A very general question around Hugo

Hello all,

I’m new here and I’m currently looking around at prospective solutions to the issues that my businesses site is experiencing when passed through google’s pagespeed insights, gtmetrix and other performance measurement platforms before I invest time in going down a specific path that may not yield the results that we require.

I’m hoping that someone in the community may be able to shed just a bit of light on whether Hugo might be a possible solution to some, or all, of the challenges that we are facing.

Currently our subdomain is scoring very poorly on mobile performance, and seems to rank anywhere from 19% to 35%. We cannot understand the reason for this inconsistency in the scoring as it changes on each pass, but overall the score is always under 40%.

With recommendations from pagespeed insights and gtmetrix (to name but two) ranging from the reduction of unused javascript and the elimination of render-blocking resources to avoiding enormous network payloads and serving static assets with an efficient cache policy, it appears to be pretty much impossible to address some of these complaints in the context of our fully static, hand-coded HTML, CSS and JS website based around Bootstrap 4.0.

With this concept of SSGs or static site generators having been suggested to me on several occasions as a solution to some of these problems, I am just trying to understand whether something like Hugo would provide any kind of path to addressing these page speed performance issues if we were to effectively rebuild our site using this as a baseline.

As I understand it the introduction of a CDN is also something that may contribute to an improvement in pagespeed performance. This is something which i am trying to obtain a deeper understanding of via conversations with CloudFlare and Azure.

I’m well aware that there is no fully comprehensive silver bullet to the penalties issued by performance indicators such as pagespeed insights. Having said, that I have been told several times now by more than one developer that i would most definitely benefit from the use of an SSG.

I would truly appreciate any helpful insights from folks out here who may have experienced similar issues, and / or have had to address these issues whilst using Hugo as a framework - or even redeveloped in Hugo in part to address such issues.

You have a badly built site. Switching tools will not help you. The only remedy is to build a good site.

We in this forum tend to think that Hugo is a good tool to build many types of sites. But you can build bad sites with Hugo as well.


I would recommend rebuilding your site, using a starter like e.g Hyas. I created Hyas to have a solid starting point for building modern websites that are secure, fast, and SEO-ready out of the box. So, with A+ scores on Mozilla Observatory and 100 scores on Google Lighthouse.

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This is a great piece of advice, thanks Henk.

I appreciate your useful input.

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@frjo is right. The problem is your site and you need to first follow the guidelines that the speed measuring tools provide to optimize it. Hugo can help in some ways (like the unused CSS which you can extract with Hugo Pipes). But you need to rethink how your site is designed. The efficient cache policy is a server side thing though. I would advise you try to move your site to Hugo and develop it locally. Then deploy it as a test site and compare with your current site. From there, you can follow the tips given by the speed testing sights and optimize accordingly. But beware Hugo has a learning curve.

I would love to optimize a fully static, hand-coded HTML, CSS and JS website based around Bootstrap 4.0. I know how to get a 100% Google Lighthouse score. Feel free to send me a DM!