Use Hugo With Github Pages

By default Github Pages works automatically with Jekyll which is great! Sometimes though you want to try a different static site generator like say Hugo; the good news is that with a little bit of jiggery pokery it’s actually pretty easy to so!

For the most part, I followed these instructions to get setup. But there were some important things I needed to understand before it could work.

First of all you can in fact host a personal site (e.g. repo: [username] that publishes a different branch than main, this means you don’t need two repositories as some guides suggest.

You can basically use the Github Action from the instructions above almost verbatim. That action will create a branch called gh-pages and commit the generated site to its root directory. This means that Github Pages will not try and run Jekyll because it will detect a static site at the gh-pages branch and just publish that.

For whatever reason, understanding how that all works took me a while and wasn’t immediately obvious (to me) from the documentation.

Here is the workflow:

Initial Setup

  • Create a repository on Github called [yourusername]
  • Push your newly created Hugo site to it as is
  • Add the Github Action shown in the instructions to your repo
  • Push that action (and make sure it runs)
  • Go to your repo settings and select gh-pages branch for publishing, ignoring any Jekyll errors you see on the way
  • Make a change to your site and push it once more
  • Confirm that the site is published!


  • Push changes as normal
  • Confirm that the Github Action executed successfully