Moving to Hugo
It is exciting to see how R is intruding (in a positive way) into multiple areas. Software development is tackled with
Shiny and several other packages are extremely useful for web-development. While
distill packages are doing great job at producing standardized outputs such as E-books, online documentation and scientific articles, I was under the impression that
blogdown package is limited to just (semi)standardized template-based website. I could not be further away from the truth.
From what I saw initially a lot of
blogdown websites look very similar to each other and “static” nature of Hugo was somewhat misselled by Netlify and Wowchemy. I think this is due to the fact that many of R users are not web-developers and can be hardly comfortable with HTML/JS/CSS. Such audience can be really happy with the simplicity provided by
blogdown and Netlify/Github pages hosting solutions. But personally, I was not convinced: how can something be “static” if it requires Hugo to run on the webserver? How is it better compared to many theming options that Wordpress can provide?
Even though hosting issues were clarified from the documentation, there still was a final missing piece of a puzzle: am I tied to a limited built-in theming options? These doubts were resolved after I found an article from Jacqueline Nolis. It was really pleasant to change and expand almost every aspect of the site. Adding CSS framework such as
Bootstrap saves a lot of time and built in Hugo functionality reminded me the best from MODx Revolution, another CMS that was very fun to work with.
In a different article I will summarize the main steps for someone who wants to make a truly custom site with Hugo and
blogdown. For now take a look at the results. Dynamic content is not captured by the screenshots, but you can check the main page: all moving parts are in place and they are not a part of a standard Hugo template.