Is Hugo worth it?

The question I’m asking myself as I resurrect this Hugo site: Is it worth it?

Static site generators are geeky, the language used to code Hugo – Go (aka golang) – is somewhat obscure (i.e. it’s not Javascript, Ruby or Python), and did I say it’s not done in Javascript? Yep, did. Worth mentioning twice.

I could look for a Javascript/Node-driven static blog generator, I could use the Python-based Pelican or Ruby-written Jekyll.

I could stick with the Perl-based Ode software I’ve been using for about five years at this point.

After the backlash against dynamically delivered systems like WordPress and the swing to static-site generators like Jekyll, Pelican and Hugo, I can see a return (as the new hotness) to dynamic systems delivered via JavaScript, single-page-app style in a kind of full-circle madness that seems to hit the development world in framework-heavy waves of technological churn.

I have a lot “invested” in Ode, just like many bloggers have a lot invested in, say, WordPress. Despite my five years with Ode, I still have thousands of WordPress entries I’m considering moving onto whatever blogging system I end up using, which could be Ode. But I could just as as easily move into any static site generator.

One thing I want in my blogging software is a lot of development activity, extensive documentation and a large, engaged community. Hugo has all three of those.

In my own development, I’ve been floating from one programming language to another, from C++ to Ruby to JavaScript, with a little Golang, Bash and Perl on the margins. The language doesn’t matter so much. Sort of. Javascript is so ubiquitous that I wouldn’t mind a system that depended on it. There’s an eat-your-Wheaties quality to the whole business.

The question is, will I ever be at the point where I will want or need to code in the blog engine’s programming language? In Ode I’ve used Perl to work on my add-in that counts posts (and that can generate a categories list, though it proved to be too unwieldy to display on the blog sidebar; I may create a custom page for it.)

But while I’m box-checking, Hugo is doing pretty well. But is it too geeky? Information on how to reliably add an image to a post is scant (and generally buried in forum posts), and that shows the geeky nature of the enterprise. I’m going to drop one in now using Markdown and see if the system adds any tagging.

Minutes later: I found out that you generally stash image files in the /static directory that is generated when you use Hugo to create a site. On the advice of other Hugo users, I created a subdirectory called /images. I learned pretty quickly that since this site serves on a subdirectory (the /hugo of, I had to add /hugo to my relative path.

My next question, which I will ask redlounge theme developer Tom Maiaroto, is how he gets those images above the post title here and here.