Hugo, Back to Old School Static

Hugo, a static site generator I just built my site with Hugo. Hugo grabbed my interest from the simple fact that I could unload a bunch of code, scale down and experiment with some old school static HTML. I don’t have to lift a finger (or mouse) to a traditional blog interface anymore. All of my blog entries are sitting in one directory as simple markdown text files to be parsed later by Hugo. How cool is that!

There are two types of web pages, static and dynamic. A static web page is just a single file that gets viewed by someone visiting the website. The file is edited each time changes need to be made.

A dynamic page is generally a scripting language like PHP or Python that builds itself on the fly each time it is viewed. Instead of making changes to the page directly, changes are made to a database. One change in the database could affect every page on the website.

The advantages of dynamic web pages are many. Employees don’t need to be engineers to manage most of the features of the website like advertisements and inventory. However, one of the drawbacks to owning a dynamic website is the cost. The code running the site has to be updated regularly for it to be secure.

Static websites on the other hand are extremely inexpensive to maintain in comparison. These sites are much easier on hardware during peak traffic too. That’s why most sites are a marriage of both static and dynamic pages reducing stress on the server.

One of the disadvantages of maintaining static web pages is the fact that small changes can turn into a tedious mess. For example the website’s menu might be present on every page. So changing the menu slightly could require changing most of the files on the site!

Enter Hugo which is a static site generator. Simple changes can be made to a few text documents, a command is ran (as seen below) and Hugo builds every page on the site using a predefined template. That saves quite a bit of time and frustration while saving money and server resources in the process.

One command compiles the whole site!

Hugo is definitely not the end-all solution, but for a blog I’d highly recommend it. Some of us get sick of staring at a web admin and dream of the good old days when shoving around HTML elements in a text file was quite a bit of fun. Hugo will bring back those glory days of web design and offer just enough nostalgia to love it!

inspirational credits: Somrat Sorkar, Djordje Atlialp, Bryan Lunduke, and Pavel Pertsev

tags:  blogging  content management  hugo  site credits  web development