Michelle Vossen

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Jekyll vs Hugo vs MkDocs


  • https://jekyllrb.com/
  • The static site generator that I ended up using. This documentation site is generated with Jekyll using this theme. I had to rename all of my posts, because Jekyll naming conventions indicate that every post has to start with the date. I also had to change some of the way I linked to images because of the baseurl that I used (/documentation) and apparently Jekyll did not like that. It also took me a while before I figured out how to create tags and categories pages, since Hugo generates these automatically. With Jekyll you have to be more specific with what you want to be displayed on a page, but this gives a lot of freedom once you figured out how to use it. I could shape the website exactly how I wanted using a minimal theme and changing the SCSS and layouts slightly. You can also embed HTML into your markdown files (Kramdown processes these for you) and style it using SCSS.


  • https://gohugo.io/
  • This is what I started with, fairly easy to use and very fast, but I spend way too much time trying to find a theme that I liked and that I could also easily adapt to my preferences. I did not want to learn Go or to create a whole new theme, I only wanted to change existing themes. None of the themes had the structure and aesthetic that I wanted for my site so I decided to try MkDocs.


  • https://www.mkdocs.org/
  • very basic, not many themes available but pretty straightforward. I got it to work quite fast with my existing Hugo project but there are barely any themes available. I used it for about a week because it was clear to use: the folder structure I had was immediately visible in the side menu. After that week I decided this would not work as it was just not aesthetically pleasing and that is quite important to me as a designer, so I switched to Jekyll.