Creating a Website Using Hugo and Github Pages

Welcome, STEMinist readers! Today, we’ll dive into crafting a website with Hugo (a cool static site generator) and hosting it on GitHub Pages. Let’s get started!

1. Install Hugo on your computer.

First off, you need to install Hugo on your machine. For PC users, Chocolatey is your best friend, and for macOS, Homebrew has got your back.

// For PC
choco install hugo-extended

// For macOS
brew install hugo

If you haven’t been introduced to Chocolatey or Homebrew yet, check out the alternative installation methods for Hugo.

2. Pick a Hugo Theme

Hugo has an impressive library of templates. Take a peek, grab something that vibes with you, and snag the code from GitHub as a zip file. For instance, I’m rocking the LoveIt template for this blog.

3.Set Up Your GitHub Repository

Time to create a public GitHub repository for your site. From there, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Pages’. Enable Pages and under ‘Build and Deployment’, select ‘GitHub Actions’ in the source dropdown.

4. Tidy Up Your Repository

Add a .gitignore file with the following entries:


Next up, we’re creating a .github folder with a workflows subfolder. Inside workflows, we’ll need a hugo.yaml file.

5. Set Up GitHub Pages Workflow

Alright, we’ll populate hugo.yaml with the following code (as found in Hugo’s guide to deployment), which will get your GitHub Pages workflow in gear:

  # Sample workflow for building and deploying a Hugo site to GitHub Pages
  name: Deploy Hugo site to Pages

    # Runs on pushes targeting the default branch
        - main

    # Allows you to run this workflow manually from the Actions tab

  # Sets permissions of the GITHUB_TOKEN to allow deployment to GitHub Pages
    contents: read
    pages: write
    id-token: write

  # Allow only one concurrent deployment, skipping runs queued between the run in-progress and latest queued.
  # However, do NOT cancel in-progress runs as we want to allow these production deployments to complete.
    group: "pages"
    cancel-in-progress: false

  # Default to bash
      shell: bash

    # Build job
      runs-on: ubuntu-latest
        HUGO_VERSION: 0.111.3
        - name: Install Hugo CLI
          run: |
            wget -O ${{ runner.temp }}/hugo.deb${HUGO_VERSION}/hugo_extended_${HUGO_VERSION}_linux-amd64.deb \
            && sudo dpkg -i ${{ runner.temp }}/hugo.deb            
        - name: Install Dart Sass Embedded
          run: sudo snap install dart-sass-embedded
        - name: Checkout
          uses: actions/checkout@v3
            submodules: recursive
            fetch-depth: 0
        - name: Setup Pages
          id: pages
          uses: actions/configure-pages@v3
        - name: Install Node.js dependencies
          run: "[[ -f package-lock.json || -f npm-shrinkwrap.json ]] && npm ci || true"
        - name: Build with Hugo
            # For maximum backward compatibility with Hugo modules
            HUGO_ENVIRONMENT: production
            HUGO_ENV: production
          run: |
            hugo \
              --gc \
              --minify \
              --baseURL "${{ steps.pages.outputs.base_url }}/"            
        - name: Upload artifact
          uses: actions/upload-pages-artifact@v1
            path: ./public

    # Deployment job
        name: github-pages
        url: ${{ steps.deployment.outputs.page_url }}
      runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      needs: build
        - name: Deploy to GitHub Pages
          id: deployment
          uses: actions/deploy-pages@v2

6. Bring In the Hugo Template

Unzip your downloaded Hugo template code into the root folder of your GitHub repository. Your folder structure should look something like this:

├── .github
│   ├── workflows
│   │   ├── hugo.yaml
│   ├── css
│   │   ├── **/*.css
│   ├── images
│   ├── js
│   ├── index.html
├── .gitignore 
├── content
├── resources
├── themes
│   ├── [Theme Name]
└── config.toml 

Keep in mind that folders like content, resources, themes, and files like config.toml may vary based on the theme you’ve chosen.

7. Personalize Your Theme

Now, tweak your theme as per its specific documentation. Run hugo serve from your project’s root (where config.toml resides) to preview your site locally.

8. Commit and Push Changes

Happy with your tweaks? Commit and push ’em to your GitHub repository. Pro tip: run hugo serve before pushing changes to make sure everything’s copacetic.

9. Verify Deployment

Head over to “Actions” in your GitHub repository. Under “All Workflows”, find the run corresponding to your latest commit. Once complete, its indicator should turn green.

10. Take a Peek at Your Live Website

Click on your latest commit message. Under “deploy”, you’ll find the link to your newly-minted website. Go ahead and check it out!

And there it is! You’ve just built and deployed a website using Hugo and GitHub Pages. Your site will update automatically with each new change that’s pushed. Enjoy your new digital presence and happy coding!