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March 10, 2023


A few months ago, I got tired of dealing with my Jekyll site. That site was hosted on GitHub pages and used the Minimal Mistakes theme, which I continue to love. My issue, though, was that using a remote theme that I didn’t quite understand led to ongoing difficulties with deployment. These, of course, all stemmed from user error.

Frustrated again by a site that wouldn’t build or deploy, I said: “Screw it. I’m going to a readymade option.” I chose Ghost.

This platform seemed to have a lot of value:

I was unable to stick with Ghost.

The site worked, for sure. But it didn’t give me the kind of granular control over content that I wanted. Worse, it didn’t let me tinker, which is the most important feature of technology, to me.

So, I decided to learn how to create a Hugo site, from scratch.

Prior Knowledge

I went into this project knowing essentially nothing about Hugo except its branded tagline: “A content manager’s dream.” That was enough to hook me in. Sure, I’ve had tons of experience with HTML, CSS/SCSS, and the relevant languages and markup syntax involved in Jekyll, like Liquid and Ruby. But I had no experience with Go, the language on which Hugo is based, or any of the other relevant aspects of the Hugo framework.

Current Knowledge

I’ve taught myself… a lot. Over the past several weeks, I’ve gone from knowing nothing to having built a pretty much fully functional Hugo site. It may not look like much, currently being pretty “Bootstrap-y,” but there’s plenty of time to figure that out on a rolling basis.

Here is a list of things I’ve learned and / or built into this site during this process:

Next Steps

While I’m happy with all the work I’ve done here, there are quite a few things I want to get squared away. Here’s a list of what’s to come.

Fun stuff! I’ve learned so much by building this site and developed a lot of useful new skills.