Goodbye Blogger, welcome Hugo

After six years on Google’s Blogger platform I migrated my blog to Hugo. Blogger was a great platform to start blogging, it was/ is very easy to set up, and perhaps most importantly I didn’t have to invest time or money to test if I enjoyed writing a blog.

However, over the last year or so, a couple of things started to annoy me so much that I stopped enjoying writing posts on Blogger.

For example, there is no easy way to bulk edit older posts (I wanted to change links from files hosted on public Dropbox folders elsewhere), or to write posts in Markdown or better RMarkdown. Inserting R code and plots was always a pain in Blogger. Spell checking and LaTeX support are limited and finally all my content felt locked in.

So, when I read about Hugo and blogdown earlier this year I was intrigued.

At the time I experimented a little with those tools and was very much impressed. I really liked the integration into RStudio. However, I understood as well that I would have to spend a little time in getting to know the new tools better. Also, I wasn’t sure how much work it would take to migrate my old content from Blogger to Hugo/blogdown - it turns out quite a bit.

Still, I noticed that others switched as well. I was impressed by the fact that Rob J Hyndman had migrated his site, altough from WordPress not Blogger.

Having waited a little wasn’t perhaps such a bad idea. There is now a lot of guidance available that help with the process. It wasn’t without pain, and some ugly bash scripts and quite a bit of trial and error. It took me about a week of spending a few hours every day, learning more about the new environments and making the changes, some of them manually.

But what is done is done, and I am glad to have made the transition. I feel more ownership about the site again. It is truly my own now, sitting on my hard-drive, with proper version control and hosted in the cloud for everyone to read. I hope it will motivate me again to write more in the future.


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