First Hugo Post

21 January 2021
21 Jan 2021
3 min read

This post is my attempt to document setting up a Hugo blog from scratch. And I’m honestly pretty excited by it!

I’m going off of Pakstech’s great tutorial. Web development usually gives me hives, but we’ll see how this goes.

The only thought I wanted to take down for now is why move to Hugo?

My time with Pelican

I first got started blogging with Static Site Generators using Pelican in 2016 (how the time flies!). Pelican has been great for me, but there were a few things now that had me looking around at the landscape.

  1. I forgot how to make edits to it. This is funny - I started the project so long ago, I used a virtual environment instead of venv. During that time, I had forgotten how to activate a virtual environment, so I couldn’t make any changes to the site!

  2. Most of the popular kids seem not to be using it. While I love Python, it’s clear that Pelican wasn’t as popular as other options. As I’ve been getting into digital gardens and the like, I’d like to be on a platform that supports this more than Pelican.

  3. Change of pace. Like everyone, I’m prone to yak shaving. While I’ve been using Pelican for a while, I thought it would be interesting to give Hugo a shot, as one never knows where it would be useful to spin up a static website quickly.

  4. Potential enhancements As I stated above in #2, I’ve been slowly expanding my digital footprint. While an ordinary blog was okay, I’d like to get more in touch with modernity - that means finding an area where I can put an email newsletter as well as a podcast. We’ll see if I end up liking it! Regardless, I’m excited to see what comes of it.

  5. Moving away from Google Analytics I had put Google Analytics on just to see if I received any noteworthy traffic. In the intervening years, I had become more and more concerned about Google’s potential reach over the web. This seemed like a great time to cut that cord completely.

Gotchas with Hugo

There have been a few gotchas that I’ve had to troubleshoot with Hugo. I’m looking to capture them for posterity’s sake and that the seasoned Hugo devs can laugh at my optimism.

  1. There wasn’t a theme that attracted me. I would recommend building your own (if you have the time or technical know-how) or get ready to edit one extensively.

  2. I brought in my theme as a submodule and promptly made my edits in the theme/ section of my directory. It would work well when I’d use the Hugo serve command, but when I moved to Netlify, the Hugo command resulted in the theme CSS, not the case that I customized in the theme folder. Turns out that the submodule CSS was overriding the theme CSS for some unknown reason. This was incredibly unintuitive, but thankfully I figured it out.

  3. All of these static site generators rely on Github, so I’m glad my Git skills were up and running.

  4. Netlify is incredible (as always), but it took me a second to move my domain name to my new git branch. Looking back, I probably should have pushed the Hugo data to the Pelican branch, but that’s a lesson for another time.

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