What are Static Site Generators?

Ruth Reyer on November 19, 2018

Static site generator. A phrase that is becoming increasingly more common across the web. As a newbie dev you may be asking yourself what's the p... [Read Full]
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That’d be probably the first writing in decades on “static site generators,” that does not mention Jekyll at all.

I ❤ it.


Unfortunately without any good reason, because it's still the most popular static site generator, as seen here: staticgen.com/


It is the most popular one because github pages support it out of the box.

Time to move forward.

Not sure what you mean by moving forward. Jekyll did not become irrelevant when it comes to static sites. It still offers much higher flexibility in customization, compared to its compiled counterparts (I mostly have experience in Hugo for comparison). Probably JavaScript generators can easily offer same level, but, well, it's still JavaScript.

That being said, I would not recommend Jekyll for a newcomer to the world of static sites, but not mentioning it at all seems to be a bit uncalled for.

Jekyll is popular because of its simplicity.

If you are PRO in jekyll you can create a single page application in less than 30 minutes.

Whereas if you use Gatsby, Nuxt.js, or even Gridsome. It might take few days.

If you think you are PRO and it takes days to go with any of them, something went wrong.


Next.js almost has as much stars now on GitHub :D but Jekyll is probably the most used out there anyway.


Yes! Static websites are a great tool in our arsenal. The generators also fixes some disavantages of the static websites, mainly the duplicate content (like header/footer) and sometimes the deployment.

I actually wrote last week about their advantages and what kind of websites can you build, except blogs: 10 examples of How to use static websites.


Brilliant! I will check out your post as well.


Orchid should definitely be on this list.

Orchid is a general-purpose static site generator for Java and Kotlin, with a focus on extensibility and aimed at developers looking to improve their technical documentation.

Orchid supports a variety of plugins, including a wiki, static pages, blogs, and much more. It aims to have high compatibility with many of the existing static site generators, such as Jekyll, Gitbook, and Hugo, so that migration to Orchid is painless.


My favourite static site generator is Hakyll. The amazing thing is that it is a library and not an executable. This means you write the actual executable yourself which gives you absolute control over the way how to get from content to site. The site that I am currently building requires the site generator to make as much work as possible, because the posts are written by non-technical people.


Zola looks nice. Maybe I'll give it a shot, as right now I'm looking something to power my online book project. And of the solutions I know (Jekyll, nanoc, Middleman, Hugo, Gatsby) nothing seems to be a good fit.


From a dev perspective, they're amazing. Especially with the infrastructure available with the likes of Netlify or Surge.

Where it falls a bit is when it comes to client work - most clients aren't going to be updating markdown files, or committing to a repository. Netlify have a CMS which looks to fill this gap by integrating with a static site, but I haven't tried it yet.


Yeah. In my experience the clients that want the CMS never want to learn how to use it so they just have you make the changes in the CMS. I try to push toward a retainer agreement for changes rather than a CMS. Every client is unique though.


Very true, and the retainer agreement is a good approach. I wonder how many hours I could have saved writing CMS documentation and/or having training sessions for clients, only to find myself logging into the system a few months later for a simple content update.

It's pretty mind-boggling. It just comes down to people knowing what they (think they) want, but not what they need.


One of my favorite perks is that static sites are free to host on sites like Netlify.

Great overview, thanks!


Words can't describe how much I love Netlify.

I use Pelican, a Python based static site generator, for my personal site. They're awesome.


Anyone have any experience with Jigsaw?
It looks interesting because it is based on Laravel's Blade templating and also uses Mix for assets compiling.


I've not explored Jigsaw but will check it out. Thanks for sharing!


I've been a big fan of Gatsby in my brief encounters.


I will also suggest Eleventy. It is also my first experience with SSGs.


I'm a big fan of Gatsby myself -- can anyone compare/contrast it to Hugo?


Good Morning I have read that you do not have work so if you need money contact me I also do not have the money to think about how to solve the problem.

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