So now I have completed to implement this web site using HUGO. This is a quick summary of my experience using HUGO so far.
- It’s hard to find a theme which fits.
- I have chosen the Ananke theme, because it has nice section pages, see the projects overview for example
- It takes time to understand the templates
- I had to adjust the theme and the layout templates a lot
- To get a consistent style, I removed/added/rewrote CSS style classes in almost every template to get consistent styling for links, buttons, backgrounds, fonts etc.
- Other (style) changes were required to improve the look on a smartphone. Next time I’d do this in parallel, instead of just looking at what a desktop browser is rendering.
- Menus and i18n were not too easy (i18n)
- There was no need to ask a question, every problem I had was already documented somewhere.
It takes time to get to know HUGO.
It took around five days to implement this site. Most content (projects) was already there, but when I imported the content, a cleanup was required.
But this really pays of in the long run:
When the initial setup has been completed (menus, style, i18n etc.),
all you need is to maintain Markdown documents. And it’s comfortable to manage the content using a version control system like git.
I like the tagging functionality, this is an easy way to cross-reference content.
Another nice feature is the automatic reloading after a Markdown file was saved. Just hit the save button, and watch the browser reloading the document.
Further it’s easy to have separate environments:
- Development: Test new features, plugins etc.
- Content management: Edit content
- Test: Provide a static/stable copy
No need for critical tasks on the production system directly. Simple and easy rollback to old versions included.
I have setup a web site using WordPress recently, and personally I would prefer a static site generator like HUGO (no patches required). Having all content in text files is a big plus.
Of course this is from a developer’s perspective, so this will not apply to everyone.
Yet I think - when a system has been setup - even non-technical people might appreciate the simplicity of Markdown as well.