Switching to Hugo

So I finally switched to Hugo because trying to iterate design elements in Pollen is just too slow. Pollen is good for defining flexible markup, but that’s not what I want for a blog.

This is long overdue. I’ve been trying to revamp the site on and off since 2018, most recently starting to move all articles to Org mode (utilizing ox-pollen) so that I can index them in org-roam, but switching fully to a fast static site generator is still pretty nice.

Things I had to port:

  • Templates
  • Blog posts and other content, revamping their content to work with Hugo’s native Org renderer
  • Tag functions, to shortcodes and partials

Writing Hugo templates is more painful than Pollen in my opinion as Hugo’s documentation doesn’t really have a clean reference section. The configuration reference is in the Getting Started section, for example. But once I got most of what I want working, it became less painful to change small things.

I had to go through every post I have, but this is relatively easy. Reading my old posts is a bit painful, though. I’d like to revamp them sometime.

Most things should have been ported. The RSS feed is different because I’m basically using Hugo’s default instead of my own generator; hopefully that doesn’t break anything.

Pretty URLs

There was one thing that hasn’t been solved: I want to let Hugo prettify URLs for me, instead of having Netlify do it.

I could’t use pretty URLs in Pollen without manually putting every page in blog/page-name/index.html.pm, so I relied on Netlify to do it.

I don’t want to rely on Netlify because in theory this makes me more resilient and allows me to move my site to whatever provider I want when something happens.

But I can’t let Hugo prettify URLs without old URLs breaking: kisaragi-hiu.com/page.html would return 404 instead of redirecting to kisaragi-hiu.com/page/, and it doesn’t seem to be possible to do this with Netlify’s redirect rules.

Maybe I could use client side redirect instead (run some JS in the 404 page to redirect page.html to /page/), but for now I’ve simply opted for turning off Hugo’s URL prettifying and letting Netlify do it.