Using Hugo: A Useful Static Site Generator


Yeah, as you may know, this static website shares a lot in common with Luke’s, primarily because I’m using his Hugo template as a jumping-off point to learn the framework.

Why I Like Hugo

I’ve grown fond of Hugo as a tool for streamlining front-end development. I’ve realized that much of web development can be quite tedious, and adopting many modern web application frameworks often leads to unnecessary complexity.

The Learning Curve

Let me preface this by saying Hugo is no exception; it’s pretty darn confusing at first. Adopting a new framework and architectural paradigms can be frustrating. It often feels like a never-ending “chasing the dragon” scenario in the context of faux productivity.

The Upside

But once you get the hang of it, scripting with Hugo can liberate you from the tediousness that clings to modern programming like scum.

Blogging Style

Disclaimer: I enjoy this opinionated style of blogging. If not, I’ll end up just creating subpar manual pages for these concepts. I like to think of this as a kind of quirky, evangelistic technology shilling.

Hugo’s Ease of Use

Your standard configurations of the website are set. After that, you’re coasting.

Hugo as a Static Site Generator

Hugo is a static site generator that creates content on the fly. It compiles the source code once, producing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. The resulting site is incredibly fast, eliminating the need for backend processing.

Content Management and Templating

Hugo is typically used for content management systems. Think WordPress, but simpler. Most files are just markdown. Hugo leverages “Front Matter,” containing metadata for each page. This metadata allows the framework to handle complex data management using Hugo commands, so to speak.

Hugo also enables templating for various file structures in a project. It ports over markdown files into a template for web rendering.

Shortcodes and Performance

Shortcodes are modular code snippets embedded in markdown files, allowing for scripting and logical capabilities without needing JavaScript. If you’re concerned about safety, please minimize JavaScript use. Also, consider that developers often use souped-up machines to benchmark code performance, which isn’t smart given the actual user analytics on the web. It’s neither accessible nor sustainable.

Hugo Components and Workflows

    - "+--------------+       +-------------+       +--------------+       +--------------+"
    - "| Markdown     |  -->  | Front Matter|  -->  | Hugo Engine  |  -->  | Static Files |"
    - "+--------------+       +-------------+       +--------------+       +--------------+"
    - "  User Content       Metadata/Config       Template Rendering    Final Website   "
    - "+---------+      +-----------+      +--------+"
    - "| Layouts |  --> | Templates |  --> | Static |"
    - "+---------+      +-----------+      +--------+"
    - "  Base HTML      Reusable Parts     JS, CSS, Img"
    - "+--------------+       +--------------+"
    - "| Shortcodes   |  -->  | Rendered HTML|"
    - "+--------------+       +--------------+"
    - "  Custom Tags      Template Output"
    - "+------------+       +-------------+"
    - "| Categories |  -->  | Tagged Posts|"
    - "+------------+       +-------------+"
    - " Organizational    Posts by Topic"
    - "Note: This is a high-level and simplified representation."

If you are interested in learning Hugo and need a basic template to get you started here is [ Luke’s Hugo Tutorial ] (