Enhancing my basic-theme to add more HTML5 semantic goodness, a responsive design, and IndieWeb microformats.
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the link references to add to the `head` of the HTML template.
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A Hugo Theme Using HTML5 Semantics and IndieWeb Integration

This theme is a fork of My Basic Theme, adding additional HTML5 semantics, a more responsive site design, and IndieWeb microformats.

Getting Started

Follow the Hugo Quickstart instructions on how to install Hugo, create a site, and install a theme. Installing the theme as a git submodule is the preferred way.

git submodule add https://git.thecorams.net/kevin/semantic-indieweb.git themes/semantic-indieweb

Example Site

The theme includes an example site to give a quick way to see how the theme looks and behaves.

cd exampleSite
hugo serve [ -D ] --themesDir ../..

Most of the sample posts are intentionally set draft: true to allow for testing few posts vs many posts.


The footer layout file uses Hugo's markdownify pipe to display the copyright configuration setting, providing support both for HTML character escape sequences such as © as well as markdwn formatting and links.

Note: Hugo versions 0.60.0 and up will have restrictions on using embedded HTML, including escape secquences, unless the Goldmark renderer is configure with unsafe = true.

subtitle parameter

Setting the subtitle parameter adds a secondary header underneath the title in the site header.

  subtitle = "A sub-title for your site"

mainSections parameter

Setting the mainSections parameter restricts the pages that appear on the homepage.

  mainSections = ["posts"]

IndieWeb / IndieAuth Identities

The theme includes support for adding rel="me" links to the HTML head of every page. Such links help tie together the sites one owns, as well as provide support for IndieAuth authentication.

These links can be configured by including one or more params.Identity blocks:

    type = "some-type"
    value = "identity"
    authn = false

The current set of known types are:

  • Email
    • The value should be a valid e-mail address which could be used for IndieAuth authentication
  • GitHub
    • The value should be a valid GitHub user name
  • GitLab
    • The value should be a valid GitLab user name
  • Twitter
    • The value should be a valid Twitter user name
  • MicroBlog
    • The value should be a valid MicroBlog user name
  • PGP
    • The value should be a valid URL to the site owner's public PGP key

The IndieAuth standard allows the site author to specify which of the rel="me" links should be preferred for authentication. If the authn parameter for an identity is set to true, the link will be generated as rel="me authn". As explained on https://indielogin.com/setup:

If any of your rel="me" links also include authn in the list of rels, then IndieLogin.com will only use the links with authn, and will no longer consider your plain rel="me" links as authentication options.

IndieWeb h-card

The theme includes a "card" for displaying the site author's photo (or a logo image for the site), the author's name, and the author's rough location. The data in the card is marked up with h-card microformats, for integration with IndieWeb-aware sites and tools.

  # Configuration Parameters for IndieWeb h-card
    Author = "Site Author Name"
    Photo = "images/picture-o.svg"
    Locality = "City/Town/Village"
    Region = "State/County/Province"
    Country = "Country Name"

The theme will render a ribbon of icon links to other sites beneath the author's location information. The theme comes bundled with Fork Awesome v1.1.7. Any of the icons provided by Fork Awesome can easily be used. For example, to add a link to one's Twitter profile, add a configuration block that uses the Fork Awesome twitter icon:

    profile = "https://twitter.com/twitter-user-name"
    icon = "fa fa-twitter"

The icon/font library being used can be overriden by creating a site-specific icons.html partial. Font Awesome, Fork Awesome, Fontello, and many other icon/font libraries all support embedding an icon using similar CSS class names, which can be used in the icon = "...." configuration.

In addition to the profile and icon pairs, there is also support for e-mail links and PGP key file links with the PGP fingerprint as a toolip:

    email = "email@example.com"
    icon = "fa fa-envelope-o"

    publicKey = "pgp_key_file.txt"
    fingerprint = "AAAA BBBB CCCC DDDD"
    icon = "fa fa-key"

Configuring Webmentions

Webmention and/or Pingback support can easily be configured by including the endpoint URL:

    Webmention = "https://example.org/webmention"
    Pingback = "https://example.org/pingpack"

Theme Organization

Semantic Content Organization

The chrome of the theme page organization is as follows:

    <title>Site Title</title>
          <h1>Site Title</h1>
          <h2>Site Sub-title</h2>
            <!-- Site Navigation/Menu: links to pages that are part of -->
            <!-- the "main" menu                                       -->
            <h1>Content Title</h1>
                <!-- Content Navigation/Menu: a place holder for a       -->
                <!-- content specific menu, such as a list of blog posts -->
                <!-- based on publication date. Not yet implemented.     -->
            <!-- The page content. For list sections, this is where the  -->
            <!-- the list of pages goes. For single pages, this is where -->
            <!-- the content of the page markdown file goes.             -->
            <!-- The page footer. For list sections, this is where the   -->
            <!-- pagination controls can go. For single pages, this is   -->
            <!-- where auther attribution and/or prev/next page controls -->
            <!-- could go.                                               -->
        <!-- The Site Footer, for copyright information etc. -->

If the content pages use ## as their largest heading, this will result in document outlines structured as:

  1. Site Title
    1. Site Sub-title
  2. Content Title
    1. Header from Content
      1. Sub-header from content
    2. Second Header from Content

Hugo Templating

The template layout files make heavy use of Hugo's base and block constructs, as can be seen in baseof.html.


This block is used for generating the <title>....</title> markup for the rendered page and defaults to using the title configuration from comfig.toml. The list and single templates add the page title, to facilitate generating a unique title for every page.


This block is for providing a site banner that will appear at the top of every page, and matches with the primary <header>...</header> definition from the semantic organization, above.

The default site-header block displays the header.html partial.


This block is for providing a site-level navigation, which also appears at the top of every page. It renders in the <nav>...</nav> block within the primary header.

The default site-meny block displays the site-menu partial.


This block is for providing a header for the specific page, matching with the header block inside the <main>....<\main> definition from the semantic organization. The list and single templates display the page title as a <h1>...</h1> level header.


This block is for providing navigation menu(s) for the main content, matching with the <nav>...</nav> block inside the main header. The block is currently a place holder, with no default implementation.


This block is for the content of the page.

For list pages, the content from the section's _index.md will be rendered, followed by a list of all of the pages within the section, using the summary template.

For single pages, the page content will be rendered inside an <article>...</article> block element.

This block provides a footer for the page, which renders within the <footer></footer> block at the end of the <main></main> section.

The default content-footer blocks for the homepage and for list pages implement pagination controls to show the content summaries a page at a time.

The default content-footer block for single pages displays previous and/or next in section links.

This block is for the site footer that appears at the end of every pages.

The default footer block displays the footer.html partial.


HTML5 Semantics

Responsive Design / CSS


  • Indigo Theme
    • Inspiration for implementation of IndieWeb Identity hooks