How to use GitHub Actions and private repositories to deploy a Hugo static site

For quite some time I have wanted to build a site where I could share links to the stuff I read online. There must be already plenty of sites to solve this but none satisfies my main requisite: to be under my full control. I rather do all the work myself than giving up control to a third-party that can lock me down for any reason (Twitter for example). It’s a price that I am willing to pay.

One of the main obstacles to build the site was that I needed to add/edit information from my desktop and tablet. I am definitely not a cloud fan so using it to sync between devices was out of question (people do it with Evernote, etc). For a while I thought about developing a mobile or web application to achieve this but was too lazy for that.

Last weekend the right idea popped in my mind (I think I was reading something about the topic). I could use GitHub to store the data that I need to edit between devices, and GitHub actions to automate the build process. GitHub allows unlimited private repositories to free users, and the data to store there isn’t critical. I would always have a local copy and if GitHub bans me the impact is meaningless - they are just an intermediary and both ends are controlled by me.

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