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Blogging in Hugo

In this Hugo tutorial you will learn how to create a blog with Hugo content and layouts.

By Mike Neumegen

A blog in Hugo is relatively straightforward. It consists of a page that lists all the blog posts, and a series of content pages with a date for the posts. That’s all there is to it.

Creating a blog list page

You’re going to see how the layouts hierarchies work with this example.

Create a directory called posts in your /content/ directory, and inside that, create a file called _index.md with the following:

---
title: Blog
---

_index.md — remember what that means? It’s a table of contents file, and in this case it will be listing your posts. At the moment, it’s going to try to use the /layouts/_default/list.html layout. You don’t want to use this layout as this page doesn’t have any content. Instead, you’ll want to create a new layout specifically for listing posts.

The way the Hugo layout hierarchy works is it will first look for a layout that matches the current section (think of section as the directory), then fall back to the global default in _default. In other words, we can create a new directory called posts in the layouts directory, and inside create list.html with the following content:

{{ define "main" }}
<h1>My posts</h1>
<ul>
{{ range .Pages }}
<li>
<a href="{{ .Permalink }}">{{ .Title }}</a> - {{ .Date.Format "January 2, 2006" }}
</li>
{{ end }}
</ul>
{{ end }}

There are few new concepts here; let me explain.

  1. A list page (_index.html) has an array of all its children pages with the variable .Pages.
  2. .Date has format called on it and gets passed a random date in 2006. Why is that? It’s a quirk of Go for formatting dates.
  3. .Permalink can be called on any page to get its end URL. It’s particularly useful if you want to link to a page.

That’s all we need for our list page. Let’s move onto a post.

Creating a post

We’ve already done the hard part. Let’s get this blog finished by creating a few posts.

The posts live in the /content/posts directory and don’t require any special naming convention. One tip I like to encourage is adding the date of the post to the file name. Hugo will completely ignore it, but it helps when you have find a post amongst hundreds of others.

Let’s create three blog posts to get you started.

/content/posts/2022-04-03-i-like-to-roar.md

---
title: I like to roar
date: 2022-04-03

---

Hi, quick update from me. I just want to let everyone know that I like roaring.

/content/posts/2022-04-02-today-i-made-friends.md

---
title: Today I made friends
date: 2022-04-02

---

I got lost in the woods today. Two friends, a Meerkat and a Warthog, found me,
sung a song with me and gave my life new meaning. Today was a good day.

/content/posts/2022-04-01-vegan-experiment.md

---
title: Vegan experiment
date: 2022-04-01

---

I tried to become a vegan today. I made it to lunch time and couldn't bear the
sight of another green leaf. Yuck!

Just like the blog list page, these posts will try to use /layouts/_default/single.html. Let’s create a layout specifically for posts at /layouts/posts/single.html with the following:

{{ define "main" }}
<h1>{{ .Params.Title }}</h1>
<p>{{ .Date.Format "January 2, 2006" }}</p>
{{ .Content }}
{{ end }}

Finally, let’s add the blog to the navigation. Open /layouts/partials/nav.html and add another item:

<li><a href="/posts/">Blog</a></li>

Run hugo serve, open the site in a browser and view your masterpiece.

What’s next?

In our final lesson, we will use Hugo Data files to populate a map with your favorite vacation spots.