Migrating from Jekyll to Hugo


For quite some time I have been thinking about migrating my (very small) website to the Hugo platform. Mostly because I admire the information rich structure of Kieran Healy’s website and he converted already from Jekyll to Hugo a while ago. Because my website is indeed quite small, it does not suffer from Jekyll oftentimes being slow. However, I needed some additional features of my Jekyll site (e.g., converting bibtex to a reference list), which could not automatically be rendered by Github which is my choice of deployment. Therefore, I used a rakefile which I did not completely understand, but resulting in asynchronous versions of source code and published website, which is undesirable. Finally, I have read somewhere that I can deploy my beloved .org files as well using Hugo, which seems almost brilliant.

Choosing a template

So I decided to convert my website to Hugo with a website design close to that of Kieran Healy. Interestingly, Kieran Healy based his website on Greg Restall’s consequently.org . There is a large amount of Hugo templates by now and the Hugo-Finite came closest to what I wanted (actually, this template is based on that of Greg Restall). Unfortunately, it still needed quite a lot of (css) work to get it in the shape I wanted. Then, by sheer accident, I stumbled upon the website of Rob J Hyndman , who had already worked on the Hugo-Finite template to make it look more like Kieran Healy’s website. Moreover, his template works in combination with bookdown , which might be handy, if I want to convert .rmd files in the future (say for education purposes), therefore I decided to copy his template and adapt it to my own needs.

The process & the result

To be honest, it took me quite a while to understand the structure of a Hugo template, especially with the various lay-outs. Moreover, it turned out that I had to make a markdown file for each publication separately, which is rather cumbersome. So, especially the seminars and publication sections still need quite some work. Moreover, adapting small things (get syntax highlighting correct for R, appropriately adapting the footer, starting to tamper with the css files), took me quite some time. However, the result looks already good (alhough still quite like that of Rob J Hyndman in terms of css). So I imagine that in the coming weeks I will work on this further and start change small pieces here and there. At the moment I am still quite unhappy about two things:

  • Deployment: At the moment I have to add, commit and push twice to Github (once for my source code and once for my published site). I need to change this by or using a Makefile or a shell script.
  • I need to think about how and whether to include a software page (for R packages and LaTeX chunks).
Thomas de Graaff
Associate professor in spatial economics

My research interests include network interactions, Bayesian multilevel models and reproducibility of research