Getting started

This quick tutorial will show you how to setup and use Academic.

Choose the right theme for you

Check out the available themes and have fun choosing a design you love.

Once you have settled on a theme, edit your config/_default/params.toml file in a text editor and set the theme option to the name of the chosen theme.

If you are unfamiliar with setting options in a TOML file, you can learn more about this human-friendly configuration syntax here.
In older versions, the configuration is stored entirely in one file named config.toml.

Your theme comes with a font set to style your titles and text, but you may choose to override it by specifying one of the available font sets with the font option:

  • Minimal (modern)
  • Classic (original Academic v1 style)
  • Rose (traditional serif)
  • Mr Robot (futuristic)

The font size may be adjusted from XS (extra small) to XL (extra large) with the font_size option.

Don’t worry if you are not 100% happy with the colors or font yet, as these can be fully customized later.

Choose the right layout for you

Academic has a template for you whether you are you creating a website for your CV, academic research, blog, course, lab, business, photography, portfolio, or restaurant!

What kind of content would you like to publish? Academic supports:

  • Pages: any general content
  • Widget Pages: pages that can consist of numerous widgets, such as the homepage
  • Posts: blog posts or news
  • Projects: publish your portfolio or projects
  • Online Courses: share knowledge online
  • Software Documentation: document your software projects
  • Talks: publish any talks which you are presenting
  • Slides: write slides very efficiently with Markdown, present them at your talk, and share them online
  • Publications: import your research publications from BibTeX

Once you have decided on the type of content that you would like to publish, take a look at the available homepage widgets and consider which ones would be most relevant to you.

Then, open your content/home/ folder and set the active parameter to either true or false for each widget depending on if you wish to display it or not. Widgets that you don’t need can alternatively be deleted rather than setting active to false.

Next, let’s position the widgets according to your preference. To move a widget up or down, increase or decrease the value of the weight parameter in each widget which you activated. The widgets will be ordered in ascending order of these weights and there is no need for the weights to be consecutive numbers.

If your content/home/ folder is empty, populate it from the example.

Customize it

After selecting a theme and a layout, make it your own.

Core parameters

The core parameters for the website can be edited in the config/_default/params.toml file.

Edit your personal/business details under the Contact Details section:

  • Any details entered here will be displayed in the Contact widget (if used)
  • For organizations, some contact details (such as phone) may be used to enrich search results (such as on Google)
  • To hide a contact field, simply clear the value to "" or comment the line out by prefixing it with a hash (#)
  • The contact form can be configured separately in the front matter of the Contact widget itself

If you are an organization or project,

  • edit your site_type to reflect the nature of your business
  • add your organization or project name under org_name
  • upload your logo image to the static/img/ folder and then reference the filename in the logo option

Enable rich content for your site under the Site Features section. If you write technical content, consider enabling the following options, otherwise set these options to false:

The Privacy Pack can also be activated from the Site Features section. When the privacy pack is enabled, a cookie consent message will be shown to visitors (linking to your Privacy Policy) and visitor IPs anonymized in Google Analytics (if enabled).

To add a Privacy Policy, create a file in your content folder and remove any draft option from the front matter to publish it. Similarly, to add Legal Terms, create a file. Links to these documents will automatically appear in your site footer.

Introduce yourself

By default, a superuser is created with the username admin and corresponding user profile located at content/authors/admin/ Let’s open this file in a text editor and edit this file to make it your profile:

  • Edit your display name (typically your full name), your role, and write one sentence to describe yourself in bio
  • Edit the organizations that you are affiliated with, or set this to [] to hide it
  • List your interests or hobbies in interests, or set this to [] to hide it
  • List your main qualifications using the education –> courses block
    • These blocks can be created or deleted as required
    • To hide qualifications, delete these blocks or comment out the lines by prefixing them with a hash (#)
  • Add your social or academic networking links
    • These are defined as instances of social and can be created or deleted as required

Now let’s add a biography or some fun facts about you after the front matter (i.e. after the last --- line). You can utilize Markdown and shortcodes for formatting.

To display an avatar, place a square cropped portrait photo named avatar into your profile folder at content/authors/admin/, overwriting the example image. Alternatively, if you have an existing Gravatar/Wordpress avatar, you can use it by setting gravatar to true in config/_default/params.toml and entering your associated email address in content/authors/admin/ Note that you can delete the example avatar image to disable the avatar feature.

Once you have setup your account, your username can be referenced in the authors field of content, as per the demo post.

The superuser username can be changed from admin by renaming the admin folder. Usernames must be lowercase with any spaces replaced with hyphens (-). The ASCII alphanumeric character set is recommended.
If you change a username, you may wish to update any references to it from the author field of the About widget (content/home/ and the authors field in the front matter of your content.

The navigation menu can be edited in the config/_default/menu.toml file:

The [[main]] entries define the navigation links at the top of the website. They can be added or removed as desired, based on the layout which you chose above.

To link to a section of the homepage, use the form #<section-filename> where <section-filename> is the filename (without .md extension). For example, #posts references a section with filename You can rename your section files in content/home/, just remember to use a dash (-) instead of spaces in the filename.

To create a dropdown sub-menu, add identifier: "something" to the parent item and parent: "something" to the child item.

Read more about Hugo’s menu system here.

Add your content

Refer to our guide on managing content to create your own content such as blog posts, publications, talks, and projects.

Remove any unused example pages

Delete any unused example pages.

You will likely want to keep the files (notice the underscore prefix) as they configure the archive page for each content type (e.g. an index of all your blog posts).

View your site

If you installed on your computer with Git or ZIP, view your new website by running the hugo server command.

If you installed using RStudio, run blogdown::serve_site() to preview your site in your web browser. We recommend previewing your site in your normal web browser as the in-built RStudio web browser is very outdated and buggy.

Now visit localhost:1313 and your new Academic powered website will appear. Otherwise, if using Netlify, they will provide you with your URL.

Deploy your site

Before deploying your site, there are some final options we can set in config/_default/config.toml:

  • Set title to your desired website title, such as your name or business name
  • Set baseurl to your website URL (this can be provided by your host such as Netlify)
    • You can make a great impression on your visitors with your own custom domain name
    • If you don’t have your URL/domain yet, come back to add it later - some features may not fully function until it is added

Publish your site to the world by following the deployment steps.

Support Academic

Has Academic helped you?

Academic is a free open source platform. Please kindly consider supporting further development.