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What is Hugo?

Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It is optimized for speed, easy use and configurability. Hugo takes a directory with content and templates and renders them into a full html website. Hugo makes use of markdown files with front matter for meta data.

What is Jekyll?

Think of Jekyll as a file-based CMS, without all the complexity. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and spits out a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories.

What is Metalsmith?

In Metalsmith, all of the logic is handled by plugins. You simply chain them together. Since everything is a plugin, the core library is actually just an abstraction for manipulating a directory of files.
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    What are some alternatives to Hugo, Jekyll, and Metalsmith?
    Hexo is a fast, simple and powerful blog framework. It parses your posts with Markdown or other render engine and generates static files with the beautiful theme. All of these just take seconds.
    The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
    Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future.
    A minimalistic static site generator with a Vue-powered theming system, and a default theme optimized for writing technical documentation. It was created to support the documentation needs of Vue's own sub projects.
    Middleman is a command-line tool for creating static websites using all the shortcuts and tools of the modern web development environment.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Hugo, Jekyll, and Metalsmith
    Josh Dzielak
    Josh Dzielak
    Developer Advocate at DeveloperMode · | 5 upvotes · 62.9K views

    Earlier this year, I migrated my personal website ( from Jekyll to Hugo. My goal with the migration was to make the development environment as pleasant as possible and to make it really easy to add new types of content. For example, I knew I wanted to add a consulting page and some portfolio-style pages to show off talks I had given and projects I had worked on.

    I had heard about how fast Hugo was, so I tried it out with my content after using a simple migration tool. The results were impressive - the startup and rebuild times were in milliseconds, making the process of iterating on content or design less cumbersome. Then I started to see how I could use Hugo to create new page types and was very impressed by the flexibility of the content model. It took me a few days to really understand where content should go with Hugo, but then I felt very confident that I could create many different types of pages - even multiple blogs if I wanted - using a consistent syntax and with full control of the layouts and the URLs.

    After about 6 months, I've been very happy with the results of the migration. The dev environment is light and fast and I feel at ease adding new pages and sections to the site.

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    Todd Gardner
    Todd Gardner
    President at TrackJS · | 4 upvotes · 510.2K views
    GitHub Pages
    GitHub Pages
    Read the Docs
    Read the Docs

    We recently needed to rebuild our documentation site, currently built using Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages. We wanted to update the content and refresh the style to make it easier to find answers.

    We considered hosted services that could accept our markdown content, like and Read the Docs, however both seemed expensive for essentially hosting the same platform we already had for free.

    I also looked at the Gatsby Static Site generator to modernize Jekyll. I don't think this is a fit, as our documentation is relatively simple and relies heavily on Markdown. Jekyll excels at Markdown, while Gatsby seemed to struggle with it.

    We chose to stick with the current platform and just refresh our template and style with some add-on JavaScript.

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    Reviews of Hugo, Jekyll, and Metalsmith
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    How developers use Hugo, Jekyll, and Metalsmith
    Avatar of Wing Tang Wong
    Wing Tang Wong uses HugoHugo

    The Static Content Generator engine, Hugo, is what I use to convert the Markdown content of my site into HTML for serving to the public.

    Using Hugo as a backend to generate content for a statically hosted frontend reduces the security risk of hosting a dynamically interactive site.

    Avatar of Bob P
    Bob P uses JekyllJekyll

    With limited knowledge of CSS/HTML5, Jekyll makes it easy to create templates for static HTML5 sites. Unless I really need a database for something, this is the tool I prefer for standing up websites.

    Avatar of David Somers
    David Somers uses JekyllJekyll

    I settled on Jekyll to be the CMS for my research blog. Out of the box it works, and over time I added to it... why write a dissertation when you can instead hack templates to tweak things.

    Avatar of ioi0
    ioi0 uses JekyllJekyll

    This static site generator is used with "contentful-import" ruby plugin, which allows to fetch data from Contentfull and generate new web-pages based on it. Easy and fun to use.

    Avatar of CloudRepo
    CloudRepo uses JekyllJekyll

    We wanted to pay the cost for website generation up front. Doing this allows us to put our website up in AWS S3 where it can be served reliably and for cheap.

    Avatar of Sud Web
    Sud Web uses JekyllJekyll

    We use Jekyll to build our website. We created a collection for talks. We handle speakers and sponsors via data files.

    Avatar of Secumail
    Secumail uses MetalsmithMetalsmith

    Liked the approach the best of all SSR's out there, integrated it with Gulp for one single build pipeline

    Avatar of Giant Swarm
    Giant Swarm uses HugoHugo

    We use Hugo to build our documentation website based on Markdown content.

    Avatar of Loog
    Loog uses HugoHugo

    We use Hugo to generate all of our secondary sites including documentation, blog and help center.

    Avatar of Yoandy Rodriguez
    Yoandy Rodriguez uses HugoHugo

    Hugo is my favorite static site generator. It's the engine behind my personal blog.

    Avatar of Zetaops
    Zetaops uses HugoHugo

    REST Backend developed for location data access.

    Avatar of DroneDeploy
    DroneDeploy uses MetalsmithMetalsmith

    Static site generation from various sources.

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