Minify Html in your static website (Hugo or Jekyll)

Comparing normal and Minified HTML
Image: Comparing normal and Minified HTML (License: CC BY 4.0)
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This is a simple script to Minify HTML pages after they have been generated locally with a static website generator like Hugo or Jekyll.

Hugo version 0.47 introduced the --minify command that makes it possible to build the code simply running hugo --minify


Minifying HTML pages:

  • increase downloading times as it reduces web-page sizes
  • accelerate parsing times

Probably you have already found this at Google’s PageSpeed Insights recommendation to Minify HTML after testing your website:

Compacting HTML code, including any inline JavaScript and CSS contained in it, can save many bytes of data and speed up download and parse times.

PageSpeed Tools results


We will use the best minifier at the moment: tdewolff/minify in its command line version:

To install it run the following command:

go get -u

then you will have the minify command in your $GOPATH/bin.

Minify all HTML

To minify all the HTML pages in a directory and its sub-directories, official docs recommends the usage of $ minify -r -o out/ --match=\.html src to minimize all the files inside the src directory. But in my experience, it also removes non HTML files, so I recommend to traverse all the directories looking for HTML files with the find command.

To minify all the files of a directory, you can use minify directly or the find command.

First we look for HTML files in src: find ./src -name "*.html".

Then we execute the minifier for each file with the -exec parameter and replace the file with its minified version: find ./src -name "*.html" -exec minify -o {} {} \;

Finally we add the desired parameters, anyone from:

  • --css-decimals int: “Number of decimals to preserve in numbers, -1 is all (default -1)”
  • --html-keep-conditional-comments: “Preserve all IE conditional comments”
  • --html-keep-default-attrvals: “Preserve default attribute values”
  • --html-keep-document-tags: “Preserve html, head and body tags”
  • --html-keep-end-tags: “Preserve all end tags”
  • --html-keep-whitespace: “Preserve whitespace characters but still collapse multiple into one”
  • --xml-keep-whitespace: “Preserve whitespace characters but still collapse multiple into one”

For example let’s use --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags, then our find command to minify all the HTML files in the src directory would look like:

find ./src -name "*.html" -exec minify --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags  -o {} {} \;

Or simply using the minify command to minify all the HTML files in the src directory:

minify -r -o src/ --match=\.html --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags src/


To minify Hugo’s generated HTML files:

1. Generate the website

If you have hugo version greater than version 0.47 then you simply use hugo –minify and it’s done, the minified webpages are located in public/.

--minify minify any supported output format (HTML, XML etc.)

$ hugo --minify

But if you are using a lower version of Hugo then.. you should update! or use any of these approaches:

$ hugo

2. Minify

Minify all files ending in .html inside the public folder replacing the generated ones.

2.1 Using minify:

$ minify -r -o public/ --match=\.html --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags public/

2.2 Or using find:

$ find ./public -name "*.html" -exec minify --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags  -o {} {} \;


To minify Jekyll’s generated HTML files:

1. Generate the website

$ jekyll build

2. Minify

Minify all files ending in .html inside the __site folder replacing the generated ones:

2.1 With minify

$ minify -r -o _site/ --match=\.html --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags _site/

2.2 Or with find

$ find ./_site -name "*.html" -exec minify --html-keep-document-tags --html-keep-end-tags  -o {} {} \;


This is a command line approach to minify any website’s HTML files no matter what generator you are using.

Now all HTML files like this content:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en" itemscope itemtype=''>
	<meta name="generator" content="Hugo 0.46" />
	<meta charset="utf-8">
	<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">
	<meta property="description"

Would have their white spaces stripped looking like:

<!doctype html><html lang=en itemscope itemtype=><head><meta name=generator content="Hugo 0.46"><meta charset=utf-8><meta name=viewport content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1,shrink-to-fit=no"><meta property=description


Marcelo Canina
I'm Marcelo Canina, a developer from Uruguay. I build websites and web-based applications from the ground up and share what I learn here.
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