Thoughts on Hugo after 21 Months

A little over 21 months ago, I finally scratched the itch that I’d had off and on for years to migrate my website to a static site generator (SSG). I wrote about migrating from Wordpress to Hugo when I made the change, and overall, I’ve been pretty happy with the results. My website and blog feel more responsive than they have in years, everything has been very reliable, and I know that all of my content is safely stored in a version control system I trust (Git), and in a format that is relatively portable (Markdown).

However, I have noticed a few small side-effects to using an SSG over something like WordPress:

  • I don’t write posts nearly as often. I’ve never been one to post a lot on my website, but the small extra hurdle of writing in Markdown and pushing changes, triggering the rebuild, has caused me to resort to primarily updating my reading list and uses pages. Additionally, I basically only write posts when on my primary computer now (as opposed to whenever I have a web browser and an idea), as I prefer to work on posts locally before pushing them to my live site.
  • I don’t spend much time looking at, or improving, the design of my site. I used to, once a year or so, change up the theme I was using (when on SquareSpace/Wordpress), and in between I was often testing others in the background. Now I virtually never even get to the testing phase. That’s good in some respects, because it means I’m in general happy with the look of my site, but simultaneously it makes me a little sad that I don’t enjoy changing up themes in Hugo, and maybe finding something I like even better.

I haven’t reached the point where the side-effects are bothering me enough to cause me to begin evaluating other options, but I do see that day coming somewhere down the road. Ideally, I would like to find a platform that maintains what I like about Hugo (Markdown content, backed up to/stored in a Git repo, and very responsive), while also providing a web front end for management/content creation. I’ve looked into Grav a few times, among other options, but have yet to actually spin up an instance for testing.

If you’re reading this and have a recommendation I should consider, feel free to reach out to me on Mastodon!