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Fillmer Innovation Group

Static Success with Hugo: Part I

May 7, 2020

When it came time to do our recent rebuild of the FIG website, we were faced with the decision of deciding what tech stack to use to manage our content. The tempatation was to use something like Flamelink, which we love (more on this in a future article), or any other CMS solution. There came a time in the initial discussion where the YAGNI principle was broached, and that maybe a full CMS was overkill for our needs. It was agreed that a static site generator would be the way to go.

Once we made the choice to reduce the complexity of our project we jumped at the chance to use something that we had never used before to get the job done. Enter Hugo. In the past we had used the usual suspects of Javascript static site generators, the chance to play around with Go instead definitely appealed to our eternally curious developer side.

Hugo’s claim to fame is speed, and it is certainly fast. A build of this site averages 3ms at the time of this writing, which is fantastic, and a great perk of using the framework. It was also very quick to get up and running. This redesign of our site took about three billable days worth of work, only the first of which was getting Hugo up and running. The rest of that time was spent endlessly tweaking CSS until everything was just right.

However, not everything went smoothly. Hugo’s documentation can be somewhat confusing, and the terminology for concepts was fairly specific and opaque coming from outside the community. A fair amount of that initial setup time was spent digging through Stack Overflow posts and doing some trial and error until we got things working the way we wanted. Over the next few articles we will explore some of the gotchas we ran into, and the solutions that we found.