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're using Hexo 5.0 or later, the simplest way to install is through npm.

Open your Terminal, change to Hexo site root directory and install NexT theme:

$ cd hexo-site
$ npm install hexo-theme-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 the latest master branch of NexT theme:

$ cd hexo-site
$ git clone https://github.com/next-theme/hexo-theme-next 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.
  3. Extract the zip file to site's themes directory and rename the extracted folder (hexo-theme-next-8.0.0) to next.

You can also 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 and enabled it. The following steps will help you verify whether NexT is enabled correctly.

Checking NexT

It's recommended to use hexo clean to clean Hexo's cache first.
Then start Hexo local server with 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

Hexo Configuration

The following settings in site config file are very helpful for optimizing your website.

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.

If everything is OK, in next steps we will change some settings including personalization and third-party services integration.