How to Start a Personal Blog With Hugo a Static Site Generator Written in Go (Part 1)

Let's build a static website from scratch

The purpose of this article is to help you setup a personal blog as quickly as possible. These are the instructions and notes I’ve written down when setting up my site that I’d like to share.


Before I begin, I am assuming you are an intermediate computer user and that you are familiar with the following technologies:

  • Linux Commands
  • Git / Github
  • HTML

If you are an absolute beginning this article might be a challenge for you.

What is a static site generator (SSG)?

Please read this article to get an understanding of the theory. Once you finish read, continue with this article to get the application.


Install Golang

If you haven’t already installed Golang begin by installing Golang onto your computer.

Install Hugo

Please go over to the developer website for Hugo and follow along in the installation instructions page to get Hugo setup on your machine.


Once your prerequisites have been met, continue with instructions here.

  1. Open up your favourite terminal and start by going into your directory where you want work from.

    We will be using the folder structure consistent with GitHub and Golang as follows:

    cd $HOME/go/src/
  2. Next use hugo command to create our site. I chose the bartlomiejmika prefix and -hugo suffix to structure the name. Please replace the prefix with your websites domain name (ex: johnsmith):

    $ hugo new site bartlomiejmika-hugo
  3. Go into the directory and initialize git repository.

    $ cd bartlomiejmika-hugo
    $ git init
  4. Pick a theme! This is the best part, Hugo has a lot of different themes choose from. Please go to this link and pick a theme you like. For this blog post I will be choosing beautifulhugo. Also please note that some themes might have different installation instructions so please follow them. Here is the instructions for the theme we selected:

    $ cd themes
    $ git submodule add beautifulhugo
  5. Create your first blog post!

    $ cd ../
    $ hugo new posts/
  6. Copy the contents from this sample post file into your file located at content/posts/

  7. Copy the contents from this sample configuration file into your config file located at config.toml.

  8. Let’s confirm our site works by running the hugo server command which will generate the site and run it. Please note everytime you make a change in your any file the hugo server will hotreload the site with your latest content. Also note the -D flag enables draft articles which you are writing to be displayed on the site:

    hugo server -D
  9. Open your browsers and visit http://localhost:1313/ to view your site. If something appears then congratulations you have setup your site! The next step is you’ll need to look through the project and spend time customizing it.

  10. Create a new repo in github and call it bartlomiejmika-hugo, copy the HTTPS address (see below) Custom Domain Setting

    Add it as the remote git server for this project with the following command.

    $ git remote add origin
  11. Commit all your code and you should be good!

    $ git add --all;
    $ git commit -m 'Initial commit';
    $ git push origin master;
  12. You are finished. This means you can now start writing blogs on your local machine for now. When you are ready to publish your site to the internet, please follow the instructions in part 2 of this series.

Thank you and have a great day!