Best Hugo Themes?

Hi guys,

I wondered what Hugo themes are considered “the best”? I’m looking for something that:

1). Is updated regularly rather than built and abandoned
2). Is suitable for a content type site (rather than a 1 page design)
3). Looks incredible with smooth design and great typography

I’ve really struggled to find anything that fits these three criteria so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jess

Hi! This is a really difficult question to answer, because it’s so subjective. I can tell you what themes I personally have used.

First I used the Hyde theme, with some small modifications. https://themes.gohugo.io/hyde/ I used this for a few years.

Next I decided to build my own, because I got inspired by a free website design called Story. https://html5up.net/story I used this for a few months, but found that the HTML and typography wasn’t to my liking after a while. (I think I probably share some of your personal preferences and opinions in that regard.)

My next phase was to rebuild on top of that, by adapting the Ananke theme’s “bones” to make the Story theme I wanted. Ananke might be to your liking.

If you want to see what I’m doing with the Story theme, it is visible on my personal website, xaprb.com and you can find the source at github.com/xaprb/story.

I hope to contribute it to the themes directory soon.

2 Likes

I encourage you to let that one go. Not for your personal projects, you’ll want to stay novel and keep up with the newest Hugo features. But some projects may get a theme that is complete and needs no enhancement, and is in fact one of the advantages of Hugo. :slight_smile:

Thanks, I’ll check those out. I think we can all agree tat there are a few Hugo themes that are a little “basic” when it comes to design/typography and it’s a shame as Hugo is capable of much more.

I agree with @xaprb that this question is hard to answer because it’s subjective.

I use my own theme, called Midnight. I do my best to keep it up to date with Hugo’s newest features, though sometimes it takes a while to get the ones that require changing most of the template files.

It’s not in the theme directory yet, since the main repository is on self-hosted Git, which is not allowed. Also, It’s a massive refactoring of my previous theme, and I’m working out some small bugs that didn’t get noticed in the initial process. Once I get those ironed out and I get a new minor release out, I’ll be working on getting it listed from a GitLab/GitHub mirror.

Regarding typography, Midnight comes with its own bundled theme files from Font Squirrel, though the plugin system makes it possible to use whatever fonts you want using custom CSS. There are also plugin types for integrating commenting systems, custom shortcodes, and custom sidebar widgets.

You can also customize the appearance of the site in a number of ways, including a background image and custom color schemes. Certain design choices in the theme are automatically configured based on the colors chosen, like the syntax highlighting theme, Patreon banner image, and Iubenda privacy policy button.

The theme has a lot more features than that, with documentation for all of it - I have to reference it a lot myself, since I can’t remember every option. There is also a setup guide to help make getting started easier.

TL:DR; I’ve put a lot of work to make a theme that I like using and want others to enjoy using too. I also respond to emails asking for support, and all bug reports.

2 Likes

Hey, I’m also developing themes for Hugo and give them regular updates.

I provide pro version of every free theme with more features and provide support for them.

If you are talking about typography and design, you can check out Hugo UILite Portfolio Theme or you can check out all the Hugo themes here

Cheers

2 Likes

It is too early to call in terms of maintainability, but I think that https://github.com/de-souza/hugo-flex or https://themes.gohugo.io/hugo-flex/ is a great theme to start your project from. And when theme is so simple, you have a good chance it will get maintained :slight_smile:

Its 100 speed score on PageSpeed is impressive.

I am considering of using it as a base to replace my current theme (I don’t use many features from it) and it generates errors.