Hugo vs. Jekyll: A Comprehensive Comparison for Web Developers

Table Of Contents


In recent years, static site generators have gained popularity among web developers for their simplicity, speed, and security. Two leading static site generators are Hugo and Jekyll. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of these two popular platforms to help web developers make an informed decision when choosing between them.

Installation and Setup

Installing Hugo

Prerequisites: Hugo requires minimal prerequisites, such as having the latest version of the Go programming language installed on your system. Installation process: Hugo offers a straightforward installation process using package managers like Homebrew or Chocolatey, or by downloading the binary file from the official website.

Installing Jekyll

Prerequisites: Jekyll requires Ruby, RubyGems, and Node.js installed on your system. Installation process: Jekyll can be installed using the RubyGems package manager with a simple command.

Comparing ease of installation and setup: Hugo has fewer prerequisites and a simpler installation process, making it more accessible for beginners.


Build times

Hugo’s build times: Hugo is known for its lightning-fast build times, handling thousands of pages in seconds. Jekyll’s build times: Jekyll has slower build times, especially for larger sites.

Site speed

Factors affecting site speed: The speed of a static site depends on factors like the hosting provider, content delivery network, and site optimizations. Performance comparison between Hugo and Jekyll: Both platforms generate static HTML files, resulting in similar site speeds. However, Hugo’s faster build times can provide a better development experience.


Handling large sites with Hugo: Hugo’s fast build times make it suitable for large sites with thousands of pages.

Handling large sites with Jekyll: Jekyll’s slower build times can be a challenge when working with large sites.

Theming and Customization

Hugo themes

Theme availability: Hugo has a growing collection of free and premium themes available on its official website. Customizing Hugo themes: Hugo uses Go templates, which may require a learning curve for developers unfamiliar with the language.

Jekyll themes

Theme availability: Jekyll has a wide variety of themes available, including many popular free options. Customizing Jekyll themes: Jekyll uses Liquid templates, which are widely used in other platforms like Shopify, making them more accessible for developers.

Both platforms offer a variety of themes, but Jekyll has a more extensive selection. Jekyll’s Liquid templates are also more familiar to many developers, making customization easier.

Extensibility and Plugins

Hugo’s built-in features and shortcodes: Hugo has many built-in features and shortcodes that allow for extended functionality without needing additional plugins.

Jekyll’s plugins and Liquid templates: Jekyll relies on plugins for extended functionality, offering a large library of plugins to choose from.

While Hugo has many built-in features, Jekyll’s plugin ecosystem offers more customization options, providing flexibility depending on your needs.

Community and Support

Hugo’s community and resources: Hugo has an active community with plenty of documentation, tutorials, and forums for support.

Jekyll’s community and resources: Jekyll has a large and active community, with extensive documentation, tutorials, and support channels.

Comparing the support networks for both platforms: Both Hugo and Jekyll have active communities and a wealth of resources available for support. Jekyll’s longer history and wider adoption give it a slightly larger community, but both platforms provide sufficient resources to help developers overcome challenges.

Use Cases

When to choose Hugo

  • When fast build times are crucial
  • For developers with experience in Go or willing to learn it
  • When built-in features and shortcodes meet your project requirements

When to choose Jekyll

  • When you need a more extensive plugin ecosystem
  • For developers familiar with Ruby or Liquid templates
  • When you prefer a larger community and theme selection


Both Hugo and Jekyll are powerful static site generators, but they differ in terms of installation, performance, customization options, and extensibility. Hugo is known for its fast build times and built-in features, while Jekyll offers a vast plugin ecosystem and a more extensive theme selection.

Ultimately, the choice between Hugo and Jekyll depends on your specific needs, preferences, and familiarity with their respective languages and templates. By considering the factors outlined in this article, you can make an informed decision on which platform best suits your web development projects.

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