While I was looking into linux, I came across a vlog that recommended using Hugo and Netlify as a way to maintain a free web presence. I’ve found a lot of these sorts of things (“free”) and even went so far as to set up a small site using the free parts of Google Cloud to get my Python project up and running.

But what struck me about Hugo was that it was a static website and therefore faster and more secure than the typical WordPress install. And it was an intriguing concept that you could mimic the  flexibility of a dynamic site using static pages. So I decided to give it a go.

I deiced to leave Netlify as an experiment for a future project and set about rebuilding the site using Hugo. As a result my old, much ignored portfolio site astart.ca is now refreshed and way more speedy even though I didn’t change the content or the host.

So what is it?

I will get into more it in a later post. But basically it’s a framework that allows you to build the website using templates and pseudo-dynamic techniques and when you are ready to go, you just “publish” the project and it exports the whole website as static pages. It supports a ton of themes like WordPress, although again I decided to build my own from scratch.

Pages are built using markdown. It’s a versatile markup language and one I keep trying to use so one of the side benefits of this is I have become much more facile using it. The gist is that now the site is built all you have to do is open a text file, add content using markdown formatting, link to accompanying pictures and then  just run a short “deploy” script to automatically rebuild the site and upload to your host. Simple.

It’s perfect for a site like the portfolio that doesn’t change much, but now I am going to try it on a more blog-oriented site to see it it will stand up to more frequent posting. I will let you know.

As for astart.ca, well it’s  up and running and  has a fresh new design. Check it out. Now all I have to do is dig up more current material to post. And that’s the hard part 😉