I have been developing websites in WordPress since 2015. I wanted to learn something new so I tried building this blog using static site generators Jekyll and Hugo. While I find Jekyll to be okay, I encountered numerous errors installing some of their gems. After successfully building a Jekyll blog on my local server, I paused and tried Hugo. Hugo was so much easier to install. Bye Jekyll.
Since static sites do not use databases nor have a CMS (content management system), they are very fast. You can also host them for free. I first hosted my static site on Github. But I chose Cloudflare Pages since I wanted to take advantage of Cloudflare network.
Here was my seamless experience with Hugo and Cloudflare Pages on a Mac:
- Used Homebrew to install Hugo.
- Typed hugo new site websitename in Terminal
- Added a theme using Git clone or Git submodule
- Added sample blog posts
- Ran local server to test the website
- Push project to Github repository
- Deployed the blog in Cloudlfare.
The research process took a few hours. But once I got the hang of it, I could ship a simple blog for free in 10 minutes. That’s amazing.
As I started writing blog posts, however, I realized how I missed WordPress. Hugo uses Markdown and I used VS Code to write my content. It felt weird writing a blog in VS Code. I also needed to learn some Markdown syntax, which is easy to learn but WordPress CMS makes everything EASIER with a click of a button.
I ultimately caved in, and used Forestry CMS for Hugo. When I made some edits to my posts using Forestry, Cloudflare Pages had to rebuild the website again which took around 2 minutes. Making edits to a WordPress post is instant.
This led to me question why I even left WordPress. Installing WordPress now is super fast. Along with other websites I maintain, I host this blog on Vultr and use RunCloud to manage the server. Using RunCloud, I can create a WordPress blog with the golden “deploy” button. How convenient! I do not need to mess with mySQL and wp-config nor use FTP.
Obviously, If I did not know WordPress or if tools like RunCloud are not available, I would prefer to use Hugo to build a blog. But for now, I am back in WordPress. I’m home! 🙂