I’ve tried blogging on various platforms throughout the years but I never really settled on something I really liked. My last blog was a private one that I never really shared with anyone on the free tier at write.as. While I liked it for its simplicity, it never really felt like something I wanted to maintain in the long term because it never really felt like it was “mine”. My write.as blog has been fairly dormant over the last few months and I haven’t been sure if I wanted to go back to it.

Yesterday, I had the itch to write a blog post about a recent project I went through. In the moment, I really wanted to do blogging “on my terms”; I wanted to really own it. I’d always toyed with the idea of setting up a blog through a static site generator with my own custom domain in my mind and I decided in that moment that I wanted to give it a go. Jekyll is something I’d tried in the past using the native GitHub Pages integration for non-blogging purposes but I never really “got it” probably because I depended too much on the native integration. After reading a few posts on what static site generator to use on /r/selfhosted, I thought Hugo looked pretty good.

What I like about Hugo

  1. It produces static webpages which are essentially hackproof.
  2. Formatting can be done through Markdown.
  3. It works on top of some technologies that I’m already famliar with (i.e. Git, go templating, YAML manipulation) which gives me another opportunity to practice them.

Some downsides?

  1. Apparently the documentation is really horrible? A lot of comments I found on this are from a few years ago so things may have changed. I haven’t had to look at the offiical documentation just yet.
  2. My setup with Hugo is largely dependent on Git which means I cannot publish easily whenever I want. I could probably build something CI/CD-related to improve this. I’ll leave that for later.

My current setup

I have two Git repositories hosted on Codeberg; blog-source and blog-static. The former has the Hugo files and the latter holds the current state of the statically generated website which I manually copy and push to. I have the blog-static repository set to use the pages branch to activate the Codeberg Pages feature which is a similar offer to GitHub’s GitHub Pages.

Closing remarks

Overall, I quite like how my blog is set up. It’s quite manual for now and the foreseeable future but I like that it makes me sit down and do things through the tools I’d like to be using more. I really like that I can use my own domain name as it adds a real personal touch to it.