You can choose from one of the following four methods to install:

  • one-click install using your web browser (recommended)
  • install on your computer using Git with the Command Prompt/Terminal app
  • install on your computer by downloading the ZIP files
  • install on your computer with RStudio

Hugo v0.49+ is required if installing on your computer.

Install with web browser

  1. Install Academic with Netlify
    • Netlify will provide you with a customizable URL to access your new site
  2. On GitHub, go to your newly created academic-kickstart repository and edit config.toml to personalize your site. Shortly after saving the file, your site will automatically update
  3. Read the Quick Start Guide to learn how to add Markdown content. For inspiration, refer to the Markdown content which powers the Demo

Install with Git


  1. Fork the Academic Kickstart repository and clone your fork with Git:

    git clone My_Website

    Note that if you forked Academic Kickstart, the above command should be edited to clone your fork, i.e. replace sourcethemes with your GitHub username.

  2. Initialize the theme:

    cd My_Website
    git submodule update --init --recursive

Install with ZIP

  1. Download and extract Academic Kickstart
  2. Download and extract the Academic theme to the themes/academic/ folder from the above step

Install with RStudio

In RStudio IDE, install the Blogdown (v0.2+) and Hugo dependencies:


Now restart RStudio and you can create an Academic project directly from the menu File -> New Project -> New Directory - see Figures 1 and 2 below:

Create project

Choose website using Blogdown as the project type

Enter gcushen/hugo-academic as the theme:

Choose the Academic theme

Then you will see a panel in RStudio named Build containing a Build Website button. When you click this button, RStudio will call blogdown::build_site() to build the website, automatically generating files in the public/ folder.

Use 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.

Demo content

For inspiration, refer to the Markdown content which powers the Demo.

If you wish to initialise your site with the demo content, copy the contents of the themes/academic/exampleSite/ folder to your website root folder, overwriting existing files if necessary. The exampleSite folder contains an example config file and content to help you get started. The following command can be used to accomplish this:

cp -av themes/academic/exampleSite/* .

Next steps

Follow the step by step guide to setup your new site.