Hugo: Beyond the Defaults

Series: Hugo 101

In my last post, I had deployed what is almost the most basic Hugo site possible. The only reason it took more than 10 minutes is because I wanted to tweak the theme. However, there were a few things that immediately annoyed me.

I didn’t like having to type hugo -t hyde all the time. Well, turns out that’s not necessary. You can just put theme = "hyde" in your site config, and never need to type it again. Sweet. Now to run the local server, I can just run hugo server -w, and for final generation, I can just run hugo.

Next is that my posts were under … which is not the end of the world, but I really like seeing the date in post URLs, so that it’s easy to tell if I’m looking at something really, really old. So, I went about looking at how to do that. Turns out, it’s trivial. Hugo has a feature called permalinks, where you can define the format of the url for a section (a section is a top level division of your site, denoted by a top level folder under content/). So, all you have to do is, in your site’s config file, put some config that looks like this:

    post = "/:year/:month/:filename/"
    code = "/:filename/"

While we’re at it, I had been putting my code in the top level content directory, because I wanted it available at …. however there’s no need to do that, I can put the code under the code directory and just give it a permalink to show at the top level of the site. Bam, awesome, done.

One note: Don’t forget the slash at the end of the permalink.

But wait, this will move my “Hugo is Friggin’ Awesome” post to a different URL, and Steve Francia already tweeted about it with the old URL. I don’t want that url to send people to a 404 page! Aliases to the rescue. Aliases are just a way to make redirects from old URLs to new ones. So I just put aliases = ["/post/hugo-is-awesome/"] in the metadata at the top of that post, and now links to there will redirect to the new location. Awesome.

Ok, so cool… except that I don’t really want the content for my blog posts under content/post/ … I’d prefer them under content/blog, but still be of type “post”. So let’s change that too. This is pretty easy, just rename the folder from post to blog, and then set up an archetype to default the metadata under /blog/ to type = “post”. Archetypes are default metadata for a section, so in this case, I make a file archetypes/ and add type= “post” to the archetype’s metadata, and now all my content created with hugo new blog/ will be prepopulated as type “post”. (does it matter if the type is post vs. blog? no. But it matters to me ;)

@mlafeldt on Twitter pointed out my RSS feed was wonky…. wait, I have an RSS feed? Yes, Hugo has that too. There are feed XML files automatically output for most listing directories… and the base feed for the site is a list of recent content. So, I looked at what Hugo had made for me (index.xml in the root output directory)… this is not too bad, but I don’t really like the title, and it’s including my code content in the feed as well as posts, which I don’t really want. Luckily, this is trivial to fix. The RSS xml file is output using a Go template just like everything else in the output. It’s trivial to adjust the template so that it only lists content of type “post”, and tweak the feed name, etc.

I was going to write about how I got the series stuff at the bottom of this page, but this post is long enough already, so I’ll just make that into its own post, as the next post in the series! :)

This is a post in the Hugo 101 series.
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