How To Migrate a Website from Wordpress to Hugo

I decided to migrate this website from Wordpress to Hugo for two reasons:

  1. Static websites are faster than database-driven
  2. Static websites are cheaper

Here’s how I did it.

1. Decide Whether Leaving WordPress Is Possible

3 Things to consider before leaving Wordpress

  • Search
  • Forms
  • plugins details various options for adding search to your Hugo website.

1.2 Forms

My preferred site for hosting is currently Netlify.

They offer forms as an extra.

I could also look again at:

  • mailchimp Forms
  • sumome
  • wufoo shortcode forms

1.3 Plugins

Login at /wp-admin.php

Check the plugins - are there any that might stop me turning this into a static site?

In my case, I have these:

  • Akismet Anti-Spam. for checking comments.
  • Cloudflare. for speeding up delivery of websites
  • Elegant Themes Updater
  • Yoast SEO

and also had unactivated:

  • Absolute Privacy
  • Disqus Comment system
  • Mailchimp Forms by Optin Cat
  • SumoMe
  • Wufoo Shortcode Plugin

Let’s look at those each in turn.

Akismet Anti-Spam & Comments

You only need to protect your website comments if you allow people to make them.

I have 2 choices here:

  • allow comments
  • do not allow them

I do not care about keeping the old comments from WordPress.

I do care about having comments for the new posts I am going to write, so I need to find a solution to this.

Hugo comes with Disqus support included, but there are alternatives.

In the end, I went with Disqus because it was the easiest solution.


Netlify comes with its own CDN and HTTPS support. So I don’t need this.

Elegant Themes Updater

Not using a WP theme from Elegant Themes, so this can go too.

Yoast SEO

Not sure about this.

Can use or their other tools to check pages?

2. Setup exitwp

There’s a few tools available for translating a WordPress export into a Hugo site; I went with

git clone
cd exitwp-for-hugo
virtualenv -p python2 venv
venv/bin/pip install pip_requirements.txt

2. Export from WordPress

Once you’ve logged into WordPress, go to Tools>Export.

Select all content then press “Download Export File”.

Download the file to the exitwp-for-hugo/wordpress-xml directory.

$ venv/bin/python ./

This creates a set of hugo files in build.

3. Create Hugo website

Create a standard hugo site, and copy those files into content.

You may need to rename the files from “.markdown” to “.md”, depending on your site’s config.

cd site/content/post
for x in *.markdown
  mv $name.markdown $

4. Getting it live

Create a Gitlab project and push the new site up following their instructions.

Create a Netlify project, and connect to Gitlab.

5. Set up Netlify Identity

I need this because my site uses netlify-cms to provide a web-based editing option.

Inside the Netlify project:

  • enable Identity project
  • inside Identity, enable Git Gateway
  • invite myself as first user

6. Go live

  • Switch over the DNS.
  • Set Netlify to recognise the DNS name
  • Turn off WordPress

7. Enjoy

3 things I really like about this set up:

  1. Changes are version-controlled
  2. Automatic deployment after ‘git push’
  3. Can write posts using normal editor