Structure of the book

Chapter 1 aims at getting you started with a new website based on blogdown: it contains an installation guide, a quick example, an introduction to RStudio addins related to blogdown, and comparisons of different source document formats. All readers of this book should finish at least this chapter (to know how to create a website locally) and Section 3.1 (to know how to publish a website). The rest of the book is mainly for those who want to further customize their websites.

Chapter 2 briefly introduces the static website generator Hugo, on which blogdown is based. We tried to summarize the official Hugo documentation in a short chapter. You should consult the official documentation when in doubt. You may skip Section 2.5 if you do not have basic knowledge of web technologies. However, this section is critical for you to fully understand Hugo. We have spent the most time on this section in this chapter. It is very technical, but should be helpful nonetheless. Once you have learned how to create Hugo templates, you will have the full freedom to customize your website.

Chapter 3 tells you how to publish a website, so that other people can visit it through a link. Chapter 4 shows how to migrate existing websites from other platforms to Hugo and blogdown. Chapter 5 gives a few other options if you do not wish to use Hugo as your site generator.

Appendix A is a quick tutorial on R Markdown, the prerequisite of blogdown if you are going to write R code in your posts. Appendix B contains basic knowledge about websites, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you really care about your website, you will have to learn them someday. If you want to have your own domain name, Appendix C provides an introduction to how it works. We have also covered some optional topics in Appendix D for advanced users.