The content folder structure of our Hugo project lays the foundation for the website (URL) structure. Taxonomies and menu entries in the frontmatter allow the theme to systematically create navigational links.

It may take a little while to get your head around Hugo’s content structure. It’s helping me to keep Hugo’s general goal in mind: The folder structure and all the files therein are rendered as straightforwardly as possible. Organizational overhead is avoided — small details matter instead.

Folder structure

When the project root and the folders doc, news, blog, and article contain Markdown files (and resources), their content is rendered with specific layout templates.

/ (project root)
is for top-level pages.
contains the documentation and can handle three folder levels deep filled with Markdown files and their resources. The individual pages are accessible via section pages and the sidebar menu.
these short postings are listed in a paginated stream on the top-level news page regardless of the subfolder structure.
blog postings are accessible through cards shown on the top-level blog list page.
contains longer postings which are accessible through cards on the top-level article list page.

Page structure and organization

Hugo offers single pages and list pages and Perplex always provides templates for these two views for every type of content.

Single pages

You may have already created the new demo file content/blog/ while following the example in the section first content. This is the simplest way to generate a new posting without any additional resources.

Leaf Bundles

When we include resources like images on a page, we like to retrieve them easily. If we need some files only on a specific page, we create a leaf bundle like this:

hugo new blog/second

We now have created the file content/blog/second/ which is rendered again as a single page under the relative URL /blog/second/. Now we can store page-specific resources in its folder and access them by their filename or short relative path.

Postings in the news, blog, or article sections

categories: []
tags: []

When the number of entries rises, we need some navigation and can provide it by adding taxonomies. Hugo’s default taxonomies are the usual categories and tags. Every new frontmatter already includes these keys and an empty list [] to be filled with comma-separated values.

When we add taxonomies Hugo generates additional list pages for all regular pages with the same taxonomy.


apply to our whole site and are completely independent of the folder structure. The number of taxonomies tends to grow with the size of projects. We shouldn’t let them get out of hand. I recommend using only one or maybe two general categories per page. We can add tags marking aspects of the content, but much more than a handful also tends to confuse users instead of guiding them.

New Taxonomies

can be defined easily in the site configuration. Please read the Hugo docs about them. Including new taxonomies in the site layout needs additional template programming.

Documentation Pages

We create a new documentation page with a command like

hugo new doc/demo/

Now we have the new file in content/doc/demo/ with a frontmatter containing a few more entries than a simple posting.

These are the new lines:

    identifier: first 
    name: First
    pre: remove
weight: 9999

We have a new menu section that specifically targets the menu called doc with four special menu parameters. The theme builds the documentation sidebar from these parameters.

There is this one other new parameter called weight which controls the place of the page in the section hierarchy.

Let’s look at their detailed functions:

is an internal name, that lets other pages refer to this one as their parent. It is only relevant for sections (list pages) and we can usually delete it for ordinary pages.

One exception: When we use the same name in submenu entries of different menu sections, we need to add different identifiers to distinguish them.

is the title of the menu entry. Especially when the page title is very long, we should provide a short entry to avoid a messy menu.
If this parameter contains the identifier of another page, the current page is placed a level beyond its parent in the sidebar menu. If there is no parent, the page gets a top-level menu entry.
is used very specifically by this theme: It contains the identifier for a material symbol from Google. Visit their website to find a suitable one. You can pick any icon there and copy the identifier from the icon font embedding section (It’s usually the icon name written in lower letters and with underscores _ instead of spaces).
lets a page fall deeper in the hierarchy of the section, the higher it gets. Right now our new doc page has an entry at the bottom of the sidebar navigation because its weight is very high — take a look.

To place this new page under the demo section in the menu, you will need to set parent: demo in the frontmatter.


To connect our documentation site-wide with other sections (news, blog, or articles) we can also add taxonomies to our doc pages. This allows us to reference them there as related content.

List pages (branch bundles)

In this step, we create a page for a new sub-section in the demo section. And like every kind of section page in Hugo this is a list page.

List pages present an overview of the section’s content and may provide some general introduction as their general content. Their templates are used only for branch bundles.

We create a new sub-section in the demo section with the following command:

hugo new doc/demo/subsec/

We can distinguish the content filename for the branch bundle only by the leading underscore from the filename for a leaf bundle! We need to be very careful about this underscore because these files have a completely different purpose. A branch bundle contains as many pages and may include as many other bundles as we need — there is no technical limit to the depth of the folder levels.

The branch bundle content file acts like the beginning of a chapter, section or subsection depending on its place in the folder hierarchy. It should only contain general content about its section or an introduction.

In case we need to add further general content after the list of section contents we can create the special page bundle after as a subfolder in this section with the command:

hugo new doc/demo/subsec/after

The file gets rendered as usual after the section list.

Taxonomy pages

Taxonomy pages are generated automatically for every category and tag in our frontmatter. These pages are always list pages and contain cards with a preview of all the pages of the given taxonomy.

It’s possible and can be especially useful with this theme to create an explicit branch bundle for your taxonomies with a command like

hugo new tags/demo

and get tags/demo/ with a short frontmatter section.

Now we can add a special featured image (→ see resources) and a taxonomy description for the title. We can reuse this featured image on all pages with this taxonomy if we are too lazy to give them their own featured image. Special Markdown content for taxonomies is unnecessary and probably confusing. Most of the time, there is no further content on a taxonomy page.

Author pages

Author pages are handled like taxonomies (and technically they simply are taxonomies). Every author in the frontmatter gets her or his own page automatically. To fill it with personal information we use a command like

hugo new authors/demo-author

to create /authors/demo-author/

The frontmatter offers authors a few additional parameters which are documented on the page about the author template.

Page Bundles

Branch bundles and leaf bundles are both called page bundles, which share the possibility to store resource files. Besides that, they are very different as described on this page.