Taxonomy Overview

Hugo includes support for user-defined groupings of content called taxonomies.1 Taxonomies give us a way to classify our content so we can demonstrate relationships in a variety of logical ways.

The default taxonomies for Hugo are tags and categories. These taxonomies are common to many website systems (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, Jekyll). Unlike all of those systems, Hugo makes it trivial to customize the taxonomies you will be using for your site however you wish. Another good use for taxonomies is to group a set of posts into a series. Other common uses would include categories, tags, groups, series and many more.

When taxonomies are used (and templates are provided), Hugo will automatically create pages listing all of the taxonomies, their terms and all of the content attached to those terms.


Taxonomy: A categorization that can be used to classify content

Term: A key within that taxonomy

Value: A piece of content assigned to that Term


For example, if I was writing about movies, I may want the following taxonomies:

  • Actors
  • Directors
  • Studios
  • Genre
  • Year
  • Awards

I would then specify in each movie’s front-matter the specific terms for each of those taxonomies. Hugo would then automatically create pages for each Actor, Director, Studio, Genre, Year and Award listing all of the Movies that matched that specific Actor, Director, etc.

Taxonomy Organization

Let’s use an example to demonstrate the different labels in action. From the perspective of the taxonomy, it could be visualized as:

Actor                    <- Taxonomy
    Bruce Willis         <- Term
        The Six Sense    <- Content
        Unbreakable      <- Content
        Moonrise Kingdom <- Content
    Samuel L. Jackson    <- Term
        Unbreakable      <- Content
        The Avengers     <- Content
        xXx              <- Content

From the perspective of the content, it would appear differently, though the data and labels used are the same:

Unbreakable                 <- Content
    Actors                  <- Taxonomy
        Bruce Willis        <- Term
        Samuel L. Jackson   <- Term
    Director                <- Taxonomy
        M. Night Shyamalan  <- Term
Moonrise Kingdom            <- Content
    Actors                  <- Taxonomy
        Bruce Willis        <- Term
        Bill Murray         <- Term
    Director                <- Taxonomy
        Wes Anderson        <- Term

  1. Taxonomies were called indexes in Hugo prior to v0.11. [return]