Hugo on Netlify

Hugo is a fast and flexible open source static site generator written in Go.

# Key features

These features provide important benefits for Hugo sites, including ones built and deployed with Netlify.

  • Build speed. Hugo boasts near-instant build times of less than one millisecond per page. For large sites with a lot of pages, this can translate into significant time savings during site development and Netlify build and deploy processes.
  • Choice of themes. The Hugo ecosystem includes a wide range of premade themes for styling static content.
  • Robust templating. Hugo uses Go templates with html/template and text/template libraries to control templating.
  • Instant previews. The LiveReload tool is integrated into Hugo for a hot reloading experience during development.
  • URL management. Hugo has built-in support for URL manipulations and redirects.
  • Functions and variables. When building out templates, you can use Go functions, built-in Hugo-specific functions, and a variety of variables.

# Netlify integration

Hugo sites on Netlify can benefit from automatic framework detection and control over Hugo version selection. They also require theme setup considerations.

# Automatic framework detection

When you link a repository for a project, Netlify tries to detect the framework your site is using. If your site is built with Hugo, Netlify provides a suggested build command and publish directory: hugo and public. If you’re using the CLI to run Netlify Dev for a local development environment, Netlify also suggests a dev command and port: hugo server -w and 1313. You can override suggested values or set them in a configuration file instead, but automatic framework detection may help simplify the process of setting up a site on Netlify.

# Hugo version

By default we’ll use the Hugo version that is preinstalled in your site’s initial build image. Because the preinstalled version may not match your local version, we recommend setting a HUGO_VERSION environment variable. You can set the variable to the version string for any released version after 0.19, for example, 0.80.0.

  1. First, confirm your local Hugo version with hugo version.

  2. Then add an environment variable in the Netlify UI or in a Netlify configuration file.

    • In the Create a new site page, select Show advanced. This provides access to Advanced build settings, where you can create the environment variable while linking your site.
    • Alternatively, add the following to netlify.toml in your site’s base directory, where YOUR_HUGO_VERSION is a version string such as 0.80.0.
        command = "hugo"
        publish = "public"

Failed build?

If you get an error with exit code: 255 when building a Hugo site on Netlify, remember to set HUGO_VERSION to the version you are using locally.

# Hugo themes

Hugo themes work by default on Netlify. Like any continuous integration system, however, Netlify can’t use a theme installed by the git clone method. Instead, you should install a Hugo theme for your site as a git submodule. The Hugo docs provide more information.

Here’s an example:

git init
git submodule add

# More resources