Hugo Templates

Hugo uses the excellent Go html/template library for its template engine. It is an extremely lightweight engine that provides a very small amount of logic. In our experience it is just the right amount of logic to be able to create a good static website.

While Hugo has a number of different template roles, most complete websites can be built using just a small number of template files. Please don’t be afraid of the variety of different template roles. They enable Hugo to build very complicated sites. Most sites will only need to create a /layouts/_default/single.html & /layouts/_default/list.html

If you are new to Go’s templates, the Go Template Primer is a great place to start.

If you are familiar with Go’s templates, Hugo provides some additional template functions and variables you will want to be familiar with.

Primary Template roles

There are 3 primary kinds of templates that Hugo works with.


Render a single piece of content


Page that list multiple pieces of content


The homepage of your site

Supporting Template Roles (optional)

Hugo also has additional kinds of templates all of which are optional

Partial Templates

Common page parts to be included in the above mentioned templates

Content Views

Different ways of rendering a (single) content type

Taxonomy Terms

A list of the terms used for a specific taxonomy, e.g. a Tag cloud

Other Templates (generally unnecessary)


Used to render all rss documents


Used to render the XML sitemap


This template will create a 404.html page used when hosting on GitHub Pages