Static Site Generation with Hugo
Static Site Generation with Hugo
by David Burgess

Hugo is quickly becoming one of the best ways to create a website. Hugo is a free and open source static website generator that allows you to build beautiful static websites with ease. Static websites are awesome because they take very little system resources to host. Compared to something like WordPress that replies on databases, php, and more static sites are simply HTML, CSS, and the occasional line JavaScript. So static sites are perfect for simple blogs, documentation sites, portfolios, and more.

What is a Static Site?

Static websites are simply sites that consist of basic HTML and CSS files for each individual page. A static site can be easily created and published as server requirments are small and their is very limited server-side software requirements to publish them. You don’t need to know coding and database design to build a static website.

In the early days of the internet most everything was static, but sites were bland and poorly designed. Also if you wanted to make a site wide change such as a link in the footer you’d need to go though every file for your website and make changes on a page by page basis. Maintaining a huge number of fixed pages of files seems to be impractical without having automated tools. However, with the modern web template systems, this scenario is changing.

Over the past few years, static sites are again becoming popular. This is due to advances in programming languages and libraries. Now, with static site generators you can host blogs, large websites, and more with the ability to make site wide changes on the fly.

Advantages of Static

Static files are lightweight making the site faster to load. Cost efficiency is another vital reason why companies tend to migrate to static sites. Below are some of the advantages of static sites over traditional sites based on content management systems and server-side scripting, like PHP, MySQL and others.

Speed

With server-side rendering, potential difficulties regarding web page loading are lesser. Here, your site’s content is presented as an entirely pre-rendered web page. Whereas, in traditional sites, the web page is built separately for every visitor. Better speed provides a better SEO ranking and better site performance as a whole.

Flexibility

Static websites have multiple options in terms of using frameworks for rendering. You’re free to choose any programming language and framework from Ruby, JavaScript, Vue, React, etc. This makes the build and maintenance smoother than the traditional sites. Also, static sites have fewer dependencies. So, you can easily leverage your cloud infrastructure and migrate easily.