Switching Hugo's Markdown Handler

Posted by Ryan Himmelwright on Sun, May 31, 2020
Tags hugo, website, markdown
Duke Park, Durham NC

While writing my previous post, I hit a frustrating issue. After saving a large chunk of the draft, it appeared that hugo wasn’t rendering the new additions. I verified on several computers, including fresh installs. None of them would generate the updated post, despite the source files containing the changes. Ugh.

The Actual Issue

When I first noticed the problem, I though hugo wasn’t rendering any of my recent changes, which consisted of adding some images and a paragraph or two. However, after inspecting the page in greater detail, I did see that the updated text was present. Only the images were missing.

With this information, I was able to search for a solution. After spending a few minutes reading some irrelevant stackoverflow posts, I eventually found this wonderful blog post. The problem it described matched my issue exactly.

It explained that recent versions of hugo had switched from using blackfriday to goldmark, to render the markdown content. Unlike blackfriday, by default goldmark does not render raw html tags. I use raw html to define the images in my post, and thus they were no longer rendering.

A Simple Solution

The post offered two solutions to fix the problem. For now, I just applied the easier of the two: reverting back to blackfriday to render my markdown. To make the switch, I added the following line to my config.toml:

  defaultMarkdownHandler = "blackfriday"

The alternative solution, is to override goldmark’s default setting and allow raw html tag rendering. This can be accomplished by instead adding these lines to the config.toml:

  defaultMarkdownHandler = "goldmark"
      unsafe = true

I’m sure that the hugo team had valid reasons for the switch. With that said, until I have time to read up on those reasons, and to verify that goldmark doesn’t break rendering anything else in my website, I’m going to stick with blackfriday.


With that change the problem was solved. While the solution was easy, it took a few days of head banging to figure out exactly what was happening. Hopefully this post will help others figure out the fix quicker than I did. Or, at the very least… it will remind me what I did when I eventually switch to goldmark.

Next Post:
Prev Post:

Trying out Notion Rx-580 Upgrade
comments powered by Disqus