I just finished migrating my website again for the fourth time. Yay! 🎉

The migration this time was driven by my inability to build my Hugo website using the Stack theme by @CaiJimmy because for some reason it cannot fetch the site templates for some pages. It probably has something to do with how the theme is distributed over Hugo modules and on GitHub since I cannot fetch the theme’s templates via the Hugo module method or the Git submodule method. With this, all that I’m left with is a site that cannot build and a previously deployed version on Netlify.

This is the first time I have been alerted to the risk to Hugo websites regarding this template issue. And this seems to be a common risk shared by all sites generated using Hugo from an externally developed theme. The probability of me encountering this risk again seems small but still possible.

On a side note, the last three Hugo migrations I did was because I did not fancy the style, nor the features associated with the theme I selected for long enough. The last three themes I tried was @dsrkafuu’s Fuji theme, @dillonzq’s LoveIt theme, and @adityatelange’s PaperMod theme. In the past before I knew/decided to use Hugo, I also tinkered with Jekyll themes, Gatsby and Next.js site templates, and even tried out WordPress using a DigitalOcean droplet and Namecheap’s (paid) hosting at first when I was learning how websites were deployed and how they worked.

Looking back, there was always something that I eventually discovered and learned about that would compel me to seek a better setup. It felt like when I started learning programming all over again. There was always the question of what the best choice is to make here. Instead of just getting started, I kept getting sidetracked trying to make the experience of my personal website better and suited to my tastes — i.e., shiny object syndrome (SOS).

On that note though, I did not regret learning about static site generators (SSG). I went from paying 5 or 6 USD/month for WordPress hosting to absolutely free (as in free beer) static site hosting. What I have is a personal blog. It’s not a website of a large corporation with millions of visitors every day. Hosting this should be inexpensive.1 In terms of possible costs saved, this is a HUGE win.

In hindsight, it was probably inevitable since I was largely ignorant of what’s possible to achieve with websites. It’s mind-bogglingly complexand I haven’t even touched JavaScript or Node.js yet!

Who knows if I will settle with my currently chosen theme of @reorx’s PaperModX theme (a fork of the earlier @adityatelange’s PaperMod theme)? So far it seems good enough for what I need currently. Maybe this time, I’ll add functionality myself instead of relying so much on the pre-made theme’s features out-of-the-box.


  1. I’m grateful that services like Netlify, Vercel, Cloudflare Pages, GitHub Pages, and Surge.sh exist. They make it possible for something amazing like hosting a website for free to be possible for students like me. ↩︎