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Michael Crump
Michael Crump

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Create a Static Site using VitePress for Beautiful Help Documentation


I've always been a fan of static site generators as a way to create a fully static HTML website based on data (typically in Markdown) with theming support. I've found that more of your time is focused on writing the content vs. the time spent managing the infrastrucutre for something such as a content managment system (CMS) like WordPress, which requires a database and a front-end UI to enter content. If I could sum up my three reasons why I like static site generators, it would be: Performance (pages are pre-rendered), Ability to Customize (Themes are typically baked in), and they don't require code to run on the server side. Let's jump into a popular one called, VitePress.

A Primer on VitePress

VitePress is listed in the documents as VuePress' little brother, and it is built on top of Vite. For those that don't know Vite is a build tool that aims to provide a faster and leaner development experience for modern web projects so it might sense to pair it with a static site generator such as VitePress. One of the original problems with VuePress was that it was a Webpack app and it took a lot of time to spin up a dev server for just a simple doc. VitePress solves these problems with nearly instant server start, an on-demand compilation that only compiles the page being served, and lightning-fast HMR. Let's get started!

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