⁂ George Ho

Migrating to Hugo

This weekend I migrated my blog to Hugo.

My website is now based on the Hugo Bear Blog theme, generated with Hugo, hosted by GitHub Pages and served with Cloudflare. I’ve also migrated from the domain to the more creditable-sounding (sadly, and were already taken). In terms of typography, the header typeface is Nicholson Gothic, the body typeface is Equity and the monospaced typeface for occasional code snippets is Triplicate. In all, I probably spend the equivalent of two fancy lattes a year for this setup.

Why Hugo? Why Not Jekyll?

Honestly, no good reason! Some people point out that Jekyll is not actively maintained or used anymore, and that GitHub Pages doesn’t support Jekyll 4.0. However, those aren’t really good enough reasons for migrating a blogging stack.

Here’s a short list of things I like about Hugo over Jekyll — but again, none of these things really should have enticed me to make the jump.

The Migration

…was surprisingly painless! All I really needed to do was to pick out a theme, follow the Hugo Quick Start, dump my Markdown blog posts into the content/ directory and change some of the YAML front matter in all of my blog posts.

In reality, I spent a few extra hours fiddling with the typography and making sure that all my links were back-compatible with my previous website.


This is actually not the first time I tried to rewrite my website: earlier this year I experimented with writing a Tufte-inspired blog using Pollen. For those unfamiliar, it’s like R Markdown (in that it’s a markup language that allows arbitrary R code to be embedded in it), but instead of R, it’s Racket, and instead of Markdown, it’s your own domain-specific markup language that you build with Racket.

This means that I wrote a custom language specifically for formatting Tufte-style two-column blog posts. It actually worked out pretty well (and the resulting blog posts looked damn good), but I couldn’t justify maintaining my own language specifically for writing blog posts. I’d probably recommend using Pollen for large, one-off pieces of writing (like a book), instead of small, recurring pieces of writing (like a blog).