Gabriel Alejandro López López (Software Engineer)

Updating my website with htmx

- How do I applied a very simple enhancement to my website using the boost feature of htmx?

I have been reading a lot about on Twitter lately and also seen an increase of the videos related to it on Youtube.

What is htmx?

Basically it is a JavaScript library to extend HTML by adding functionality including certain attributes in the HTML markup.

There is a lot to say about it but I’ll refer you to the 2 more important sources

Why to use htmx?

  1. You want to enhance the user experience of your website.
  2. You don’t want to setup a project with React/Angular/Vue or any other framework.
  3. You want to do it fast.

How to (quickly) use htmx?

I’ll use this website as an example.


From the official documentation:

The hx-boost attribute allows you to “boost” normal anchors and form tags to use AJAX instead. This has the nice fallback that, if the user does not have javascript enabled, the site will continue to work.

Now the links, instead of triggering a regular GET request to the server, trigger an AJAX request and the content of the body tag is the only thing refreshed when the response is received. All the common assets (css, js, fonts, images) are already loaded so

But there is a catch: the tags in the head are not updated. Title, description, OpenGraph nor How to solve?

The head-support Extension

Again from the official documentation:

If the htmx request is from a boosted element, then the following merge algorithm is used:

  • Elements that exist in the current head as exact textual matches will be left in place
  • Elements that do not exist in the current head will be added at the end of the head tag
  • Elements that exist in the current head, but not in the new head will be removed from the head

As a result just the desired tags in head are updated (title, description, OpenGraph, and the rest stays the same.

The actual changes

Just two things were required:

Step 1: Add the htmx and extension to the layout (_layouts/home.html) of all the pages:

<script src=""
<script src=""></script>

Step 2: dd the hx attributes to the body tag. Note that I used the data- prefix for the hx attributes in order to prevent issues with HTML validators

<body class="markdown-body" data-hx-boost="true" data-hx-ext="head-support">


With this very simple change, the navigation and reading experience is way better.

Also, as stated before, if the user don’t have JavaScript enabled, the site will continue to work with regular requests.

We are loading new content using AJAX without writing a single JavaScript line.

There is a lot more to say about htmx but this is enough to get started.