Creating This Site

By Jim Shingler | December 7, 2019

While I am not new to blogging, I was re-inspired by Sasi Peri, a coworker, and her new blog. This gave me the itch to share my experiences and information with hope of helping others..

Now that I was re-inspired to blog, I had a fortunate conversation with Drew Heintz. Drew is a bright young man finishing up his Computer Science and Security degrees from RIT. Drew, shared with me that he did his resume using Hugo. Hugo is similar to jekyll static site generator only written in go instead of ruby.

After a little searching, I ran across Giraffe Academy Youtub Hugo Tutorial. In addition, I found that Hugo and AsciiDoctor, one of favorite tools, could be used together, "Creating a Blog with Hugo and AsciiDoctor".

VS Code Asciidoc
Figure 1. AsciiDoc in VS Code

Properly motivated and educated, I set the following goals:

While I have a good bit of experience building Websites, I am far from a Designer. Lucky for me, Hugo has Themes. After previewing the themes, I landed on the Universal Theme. It is a great looking theme with a ton of features, more than I need, and good instructions on configuring them.

From there it was time to give it a shot.

Install Tools

I’ll assume you already know Git and have a Github account.

Install Go

Install AsciiDoctor

AsciiDoctor has good installation instructions

AsciiDoctor requires ruby

Install Hugo

I am a Mac guy, so I installed Hugo from the tarball.

Getting Started

Loads of Credit to Charly3pins and his posting Building a Static Blog with Hugo

Create Empty Site

hugo new site jshingler

Congratulations! Your new Hugo site is created in /Users/jshingler/temp/hugo/jshingler.

Just a few more steps and you're ready to go:

1. Download a theme into the same-named folder.
   Choose a theme from or
   create your own with the "hugo new theme <THEMENAME>" command.
2. Perhaps you want to add some content. You can add single files
   with "hugo new <SECTIONNAME>/<FILENAME>.<FORMAT>".
3. Start the built-in live server via "hugo server".

Visit for quickstart guide and full documentation.

results in:

Directory Structure

Setup a Theme

Because we are good devs, initialize git
cd jshingler
git init

I chose the Universal Theme from the Hugo Themes you choose what you like best.

git clone themes/hugo-universal-theme
Don’t for get to push the source back to your git repository. For me that is:
As Charly3pins points out in his blog, you can also set your theme up as a submodule.
If you haven’t already done it, …​ Do yourself a favor, watch the Giraffe Academy Youtub Hugo Tutorial

Explore the theme, …​ A really good place to look is the example site. You can find it at: themes/hugo-universal-them/exampleSite

Tune the Theme

The universal theme is pretty robust, …​ It has a lot of features that I really don’t need for a Minimum Viable Product. The config.toml file is used to configure the features.

Local Development

hugo server -D

Dash D, -D, allows draft content to be servered, Now, check it out http://localhost:1313

Add Content

hugo new blog/creating-this-site.adoc

results in:

Default front matters
title: "Create This Site"
date: 2019-12-15T17:12:43-05:00 (1)
draft: true (2)
1 date the document was created
2 it starts as a draft.

The theme supports additional attributes.

Flushed out front matters for this theme.
title: "Creating This Site"
date: 2019-12-07T13:46:46-05:00
draft: false (1)
tags: ["golang", "programming", "theme", "hugo", "asciidoc"] (2)
categories: ["programming"] (3)
banner: "img/banners/banner-1.jpg" (4)
author: "Jim Shingler" (5)
description: "This tutorial will show you how I created this site. It will use Hugo, Asciidoc via AsciiDoctor, and Github" (6)
1 No Longer a draft
2 Tag the blog post with these tags
3 Put it in the programming category
4 Use this image on front page
5 I authored it
6 a little description

Now you start writing your asciidoc as usual.

:source-highlighter: prettify   (1)
:icons: font                    (2)
:imagesdir-old: {imagesdir}     (3)
:imagesdir: ../../../../../img/blog/creating-this-site (4)

## *STATUS:* Work in process
I will continue to flush this out.

While I am not new to blogging, I was re-inspired by[Sasi Peri], a coworker, and her new[blog].  This gave me the itch to share my experiences and information with hope of helping others.
1 use google code prettify to format code, more instructions to follow
2 icons for Admonitions (NOTE, TIP, IMPORTANT, CAUTION, WARNING)
3 save the current image directory, might need it later
4 where to find images for this post

Tuning CSS

When you first combine the universal themes and asciidoc the results might be a little ugly. To overcome it, you need to tweek the CSS. To do this, you will need to copy the themes/hugo-universal-theme/layouts/partials/head.html to layouts/partials/head.html.

Add this snippet to the head.html file
{{ range .Site.Params.custom_css -}}
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="{{ . | absURL }}">
{{- end }}

This code will iterate through an array of css files defined in the config.toml file

Define an array of custom css
    # Custom CSS
    custom_css = ["css/custom.css"]

Next, I copied the default Asciidocter style sheet and saved it as static/css/custom.css. This file is way to big to include, you can find my tweeked version here.

Code Formatting

Okay, truth be told, getting code formatting working was a little harder than expected. There are a variety of reasons but here is how I got it working.

I looked at a variety of formatters.

I decided to use Google Code Prettify - Sons of Obsidian style.

The previous section showed the how to declare the syntax highlighter to use. There is one additionl step. The corresponding javascipt file need to be imported.

  1. Copy themes/hugo-universal-theme/layouts/partials/scripts.html to layouts/partials/scripts.html

  2. Add the javascript declaration to the file

<script src=""></script>


By default, asciidoctor will turn included external urls into links instead of including them. This can be overcome on the command line as asciidoctor -a allow-uri-read myfile.adoc. But we aren’t using asciidoctor directly, hugo is calling it an we have no way to set the flag. There is a creative work around, okay hack. Create an asciidoctor bash script that adds the flag and make sure the asciidoctor bash script is first in your $PATH.

This can cause a security issue. You must really trust what you are including. My advice is that unless you control the file being included, don’t include it.
${HOME}/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.4.0/bin/asciidoctor -a allow-uri-read $*
Sample including a portion of the config.toml file
    # Custom CSS
    custom_css = ["css/custom.css"]

    viewMorePostLink = "/blog/"
    author = "Jim Shingler"
    defaultKeywords = ["jshingler", "Jim Shingler", "James Shingler", "Shingler", "Schindler", "Lean", "Agile", "devOps", "java", "Spring", "Cloud Native", "Microservices", "hugo", "go"]
    mainSections = ["blog"]
    defaultDescription = "Jim Shingler Blog about interestes: Professional ( lean, agile, devOps, devSecOps ), Technical ( Java, Spring, Cloud Native, Microservices ), Personal Development ( ThinkScript ), Growth, and Learning"
    #defaultDescription = "Site template made by devcows using hugo"

    # Social media
    facebook_site = "" # the Facebook handle of your site ('')
    twitter_site = "GoHugoIO" # the Twitter handle of your site (without the '@')
    default_sharing_image = "img/sharing-default.png"

    # Google Maps API key (if not set will default to not passing a key.)
    googleMapsApiKey = "AIzaSyA1N45cD4qWwsgnuE1F39p1SYaM0w0ldQg"

    # Style options: default (light-blue), blue, green, marsala, pink, red, turquoise, violet
    style = "default"

    # Since this template is static, the contact form uses as a
    # proxy. The form makes a POST request to their servers to send the actual
    # email. Visitors can send up to a 1000 emails each month for free.
    # What you need to do for the setup?
    # - set your email address under 'email' below
    # - upload the generated site to your server
    # - send a dummy email yourself to confirm your account
    # - click the confirm link in the email from
    # - you're done. Happy mailing!
    # Enable the contact form by entering your email
    email = ""
    contact_form_ajax = false

    about_us = "<p>Always Be Learning.</p>"
    copyright = "Copyright (c) 2015 - 2020, JShingler; all rights reserved."

    # Format dates with Go's time formatting
    date_format = "January 2, 2006"

    #logo = "img/logo.png"
    logo = "img/JShingler2.png"
    #logo_small = "img/logo-small.png"
    address = """<p><strong>Jim Shingler</strong>
    latitude = "39.983334"
    longitude = "-82.983330"

    blog = "/blog/:year/:month/:day/:filename/"

# Enable or disable top bar with social icons
    enable = true
    #text = """<p class="hidden-sm hidden-xs">Contact us on +420 777 555 333 or</p>
    text = """<p class="hidden-sm hidden-xs"></p>
      <p class="hidden-md hidden-lg"><a href="#" data-animate-hover="pulse"><i class="fas fa-phone"></i></a>
      <a href="#" data-animate-hover="pulse"><i class="fas fa-envelope"></i></a>

# Enable and disable widgets for the right sidebar
    categories = true
    tags = true
    search = true

    enable = false
    # All carousel items are defined in their own files. You can find example items
    # at 'exampleSite/data/carousel'.
    # For more informtion take a look at the README.

    enable = false
    # All features are defined in their own files. You can find example items
    # at 'exampleSite/data/features'.
    # For more informtion take a look at the README.

    enable = false
    # All testimonials are defined in their own files. You can find example items
    # at 'exampleSite/data/testimonials'.
    # For more informtion take a look at the README.
    title = "Testimonials"
    subtitle = "We have worked with many clients and we always like to hear they come out from the cooperation happy and satisfied. Have a look what our clients said about us."

    enable = false
    icon = "far fa-file-alt"
    title = "Do you want to see more?"
    subtitle = "We have prepared for you more than 40 different HTML pages, including 5 variations of homepage."
    link_url = "#"
    link_text = "Check other homepages"

    enable = false
    # All clients are defined in their own files. You can find example items
    # at 'exampleSite/data/clients'.
    # For more informtion take a look at the README.
    title = "Our Clients"
    subtitle = ""

    enable = true
    title = "Jim Shingler blog"
    subtitle = "Thoughts on: Technical, Professional, and Personal Development"

Publish to Github

Some really good instructions from the Hugo docs on Publishing to and more information on the github help pages

Github pages have usage limits, I might have to figure out a different hosting option.

I choose to use a user page Make sure you have created <USERNAME> (E.g. repository on the github website. This is where the static content will be published to and served from. While it might be tempting, NEVER DIRECTLY MODIFY THE STATIC SITE, always republish from the your hugo blog repository.

Finally you need to add the <USERNAME> repo inside the public folder as a git submodule in order to update your website once you regenerate the site.

— Charly3pins
git submodule add -b master public

Now publish the website. Here is a slightly modified script from Charly3Pin’s blog to publish the site. - slightly modified from Charly3Pins
set -x

echo -e "\033[0;32mDeploying updates to GitHub...\033[0m"

# Remove old Stuff  (1)
cd public
rm -fr *
cd ..

# Build the project.
hugo # if using a theme, replace with `hugo -t <YOURTHEME>`

# Go To Public folder
cd public

# Add changes to git.
git add .

# Commit changes.
msg="rebuilding site `date`"
if [ $# -eq 1 ]
  then msg="$1"
git commit -m "$msg"

# Push source and build repos.
git push origin master

# Come Back up to the Project Root
cd ..
1 If you delete something from the site, if you really want it to be delete, you need to clean out the public directory.

Additional Steps

That is pretty well it. I now have a functional blog published to I won’t go into the details, here are some additional steps I performed, most of which where in the config.toml file

  • Enable Google Maps

  • Enable Google Analytics

  • Submit for Google Indexing

  • Enable Disqus

  • Enable ContactMe Formspree

What’s Next

René at his blog has a pretty good article about Creating a Dockerized Hugo + AsciiDoctor Toolchain. Next, I am thinking about using this with GitHub worksflows and actions to that when I push a change to the master branch of my repository, the website is automatically rebuilt and published.

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