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Use Tailwind JIT with Hugo

Tailwind released a new CLI which made JIT watch mode possible. We can use it to integrate JIT into a Hugo site. Let's see how to do that.

Just show me the repo →

Setup New Hugo Site

Let’s create a new hugo site to test on, run the following commands in your terminal:

hugo new site hugo-tailwind-jit
cd hugo-tailwind-jit

We have to add some new files for tailwind to work, so run the following command in your terminal:

touch layouts/index.html static/tailwind.css package.json tailwind.config.js

We are going to transform static/tailwind.css into static/main.css, which we will include in our hugo layout:

In layouts/index.html add the following code,

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
    <title>Hello World</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/main.css" />
    <h1 class="p-20 text-2xl font-bold">Hello World</h1>

Add Tailwind

Let’s add our tailwind code, add the following code to static/tailwind.css,

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

We have to add our build scripts for Tailwind’s new CLI work for us.

In package.json add the following code,

  "scripts": {
    "dev": "NODE_ENV=development ./node_modules/tailwindcss/lib/cli.js -i ./static/tailwind.css -o ./static/main.css -w",
    "build": "NODE_ENV=production ./node_modules/tailwindcss/lib/cli.js -i ./static/tailwind.css -o ./static/main.css --minify"
  "dependencies": {
    "tailwindcss": "^3.0.5"

And next the basic Tailwind config, where we mention our JIT mode, and tell where to purge.

In tailwind.config.js add the following code,

module.exports = {
  content: ['./content/**/*.md', './content/**/*.html', './layouts/**/*.html']

Install Dependencies

We only have tailwind as a dependency, install it by using the following code in your terminal:

npm install

Development Server

For Tailwind watcher, run the following code in your terminal:

npm run dev

For Hugo Server, run the following code in another terminal tab:

hugo server

And go to http://localhost:1313 to see the Tailwind JIT enabled hugo server in action.

Production Build

Our build script will minify the css while building for production, you can use the following combined script for building minified production ready code.

npm run build && hugo --minify

And don’t forget to add static/main.css to your .gitignore file. Otherwise the automatically generated css file will be pushed to your repo.

That’s it. ✨