Upgrade Font Awesome in Beautiful Hugo Theme

Technical adjustment to Font Awesome's official guide


Beautiful Hugo comes with Font Awesome icons. However, it seems that it’s no longer maintained.


To upgrade Font Awesome to the current stable version (6.1.1).


The official guide for self-hosting Font Awesome Web Fonts + CSS suggests users to place the following files

filepath role
/fontawesome/webfonts/ Free Web Fonts
/fontawesome/css/all.min.css CSS file for using Free Web Fonts

into somewhere in my theme. The left column of the diagram features the folder assets/.

Font Awesome Web Fonts + CSS self host setup

After moving them into assets/, I saw broken Font Awesome icons were broken during a local preview.


The search “gohugo assets vs static” led me to Hugo’s page about its Directory Structure. I found the official explanation a bit technical for outsiders.

  • assets/: files to be parsed by the site generator.

    example: assets/js/staticman.js contains the Hugo variable {{ .api }} (to be used in the site config file) for the JS variable url.

  • static/: files to be kept as-is without changes.

    example: site icon/logo, most CSS and JS files (jQuery, KaTeX, Bootstrap, etc)

Therefore, Font Awesome’s Free Web Fonts should be placed under static/ instead.

While writing this post, I realised that I had overlooked the white text at the bottom of the above image. It suggests users to place these resources under a suitable location in my theme.

Other observations

The fonts in this theme have been put into several paths. Wishing to get back to my math and LaTeX learning, I have no desire to touch that.

Multiple line Markdown links are possible if the newline character in the
super long link text is preceeded by an antislash.
However, the trailing antislash doesn’t look smart. I fear the possible troubles for maintaining stuff with special characters in the future.

The command for locally testing a Hugo theme is

hugo server -s exampleSite --themesDir=../..

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