26 March, 2017
Hugo has over a hundred templates. They cover all sorts of different styles, and are for many different purposes (but mainly for blogging). Many have been translated from other static site generation environments. There are some interesting ideas there, both in terms of what/how to display content, and in navigation. This makes me really happy to have comes across the environment - one of the problems on the web as it reaches maturity is that there is an almost hegemonic sameness to content display. This can be put down to fashion and conservatism; fashion in the need to move to the new style ‘de jour’ lest your site appear, horror of horrors, old; conservatism from commercial organisations not wanting to be different, so jar or put off their customers.
Of course, there are many benefits to a predictable web interface, the biggest being that the knowledge and experience a person builds up in navigating sites is transferrable when visiting new sites, so speeds up their interaction. For example, the links across the top of a site’s pages are almost universally for navigating to major sections, and if you want to get in touch with organisation behind the site, you know to either look there or at the bottom of the pages.
Of course, the problem with having many choices is selection. While I was able to quickly remove many templates from contention for not matching requirements, some were absolutely stunning, and really made me want to make use of them. I even thought about using multiple templates for different parts/pages. Ultimately, the problem was time: how much more time could I afford to spend on this, ignoring everything else?
Devcows’ Universal theme is very good - it has all the capabilities of display and navigation I want in one package. Unfortunately, I’ve had to forgo interesting ideas, but this theme produces what to me looks like a nice site and allows me to do it fairly quickly. Maybe more interesting stuff will come later?