Switching to a Static Site Generator

My website has been looking pretty sad lately. The last time I updated the design I was handcrafting everything to be valid XHTML and CSS and was recently done with my undergrad. (That’s relevant, because since then I haven’t had the same free time to keep current with web development.) So the website didn’t look so good on mobile.

This does. Now I’ve got a responsive website layout AND something that plays nice with Markdown. If you’ve sat next to me in a talk, you might have noticed me taking notes in Emacs or Atom using Markdown. I find it great to use plain text files with a little bit of syntactic regularity to how you mark things up (e.g. section headers, links, etc) and get something that is (1) useful as is and (2) (relatively) easy to transform into other formats (HTML, LaTeX, PDF, etc).

If you’re interested in following suit, the next section gives a brief introduction to the setup I’m using (shamelessly stolen from the creator) and links to get started.

About the framework I’m using

From the “Getting Started” page for the Academic theme/framework for Hugo:

The Academic framework enables you to easily create a beautifully simple personal or academic website using the Hugo static site generator.

Key features:

  • Easily manage your homepage, blog posts, publications, talks, and projects
  •   Configurable widgets available for Biography, Publications, Projects, News/Blog, Talks, and Contact
  •   Need a different section? Just use the Custom widget!
  •   Write in Markdown for easy formatting and code highlighting, with LaTeX for mathematical expressions
  •   Social/academic network linking, Google Analytics, and Disqus comments
  •   Responsive and mobile friendly
  •   Simple and refreshing one page design
  •   Easy to customize

For more information, check out George Cushen’s website about creating an academic site with Hugo+Academic.

Research Fellow in Natural Language Generation

Dave Howcroft is a computational linguist working at Edinburgh Napier University.