Why I moved my personal blog from Wordpress to Hugo
I figured that based on my limited requirements, I could almost build a simple website based on some static HTML pages instead. After browsing the web looking for light-weight alternatives to Wordpress, I learned about Hugo and static website generators.
Hugo considers itself to be “The world’s fastest framework for building websites”. Pretty bold claim, but as I looked into it some more I got kind of impressed. As a bonus, there are some additional benefits to using Hugo as a framework:
- It integrates seemlessly with R, based on the Bookdown R package. And I like to write blogs with R code!
- Hugo provides some useful basic plugins for features like an image gallery or comments plugin
- Hugo is flexible, easy to configure and works based on templates you can edit to your hearts content
- Hugo has an active open source community, ready to help out
- Hugo provides sufficient options for templates. Not as many as a cms, but sufficient nonetheless
- No underlying software to maintain
- Easier access to the code under the hood
- Security. No hacks into databases and other vulnerabilities
- Write offline. You don’t have to login to your CMS admin to create pages
- No server-side functionality which is needed for contact forms, comments, and search
My need for speed
One of my biggest frustrations with Wordpress must have been that it was stuffed with all these features and gizmos you never use, but they take up a lot of bandwith for users and make your website run slower than it has to be. It kind of reminded me of this scene from Psych. Shawn’s dad was clearly a wise man.
Why Hugo is super fast
Website performance matters. Even if I would selfishly ignore all other human visitors to my website, I would be supporting Google’s mission to make the web faster and help myself climb the ranks of Google.
A static website generator like Hugo pre-renders pages and is generally faster than a classic CMS, which has to reference MySQL databases and process code when the browser loads.
Disadvantages to using Hugo
To be fair, Hugo does have some disadvantages in comparison to a CMS like Wordpress. Here are a few reasons you may want to consider sticking to your Wordpress environment:
Getting started with Hugo
In case you’re interested in learning more about building your own website with Hugo, here are some of the resources I have used to build my website:
- Hugo Website - useful as a startingpoint and general reference
- The rise of static website generators - Read about the pros and cons of CMS vs static website generators
- Blogdown book - This only book shares instructions on how to build your Hugo site with R
- Blogdown Video - instruction video about using R and Hugo