Getting Started

Hexo is a fast and powerful static blog generating framework, it's based on Node.js. By using Hexo you can write articles easily with Markdown, and besides the grammer of Markdown, you can also use tag plugins provided by Hexo to insert special formated content simply. In this page we assume you have installed Hexo and created a site with it.

You can visit Hexo Docs to see how to install Hexo. Make sure that the version of Node.js and Hexo in the environment is higher than the minimum requirements of the NexT theme, and then continue with the following steps.


There are two main configuration files using by Hexo and both called _config.yml:

  1. The first one is under site root directory, which contains Hexo's config.
  2. The second one is under theme root directory, which is provided by NexT and contains theme's config.

Let's call the first one – site config file, and the second one – theme config file.
However, we do not recommend directly modifying the theme config file. It is quite often running into conflict status when updating NexT theme via git pull, or need to merge configurations manually when upgrading to new releases. For Hexo 5.0 or later, the theme can be installed through npm and it is also difficult to modify the theme config file in node_modules.

In order to resolve this issue, we recommend using the Alternate Theme Config feature to configure theme NexT.

NexT Installation

It's easy to install Hexo theme: you can just download the NexT theme, copy the theme folder to the themes directory under site root directory and specify in site config file your theme root directory. The detailed steps are as follows:

Downloading NexT

If you know about Git, you can clone the whole repository and update it in any time with git pull command instead of downloading archive manually.

Open your Terminal, change to Hexo site root directory and clone latest master branch of NexT theme:

$ cd hexo
$ git clone themes/next
  1. Go to NexT version Release Page.
  2. Choose the version you need and download the Source Code (zip) in the Download section. For example v8.0.0-rc.3.
  3. Extract the zip file to site's themes directory and rename the extracted folder (hexo-theme-next-8.0.0-rc.3) to next.

You also can read detailed installation instructions if you want any other installation variant.

If you are still using NexT version 5, you can read instructions for update from v5 to v8.

Enabling NexT

Like all Hexo themes, after you download it, open site config file, find theme section, and change its value to next (or another theme directory name).

theme: next

Now you have installed NexT theme, next we will verify whether it is enabled correctly. Between changing the theme and verifying it, we'd better use hexo clean to clean Hexo's cache.

Checking NexT

First start Hexo local server, and enable debug parameter (by adding --debug), the whole command is hexo s --debug. You can see the output while running, and if you find problem, you can use the output to help others locate error better. When it prints:

INFO  Hexo is running at http://localhost:4000/. Press Ctrl+C to stop.

Now you can open http://localhost:4000 in your browser, and check whether the site works correctly.

If you find your site looks like this picture, you have installed it correctly. That's default NexT scheme – Muse.
Default Scheme – Muse

Now you've installed and enabled NexT. In next steps we will change some settings including personalization and third-party services integration.

Adding Plugins

Plugins extend and expand the functionality of NexT. There are two types of plugins: core plugins and third-party plugins. The core plugins are loaded from your site, they are required by the basic functions of NexT. Third-party plugins are loaded from jsDelivr CDN by default, and they provide a large number of optional features.

Configuring these plugins is very easy. For example, if you want to use pjax in your site, just set pjax to true in theme config file:

# Easily enable fast Ajax navigation on your website.
# For more information:
pjax: true

If you want to specify the CDN provider for any plugins, you need to set / update the CDN URL.

For example, if you want to set the CDN URL for mediumzoom, go to theme config file and see:

# ...
# Some contents...
# ...
mediumzoom: # Set or update mediumzoom CDN URL.

And jsDelivr CDN is used by default to deliver our third-party plugins because it is fast in everywhere and has the valid ICP license issued by the Chinese government. It does not only crawl the js files from npm packages, and it crawls from the GitHub Releases! We could use the following link to reference the js files, just as other CDNs.


And it could automatically minify the JS and CSS files, even if you don't have the minified version. Just use the filename.min.js or the filename.min.css to replace the file above.

And we also provide other optional CDNs, including the famous UNPKG and CDNJS.

If your site is deployed to any free hosting service (Github, Gitlab, etc.), CDN links is recommended for core plugins. CDN usually have faster speeds and no traffic restrictions.

NexT Configuration

Choosing Scheme

Scheme is a feature supported by NexT, by using Scheme NexT gives you different views. And nearly all config can be used by those Schemes. Till now NexT supports 4 schemes, and they are:

  • Muse → Default Scheme, this is the initial version of NexT. Uses black-white tone and mainly looks cleanly.
  • Mist → A tighter version of Muse with a tidy single-column view.
  • Pisces → Double-column Scheme, fresh like your neighbor's daughter.
  • Gemini → Looks like Pisces, but have distinct column blocks with shadow to appear more sensitive to view.

You can change Scheme by editing theme config file, searching scheme keyword. You'll see 4 lines of scheme settings and can enable one of them by removing it's # and added # to previous.

#scheme: Muse
#scheme: Mist
#scheme: Pisces
scheme: Gemini

Dark Mode

You can enable Dark Mode by setting darkmode to true in theme config file.

darkmode: true

The prefers-color-scheme CSS media feature is used to bring Dark Mode to all 4 schemes above, make sure your browser supports it.

Theme NexT automatically shows Dark Mode if the OS prefered theme is dark. It's supported by macOS Mojave, iOS 13 and Android 10 or above. Relevant docs:
How to use Dark Mode on your Mac
Use Dark Mode on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Dark theme | Android Developers

Configuring Menu Items

Menu settings items have format Key: /link/ || icon which contains 3 values:

By default, all menu items are commented out to ensure that you can override them in the Alternate Theme Config.
To customize menu items, edit the following content in theme config file:

home: / || fa fa-home
#about: /about/ || fa fa-user
#tags: /tags/ || fa fa-tags
#categories: /categories/ || fa fa-th
archives: /archives/ || fa fa-archive
#schedule: /schedule/ || fa fa-calendar
#sitemap: /sitemap.xml || fa fa-sitemap
#commonweal: /404/ || fa fa-heartbeat

Except home and archives, all custom pages under menu section need to be created manually. See «Custom Page Support»

Dynamic sub-menu within hierarchy structure is also supported. Add your sub-menu items in menu section in theme config file as following:

home: / || fa fa-home
archives: /archives/ || fa fa-archive
default: /docs/ || fa fa-book
Third Party Services:
default: /third-party-services/ || fa fa-plug
Algolia Search: /algolia-search/ || fa fa-search-plus

If your site runs in a sub-directory, please remove the prefix / from the link.

By default NexT shows the icons of menu items without badges.

Configuring Favicon

By default the Hexo site use NexT favicons in hexo-site/themes/next/source/images/ directory with different size for different device. You can replace them with your own favicons.

For example, you can put your favicons in hexo-site/source/images/ directory. Then you need to rename them and change the settings in favicon section in theme config file, otherwise icons from Next will rewrite your custom icons in Hexo.

You can also put custom favicons into hexo-site/source/ directory. In this way, you must remove /images prefix from paths.

To generate custom favicons, you can visit Favicon Generator.

small: /images/favicon-16x16-next.png
medium: /images/favicon-32x32-next.png
apple_touch_icon: /images/apple-touch-icon-next.png
safari_pinned_tab: /images/logo.svg
android_manifest: /images/manifest.json
ms_browserconfig: /images/browserconfig.xml
Favicon Set but Doesn't Work (Need to redocs)

Put your favicon under site's source dir. If you find that your Favicon doesn't work, please clean your browser's cache first and then visit your Favicon's URL directly, which should be http(s)://

If your site is in a subdirectory please set it to favicon: favicon.ico.

Configuring Avatar

By default NexT doesn't show avatar in sidebar. You can configure it by editing values under avatar setting in theme config file.

For first test you can uncomment /images/avatar.gif value near the avatar.url setting to see default avatar:

url: /images/avatar.gif

Then you need to specify your own avatar. It can be done one of the ways below:

Put your avatar under site directory source/uploads/ (create directory if it doesn't exists).
And then change option to avatar: /uploads/avatar.png.

Put your avatar under theme directory source/images/.
And then change option to avatar: /images/avatar.png.

Current site uses avatar under theme directory from file located in next/source/images/apple-touch-icon-next.png with following config:

url: /images/apple-touch-icon-next.png
rounded: true
rotated: false

You also can specify any external URL with absolute path to image: http(s)://

Set up rounded of avatar by changing the value of avatar.rounded:

  • true → Avatar will be rounded.
  • false → Avatar will be squared.
rounded: true

Set up rotated of avatar by changing the value of avatar.rotated:

  • true → Avatar will be rotate under the mouse hovering.
  • false → Avatar will not rotate under the mouse hovering.
rotated: true

Configuring Author

Edit site config file and set the value of author to your nickname.

# Site

Configuring Description

Edit site config file and set the value of description to your description, which can be a sentence you like.

# Site

After that we can configure deployment.