I hope this points out to the powers-that-be how lacking the documentation is and how the tone of exuberance around “it’s so easy” is misplaced. I didn’t have the difficulties in this post as a git and GitHub user. But, I started with Ghost-II theme and there were a few things missing, which I resolved by studying an example site.
The documentation on proper theme installation is severely lacking. A lot of excuses are given about how themes have independent authors who “can do anything.” Sure, they can–but you don’t have to include their themes in the promoted, default theme repository. Wordpress is notorious for broken themes and plug-ins. But, if you download a theme from their official repository, it is very likely to work–no warranty of course, but someone has tried it and clicked through the basics.
You could start by documenting the steps to install and use a well-behaved theme, which are pretty easy once understood. As for poorly behaved themes–don’t bother. You already have enough well-behaved and good looking themes. If it becomes a condition of being included in the official repository of themes, then more will become well-behaved.
All in all, this is a good product. You just have some work to be more realistic about the noob experience. It should be as easy or MUCH MORE SO than Wordpress, especially as Hugo is inherently much simpler than WordPress. And don’t get me started about Ghost: also nice, but a bear to maintain if self-hosting.
Take all this with a grain of salt: you might not WANT just about any blogger to be able to use it. You could legitimately decide it’s for developers only. Entirely legitimate–but you should say so if that’s what you intend. If not, then do a quick push of 4-6 weeks to really streamline the noob experience. It’s a simple product so you’d make a ton of progress in one push. (Simple doesn’t mean limited or incapable: it’s a simple pretty clear model–simple by design–a good thing.)