A series of questions

I’m making (planning) a wrestling news site. I was using Wordpress but thought it would be cool to use hugo but have some questions:

  1. What would the build times look like? Figure 8-10 posts a day, that would add up over a year or two or three to be pretty bad, no? How do you handle that?
  2. Say I find a theme and in 3 years the author isn’t maintaining it anymore, it’s out of date, etc…how do you change your theme for hundreds of pages? Especially with some themes having features others don’t. How would someone handle that smoothly?
  3. I can’t seem to find a decent magazine style theme that’s still maintained/updated recently… tips?
  4. I see contact forms are a bit of a pita since it is static lol, I’m hoping to selfhost, is there a clean solution for those of us with the resources to self host? My host provided me an email address with my hosting plan, it would be kinda cool to use it.
  5. How is seo for hugo vs Wordpress? Is it as good on the built in stuff?
  6. Gdpr…seems there aren’t a lot of themes that support it, how is that handled with those of us that want to use analytics and ads?
  7. Ads - how are those handled

Sorry for the million questions, I just am working my way through a check list and want to make sure I have everything covered. I’ve not had a whole lot of luck finding these on google to match my use case so hopefully you can help!

Thanks for your time!

Here are my layperson’s thoughts a few months into using Hugo:

  1. Hugo can handle large builds (See example). But it will depend on how you plan and optimize your site. In recent times, the maintainer has introduced new build commands such as --renderToDisk and --renderStaticToDisk which use less RAM. More so, something like partialCached can help. (You might also need more computer resources as the site grows such as processor and RAM). After all, Hugo’s m’motto’ being the “fastest SSG in the world” is tested and proven.
  2. You can folk a theme if it is abandoned and maintain it yourself with new Hugo features. Or even pay someone to develop a custom built one from scratch or even rewrite the folk. But, just as I advise those using WP, it is better to choose one theme and then stick with it. In fact, I would advise you to just have someone port your current look to Hugo (it is not that hard per se).
  3. If you are willing to spend money, then Menca is a good theme. It is also used by Hugo founder on his site. Or follow my idea and have your current theme ported over to Hugo.
  4. You can be creative and use PHP, but the search box in the forum can help with some of this.
  5. As somene says, “For me, SEO is good quality content, clean and valid HTML and some minimal set of meta tags. Your theme [should do the] job in this regard and the content is up to you.” So, if you have good content and the theme you use has clean/valid HTML, the meta tags you can insert using a guide. (I was using The SEO Framework before switching to SSGs and I copied the meta tags it was generating for every area of the website (CTRL+U to view the source code) and then ported that over to (first Jekyll then my) Hugo site. I mean the homepage, category pages, single posts, pages and taxonomies (categories and tags), etc.).
  6. Hugo at its core is GDPR compliant. It is up to you to make sure what you add on top of it is also compliant. Google search and the forum search box can help with that.
  7. Placing the ads script in the head section (between <head></head> and then you can use partials if you want the ads in templates, or shortcodes if you want the ads to appear inline with the content.

You can also leverage CMSes like Netlify, Forestly or CloudCannon to make your writing easier and for your writers who might not be familiar with markdown.

1 Like

You just change your theme. :slight_smile:

You can use existing ones and update it as you see fit.

Not exactly a pita. There are third-party services which will redirect your form to your email. They vary in what they offer. Some they’ll just route the form to your email. While some offers a dashboard. You can search for “static site forms”. I think there is a thread here in the forums too.

Depends. What kind of SEO do you subscribe to? Even sticking to what’s offered by default, search engines practically do the heavy lifting these days. As long as you are using the correct elements, submit your sitemap, participate out there, it just works.

But if you want to add even more, there are various options you can add. For example Semweb for Hugo.

You can just add your own code.

Strictly speaking, if you are not collecting anything and you set your analytics and ads to not collect anything, all you need is to disclose it somewhere in your Privacy Policy page. Google Analytics have that option. Or, you can use a privacy-first analytics service.

Also, if EU (and California) is not your target audience, you’re not required to add “accept cookie” buttons (and privacy-first analytics doesn’t use cookies). (If you do install those “accept cookie” buttons, you are actually obligated to disclose your contact number, address, email, and legal name, especially for whoever is in charge of it.)

Just follow the instructions of your ad provider on what code to add to your theme.

I’m just answering one of your questions, sorry, but for SEO you might find it useful to go through Bryce Wray’s new tutorial at Hugo SEO Best Practices | CloudCannon — whichever Hugo theme you find, the principles remain the same, and it offers a great explanation of why some changes will need to be made.

All the best for the new project, though — I’d be keen to see it in a showcase thread once you’ve got it up and running.

My input to your questions…

  1. Build time depend on the environment. I noticed that on Windows, a site with 1848 pages generating in like 40 seconds where on Mac it’s below 2 seconds. When you run the ubuntu environment inside Windows, the build time will be 8 seconds (crazy!). My personal site with 3000+ pages generating in below 2 seconds typically.
  2. If you got HTML/CSS skills with a little knowledge of how Hugo is working you can build a theme that will last. This approach will give a greater understanding of the layout and if in a couple of years you need to update it, you will know how to do that, as this is what you build from the beginning.
  3. Build your own. Even with little skills, you will improve over time and you will be proud of your progress and final look. Fewer annoyances on “somebody else, because the theme is not working as you expect”.
  4. I know that self-host may be fun in the beginning, but look more into decentralised options. Serving the site over Netlify in a free plan didn’t cost you well, you can try it and see if you like it. They deploy your site on various servers so it’s always served from the closes point to the end-user. Also, they offer Forms which I am using on a couple of websites and they work great.
  5. As an ex-WordPress user I can guarantee you that you can build better SEO with Hugo. Apart of SEO, the main advantage is page speed and Core Web Vitals… on which you may struggle with WordPress.
  6. Depend on the type of websites you using and what you collecting. If it’s just analytics, then a simple cookie policy is enough. Remember that GDPR applies mostly (in short) to companies gathering personal data, not private persons doing that. If you running a Blog with just analytics in the background, you don’t need to really bother with that. If you going commercial, you need to have a think. See here
  7. It all depends on the option you use. Please, don’t go into Google Ads as you will kill your website performance. If you looking into Hugo, then you don’t want to do one step forward and two backs. There are alternatives to that. Most of them integrate into your website nicely. But again, look into building your own layout rather than using a ready theme, then you will know how to implement ads ad the stage when you decide to do this.