I think I do not want a "theme"

What I want, instead of a “themes” section for discovering hugo, is something more like a builder. By this I mean, I select the features I want, check the box, and I get that generated. I want Categories, and Tags, and Images, and Slideshows. A header, a footer, a logo, a menu. Some themes have some of these… But then they demand a certain javascript library, or some CSS which I may hate…

I like Tachyons for CSS… I generally prefer not doing any javascript, especially for easy things like links etc.

Instead of “Themes” I would prefer things to be categorized by “Features”. Menu features, Category Features, Tags Features. Image Features. Then let me pick which ones I want! Each feature would have short codes, partials, html, whatever…

Basically, factor the themes into their differences, and sort those differences into different categories, and Git that all together into something that can be unpacked into MY custom theme. Kind of like hugo does for sites, but break down the logical parts of themes!

3rd beer, hope this makes sense… :slight_smile:


Themelets, perhaps theme fragments that we can weave together into a theme…

Regarding the “builder” you propose I will be mighty surprised if it gets developed anytime soon, as there are already big issues on the Hugo roadmap like hint a GUI admin panel that no one is currently working on.

Also I’ve seen “builders” in action. Like in Blogspot 10 years ago or in Wix. And I’m not a fan. At all.

There are plenty of Shortcodes & Partials examples for the things you describe ( Menu features, Category Features, Tags Features. Image Features) right here in this forum, at the official Docs https://gohugo.io/overview/introduction/

That’s how I got my head around Hugo anyway. By searching this forum and asking for help. Almost everything I’ve ever needed during the past two years of using Hugo is right here.

And for my projects usually I also don’t use a theme, because like you I want to make my own choices.

I see no reason why you couldn’t find anything you need through these existing channels.You can also post a question right here if you need further assistance.

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I will be too :smile:

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yes, very true, I have been discovering these myself, slowly… Hence the need for a centralized repository! WITH A CHECKABLE LIST OF ITEMS TO INCLUDE. That is the entire point! Add a check box to the the TOC, and then include them!

Yes, most of this is already here. But it requires a lot of cutting and pasting! I do not want a theme, I want a subset, with it in Githug format archives. Sub-themes… I do not need or want the theme packages, I want the all parts and pieces for a FEATURE in a package. Shatter the monoliths!

Ok, leave out the checkboxes, I do not need a gui. Can I at least have Github packages for each feature? IE slideshow, whatever. I install each piece as needed, no checkable list of items in the gui. If we have it packaged and easy to use the rest does not matter…

Start with a bare site, add features as needed. I do not want to add a “Theme” as that precludes further choices…


Interesting way of putting it as Go and hence Hugo are a bit monolithic by design.

Well a repo with Hugo samples is a tad different than a “builder”.

But since there are so many different user cases I’m not sure that you will get that either. Not through the Hugo dev team anyway as they have other priorities.

But that’s what the Docs are there for. I would take a day off and read them if I were you.

You will find that a lot of the things you ask are right there with examples. Of course there are things missing from the Docs like for example srcset images and ways to generate all that HTML jazz, but you will find shortcodes for such a thing right here, in this forum.

No, it doesn’t. You can add a theme and customize it however you want while maintaining compatibility with the upstream. RTD.

Having “design patterns” to draw from sounds like an interesting idea but, like everything, it has to be built and maintained.

If you need something visual for managing hugo you can try forestry

Sounds to me like what you want is to build your own theme. Much faster then having to piece things together IMO.


I would start by building your own theme by maybe re-purposing an existing minimalist theme. Or start from scratch with a lightweight CSS framework that provides a simple grid and built it up from there with what elements you need. Maybe use other themes you like as a guide and implement your favorite elements.

This is what is so great about Wordpress and the Genesis layer by StudioPress. You can Very quickly and easily click a few things to add another sidebar box, or a slider, or and additional footer layer.


I’ve started to build something… in regard of a UI Builder with “block components”… and I am wondering about the frontend development of a CMS Admin though.

What do you guys think would be great for the “backend of it”. I know there is a lot of “PHP” folks out there, so its easier for them to start using that instead of nodejs per example ?

I’ve came across https://vault-ui.io/ , built in Node w/ Vue.JS looks intereting in term of Frontend development to start with that as project.

Anyone have an advice on what framework to use for a basic CMS ?


Toma, you got me! This is what a I want…

Not a theme, but a few FEATURES, acting like a theme.

But features in hugo, are not packaged in a stand-alone way, so much manual editing, copy/paste etc… to weave it all together,

The directtory, Layouts, hints at it, but it does not contain a collection of “layout”'s ie, 5 things I want my site to have… it is a jumbled mess of stuff, all mixed together…

I want one of these, one of those, and some of that…

I gotcha, I just don’t know how one would go about loading in different smaller features into their site in this stage of Hugo other than if a theme carried all of these components that could be configured.

It’s kind of encouraging me a bit to build some sort of theme framework like that.

Yes, my problem exactly! I want each “feature” packaged, separately, sub-themes, ala Git, dump each into Layouts… But things are not done this way in hugo!

Well factored components, with no dependencies! no external stuff needed. Put all needed stuff into Git! and nothing more!

No theme, just a PIECE OF A THEME!

But these theme components would have to be pretty plain and bare style-wise to be plugged in with no dependencies, no?

If someone created a navbar with Bootstrap and another person created a slider with Flexbox Grid and some one else created a header section using their own CSS concoction… I’m not sure it could be put together so easily.

Ok, then skip easy, let us aim for EASIER! plus your own CSS… :slight_smile:

and js is evil, so, skip that… No dependencies!

This thread is getting crazy, at least with respect to the number of exclamation points :wink: If you want to make something ultra flexible, my thoughts are as follows:

  1. Create a library of flexible partials you treat like “components” that users can easily clone into a project or a theme.
  2. Give said components classes (and other attributes) according to a very popular frontend framework (likely bootstrap or Foundation)

FTR, I’m not a fan of any of the above. At all. The idea of “no dependencies,” or more accurately, “No dependencies!”, while asking for the equivalent of a drag and drop GUI is a little silly, IMNSHO. I can assure you that companies like WIX, etc have a clusterf*^%-dumpster-fire of a dependency tree.