After eight months of playing with this pure HTML website, the only thing I can say is: why didn’t I do this sooner?
I am going to sound like a cranky old guy, but when I published my first web page 25 years ago (yup, August 1996, unbelievable) there weren’t many choices to create “dynamic” websites, or as we called them back then, “databased web apps”.
(There actually was a magazine that lasted for a little while called “Databased Web”, but I couldn’t find any pictures of it online.)
As I was saying, to create a website with dynamic pages fed with a database, in 1996 you needed to use either Objective-C (yes, that one) with WebObjects; or you could use VBScript and SQL Server 6.5 if you were in the Microsoft galaxy; or you could use ColdFusion, which was really weird no matter how you looked at it. There wasn’t even PHP yet!
Anyway. Going back to my first technology (pure HTML) has brought two great benefits. The first and most obvious one is speed. But the second benefit is a bit more subtle.
No more cookie popups. Have you noticed?
If you don’t believe me, check your browser cookie settings, and look for cookies from the
You can’t find any, because there isn’t any. That is right. This website is naturally GDPR-compliant. Nothing here is tracking you. No ads,
no analytics, nothing.
The truth is, I don’t want to gather analytics, because most websites doing that don’t even look at the data they gather. And I know I wouldn’t. So, why bother my readers with that?
If I really wanted to log visits to my site, I could do it on the server side, the good old way. But I don’t care.
In short, Hugo is a triumph. It builds this whole website in about 2 seconds. It deploys in another 3 seconds. And it generates a fast website that looks good.
For the record, I created my first website in 1996 using Microsoft Word 6.0; yes, believe it or not. Microsoft, desperate to drown the threat of the web, released a plugin for Word that would export documents to HTML.
And yes, the resulting HTML was hideous. Like, FrontPage-kind of hideous.
Update, 2023-03-31: I’ve added analytics using TelemetryDeck App Analytics today. They are 100% anonymous and do not require cookies of any kind.
Update, 2023-04-07 I’ve replaced TelemetryDeck with self-hosted Matomo analytics, and I’ve set the instance to track without cookies. The data is stored in the same server as this website you’re visiting and is only accessible to the author.