Static site generators 101

An personal view about static site generators

Static site generators (SSG)

As you can imagine, a static site generator gets some input text to produce a complete web static site. It seems a good idea to produce a static web page for a static content. It is analogous to compile source code to create a binary executable.

Using the experience from software development, SSG authors use, emulate and get inspiration from tools and best practices in this field. They all share common patterns like templates, plugins, build tools, etc.

Benefits

SSG are interesting for several reasons:

  • easy deployment (ftp, rsync, git, etc)
  • easy to version (with any VCS since source is plain text)
  • increased security (no SQL injection e.g.)
  • fast delivery (caching, CDN, etc)
  • complete flexibility (on design and content)

Drawbacks

But they have a few drawbacks:

  • mainly for techies (some SSG are improving this aspect)
  • no user interaction (well, there are solutions…)

So if you don’t mind getting yourself involved in tech chores like setup, development-like workflow, or even are eager to learn from the experience, I encourage you to try it.

The next step would be to choose the SSG to use. I chose Hugo for several reasons after testing other options (all of them Python based). But that’s for another post…

SSG comparison sites