I’ve got my Hugo site running, to the point where I’m just making changes to the content here and there. Overall, it’s good—no, it’s amazing. I love Hugo. I love how it brings a consistent look and navigation to the site, and makes it easy to preview and build on the fly.
What’s been more of a challenge for me is when I try to do something that seems like it should be simple, and it turns out to be really complicated. It should be really easy to go “This page is a topic with subpages, this is a list, this is a blog with posts” and have it just work.
I know, I know “Perhaps it will make sense if I read the docs.” But it doesn’t. I keep looking for a list of page types, or the relationship between layouts and types, or what archetypes are, and it remains confusing.
And even if it weren’t confusing, Hugo doesn’t always behave itself. My site is mostly single pages or groups of pages (not bundles, I don’t know how to use those). One section was a News page, which for a while was working; I had a list of posts ordered by most recent. But then randomly when I got rid of the fake posts and tried to add new ones, the News page itself started acting like an empty post instead of a list. I was unable to fix the problem easily, so I’m not going to have a News section.
So I deleted those files. But guess what? News came back! Not just in public but in content! I had to delete them again. From time to time, a page will regress for some reason. I never know what’s going to happen with my content.
I know there’s a lot of amazing work in this tool, and I especially appreciate the new clarity around the static directory. But the feeling I get working with it is that if I accidentally name something _index instead of index, or vice versa, or somehow end up missing the word “page” in my YAML, or somehow Hugo thinks something is a list vs. a single, I end up with weird behavior. And sometimes the behavior appears to change (like News no longer working but refusing to die).
I don’t know the answer. Heck, my site is kind of working, so I don’t need a response here. But these are some of the challenges I faced along the way.