Fifty of 2022's most popular Hugo themes

Photo illustration of Hugo logos on pedestals

One reason Hugo is such a popular static site generator is the ease with which you can add visually appealing themes to new and existing website projects. Maybe a responsive Hugo theme is essential to your users, or multi-language capability; maybe it’s simple contact forms or an easily adjustable dark mode. Whatever the case, the Hugo community has an option ready for you.  

If you haven’t tested out new theme templates on Hugo yet, take a minute — literally — to spin up a new Hugo site on CloudCannon, the CMS designed for your Hugo sites. With your Git account connected, you’ll be able to create a new Hugo site repo with ease, and adding a theme to a Hugo site is as straightforward as following the official Hugo documentation. (Note that some themes require a little extra config; each of the fifty themes listed below have readme files detailing what you’ll need to do.)  

When it comes to actually selecting a theme, though, you’re spoilt for choice. I’ve set out the top fifty Hugo themes below, with a little information about each of them. The most important points to note are the minimum version of Hugo they require, and how recently they have been updated. 

How I ranked Hugo themes

I’ve arranged these themes based on their GitHub stars as of the date of publication, in descending order. While I began digging through tools like Google Analytics or Semrush to uncover trends, ultimately that data was — to put it mildly — messy, and made too many assumptions about users’ intentions. Now, GitHub stars are by no means the sole arbiter of quality. As many GitHub users have pointed out, they can function as a kind of self-affirming popularity contest. Nonetheless, the star metric I’ve used for ranking themes here will reflect a range of user intentions. Personally, I use GitHub stars for three main reasons: to follow along with creators’ updates; to show my appreciation for interesting or noteworthy projects; and sometimes even just to bookmark projects to check out later.

If you’re interested in finding out more about each of these themes, I’d recommend using seladb’s StarTrack 2.4.0 to show their recent growth in GitHub stars over time. Knowing the age of a given project — as well as when it was last updated — is handy for tracking trends and making sure you’re aware of projects that are (or aren’t) actively maintained.  

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the most starred Hugo themes. 

Papermod Hugo theme screenshot

PaperMod

A fast, clean, and responsive theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Aditya Telange
Minimum Hugo version: 0.83.0
GitHub stars: 3213
Last updated: 2022-05-12
License: MIT

Download PaperMod theme for Hugo
Stack Hugo theme screenshot

Stack

A card-style theme, designed for bloggers.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Jimmy Cai
Minimum Hugo version: 0.87.0
GitHub stars: 2129
Last updated: 2022-03-21
License: GPL-3.0-only

Download Stack theme for Hugo
Coder Hugo theme screenshot

Coder

A minimalist blog theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Luiz F. A. de Prá
Minimum Hugo version: 0.77.0
GitHub stars: 1878
Last updated: 2022-03-10
License: MIT

Download Coder theme for Hugo
LoveIt Hugo theme screenshot

LoveIt

A clean, elegant and advanced theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Dillon
Minimum Hugo version: 0.62.0
GitHub stars: 1871
Last updated: 2022-05-14
License: MIT

Download LoveIt theme for Hugo
Book Hugo theme screenshot

Book

A Hugo documentation theme as simple as a plain book.

Use case(s): Documentation

Author: Alex Shpak
Minimum Hugo version: 0.68
GitHub stars: 1804
Last updated: 2022-04-26
License: MIT

Download Book theme for Hugo
Even Hugo theme screenshot

Even

A concise theme, ported from the Hexo theme of the same name.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: olOwOlo
Minimum Hugo version: 0.60.0
GitHub stars: 1752
Last updated: 2021-01-20
License: MIT

Download Even theme for Hugo
Docsy Hugo theme screenshot

Docsy

A set of Hugo documentation templates for launching open source content.

Use case(s): Documentation

Author: The Docsy Authors
Minimum Hugo version: 0.73.0
GitHub stars: 1706
Last updated: 2022-05-14
License: Apache-2.0

Download Docsy theme for Hugo
Learn Hugo theme screenshot

Learn

A multilingual-ready theme designed for documentation.

Use case(s): Documentation

Author: Mathieu Cornic
Minimum Hugo version: 0.25
GitHub stars: 1397
Last updated: 2021-10-29
License: MIT

Download Learn theme for Hugo
Terminal Hugo theme screenshot

terminal

A simple, retro theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: panr
Minimum Hugo version: 0.74
GitHub stars: 1279
Last updated: 2022-03-30
License: MIT

Download terminal theme for Hugo
Hello Friend NG Hugo theme screenshot

hello-friend-ng

A simple theme, inspired by Hello Friend and Hermit.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Djordje Atlialp
Minimum Hugo version: 0.3
GitHub stars: 1156
Last updated: 2022-02-05
License: MIT

Download hello-friend-ng theme for Hugo
Doks Hugo theme screenshot

Doks

A theme to help you build modern documentation websites.

Use case(s): Documentation

Author: Henk Verlinde
Minimum Hugo version: 0.80.0
GitHub stars: 955
Last updated: 2022-04-21
License: MIT

Download Doks theme for Hugo
Hermit Hugo theme screenshot

Hermit

A minimal and fast theme for bloggers.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Track3
Minimum Hugo version: 0.43
GitHub stars: 954
Last updated: 2022-06-09
License: MIT

Download Hermit theme for Hugo
Paper Hugo theme screenshot

Paper

A simple, clean, and flexible theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: nanxiaobei
Minimum Hugo version: 0.57.1
GitHub stars: 912
Last updated: 2022-04-01
License: MIT

Download Paper theme for Hugo
Beautiful Hugo theme screenshot

Beautiful Hugo

A simple and beautiful theme; port of the Beautiful Jekyll theme.

Use case(s): Full-featured sites, Blogging, Portfolio

Author: halogenica
Minimum Hugo version: 0.48
GitHub stars: 911
Last updated: 2021-01-06
License: MIT

Download Beautiful Hugo theme
Hello Friend Hugo theme screenshot

hello-friend

A simple theme with everything you need to start a new project.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: panr
Minimum Hugo version: 0.74
GitHub stars: 828
Last updated: 2022-03-31
License: MIT

Download hello-friend theme for Hugo
Tranquilpeak Hugo theme screenshot

Tranquilpeak

A gorgeous and responsive theme for blogging.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Thibaud Leprêtre
Minimum Hugo version: 0.53
GitHub stars: 796
Last updated: 2021-10-06
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

Download Tranquilpeak theme for Hugo
Jane Hugo theme screenshot

Jane

A readable and concise theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: xianmin
Minimum Hugo version: 0.45
GitHub stars: 751
Last updated: 2022-04-07
License: MIT

Download Jane theme for Hugo
Ananke Hugo theme screenshot

Ananke

A solid starting place for Hugo sites with basic features, including best practices for performance, accessibility, and rapid development.

Use case(s): Full featured sites

Author: theNewDynamic
Minimum Hugo version: 0.84.0
GitHub stars: 733
Last updated: 2022-05-07
License: MIT

Download Ananke theme for Hugo
MemE Hugo theme screenshot

MemE

A powerful and highly customizable theme for personal blogs, focusing on elegance, simplicity, and code correctness. 

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: reuixiy
Minimum Hugo version: 0.62.2
GitHub stars: 710
Last updated: 2022-05-07
License: MIT

Download MemE theme for Hugo
Mainroad Hugo theme screenshot

Mainroad

A responsive, simple, clean, and content-focused theme, based on the MH Magazine lite WordPress theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Vimux
Minimum Hugo version: 0.48
GitHub stars: 659
Last updated: 2022-04-01
License: GPL v2

Download Mainroad theme for Hugo
Eureka Hugo theme screenshot

Eureka

A feature-rich and highly customizable theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: C. Wang R. Ma
Minimum Hugo version: 0.74.0
GitHub stars: 647
Last updated: 2022-04-12
License: Apache-2.0

Download Eureka theme for Hugo
Zzo Hugo theme screenshot

Zzo

A feature-rich blogging theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: zzossig
Minimum Hugo version: 0.65.0
GitHub stars: 611
Last updated: 2021-05-24
License: MIT

Download Zzo theme for Hugo
Universal Hugo theme screenshot

Universal

A clean and stylish website template ported from Bootstrap, which stands out with its clean design and elegant typography.

Use case(s): Full featured sites

Author: devcows
Minimum Hugo version: 0.15
GitHub stars: 571
Last updated: 2022-05-10
License: MIT

Download Universal theme for Hugo
Introduction Hugo theme screenshot

Introduction

A minimal, single page, smooth scrolling theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Victoria Drake
Minimum Hugo version: 0.49
GitHub stars: 539
Last updated: 2022-02-23
License: Apache-2.0

Download Introduction theme for Hugo
Toha Hugo theme screenshot

Toha

A theme for a personal portfolio with minimalist design and responsiveness.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Emruz Hossain
Minimum Hugo version: 0.87.0
GitHub stars: 539
Last updated: 2022-05-12
License: MIT

Download Toha theme for Hugo
mini Hugo theme screenshot

mini

A fast, minimalist and responsive theme for bloggers.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: nodejh
Minimum Hugo version: 0.75.0
GitHub stars: 516
Last updated: 2022-05-12
License: MIT

Download mini theme for Hugo
Minimo Hugo theme screenshot

Minimo

A minimalist theme that keeps the focus on your content.

Use case(s): Blogging

Author: Munif Tanjim
Minimum Hugo version: 0.73
GitHub stars: 513
Last updated: 2021-10-06
License: MIT

Download Minimo theme for Hugo
Reveal Hugo theme screenshot

reveal-hugo

A theme that allows you to create rich HTML-based presentations with Hugo and Reveal.js.

Use case(s): Reveal.js presentations

Author: Josh Dzielak
GitHub stars: 486
Last updated: 2022-05-16
License: MIT

Download reveal-hugo theme for Hugo
Hyde Hugo theme screenshot

Hyde

A brazen two-column theme based on the Jekyll theme of the same name. It pairs a prominent sidebar with uncomplicated content.

Use case(s): Blogging

Author: spf13
Minimum Hugo version: 0.53
GitHub stars: 483
Last updated: 2021-04-02
License: MIT

Download Hyde theme for Hugo
Anatole Hugo theme screenshot

Anatole

A beautiful minimalist two-column theme based on farbox-theme-Anatole.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Alexander Bilz
Minimum Hugo version: 0.53.0
GitHub stars: 476
Last updated: 2022-05-14
License: MIT

Download Anatole theme for Hugo
Archie Hugo theme screenshot

Archie

A minimal and clean theme with a “markdown-ish” UI.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Athul Cyriac Ajay
Minimum Hugo version: 0.41
GitHub stars: 453
Last updated: 2022-03-04
License: MIT

Download Archie theme for Hugo
XMin Hugo theme screenshot

XMin

An “eXtremely Minimal” theme: about 150 lines of code in total, including HTML and CSS.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Yihui Xie
Minimum Hugo version: 0.18
GitHub stars: 453
Last updated: 2022-01-20
License: MIT

Download XMin theme for Hugo
Clean White Hugo theme screenshot

Clean White

A clean, elegant blog theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Huabing Zhao
Minimum Hugo version: 0.1
GitHub stars: 429
Last updated: 2022-05-07
License: Apache-2.0

Download Clean White theme for Hugo
LeaveIt Hugo theme screenshot

LeaveIt

A clean, elegant, and simple — but not simpler — blog theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: LiuZhichao
Minimum Hugo version: 0.41
GitHub stars: 386
Last updated: 2018-11-05
License: MIT

Download LeaveIt theme for Hugo
Minimal Hugo theme screenshot

Minimal

A minimal personal blog theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Calin Tataru
Minimum Hugo version: 0.24.1
GitHub stars: 384
Last updated: 2021-01-04
License: MIT

Download Minimal theme for Hugo
Call Me Sam Hugo theme screenshot

Call me Sam.

A simple and minimalist theme, focused on content and typography.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Victoria Drake
Minimum Hugo version: 0.49
GitHub stars: 382
Last updated: 2022-05-01
License: Apache-2.0

Download Call me Sam. theme for Hugo
Hugo Fresh Hugo theme screenshot

Hugo Fresh

Adapted from the gorgeous, Bulma-based theme of the same name from CSS Ninja.

Use case(s): Full featured sites

Author: Stefan M.
Minimum Hugo version: 0.45
GitHub stars: 376
Last updated: 2022-03-04
License: MIT

Download Hugo Fresh theme
Creative Portfolio Hugo theme screenshot

Creative portfolio

A clean and elegant template ported from Bootstrapious.

Use case(s): Portfolio

Author: Kishan B
Minimum Hugo version: 0.2
GitHub stars: 364
Last updated: 2022-05-05
License: MIT

Download Creative portfolio theme for Hugo
Clarity Hugo theme screenshot

Clarity

A theme based on VMware’s Clarity Design System for publishing technical blogs.

Use case(s): Blogging

Author: Chip Zoller and Dan Weru
Minimum Hugo version: 0.63.0
GitHub stars: 362
Last updated: 2022-05-15
License: MIT

Download Clarity theme for Hugo
Cactus Hugo theme screenshot

Cactus

A clean and responsive theme for personal blogging, forked from the Hexo theme Cactus.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Zeran Wu
Minimum Hugo version: 0.55
GitHub stars: 359
Last updated: 2021-09-01
License: MIT

Download Cactus theme for Hugo
Yinyang Hugo theme screenshot

Yinyang

A minimalist black-and-white theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Joway Wang
Minimum Hugo version: 0.50
GitHub stars: 338
Last updated: 2022-04-28
License: MIT

Download Yinyang theme for Hugo
Ink Hugo theme screenshot

Ink

A crisp and minimal personal website and blog theme.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Kailash Nadh
Minimum Hugo version: 0.37
GitHub stars: 321
Last updated: 2022-01-09
License: MIT

Download Ink theme for Hugo
Diary Hugo theme screenshot

Diary

A simple and elegant blog theme, ported from the Hexo theme Journal.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: amazingrise
Minimum Hugo version: 0.59
GitHub stars: 316
Last updated: 2022-05-16
License: MIT

Download Diary theme for Hugo
Hugo Future Imperfect Hugo theme screenshot

Hugo Future Imperfect

A responsive theme tailored for blogging, and ported — with added features — from HTML5 UP’s theme of the same name.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Julio Pescador
Minimum Hugo version: 0.15
GitHub stars: 312
Last updated: 2018-02-28
License: MIT

Download Hugo Future Imperfect theme
Geekdoc Hugo theme screenshot

Geekdoc

A simple theme for documentation, intentionally designed to be fast and lean.

Use case(s): Documentation

Author: Robert Kaussow
Minimum Hugo version: 0.83
GitHub stars: 309
Last updated: 2022-05-12
License: MIT

Download Geekdoc theme for Hugo
m10c Hugo theme screenshot

m10c

A responsive and minimalistic (m10c) theme for bloggers.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: vaga
Minimum Hugo version: 0.55
GitHub stars: 308
Last updated: 2021-03-09
License: MIT

Download m10c theme for Hugo
Hugo Future Imperfect Slim Hugo theme screenshot

Hugo Future Imperfect Slim

A slimmed-down version of Hugo Future Imperfect, modernized with CSS Grid and modern Hugo functions.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Patrick Collins
GitHub stars: 300
Last updated: 2021-11-06
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

 

Download Hugo Future Imperfect Slim theme
Blackburn Hugo theme screenshot

Blackburn

A clear and responsive theme constructed using Yahoo’s Pure CSS (v1.0.0).

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Yoshiharu Yamashita
Minimum Hugo version: 0.15
GitHub stars: 296
Last updated: 2021-10-15
License: MIT

 

Download Blackburn theme
Notepadium Hugo theme screenshot

Notepadium

A theme built for speed — 100% JavaScript-free.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: lvv
Minimum Hugo version: 0.60.0
GitHub stars: 296
Last updated: 2021-12-28
License: MIT

 

Download Notepadium theme
Codex Hugo theme screenshot

Codex

A minimalist blog theme with KaTex support for mathematical notations.

Use case(s): Blogging, Portfolio

Author: Jake Wiesler
Minimum Hugo version: 0.82
GitHub stars: 292
Last updated: 2021-07-27
License: MIT

 

Download Codex theme for Hugo

Takeaways for Hugo theme designers

In short, blogging isn’t dead, and less is more.

Most of these themes are for personal blogging or portfolios, with few notable exceptions — a couple of documentation themes, and several full-featured site themes. Why? Probably for a few reasons: there are simply more personal site themes around; professional (full featured) site themes are less likely to be offered publicly on GitHub; and many developers frequently refresh their personal sites, meaning they’re likely to star multiple theme projects. 

Use cases aside, you’ll notice that the majority of these top themes are minimalist, with well defined color palettes and simple layouts. Typography clearly matters to GitHub users, as does spacing between page elements. 

Where to from here?

Once you’ve selected your theme, CloudCannon’s CMS for Hugo will take all the pain out of adding and editing content. And with our open-source component browser Bookshop, you’ll be ready to offer instant live editing on the page. (You can read the Hugo Bookshop ​​​​​​Reference Guide for prerequisites and a full guide to getting set up.)

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