Oct 4, 2022

Share on:

Migrate Wordpress Sites to Hugo

WordPress is a very popular blogging platform, but judging by the fact you are here, you’re looking to move to Hugo (great choice!)

Hugo is one of the most popular open-source static site generators. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun again. Low maintainence cost and reliable security are couples of its many amazing features.

**WordPress to Hugo Exporter **is a one-click WordPress plugin that converts all posts, pages, taxonomies, metadata, and settings to Markdown and YAML which can be dropped into Hugo.


  • Converts all posts, pages, and settings from WordPress for use in Hugo
  • Export what your users see, not what the database stores (runs post content through the_content filter prior to export, allowing third-party plugins to modify the output)
  • Converts all post_content to Markdown Extra (using Markdownify)
  • Converts all post_meta and fields within the wp_posts table to YAML front matter for parsing by Hugo.
  • Exports optionally comments as part of their posts. This feature needs to be enabled manually by editing the PHP source code. See file hugo-export.php at line ~40.
  • Export private posts and drafts. They are marked as drafts as well and won’t get published with Hugo.
  • Generates a config.yaml with all settings in the wp_options table
  • Outputs a single zip file with config.yaml, pages, and post folder containing .md files for each post in the proper Hugo naming convention.
  • No settings. Just a single click.

Usage with a self-hosted WordPress installation

  1. Place plugin in /wp-content/plugins/ folder
  2. Make sure line is uncommented in your php.ini
  3. Activate plugin in WordPress dashboard
  4. Select Export to Hugo from the Tools menu

Usage at or any other hoster without SSH access

If you cannot install plugins in your instance

(I’ve never tried it, because not a user)

  1. Login into the backend.
  2. Create an XML export of the whole blog and download the XML file.
  3. Set up a local WordPress instance on your machine. You need PHP, MySQL, or MariaDB, and Nginx or Apache, or Caddy Server. Alternatively, you can install a Docker Compose setup
  4. Install this plugin by downloading a zip file of this repo and uploading it to WP.
  5. Import the XML export. You should take care that the WordPress version of the export matches the WP version used for the import.
  6. In the WP backend run the Export to Hugo command. If that fails go to the command line and run the CLI script with memory_limit=-1, which means unlimited memory usage.
  7. Collect the ZIP via download or the CLI script presents you with the current name.
  8. Remove WordPress and enjoy Hugo.

Re Docker: It should be very easy to create a Dockerfile containing everything above mentioned for a one-time conversion of the XML file to the Hugo format.

If you can install plugins in your instance

  1. Download this repo as a zip file.
  2. Login into the backend.
  3. In the plugin section, go to Add New.
  4. Upload the zip of this repo.
  5. Activate the plugin.
  6. In the WP backend run the Export to Hugo command.
  7. Collect the ZIP via download.
  8. Copy the contents of the zip to your Hugo install and enjoy Hugo.

Command-line Usage

If you’re having trouble with your web server timing out before the export is complete, or if you just like the terminal better, you may enjoy the command-line tool.

It works just like the plugin but produces the zip file at /tmp/

php hugo-export-cli.php

If you want to offer a folder (say a mount point to a huge drive) other than using /tmp in OS, pass it as the first argument to the script:

php hugo-export-cli.php /YOUR_PATH_TO_TMP_FOLDER/

Alternatively, if you have WP-CLI installed, you can run:

wp hugo-export >

The WP-CLI version will provide greater compatibility for alternate WordPress environments, such as when wp-content isn’t in the usual location.

Similar Blog

Stay informed and inspired with our industry insights. Our blog offers valuable content on the latest trends, best practices, and company news, all in one place.