" (dict "site" .Site "context" . "show_button" "false") }}
  • Examples of injecting javascript files on a per page basis (see services/single.html)
  • Set body classes from individual layouts - useful for CSS styling.
  • Example of using Hugo custom layout for the contact page


1. Install Hugo

To use this theme you will first need to have Hugo installed. Please follow the official installation guide

⚠️ Note: Check your Hugo version - Hugo Extended is required!

This theme uses Hugo Pipes to compile SCSS and minify assets which means if you not using the Hugo extended version this theme will not work. To check your version of Hugo, run hugo version. Make sure you see /extended after the version number, for example Hugo Static Site Generator v0.51/extended darwin/amd64 BuildDate: unknown You do not need to use version v0.51 specifically, it just needs to have the /extended part.

2. Create a new Hugo site

This will create a fresh Hugo site in the folder mynewsite.

hugo new site mynewsite

3. Install the theme

Download or git clone this theme into the sites themes folder mynewsite/themes. You should end up with the following folder structure mynewsite/themes/hugo-serif-theme

cd mynewsite
git clone themes/hugo-serif-theme

4. Copy the example content

Copy the entire contents of the mynewsite/themes/hugo-serif-theme/exampleSite/ folder to root folder of your Hugo site, ie mynewsite/. To copy the files using terminal, make sure you are still in the projects root, ie the mynewsite folder.

cp -a themes/hugo-serif-theme/exampleSite/. .

5. Update config.toml

After you copy the config.toml into the root folder of your Hugo site you will need to update the baseURL, themesDir and theme values in mynewsite/config.toml

baseURL = "/"
themesDir = "themes"
theme = "hugo-serif-theme"

6. Run Hugo

After installing the theme for the first time, generate the Hugo site.

You run this command from the root folder of your Hugo site ie mynewsite/


For local development run Hugo's built-in local server.

hugo server

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



Use Stackbit to deploy this theme. This theme contains a valid and tested stackbit.yaml

Create with Stackbit


Use Netlify to deploy this theme. This theme contains a valid and tested netlify.toml - Feel free to use the 1-click deploy below.

Deploy to Netlify

Configuring Theme


You can edit the logo from the config.toml

# config.toml

    mobile = "images/logo/logo-mobile.svg"
    mobile_height = "36px"
    desktop = "images/logo/logo.svg"
    desktop_height = "36px"
    alt = "Serif - A Hugo Business Theme"


This theme uses Google fonts. You can change the font snippet in layouts/partials/google-fonts.html and then update font variable in scss/style.scss

// scss/style.scss

// Fonts
$font-family-base: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, -apple-system;
$font-family-heading: 'Playfair Display', serif, -apple-system; 


You can edit the themes primary, secondary and neutral colors in scss/style.scss. To override the bootstrap colors simply edit scss/_bootstrap-variables.scss

// scss/style.scss

// Colors
$primary: #f24088;
$secondary: #f88379;
$black: #2f2f41;
$white: #ffffff;
$white-offset: #f6f7ff;
$steel: #5C5A5A;

Hero Image

List pages such as the homepage, services and team can have a Hero image.

# content/ 
intro_image: ""
intro_image_absolute: false
intro_image_hide_on_mobile: true

While this themes default content uses illustrations, its easy to change the image to a photo and it will still look great.

the front-matter field intro_image_absolute: true let's illustrations "break out" (in CSS terms, it uses position: absolute) of the grid and is an intended stylistic effect. When using photos or normal images it's recommended to set this to false and the photo will align with the grid. See content/team/ for an example.

Google Analytics

Put your Google Analytics ID in the google_analytics_id field in the config.toml - Also supports Google Tag Manager. When your site is running locally using hugo server the GA tag is not injected. This prevents polluting your real data.

# config.toml

  google_analytics_id = "UA-XXX-1"
  google_tag_manager_id = ""

You can also set the Google Analytics ID using a Netlify environment variable HUGO_GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_ID

Meta tags

A pages title, description and image front-matter fields are used to generate the pages title and meta tags.

By default a pages <title> is generated from the front-matter title and site title set in config.toml

 <title>{{ block "title" . }}{{ if .Params.meta_title }}{{ .Params.meta_title }}{{ else }}{{ .Title }} - {{ .Site.Title }}{{ end }}{{ end }}</title>

You can override the <title> on any page by using the meta_title field in the front-matter. See content/ for an example.

Set your twitter info to ensure twitter social previews work correctly.

  # config.toml

    meta_twitter_site = "@zerostaticio"
    meta_twitter_creator = "@zerostaticio"

License & Credits

This theme is open source under the MIT license.

Please don't create ports of this theme without asking me. Yes this theme is open-source but I've had several people "port" this theme (with only minor changes) and then advertise the theme as their own. Then they don't update it and it starts to get old and break etc. Now lots of people are finding these old crappy versions of the theme.

Other Versions