Looking for a handy HUGO development environment


I’m new here!

So far I have made my website with WP. But because I use a free hoster, there were problems with the speed and also with the WP update. So I exported my WP website as “static” and built a flat file forum for it. It’s good and it works. Unfortunately, I had not known that there is also a plugn for WP, which exports directly for HUGO.

First question:
If I use the WP plugin for HUGO export, it will also export the theme to me, fully functional, so that I can just continue working on my website with HUGO, create new pages, create menu entries, etc.?

further questions:

I need a handy HUGO development environment, so something like the WP backend. In the documentation I find 4 frontend interfaces, at least 2 of them are no longer being developed. I want to develop locally and then upload with ftp. What are the best frontend interfaces at the moment, with WYSIWYG editor for Markdown and html and css all in one?

Since in HUGO you can see the result of its development directly on localhost in the browser, is there a browser plugin with which I can develop (edit page, create / delete pages, change menu, change css, start / stop HUGO server, edit HUGO config, edit theme, etc.)? That would be great!

Do you also make a child theme in HUGO, or how best to make changes in the theme?

I read on the frontends that you can also work with github. As a hoster of my HUGO website? Or as a hoster of the HUGO development environment? I don’t quite get it.

thank you for your beginner help :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m not sure which WP plugin you’re talking about, but most WP to Hugo conversions just convert the content to Markdown and puts the images into a folder. Your WP theme won’t be converted.

It sounds like you’re looking for a CMS. There’s a number of options available - Netlify CMS and Forestry are popular ones.

Forestry commits your changes to GitHub, which can host your Git repository that contains the files for your Hugo site. Git is a version control system, which makes it easier to roll back changes, basically (it’s a lot more powerful than that, but that’s the basics).

If you push your Git repo to GitHub, you can host your Hugo site on GitHub Pages, Netlify, CloudFlare Pages, and other providers, for free.

Most people with a Hugo blog just edit the files directly without a CMS, and this is what I prefer as well. My setup looks like this: Edit the files locally with a text editor, commit to Git, push to GitHub, CloudFlare Pages builds my site, and off we go.

Welcome to use HUGO build your site. It can build site throught static files that can help you release server pressure.

Sure, you can do anythings what you want make your site more powerful and beautiful.

Don’t worry,at first your can find more themes at https://themes.gohugo.io/ and choose which one you like, but not sure there had child theme. If you want do some custom develop, you can coding it with some IDEA tools , just like VSCODE, notepad, sublime text etc, for exmaple: I were develop my site’s theme under sublime text , there were some skills for you take here use-sublime-txt-build-hugo-site.html

By the way atfter you develop theme , next time you just need write new article throught markdown file, there can editor in browser with online server like you referer the github.

This is not necessary,with github just to save your code backup to remote server and it’s free. You can do the same as before that use HUGO buid site static files and use FTP tool upload them in your hosts.

Good luck for you & hope you enjoy the HUGO journey.

Thank you for your quick answers! Now I already know a little more. I still have the backup of WP and can repeat the export, then I see what all comes with and what is possible.


At the moment I think that I’m just developing locally and then uploading with ftp. My website is pretty simple and needs very little updates. It is a guide on how to install small Linux distributions on weak computers, for beginners.

I have also seen some WYSIWYG editors that may be useful to me. I’m not very good at coding. Maybe I will also find a tool that will help me to adapt the theme a little, if I don’t get the old one exported by WP.


Fortunately, there is no hurry, because the export with WP “simply static” works well. Adjustments to the site can wait.

One last beginner’s question:

Where is the “logout” of this forum hidden? :upside_down_face:

Edit: Ok, I found the logout…

1 Like

if you want to make Markdown editing easier, I personally use and highly recommend Typora.

I made my first small website in 1998, then under Windows with a tool “Front-Page”. I installed the tool and a few hours later the website was ready.

HUGO should make some packages:

  1. HUGO base
    Comes with HUGO installation, a simple CMS and a simple WYSIWYG editor.

  2. HUGO advanced
    Like HUGO base, but with two more, better CMS, which you can choose when installing and a better WYSIWYG editor. In addition, a tool to edit the theme css.

  3. HUGO extended
    Like HUGO advanced, but with an option to replace the CMS and WYSIWYG editor after installation.

1 and 2 also include an option to switch to the next higher package. With these packages you have the opportunity to test everything in advance and give the user a good recommendation. If you work with plugins, you can, for example, make a plugin to connect the packages with git or with another hoster. And much more.

I worked as a project manager in Informatics for 15 years. So I know the users and their needs and also the software developers well. Often the two do not get along very well, different worldviews. Users want a result, fast and good. Software developers want to keep “clean” code and, if possible, all options open. What decides is the market! No boss of a small company can afford to invest several days or even several weeks to evaluate the right HUGO development environment. So he will choose another tool, which will give him a package that has already been tested and with which he will have the first good result after a few hours.

Think about it. Other static website builders can do this, some are free, some are not. We are not all “code freaks”, yes most of us are not. Who looks at the code on his letter, which he wrote with the word processor? Or the code of the pdf, or the jpg? So who looks at the code of his website? We’re not in our 80s or 90s anymore. And that’s good :slightly_smiling_face:

No new user who just wants to create a website should have to go through such discussions:


Now, after a few hours of studying HUGO and some tests with HUGO pure, I will also look at other tools that seem to be a little easier, publii or dokuwiki, for example. After that, I decide which product I will choose.

see you :grinning:

To make you reflect on this and your comment above, read this
From WordPress to Hugo, a mindset transition | Regis Philibert)


Here’s how your posts read to me: You want a free solution that is just as easy as WordPress, but you also don’t want to commit the time needed to learn something new (Hugo). So you’re looking for a WYSIWYG editor/“development environment” to make it easier, but also have some strange notion that Hugo, the project, should conform to your needs and provide this for you, and for free.

There’s always a tradeoff on costs - something that is monetarily free often costs more time.

Hugo is incredibly easy to get started with and you don’t even need to be a “code freak”. Hobbyists and college professors use and love Hugo, not just software developers.


My editor setup of choice for most thing these days:


Dare we say that while Hugo is indeed pretty magical, it is not meant to be a “magic wand” to suddenly give you a published website a la Square Space or Wordpress. You are expected to already know how to assemble a static web page, for which you do need some basic knowledge of html, css, command line and text editors. Or how to prepare a space to host your website. The bottom line is, if you are unwilling to invest the time required to learn these things, then Hugo is not for you.

If you do put the time in, Hugo will help you rapidly merge your html templates, css, javascript, media, and even data, into a flexible working site. In addition, you get the added benefit of understanding how things fit together, which in turn makes understanding a variety of website builders and content management systems much easier. It is really a worthwhile investment to put the time in, to learn the basic building blocks well.

From Requesting Help Guidelines.


I have tried the Hugo exporter for WP. It wasn’t a big success. In the end I recreated a friends’ site from scratch, mimicking the twentyseventeen theme: it was faster than trying to port the WP site. But hers was only small.

If you want a CMS, there are several themes that have Netlify CMS enabled. I created a very basic one to use as a base: https://huguette.netlify.app/. If you already have a github account, it’s a one-click install. If you search this forum for Netlify CMS you will find more themes that have the CMS included. It’s not as fancy as WP, but very easy to work with and with the added benefit of it being almost impossible to wreck a site’s layout and style as you can from the WP backend.

Thanks for the further tips!

A few more comments:

Website tools should be designed for the large mass of users. If someone wants to work with HUGO without CMS and without WYSIWYG editor, this is not a problem, he can do it. I myself did my 3 hour tests in this way.

I spent another 3 hours to read part of the documentation and also to look at a few CMS and WYSIWYG editors, just the documentation.

6 hours of effort and I don’t have a handy HUGO development environment yet. To get one, I now have to install and test different CMS and also different WYSIWYG editors. Another 10-20 hours of effort? To manage a single website? It’s about the relations. If I had done the 6 hours of effort for a customer, he would already have to pay an bill of 1500 US dolar! Yes, this are the prices on the market.

So it’s not a question of whether someone is willing to learn something, but whether they are able to bear the costs of it. Most people have to work hard for 8-10 hours every day to survive, a boss of a small company even longer. There is not much time left to evaluate website tools, so you give someone the order for it and pay for it.

For this reason, the three packages proposed above would be very helpful. With the first one, HUGO base, you could already know in 2-3 hours whether a HUGO solution is the right one for the individual situation. With other static website builders, this can be determined in this short time. So my suggestion is to be understood as a well-intentioned tip to make HUGO more attractive for beginners.

In my search, I came across another possibility that might be useful in my case. It is localWP, a tool with which you can develop WP locally and then host it as a static website. I will take a closer look at it and at best keep my exported WP website alive with it. This gives me more time to continue testing with HUGO, i.e. CMS and WYSIWYG editor. Theme builder is also important.

HUGO is certainly a very powerful tool. But even such a tool can be used for very simple projects, if there are special packages for this. Surely you could also make an online platform with HUGO, as is the case with other CMS, for example WIX.

It took a good team, a good concept and a few weeks or months. Then HUGO would be interesting for beginners and small companies as well as for advanced website developers. This is also the case with WP, DRUPAL or TYPO3.

Well, but the HUGO community has to decide for itself whether it wants to “sell” HUGO, even if it is free. Personally, I think that I will continue to develop with HUGO, rebuild my old WP website and also start any new projects with HUGO. It looks good and I don’t have to earn any more money with it, because I have made Informatics my hobby for a few years now. At some point you get tired, after 15 years of project management and many endless discussions. There are other interesting things to do in life at the age of 53 :cowboy_hat_face:

have a good weekend!

Oh, maybe there is such a thing as “HUGO base” online? At least if you have a Git account?


After practicing a bit with the link above, I now understand better how the whole thing is structured. HUGO is just one stone in the mosaic. I then wondered why, if you have a GitHub account, you can host for free on different servers. The answer can be found if you take a closer look at the various companies with wiki, their history and their financing. There are a few people in the world who obviously very much like to strive for a lot of power in the field of public and private information. Certainly to make a pig money, but also for other reasons. We recognize this better and better. Information sovereignty is important when striving for total power. At the WEF it was said that it is these people who will create the future. No, don’t worry, the future will come by itself :wink:

I would like to express my concern here about the reckless handling of information, in my view. Tools are a good thing, web clouds too, free hosters too. The problem begins when all these things are financed from practically one source. Then this hand has a lot of power and control over the information.

GitHub is ok, but there are also alternatives, for example SourceForge and also to the free hosters there are alternatives where no obvious connections to the above hand can be found.

Almost everyone has a powerful enough computer to run HUGO, CMS, WYSIWYG and an FTP program. Maybe a little more effort, but a lot more security. Or one day we will all end up in the new “meta-universal illusory world”!

My initial question about a simple HUGO development environment is basically answered. I have not installed any locally yet, but I have realized how I have to do it and what background I have to consider. And once you know a little more about the matter and the website is basically built, then you can even do without the CMS and make the few changes with a simple editor and then upload them with ftp where you want them.

Thanks for the various useful hints :+1:

You can host small sites for free because it’s a sales funnel that leverages network effects to reach the companies with the funding and scale to afford additional bandwidth or features.

That said, not all sales funnels are evil or controlled by corporate monoliths who have our worst interests at heart.

If it ultimately helps support free and open source projects like Hugo, who’s complaining?

I see your optimism and it’s ultimately your data, not mine.

I have investigated netlify and github, the money comes from Microsoft.

When I opened the github account to do the test with the above link, I used my default passowrt, which I use for such short-term things. Github then reported that I can not use this password, because it is listed as a password that is also used on other websites. Never saw something like this!

First, I always thought passwords were secret and protected and secondly, I deleted the github account after the test.

I’ll leave the rest to you, but there is a good website here:



take care :cowboy_hat_face:

For reference and clarification: How does Github knows my password is commonly used on other website? - Stack Overflow

Relax, they don’t know your password per say,
they are comparing your password hash with known hash of compromise passwords.
It’s to help you to keep your account secured.

Well, they can do whatever they want…but not with me :slightly_smiling_face:

I wrote earlier that I will definitely develop with HUGO. Ok, I’m not so sure anymore and I’m going to test some other tools.

take care :cowboy_hat_face: