Hugo and Bulma

Posted on Sep 13, 2021

When I was thinking about reading web articles, there were few things that I considered crucial to have a good experience.

Among them are:

  • clean typography (good contrast, nice choice of fonts, proper thickness)
  • no ads nor other useless ‘interactive’ elements
  • fast loading time
  • straight and to the point, albeit some ranting is acceptable

From content-creating and maintaing point of view:

  • easily deployable
  • fast
  • usable both in windows and linux
  • simple

Hugo seemed like a proper choice. If I have to nitpick I’d say that docs are a little too complex to be called simple, especially Hugo templates lookup order seems like a total overkill (maybe backward compatibility with existing themes?). All in all, a very enjoyable piece of technology, albeit with some learning curve. Not as steep as VIM but just a little bit.

At first I chose pre-made theme from Hugo themes , but I admit it felt a little lackluster. Not bat, but I wasn’t fully satisfied. There were some js here and there, mostly used in mobile navigation. I wanted to get rid of it. The choice was creating theme from scratch using Bulma.io. Dusting off my frontend skills was pretty enjoyable experience, especially with Hugo handy asset management which allowed me to not re-learn webpack config syntax. One pain point was that Bulma’s navbar required some javascript to be functional, which I managed to remove, with some breakpoint wizardry and using short names for top links.

Bulma and Hugo pros:

  • simplicity
  • no js whatsoever - not needed to read content
  • Hugo scss pipes allow to compile SCSS and inline output css to avoid FOUC altogether
  • both are very fast in their respective domain
  • Bulma docs are a delight to read
  • Hugo Git lastmod means that updating blog posts with git commit will change their modification date, which is very handy, because I like updating

Some nitpicks:

  • bulma not strictly no-js - navbar case
  • I think that Hugo templates seem to be a little more complex that they should be

Summary:

Both Hugo and Bulma are great.