Drupal Web

From Drupal to Hugo

After 10 years using Drupal as my blogging platform, I have decided switch to Hugo, a static site generator. I don’t have the time to maintain a VPS server and keep Drupal updated and secure. I decided that I want to focus on writing and less on maintenance of the architecture powering my blog.

Drupal is a great CMS that enables you to build sites with little to no coding. After 10 years of Drupal site building, I have noted that few clients use the CMS functionality. Most clients still call me up to make changes on their sites. I have also noticed is that it takes a lot of time to keep Drupal sites updated with the latest security patches. I am a part time developer with a full-time day job. Sometimes I do not login into my server that hosts my Drupal sites for several weeks. This is not ideal from a security perspective. I don’t think this is just a Drupal problem but an issue with all CMSs built on a platform that needs constant updates. I just happen to use Drupal.

I have also come to accept that most websites are simple. The business or products offered on the website might be sophisticated but most sites are still simple. The typical organisational website I have built consists of the following pages:

  • Welcome page
  • Our staff page
  • Services or products page
  • Contact us page

My blog is no different. The bulk of the work in building the site is loading the content and styling the pages. Styling a page in Drupal requires you to have a working PHP environment along with a web server. You also need to know the Drupal theming functions. This is too much overhead for simple sites. With Hugo you I don’t have to set up an environment. Hugo comes as an exe with no dependencies. You just put the file somewhere in your classpath. Styling your site with Hugo involves working with your stylesheets and HTML. All you need is a text editor and your browser. I will do a follow-up blog on why I chose Hugo.

To summarise I switched to Hugo for two reasons which both free up my time when compared to a Drupal setup. You don’t have to maintain a server for your static sites. You can host your site for free using Github pages. I host my site for a few cents a month on Amazon S3. I don’t have to worry that my site is going to be hacked. You don’t need extra software other than a browser and a text editor to create sites using Hugo. I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t have any excuses for not blogging more often. Time will tell.

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