[Common Issue] Why isn’t my Hugo theme working correctly with Netlify?

We get this question often. Luckily, there is both a common root cause for this issue and a solution for it!

Most often, Hugo themes added using git clone will not work with netlify. This is the common root cause I mentioned.

So, what is the solution, you ask? Use the git submodule command instead!

The Hugo team created fantastic (and detailed) documentation about this here also:

You can add a theme using some form of the git submodule command below below:

git submodule add git@github.com:example-user/example-theme.git themes/example-theme

Note: The command above is being run in the ‘base directory’ of the Hugo site. This is the directory that should contain Hugo specific sub-directories like content , public, static, and themes.

In many cases, this will resolve the theme not working issue. However, if the theme still isn’t working as expected, please let us know.

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