Static site generators

Static site generators mix the maintainability of dynamically rendered sites with the speed and ease of hosting of static sites. It comes at a cost, which is interactivity. Hence typically static sites are enriched client side JavaScript communicating with API’s, which has been labeled JAMstack by an org pushing this market.

I’m currently in the process of selecting a static site generator. Based on Github stars this is the current top 10 at Jamstack.org’s overview of static site generators:

  1. Next.js (JS/React)
  2. Hugo (Go) (Smashing Magazine was made with Hugo)
  3. Gatsby (JS/React)
  4. Jekyll (Ruby/Liquid) (powers Github Pages) (my review of Jekyll)
  5. Nuxt (JS/Vue)
  6. Hexo (JS)
  7. Slate (Ruby) (documentation generator, not really a contender)
  8. Docusaurus (JS/React)
  9. GitBook (JS/Jinja2) ((e)book generator)
  10. VuePress (JS/Vue)

Using Jekyll in 2021

An article, posted 21 days ago filed in ssg, jekyll, review, ruby & static site generators.

I am currently selecting a static site generator for an upcoming project. I value technical simplicity (exit React based solutions), like ruby and in the Static Site Generator category Jekyll is an established name. But doesn't the project that started in October 2008 show signs of age?

Pro’s:

  • It is ruby based (whether that is a pro for you depends on your aesthetics)
  • It is simple
  • It is easy to extend
  • Format for posts is Markdown
  • Hosting it is simple

Con’s:

  • Liquid (a templating language developed by Shopify) is limiting, I’d preferred ERB as a template language.
  • “There is a plugin for that” disappoints, many are pre-bundler era (hence requiring copying code) and quality differs a lot.
  • Lacks even a simple asset pipeline for JavaScript; hence bundle minified JS files together or build the final JS in a separate webpack-process.
  • The builds won…

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