How to add some personality to your Quarto Blog

A few of my favourite bells and whistles

September 20, 2022

Start from the basics

The basic Quarto blog covers a lot of ground. Here is a detailed walkthrough of how to build a blog with Quarto conducted by Rstudio/Posit, the makers of Quarto. Just following this alone will get you started with a perfectly beautiful and functional blog.

However, your blog is also your personal slice out on the internet, and if you can add just a tad bit of your personality into the content, it makes it more enjoyable for your readers. Here are my favourite tips.


While it is fun to add these bells and whistles, do not lose focus on the most important part of your blog - the content.

1. Enrich your Appendices

An important facet that Quarto supports is Scholarly Writing. With a few simple flags in your _metadata.yml file, you can easily configure each blog post to neatly organize your footnotes, references, license and citation information in an appendix section at the bottom of your post.

This appendix section is easily customizable by inserting any other information you think your reader might appreciate. 1 of the simplest things to add is a Last Updated section. I insert this block of code at the bottom of every post, and each time I make a change to a post and re-render, this code chunk will automatically reflect this last updated date.

#| output: false
from datetime import date
print(f"Last updated: {'%d %B %y')}")

If you like to do more than just log a post’s last update, I recommend checking out Danielle Navarro’s source code for her quarto blog for a more impressive appendix.

2. Make custom CSS tweaks

The default Quarto blog comes ready with many Bootstrap themes from the Bootswatch project. I found that a really efficient way to tackle styling for your blog is to start with one of these ready-made themes (I chose Litera) and then add on custom css to make small tweaks. I am consistently surprised how some seemingly small css tweaks can create a dramatic effect on your overall site.

I wrote this SCSS snippet following steps from RappA’s youtube video. This block of css helps to perfectly align the elements in my navbar with the margins of my content body. I cannot express in words how much joy this tiny tweak brings me.

.navbar > .container-xxl, .navbar > .container-xl, .navbar > .container-lg, .navbar > .container-md, .navbar > .container-sm, .navbar > .container, .navbar > .container-fluid {
  max-width: 1145px;
  margin: 0 auto;

Source: GIPHY

4. Create a custom 404 page

Last but not least, let’s not forget that some potential readers might land on a missing page, or use a url with a small typo. No reason to let them be greeted with a humdrum, run-of-the-mill 404 page! Quarto allows you to easily customize your 404 page. For my 404 page, I chose this simple image I created with DallE2.

DallE2 with prompt “dogs of different breeds happily running around with 404 text, cartoon style”


And there you go, hope you found a tip or two you can use. Let’s go make your personal slice of the internet your own 💪!


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Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known – Carl Sagan



BibTeX citation:
  author = {Tan, Daniel},
  title = {How to Add Some Personality to Your {Quarto} {Blog}},
  date = {2022-09-20},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Tan, Daniel. 2022. “How to Add Some Personality to Your Quarto Blog.” September 20, 2022.