I used the Hugo templating framework to build this site, and will list some of the pros/cons that I noticed.
Hugo originally got my attention on HN, through various projects builing landing pages with the framework. Kubernetes also migrated their docs to Hugo recently, citing scaling issues with Jekyll. I was considering using Next.js to make a markdown/jsx-based site, but Hugo was both less complex and more easily scalable than a minimalist node or React website.
Speed. The Go compiler with hot-reload are built-in and extrememly nice, and give a static folder that is easy to deploy.
Themes. Community-built themes take away the need to spend days configuring custom css. I built the generic site in about 5 hours, which is mostly because now I don’t have to spend a week tweaking the css to deviate satisfactorly from the bootstrap generics.
Opinionated: The framework has expected ways to structure your project and organize your articles. I am personally not interested in spending a long time trying to think about the optimal way to modularize and structure a blog website. The writers of Hugo were interested in that, and they spent several years optimizing that, and I’d rather not try to reinvent the wheel.
Flexible: Hugo has mechanisms to let you customize markdown files with html to the extent that it’s possible.
Docs. The written and video tutorials try to be helpful, but are lacking. It’s a new framework, and it seems like the expected user has to have a strong grasp of front-end development for Hugo to seem approachable. Stackoverflow and their in-house forums weren’t terrbily helpful.
Flexible: Markdown rarely needs special-use code, so the overhead of learning how to use the templating, parameter binding, and shortcoding is sort of a downside of Hugo. I think if the docs were better (maybe it’s just me) it would be a much clearer upside.
Templating language: I personally don’t like the templating syntax style. It’s kind of like Jinja. I think there are alternatives, but if you want to stick close to the docs you have to use the default.
I hope that Hugo will gain traction and be able to mature as a framework. The logic behind the article structuring is there, but I think the docs could do a better job of explaining more thoroughly how to implement advanced features.
Moving forward I might rely more on trying to look at existing projects to see how they structure themselves. There’s a limit to how complex a blogging website can be, and I think it will be worth my time to try to learn one framework extremely well to save myself startup costs in the future.