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 to clone the theme’s repository into your existing hugo site’s codebase 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:
git submodule add firstname.lastname@example.org: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
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 what you’re seeing (e.g. a link to your failed build logs) so we can help troubleshoot.