HugoConf 2022

Photo illustration of Hugo logo

At CloudCannon we always focus on using the right tool for the job. (And if we can’t find the right tool, we build it!) When we added Hugo support to our CMS more than a year ago we knew that there was a dedicated community of developers who felt strongly about Hugo, its lightning build speeds, and its ability to create lean and performant static websites.

Despite the growth of the JavaScript-based static site generators (Next.js, Nuxt, Gatsby, Eleventy among them), Hugo’s continued relevance on the web as we know it — and the web as it will be in the coming years — is assured not just by its build speeds and continued development by Bjørn Erik Pedersen, but by the strength of its global community.

Why HugoConf?

The Hugo community is widespread, both online and offline. The CloudCannon team (and among us, several ardent Hugo fans), felt we needed an event to celebrate our favorite Hugo sites, stacks, themes and tools. So we made one. We reached out to a wide range of people involved in Hugo development, and through the Hugo communities on GitHub, Discourse, Reddit, and Twitter, as well as many smaller private Hugo groups and mailing lists.

Over the past few months we’ve put a lot of resources into HugoConf. From our initial idea to create and run a conference, to designing and building the conference website, creating promo videos, administering the scores of proposals for talks and workshops, and finally a very busy couple of days making everything fell into place smoothly, it’s been a lot of work. But it’s a labor of love, honestly — it’s easy to be excited about sharing something we use (and appreciate) every day. 

Our HugoConf highlights

We were particularly excited to have Steve Francia, the creator of Hugo, take part in a live Q&A with our host Mike Neumegen. Mike’s something of a static site generator historian, and his enthusiasm for Steve’s original plans and process shone throughout their conversation. Steve, for his part, shared his delight that Hugo has taken on such a life of its own, thanks to the community of users and Bjørn Erik Pedersen’s many and varied contributions.

Perhaps most interesting of all was when Steve told Mike that he’d originally started the Hugo project for his own blog, as a way to learn more about the Go programming language. As Bryce Wray wrote in his own HugoConf wrapup post, may all learning experiences yield such great results!

We presented three talks and a workshop at HugoConf ourselves, and while you’ll hear more about some of them in the coming weeks, here’s a quick run-down for posterity:

Autonomy for content editors

I spoke about how CloudCannon solves problems for Hugo developers who work with non-technical content teams by providing live-rendering editing and component-based page building tools.

How Bookshop can help you

Liam Bigelow then ran a workshop showing exactly how Bookshop brings these amazing features to a vanilla Hugo site, and how it can change development and content workflows for everyone using Hugo.

Pagefind: static search that scales

Liam also introduced Pagefind, our newest open-source tool for static search, to the world. Pagefind will change the way search runs on static sites, with minimal network payloads and blazingly fast results even on extremely large or complex sites.

HABIT Stack: component-based development

Finally, Jan Claasen introduced his favorite Hugo toolset, which he calls HABIT stack (Hugo, Alpine.js, Bookshop, i18n, and TailwindCSS), and discussed how component-based development helps him work more efficiently for his clients.

It feels like we all achieved a lot, to be honest. As a community we shared our discoveries, learned new dev tricks, saw fresh approaches to Hugo we could adapt for our own workflows, and were introduced to new tools and services that work with Hugo. (If you missed anything, you can watch all of the videos at the HugoConf site, or on YouTube through our HugoConf playlist.) 

And it’s been particularly gratifying to see the wider community’s response to the conference — we ended the conference with more than 500 registered participants from at least 49 countries, and our livestreams buzzed with active chatter. And then, suddenly it was all over and people started asking us about next year.

So, with next year firmly in mind:

HugoConf 2023

It’s going to happen again.

CloudCannon will host and sponsor HugoConf again next year. It’ll be bigger and better, and we’ll enjoy it even more. We’ll announce more information closer to the time, both here and to registered subscribers via HugoConf.io.

In the meantime, I’ll keep running the @hugoconf Twitter account to signal-boost and discuss Hugo news and release notes, as well as share the community’s tutorials, tips, tricks, and tools.

After all, the web gets better the more we share and celebrate the tools we love to use, and CloudCannon’s here for Hugo devs. (And for everyone else, as well!)

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