A search box can be added to your site to empower your users to search your website content for keywords. If search is enabled, a search box can be shown on the home page (using the search widget) and in the sidebar of any content using the docs/tutorials layout (as can be seen on this site).

The search feature may either be powered by the built-in algorithm (based on Fuse.js) or powered by Algolia. Alternatively, you can create your own third party (e.g. Google) search widget by following the guide in the Alternatives section below.


To enable the search widget:

  1. Academic v2.4+ is required. Update if necessary.
  2. Under [] in config.toml choose your search provider
  3. If home/ does not exist, copy the file from themes/academic/exampleSite/home/
  4. In home/ set active to true in order to activate the search widget

Continue reading below to learn how to configure your desired search provider.


To use the free integrated search engine:

  1. Under [] in config.toml set engine = 1

Note that this search engine runs entirely in the web browser on the visitor’s device. Thus, it is not scalable to a very large number of pages. If you have a very large amount of content, we recommend opting for a server side search engine such as Algolia or Google (see below).


  1. Under [] in config.toml set engine = 2
  2. Register a free Algolia account and follow their wizard to create a new search app
  3. Build your site by running the hugo command in Terminal or Command Prompt
  4. Upload the generated public/index.json file to the Indicies page in your Algolia dashboard
  5. Paste the Algolia App ID, API Key, and Index Name from the Indicies and API Keys pages of your Algolia Dashboard into the [] section in config.toml
  6. Under [] in config.toml, set engine = 1 to activate the Algolia search engine
  7. Serve (or build and upload) your site and test out the shiny new search widget on your home page 😄

Note that whenever your content changes (e.g. you add a new page), you will need to re-build and re-upload the search index to Algolia.


  1. Under [] in config.toml set engine = 0
  2. Delete home/ or set active = false in its front matter


Alternative search providers, such as Google search, are not integrated into the search widget, but can be implemented by creating your own custom widget. For example,

  1. Create a custom widget in your /content/home/ folder
  2. Signup for Google Custom Search Engine
  3. Paste the HTML which Google provide into the body of your custom widget