Give it to me straight up please

Greetings Hugoverse,

About me: I have zero experience writing html, no programming experience, etc.

Yet I love the idea of having almost complete control over creating my own, clean, minimalist website and from what I’ve seen, Hugo has some beautiful themes and crisp possibilities!

But my concern revolves around my capacity to actually make it happen with Hugo. I’ve browsed some of the support issues and they all seem totally complex to me given my n00b status.

Given my experience, is this something I could make happen with some effort? Would the support documentation help me through it for the most part? To what extent would I need to know html, css, etc?

If I pursued Hugo, my goals would be initially be a blog site. It should have good SEO capabilities, contain a form that would link to Aweber, perhaps link up a twitter and Facebook account as well and maybe some e-commerce down the road.

What do you think? I managed to install home-brew and Hugo as well as create the first folders.

I’d recommend learning HTML and CSS first. Learn how to make and style web pages and how to upload them to a web server. Eventually, you’ll get tired of duplicating things that show up on multiple different pages on a website, and at that point a static site generator will solve problems you have.

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I agree, although, nothing is stopping you from learning the basics while you learn how to weave in the templates. But, once you learn the basics, “why hugo” becomes apparent.

You can look at:

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You won’t get very far without some basic knowledge of HMTL/CSS & markdown. It’s not that tough and there are plenty of resources for total beginners.

The Hugo Go templating language is a bit tough (but for basic needs you will not need to touch it).

I recommend the Hyde theme to begin with, as it’s simple, up to date and SEO friendly.

For automated deployment of your Hugo site I recommend Gitlab and/or Netlify they have simple tutorials for setting up a Hugo site. Netlify also has a CMS in case you prefer to use one. Both services have free plans.

Of course if you’re going for the above services you will learn git in the process. How to make a repo, and push a commit. Again there are beginner tutorials for this.

Think of it as an adventure. There will be difficulties along the way, but the payoff is worth it. In the end you will get a very fast website that is truly your own.

The official Hugo Docs

And of course this forum. Just search for an issue that bothers you and you will most likely find the answer.

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It’s amazingly apparent that the community here is already very warm!

I agree it’s about the journey and that is something I would like to do. These days, it’s a good quality to have. I’ve always been envious of programmers who know multiple languages and can read code.

I’ll be sure to check out the above resources!

Thanks again!

I’m not a programmer. Just a designer who knows a trick or two. Besides HTML/CSS is not very difficult. You will learn it very fast once you get a proper introduction.

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@csphilli As already mentioned, there are innumerable resources (mostly free) online that will help you learn enough HTML and CSS to build a basic webpage. After you have a grasp of the fundamentals, as already mentioned, you’ll see why Hugo is an amazing piece of software.

If you are 100% brand new, I like the series of fundamental lessons Google has been putting out over the last few years:

The one caveat I would make is that if you get stuck with a CSS-, HTML-, or JavaScript-related concept, these forums will do very little for you since the focus is on Hugo and what is has to offer. BUT, there are hundreds (thousands?) of free and open forums very similar to this one filled with people willing to give you a hand. The nice thing about frontend development is that you need zero setup to get started: just a browser and the ability to open the browser’s dev tools.

Now, if you want to just dive in head first, I would recommend going through the docs and trying to install a theme and run the local server. If nothing else, you can start creating content with a very basic theme and get familiar markdown syntax. If you haven’t written in markdown, this online tutorial on GFM will take you less than half a lunch break:

Good luck!

P.S. Although it can be daunting, learn version control (i.e., git) sooner rather than later. You’ll never be sorry you spent the time learning how to completely revert your own mistakes…because you’ll be making them…often :smile:


I second this. If you’re like me, you’ll probably think “oh god I totally messed this up and want to roll it back to when it kinda looked OK” (something a version-control system helps with) before you think “ugh, I want to change the header on all pages of this site but I don’t want to make the same change to ten different pages” (something Hugo helps with).

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you might be better served by GitHub Pages.

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At the risk of piling on, here’s a good online book about git:

And a good simple overview:



No risk! I’m soaking this all up. Found a decent playlist on Youtube about HTML and already putting it to work.

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