Setting Up Hugo

I started setting up Hugo to run my site. Hopefully this will decrease the friction for blogging and I’ll start writing more, but I make no promises.

So far Hugo seems to be a pretty straight forward site generator. After developing Adobe Experience Manager customizations professionally for 5 years this feels nice and simple. When I was picking between the various blogging platforms I had a number of criteria:

  1. Minimal Set Up
  2. Full Control Over Design and Markup
  3. Minimal Cost (this quickly led me to static site generators)
  4. Markdown support
  5. Full Control over site structure

I also looked at IndieWeb support. Although static sites in general lack support for seamless web mentions, I determined that web mentions and comments are not high on my priority list. If I do implement them at all, I will likely do so with some additional system. I may also lean toward only processing them when I update the site.

I’m slowly writing my own theme that currently matches the way my existing hand-crafted site worked. This way I can make iterative changes to the look and feel and also add Hugo feature support as I need. I prefer this approach over adopting an existing theme because it allows me to keep a full understanding of all of the moving parts. It also means that there won’t be any huge changes all at once.

I jump started my theme creation by copying a bit of structure from the Hugo Coder Theme. This theme is licensed with the MIT license, which is viral, but I think the bits I’m referencing are such a core part of Hugo that it shouldn’t be a problem. I have no plans to ever release my theme for others to use anyway because it will be so specific to the way this site works.

As part of this project, I renewed my GitHub membership so that I can start using the private repository for this site there again. This lets me more easily share authoring tasks across my desktop and laptop. Hopefully I will even be able to start authoring on my phone with git checkins. I plan to support that by using AIDE for git management and writing with Epsilon Notes for preview. I wish that I could get away with 100% open source products for all of this, but I’ve been unable to find better solutions for git and markdown on Android.

My next technical step should probably be to walk through and update all the SEO stuff. Right now my home page has some metadata on it and that’s about it. I guess i will get to it whenever I get to it. I also need to finish moving my Lists and Links pages to Hugo content out of /static.