I’d like to share some insights into my decision-making process for which framework to use for this blog.

I knew I wanted to use a static site generator because I was already using GitHub pages for my personal website. The three frameworks I found to be serious contenders for static site blogging were: Jekyll, Gatsby, and Hugo.

Jekyll is an obvious choice, being recommended by GitHub Pages, but I didn’t like the idea of having to install Ruby and all the other dependencies. No shade on Ruby, I just don’t use it.

Next, I considered Gatsby. I love the power and productivity of React, so the fact that Gatsby is based off of React made it very compelling.

However, the point of a blog is really the content, and not a showy website. I thought it was most important to look at things like how quickly I’d get set up, content authoring workflow, simplicity, and speed. In the end, I decided to go with Hugo.

Some of the reasons I settled on Hugo:

  • Hugo has blazingly fast build times, which gets more and more important as a static generated website grows.
  • It supports hot-reloading in development. Being able to see your changes in the browser every time you save is fantastic for workflow.
  • Built in the Go language. I’ve been playing around with Go a lot lately. I’m hoping to not have to lift the hood too much on this site, so that I can pour the focus on writing. But when I do have to, it will be a good excuse to be working in Go.
  • There are abundant themes geared towards blogging ready to go for Hugo. I liked the look of PaperMod, and that weighed into my decision.
  • The documentation seems pretty good
  • The framework seems simple, enough for what I need, and not overbuilt
  • You can author content using the dead simple Markdown language

Hugo seemed good enough to give it a try. I figured that if I didn’t like it, I’d try Gatsby next. So far, I don’t regret my decision, and I’ve found Hugo to be great to work with.

I’d still like to give Gatsby a try. I think it would be a better fit for a more complex project.

In conclusion, while I’m certain that all the platforms considered have their merits, I would recommend Hugo to others looking for a fast, flexible, and easy-to-use static site generator for their blog. Can’t go wrong.