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David Large for CloudCannon

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Top Ten Free Hugo Themes for 2022

Building websites with Hugo has a broad appeal to many developers and digital agencies, not least among them the raw speed of the static site generator when it comes to build times and deployment. But what about customizing a site’s layout and appearance? That’s where Hugo’s themes come into play. 

Hugo themes in 2022

Hugo is an immensely popular and well-loved SSG, with an active Discourse community and a wide range of helpful user guides published almost daily. 2021 saw Hugo’s user base continue to expand, for a range of use cases — among them personal blog sites, documentation, and corporate or e-commerce sites. With Bookshop support bringing live editing and component-based page building to Hugo, we’re sure the SSG will only become more frequently used in 2022.

With such a passionate developer community around Hugo, there are a huge number of themes available, ranging from minimalized and text-centric to design-heavy portfolio, with everything in between. Here, we want to showcase a range of popular and actively developed Hugo themes to help you get started with your latest build as quickly as possible (and with Hugo, that’s pretty quick).

To help speed your decision further, we’ve divided up the Hugo themes below into blog/personal and business/professional categories, with some of their best features outlined.

Hugo blog and personal themes

1. Scroll

A single-page website solution, Scroll lets you set up and maintain a web presence for basic personal, social, or ) information, without worrying about sections or taxonomies. Scroll would be a great theme for a job hunter wanting to establish a simple and attractive resume site.

Scroll screenshot

Scroll’s key features:

2. PaperMod

A super clean and responsive Hugo theme based on Paper, PaperMod is incredibly popular, and with good reason! It’s optimized for UX, meaning easy reading regardless of light/dark mode preference — ideal for getting your message across to the widest possible audience.

PaperMod screenshot

PaperMod’s key features:

  • Simple light/dark mode switch, as well as automatic awareness of browser theme
  • Default bundling and minification
  • Comments and multiple author support
  • Post reading time calculator
  • Enhanced SEO with Open Graph and Twitter Cards support

3. Hydra

Sure, this one isn’t just a blog theme, but quite aside from the default business-centric layout, Hydra’s blog section allows for a clean browsing and reading experience. Author bio blocks are a welcome addition for multi-author blogs, or solo writers who wish to include an up-to-date message at the end of each post.

Hydra screenshot

Hydra’s key features:

  • Pre-built pages and pre-styled components
  • Blog with pagination and category pages
  • Disqus comments support
  • Multi-author support
  • SEO tags and Google Analytics support
  • Deploy to CloudCannon with a single click

4. Elate

Elate is a single-page portfolio theme ported to Hugo from the original Bootstrap HTML5 theme by Pieter Saey. It features a smooth parallax and animation effect on sections, a responsive portfolio grid, and a contact form.

Elate screenshot

Elate’s key features:

  • Parallax and animation effects
  • 4 styles included
  • Single-page layout with sections concentrates SEO results

5. Showfolio

Showfolio is a Hugo theme for technically inclined job hunters, with a modern, fun aesthetic. The blog section itself, complete with snippet view, is particularly well designed for readers. And the front-page Codepen embeds are perfect for showing off recent projects and new code experiments to prospective employers.

Showfolio screenshot

Showfolio’s key features:

  • Crisply styled Codepen embeds
  • Dark mode
  • Social links
  • Responsive content

Hugo professional themes

1. Fur

A simple e-commerce theme with easy SnipCart integration, Fur is ideal for either a business’s first foray into e-commerce or an existing storefront wanting a performance boost. With CloudCannon’s editing capabilities built in, even non-technical business owners will be able to update products, prices, and any other content.

Fur screenshot

Fur’s key features:

2. Docsy

Docsy is an intuitive and clean theme for technical documentation sets, providing clear organization, easy navigation, site structure, and even an optional blog section. 

Docsy screenshot

Docsy’s key features:

  • Pre-configured for core documentation features
  • Builds on Hugo’s multi-language support for i18n
  • Allows for user feedback on documentation issues
  • Integration with GitHub, Google Analytics, Google Custom Search, Algolia DocSearch, and Lunr
  • Can be configured for continuous builds from source repositories

3. Andromeda Light

Andromeda Light is a clean and modern Hugo SAAS theme. It’s a natural fit for any business, and is responsive, fast, and powered by Bootstrap. (A premium version is also available with added features.)

Andromeda Light screenshot

Andromeda Light’s key features (free):

  • Google Analytics support, and Google page speed optimized
  • Post reading time calculator
  • Contact form support via Formspree
  • Image optimisation and CSS & JS bundle with Hugo pipe
  • Enhanced SEO with Open Graph and Twitter Cards support

4. Educenter

Educenter is an educational website theme powered by Hugo. It can be used as an online teaching platform, or simply as a school or university website. (A premium version is also available with added features, including multilanguage support.)

Educenter screenshot

Educenter’s key features:

  • Preconfigured layouts for course and instructor information
  • Contact form support
  • Preconfigured taxonomies and categories
  • Mailchimp integration
  • Blog includes both tags and categories

5. Justice

Justice is, by default, a law firm-themed template, but can be easily modified to fit any local business. This clean layout can easily be adjusted to fit any client’s branding, and integrates natively with CloudCannon’s collaborative CMS for intuitive and lightning-fast visual editing.

Justice screenshot

Justice’s key features:

  • Minimal and flexible for any business, with a clean and clear layout
  • Pre-built pages and pre-styled components
  • Author system and paginated blog, with Disqus comments for posts
  • SEO tags and Google Analytics support
  • RSS/Atom feed
  • Deploy to CloudCannon with a single click

Wrapping up

There we have it — a range of top free Hugo themes for any number of use cases. Some, like Justice and Fur, are built for CloudCannon and work flawlessly with our visual editor. For those other themes, which allow you to build your sites locally, you can deploy the resulting static files through CloudCannon.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Hugo community, in the coming weeks we’ll publish a guide to setting up existing Hugo themes to work with Bookshop for full component-based page building, as well as integration with the full power of our collaborative CMS. Stay tuned!

What are your favorite Hugo themes? Let us know in the comments.

Top comments (7)

alenabraham profile image
Alen Abraham

hugo-coder can be added to the list
I built my website on top of hugo-coder it's clean and simple

avidlarge profile image
David Large

Good point, thanks — it's a solid, elegant theme: Hugo Coder.

alenabraham profile image
Alen Abraham • Edited

yes of course
you can check my website which is built on top of hugo-coder

tflijon profile image
LiJon • Edited

Thanks for share great resources. Here is more awesome free Hugo themes

irishgeoff9 profile image

Here are some more great looking free hugo themes

avidlarge profile image
David Large

Thanks — this is a great resource.

irishgeoff9 profile image

Here is some more beautiful free hugo themes