Hugo - A Static Site Builder in Go

Mar 30, 2014

Let me get something off my chest… I hate WordPress!

I’m not a web guy. I learn enough HTML/CSS/Javascript to get my task done and leave it at that. When I was developing my other site I was also in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign. I had many more things to worry about than building a web site, so I installed WordPress hoping it would take care of all the little things and save me time. What I found is that it was a huge time sink.

Anything unusual was incredibly difficult. It took me days for a simple modification to a template because I had to wade through different files to try to find the code I needed to change. Come to find out it wasn’t the template I needed to change, it was a baked in feature of WordPress that was causing me problems. Once I got it working I didn’t dare touch it for fear of messing something else up.

Thankfully, I found Hugo.

Hugo is a static site builder written in Go that is distributed as a binary and has zero dependencies. Because it is compiled code, it is lighting fast. The best part is that I can download a Windows binary to develop my site off-line. Deploying to my shared web host is just as easy. Download the FreeBSD version of Hugo to the host, upload all my markdown files and build it. No special permission or dependencies are required so Hugo is compatible with the majority of hosting providers.

Hugo is still fairly new so some features are still on the developer’s TODO list but I have faith that Hugo will be a major player very soon.

This site is my test of Hugo.

So far I really like it. WordPress was overkill for me not to mention the constant upgrades, incompatible plugins and the numerous security problems. Maybe I’m old but I never understood why a page needed to be built each time someone requested it (yes, I know that WordPress has some caching but the idea is the same). If I didn’t find Hugo then I would have wrote something similar myself.