What is Hugo?

Hugo is a SSG written in the Go programming language. Go is a language designed at Google.

Demo Criteria

When I’m shopping for a site builder, page builder, or theme for my clients I always look at the demo sites.

For this speed test, I selected a Hugo theme demo site that was:

  1. Updated recently.
  2. Looks contemporary.
  3. Classified as fast.
  4. Classified as minimal.

Meghna Hugo is tagged as fast and minimal. It looks nice. It was updated on 21 March 2020. Dude, that was like yesterday (this post was originally published 22 March 2020). So, I ran with that.


According to gohugo.io, Hugo is

The world’s fastest framework for building websites

OK. It might be the fastest framework for building sites. Let’s check what Google PageSpeed thinks about Hugo’s site speed.

Swipe the sliders below to the left or right to see the mobile and desktop reports.

Hugo Demo Test


GoHugo.io Test

Now, let’s look at gohugo.io itself. It’s the official Hugo website. Yes. It’s built with Hugo. I checked.



Let’s hold my official site as the benchmark. My site is powered by GatsbyJS on Netlify.



Which is the more “fair” assessment of Hugo’s PageSpeed test? Would the demo sites or the official site be the better litmus test?

It’s hard to say. There are countless factors involved with how websites perform. IMHO, I believe demo sites will be closer to the truth. Why? Because the way they’re developed is probably closer to how most sites are built. This is coming from experience.

When I run into an exceptionally fast site that’s also well designed, I always wonder about their budget. I wonder if they had a loftier budget to spend on performance—compared to us mortals.

At any rate, I feel there are two takeaways here.

  1. If you’re in the business of making page builders, site builders, or themes, then make sure your demo sites are fast. They might be the only sites that people (like me) have to evaluate your credibility.
  2. If you are shopping around for a site builder, page builder, or theme, then you should run speed tests on the demo sites. These demos supposedly showcase the best work of the designer/developer.

Thanks for reading!


Sliders courtesy of Swiper.