Bilberry Hugo Theme: Summing Up the Year 2022

In November 2021, I became the official maintainer of the Bilberry Hugo theme, and this post is a quick overview of how this theme has evolved in 2022.

Back then, in November 2021, I asked Sasha Brendel, the theme owner, if there were any plans for a new release since the last version of the theme was published on October 6, 2020. To which he replied that he did not have enough time to maintain it at the proper level and offered to join the project and become an official maintainer. I accepted his offer and already published the 2.5.0 release on November 5. Other releases followed, bringing the total number to 27 to date.

Another question that I immediately addressed was how to better organize and provide support to the theme’s users. Instead of using Discord as a communication channel, I proposed using GitHub Discussions along with GitHub Issues for this. The main advantage of this was to keep the project and related discussions in one place. It would also make it easier to manage incoming requests, which could be categorized as real issues(defects or bugs) or theme usage questions, ideas(feature requests), and other general inquiries.

The other problem I faced as the official maintainer was how to facilitate and speed up the testing of changes submitted by other contributors. Testing in my local dev wasn’t enough, and I needed a production-like environment with a website powered by a vanilla Bilberry Hugo theme. Therefore, I created the Bilberry Sandbox, which helps me develop, test, and maintain the Bilberry theme. Please read the article “Simplify Development and Testing with Bilberry Sandbox” for more details.

Here is a recap of what has been added, improved, and fixed in 2022, thanks to the collaborative effort of numerous volunteers.

New Features

  • Support for the optional rel attribute in social media links configuration
  • Enable showing the reading time per article
  • Lightbox(modal zoom) support for images within the <figure> tag
  • Support for using the theme as a Hugo module
  • Support for Google Analytics v4
  • Dutch and European Portuguese translations
  • Archive page with enabling the archive link in the footer
  • Support for videos hosted on Bilibili and PeerTube sites
  • Support for giscus and utterances comments
  • Support for audio files in the Ogg, MP3, or WAV formats, either stored externally or within the site’s static folder


  • Switch to Hugo’s _internals/opengraph.hmtl in the baseof.html layout file
  • Bump Hugo’s min version to v0.93.3
  • Miscellaneous minor styling updates in SCSS files
  • Make hyperlinks more obvious in the article’s content
  • Updates to French, Danish, and Russian translations
  • New GitHub action to automate generation of the table of contents in the README
  • Complete rework of the README along with several new sections
  • Various dependabot dependency and security updates

Bug Fixes

  • Make image as a hyperlink working
  • Encoding issue caused by series’ name containing non-ASCII characters
  • Categories and Social Media in the footer are not centered in responsive mode
  • Search form hijacking focus
  • Long title/subtitle overlapping header

From all of the above, I would like to note that the most important improvement was the ability to use the theme as a Hugo module. Of course, it required effort, and not everything worked out the first time, but nevertheless, this feature was successfully implemented.

Last but not least, to improve the theme’s visibility, I have updated the relevant information in the themes catalog on Hugo’s website. Also, I added the Bilberry Hugo theme to the Jamstack Themes website.

The Bilberry Hugo theme has now:

I hope the New Year 2023 will be as fruitful as the past 2022, and the Bilberry Hugo theme will continue developing and delighting its users.

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