July 01, 2019

Migrating my website from Hugo to Gatsby

Hey, before you start reading! I am in the market, looking for new freelance employment opportunities. If you need assistance on any of your ASP.NET Core projects, I am available for hire for freelance work.


Since starting with this website in 2013, I have used various blogging platforms. I initially started with WordPress, then moved to Statamic, and then later to Hugo. There is no real rational reason for these changes, other than the fact that I have always considered my personal website to be a bit of a playground to experiment with things.

I have decided to make a change again and switch my website from Hugo to Gatsby. As of the writing of this particular blog post on 1 July 2019, my website is still running on Hugo, so consider this the start of the journey. I’ll be blogging about my experience as I go along.

The decision to go with Gatsby

I want to quickly discuss my reasons for going with Gatsby over any of the other potential options out there.

1. It is a chance to learn React

I have never made use of React, but I have been interested in learning it for a long time. Gatsby is based on React, so, even though I guess I am strictly not learning React itself, I will be learning about many of the concepts which make up a React application. These are skills that I can use later, should the opportunity arrive to use React in a proper project.

2. I will have more control

With Hugo, I would run into issues every so often in that I cannot do things that fall outside of the structure of the underlying framework. One such example was when I was trying to create the sidebar for the Airport Explorer book. I had to deal with Hugo’s proprietary syntax and ran into several limitations, and even though I managed to produce something acceptable in the end, it was not a pleasant experience.

With Gatsby, on the other hand, I have access to the full power of the JavaScript, React and Gatsby ecosystems. I believe this will make it much easier to bend it to my will.

3. The Gatsby ecosystem is extensive

As mentioned in the previous point, the Gatsby ecosystem is extensive. The Gatsby website lists, at the time of writing this, over 900 plugins that are available for you to use. Add to that the fact that you also have the React and JavaScript ecosystems at your disposal, and I think the possibilities become endless.

The plan

So, the plan of action is first to create a website that has parity with the current one. I have also been itching to use Tailwind for a while, so I’ll be using that for the styling and theming of the website.

Once that is in place, I plan to add some more features to the website, such as blog series, more books, integration with Algolia etc.

I hope you’ll learn with me along the way. Stay tuned!

Follow me on Twitter @jerriepelser for tweets about coding and building a Saas.