Why I Said ‘Bye Felicia’ to WordPress and Switched to Hugo Static Site

Kenneth Lo, PMP
4 min readApr 13, 2023

Introduction

Are you tired of slow load times, security vulnerabilities, and limitations in design and functionality with WordPress? If so, it might be time to make the switch to Hugo static site. In this post, I’ll explain why I decided to move from WordPress to Hugo and highlight the benefits of using a static site generator, as well as the required skillset to deploy a site using Hugo, GitHub, and Netlify.

The Great WordPress Debate Revisited

Before I dive into why I’m switching to Hugo, let’s revisit the Great WordPress Debate, which I covered in a previous blog post. The debate centers on whether WordPress is still relevant nowadays, given the rise of popular Jamstack platforms like Hugo, Gatsby and Next.js.

While WordPress remains a popular platform, there are several drawbacks that make it less appealing to some developers, including slower performance, security vulnerabilities, and the need for regular updates and maintenance. On the other hand, Hugo is a static site generator that offers faster performance, enhanced security, and better SEO, all while requiring less maintenance.

Why Hugo?

After considering these factors, I’ve decided that Hugo is the best option for my needs. Here are some of the key benefits that influenced my decision:

Markdown Had Me at Hello

The first reason why I’m switching to Hugo is the use of Markdown. Hugo uses Markdown as the default markup language for content, which makes it easy to create and edit content without having to deal with complex HTML tags. Markdown also provides a clean and consistent look to the website and helps improve the website’s readability.

Need for Speed

Hugo is a lightweight and fast platform that generates static HTML pages, resulting in faster load times and improved performance. This means that pages load almost instantly, which is crucial for improving user experience and reducing bounce rates.

Guardians of the Website

As a static site generator, Hugo offers enhanced security features compared to WordPress. Static sites are not vulnerable to the same types of attacks that dynamic sites like WordPress are, reducing the risk of hacking and malware infections. See my step-by-step guide on recovering a hacked WordPress site.

Matrix of SEO

Hugo’s static HTML pages also make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site, resulting in better SEO rankings. This is because the pages load faster, and the content is easier to read and understand for search engine bots.

Customization Royale

Hugo is customizable, which allows me to have more control over the website design and functionality. With WordPress, I was limited to the themes and plugins available, but with Hugo, I can create a website that is unique to my brand and vision.

The Sound of Jamstack

As mentioned earlier, the Jamstack is becoming increasingly popular, and Hugo is one of the most popular static site generators used in the Jamstack. The Jamstack, or JavaScript, APIs, and Markup, is a new architecture for building websites that delivers faster, more secure, and more scalable websites.

The Gitfather

While Hugo offers many benefits, it does require some technical skill to develop and deploy a website. Here are some of the skills required:

  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Familiarity with Git and GitHub for version control
  • Knowledge of static site generators
  • Understanding of Netlify for deployment and hosting

While these skills may seem daunting, they are worth the investment. Acquiring these skills can help you advance your career and enhance your personal growth.

How to Switch from WordPress to Hugo

If you’re interested in making the switch from WordPress to Hugo, the process is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Export your WordPress data
  2. Convert your WordPress data to Hugo format
  3. Convert your WordPress data to Hugo format
  4. Use Hugo to generate a static site
  5. Deploy your site on Netlify

To make this process easier, there are several tutorials and tools available online. I recommend checking out the following resources:

I’ve instead opted to let the talented engineers at ZenBiz Services take care of heavy-lifting on my behalf. A huge shoutout to the ZenBiz family!

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the switch to Hugo static site has been rewarding for me, it’s important to note that WordPress still has its use cases. WordPress offers a wide range of plugins and themes that can help non-technical users build and manage their websites, making it a powerful platform for those with evolving needs.

However, for those looking for more technical control and scalability, Hugo and the Jamstack architecture provide an excellent alternative to improve their technical skills and offer clients faster, more secure, and more customizable websites.

Originally published at https://kennethlo.ai.

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