Having just had to go through the learning curve for both - from a standing start - here is my take for what it might be worth (nothing probably!).
With Jekyll, you start with nothing and the learning curve is STEEP if you don’t have an existing template that happens to meet your needs.
Ruby: sheesh! Who wants to mess with that unless you are already a Ruby developer.
Liquid: Woah - this drove me bonkers I’m afraid. Only some parts of Liquid are available in Jekyll, some things don’t work. It is hard to know which. Does something not work in Jekyll or did I make a mistake, how would I know? Here is my test page: https://totallyinformation.github.io/ghjekyll/test.html of course, some of that might simply be noob mistakes. But you can see my expectations vs reality on that page.
Liquid tags in Markdown: When I found that you couldn’t use all the Hugo tags in a content page I’ll admit that I was frustrated to begin with (Note that I did Jekyll before Hugo). But, once I’d adjusted, it actually simplified my pages a fair bit in places since I no longer had builds failing because I’d forgotten to escape something that I wanted to have as a code block not executed.
With Jekyll, I had to manually build some page lists, with Hugo I don’t.
With Jekyll, I can’t build a theme without installing Ruby, with Hugo I can - I don’t need SASS for simple themes so I’ve not yet been hit by the toolchain issue.
I used Jekyll because I was setting up a GitHub pages site - sorry Netlify, I hadn’t realised how good you were at that point - using Jekyll with GitHub with no local build is horrible. A simple writing mistake causes the build to fail with an incomprehensible error message. I put together a list of some issues I found here: https://totallyinformation.github.io/ghjekyll/github-pages-issues.html - Perhaps some of this would happen with Hugo as well - but then Hugo only needs a single file on my PC, not even an install, so local builds are trivial.
I really should update the page on that site about alternatives to include Hugo.
Of course, again, it may be that I misunderstood a load of stuff - but I AM a beginner at Jekyll and Hugo - Beginner Friendly - hmm, not so much.
But I did build an information site with it so it can’t be that bad. After all, I still bothered to learn it and build the site rather than trying to extend my WordPress site which certainly tells you something.
I’m not sure that I’d cally Hugo “beginner” friendly either especially. But I did manage to build a basic theme to match my WordPress one in under a week (well it is a way off being complete yet, but it does already work - mainly).
I’m afraid that I will be migrating my Jekyll site and merging into my main blog (the one I’m converting from WordPress). I’m going to redirect the GitHub site then - even though it has only been going a few months.
Work in progress is here: https://confident-carson-5eac42.netlify.com
Either way, don’t think that I don’t appreciate the efforts put in by the developers of both of these projects. It is wonderful to have choices and so liberating to move away from lumbering old Wordpress. I think the only think I will miss is the amazing Wordfence Security plugin - they do such a great job that I want to support them. But then, I no longer need that plugin because I don’t have the security issues any more!