For the past two years I’ve generated my static site using Jekyll. Jekyll is a great tool (despite being written in Ruby) and still a good option for anyone looking to create a static site.
So why did I move to Hugo?
Recently Yihui Xie released blogdown, a R package for creating blogs and static sites. Blogdown is built on Hugo and rmarkdown. It’s pretty new but a great way to render blog posts written in rmarkdown. I’m not planning to write all of my posts in rmarkdown but having built in support will be nice.
Anyway, Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. Go is fast so Hugo is fast. Plus it’s easy to customize using themes. Jekyll isn’t particularly slow for most sites, so that wasn’t much of a deciding factor for me, and Jekyll also has themes – but the Hugo themes are great.
I mean, the themes are really great. Go check them out.
Don’t get me wrong, Jekyll has a lot of great themes too, but Hugo makes install a theme incredibly simple – just
git clone the theme to the
themes directory in your site root. Done. Well not quite. There is still a bit of configuration you need to do. Fortunately the Hugo documentation is pretty good.
Perhaps the single biggest reason I switched to Hugo was just to learn something new. It was just a chance to fix a bunch of CSS problems with my Jekyll site and learn something new along the way.