Moving to Hugo

A long time coming

Sometimes, change is good.

When I first started this blog a little over 3 years ago, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted it to be. I was playing around with the functionality of github pages, to see just what I could do with it. As per their instructions, I went down the path of using Jekyll and never looked back. No questioning on my part, just went with it. I learned (enough) to get by, and I was fine with that.

As that first year went on, it quickly turned into something more. I began to use it as more of a journal to document the problems that I was working through, and how I was solving them. It was a time where I was still very green in what I knew and “quantity over quality” was a huge driver for me. Expose myself to as much as I possibly could.

To be quite honest, the blog started to feel like a second job. I was spending all day trying to keep up with my recent career change at work after being thrown into a whole new world. The idea of spending extra time every evening to write about stuff I was doing just wasn’t appealing. It eventually led to a pretty dark time where I was no longer really finding development to be cathartic or to be a creative outlet.

But I digress.

Some time last year, I heard about a new tool called Hugo. It was the new big boy on the block for static site generation. Back when I was blogging more frequently, I never really got to a point where I hated Jekyll. The only real problem I had with it (other than confusing Ruby templating magic that I didn’t understand) were the build times. When you read that hugo is building massive sites in milliseconds while your site is taking > 30 seconds… well, it was enough to get me to try it out.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I researched Hugo, so my memory is not very fresh on the entire process. But I was able to, more or less painlessly, convert my entire library of posts over to hugo without doing anything to the existing entries. If I remember correctly, they offer some kind of migration tool specifically for this. The hardest part was dealing with the site theme. While I did like the theme I had before, I didn’t feel like going through the process of converting it from Jekyll to Hugo, so I found a new one.

Hugo is pretty neat from what I’ve seen. It builds on top of go’s html templating engine and really allows you to go crazy with creating custom templates. That’s not something I’m really interested in caring about right now (again, I just wanted quick build times), but it’s nice to have for the future.