Disk space, web site with many files

Looking for some help regarding uploading and start using my Hugo site!

Right now, I have files that take around 2 gb space. I will be adding a lot more with time, maybe aiming for about 15 gb. I am wondering how much Hugo can handle until it starts to really affect the site? Some of these files I can compress into a zip file, but some I cant. If it is a problem, what would some good solutions be?

Also I have a question about using github with Hugo. If I were to create a repository for my web site on github, is it possible to upload the entire site, with all the (potential) 15 gb of files? I read that the files should be no more than 50 mb (which is no problem since my files are only pdfs and zips), but it is very unclear if I can upload a repository that big.

I recommend using a third party cloud service to serve big files.

Big files should not be stored in git, because git is a version control system and sooner rather than later, you will run into problems.


Is there are difference then between big files and many smaller files?

The only files I will have are pdfs and zips that contain pdfs.

Git repo sizes ideally need to be kept under 1 gb. If memory serves me right on GitHub 2 gb is a hard limit. Beyond that things are bound to grind to a halt.

So do keep those files outside version control to keep your Hugo project fast in the long run.


I know of Gitlab which allows you to have 10 GB repository (you can always use multiple repos - however, the total account size limit is probably gonna be applied soon), but 15 GB would probably not be possible anywhere for free.

With that big size, you should really consider some paid hosting or VPS.

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Thank you for your answer.

If I understand correctly, version control means that I put my site up on GitHub without the files, and if I want to change the site I go through GitHub?

Then what would I do with the files? I have some vague understanding of Netlify, would it be possible to continously upload my files avaliable for download by hosting with Netlify?

Upload the files to a cloud service of your choice e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox or whatever you prefer.

Then generate links to those files for the user to either download them or view them in the browser.

Use these links in your Hugo project’s content files to serve the files.

Also familiarize yourself with Git.

A good place to start: https://try.github.io/

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Thank you!

Would it then be possible to create a shortcode that creates a downloadable link for every file in a specific google drive folder? This is way out of my depth

No. That’s not possible, not for Hugo, not for anyone, because Google Drive doesn’t expose any API to generate direct download links.

Edit: You can completely skip Git from your workflow and upload your locally built website to Netlify. I had read that Netify doesn’t really limit the storage you use, the only limitation is bandwidth. So, you can confirm once on Netlify forums if you can store a 15 GB website there, if yes, you don’t need Git.

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Would something like that work with dropbox?

Possibly. I know that Dropbox allows you to generate direct links to the files, however, I’m not sure if it has API to check the contents of each folder and then generate links for all the files in it. If you’re ready to do some amount of manual work, that is, generate a link manually and replace the parameter dl=0 to raw=1 (or something like that, check their forums), that could work.

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Thank you very much, you are amazing

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You can use Git LFS for large files. GitLab supports it, GitHub too, and Netlify too.

At least in case of GitHub, the monthly LFS bandwidth is capped a 1 GB for free. So, it might not work for the case.