I created a Wordpress site on Bluehost for my personal/blog site because I thought it would be the easiest way to publish blogs without having to worry about hosting or creating my own site. Even as a developer, I have no interest in spending too much time reinventing the wheel to create a simple blog. After writing just one entry there, I wasn't happy with the solution. The Wordpress editor is slow, and in my opinion it's too clunky for building a simple blogging site. I found myself fighting the tooling, and still ending up with a boring looking site.
This prompted me to look into static site generators. After some searching on IndieHackers I was sold on making the move to Hugo. Hugo is super easy to setup, and has great customizable themes out-of-the box.
Hugo is an open source static site generator. Static sites are great for things like blogs and portfolios (like this site), since there is no server-side work that needs to be done for the site to work. The pages are pre-built and served without change from a server, unlike a traditional website. This makes static sites inherently quick. Additionally, static sites are a breeze to host. I'll discuss how I'm using Github Pages to host this site farther down.
After browsing the available themes, I settled on Ghostwriter. It had the general look I was going for, and was easy to customize to my liking. After making a few tweaks, this is the result I had for the main post content section:
I decided to host the site on Github Pages for the following reasons.
- It's free.
- Setup is quick and easy. Just setup your repo to be a Github pages site and you're ready to go.
- Making updates is seamless. New changes are pushed to the repo and automatically reflected on the site.
I'm still working to modify the theme to my liking, but so far I'm happy with the results and ease-of-use. Being able to edit the css directly is much more intuitive than trying to customize a Wordpress theme. Writing articles is simple, as they're just markdown files. I will continue to explore the available options, but Hugo is looking like a good bet for now.