Static websites are taking over from dynamic sites as the favoured web platform for delivering content on the Internet. Bloggers and owners of content-focused websites are now looking forward to a new dawn of website development that promises minimization of costs and improvement in speed, security, and performance.
Static site generators work by converting simple, plain text into static websites or blogs. There are no databases to slow requests down, and the site is easier to maintain, has enhanced security options and yet incur lower infrastructure costs.
Static sites also requires low bandwidth usage, with has the possibility of version control systems. If you’re interested in getting your own static site, here are 11 static site generators to check out.
Jekyll is the most popular static site generator that backs the GitHub Pages. The reason for Jekyll’s popularity is that it’s easy to use and requires just basic web development knowledge. Thanks to its numerous features like templates, layouts, and configuration, you can easily convert text into customized blog posts.
It also allows the import of content from blogs on other platforms, and you can create your own plugins, tags, and converters for any mark-up language. Additionally, you can also do away with your paid hosting as you can host a Jekyll blog on GitHub for free.
Getting started on Jekyll.
Learn more about Jekyll.
Octopress is essentially a blogging framework for Jekyll that make things simpler for a Jekyll blogger or content writer. A huge advantage of using Octopress is that it’s compatible with a large number of plugins, official plugins for Jekyll and Octopress, and plugins from third party developers.
It supports building and publishing blogs to GitHub or Rsync in quick and easy way. This framework comes with built-in support for Twitter, Google Plus, Disqus comments, Pinboard, and Google Analytics.
Getting started on Octopress.
Learn more about Octopress.
Hexo is a simple yet powerful blog framework powered by Node.js. This static site generator is blazing fast and takes only seconds to build a complete website. Hexo supports all GitHub-flavored Markdown features and most of the Octopress plugins. One of the key advantages of Hexo is that it lets you transfer your blog or site to your web host with a single command.
Website migration from other blogging platforms is also a breeze with this tool, thanks to the numerous migration options available.
Getting started on Hexo.
Learn more about Hexo.
Hugo is a fast, flexible, easy to use static site generator. Hugo is ideal to create blogs, documents, and portfolios. This application does not depend on administrative privileges, databases, interpreters, or external libraries, and still works like a charm. Websites or blogs built with Hugo can be hosted on any web host including GitHub Pages, S3, and Dropbox.
Hugo is built to deliver optimal performance and speed like Hexo, and as a result, it builds most websites almost instantly.
Getting started on Hugo.
Learn more about Hugo.
Pelican is a static site generator developed using Python. This software supports reStructuredText, Markdown, and AsciiDoc formats for writing content. Blogs and sites built with Pelican can be hosted anywhere like Hugo. This generator allows creation of blogs in multiple languages and also generates RSS and Atom feeds.
Pelican supports Jinja Template Engine, and as a result, it supports numerous easily-customizable themes.
Getting started on Pelican.
Learn more about Pelican.
Middleman is a static site generator that utilizes all the shortcuts and tools available for modern web development. This software is built on Ruby, provides extensive documentation on usage and customization, and lets you customize your website with ease. Like Hexo, you can build and deploy your blog or site to any web host with a single command.
Finding support is also easy with Middleman as this tool has an active open-source community of people ready to help you.
Getting started on Middleman.
Learn more about Middleman.
Metalsmith is a simple, efficient, pluggable static site generator. What sets Metalsmith apart is that every task is handled by plugins and the best part is that all plugins are reusable. Just decide what you want on your site, identify the relevant plugins, and chain them together, and your website is ready to deploy.
Files can be written and manipulated easily with the respective plugins. Metalsmith can also generate PDFs, e-books, documents, and more.
Getting started on Metalsmith.
Learn more about Metalsmith.
Equipped with pre-built website skeletons, DocPad lets you create a fully functional website in seconds. This tool supports CoffeeScript, Ruby, PHP, Stylus, and more. With DocPad, blogs or sites can be transferred to any web host with ease.
DocPad also supports numerous plugins that make customization very easy. The extensive documentation and its helpful support community make this a user-friendly tool.
Getting started on DocPad.
Learn more about DocPad.
Wintersmith is a flexible, minimalistic static site generator powered by Node.js. With Wintersmith, you can customize your site using simple plugins. Wintersmith’s projects are merely directory structures, which means you can take content from your old static sites, or from another generators, and use them with this tool.
Easy deployment and speedy performance makes Wintersmith a popular choice. It supports Jade plugin and other community-built plugins for Node.js’s template engines.
Getting started on Wintersmith.
Learn more about Wintersmith.
Cactus is an efficient static site generator built on Python and Django template system. Cactus lets you develop websites locally and host them easily on Amazon S3 etc.
Read more: How To Create A Static Blog Using Cactus
It offers beginner Django templates such as portfolios, blogs, and single pages, as well as more templates for advanced uses. Cactus is ideal to build company sites, portfolios, support websites, and blogs.
Getting started on Cactus.
Learn more about Cactus.
HubPress is a free open-source web application that allows you to build AsciiDoc blogs on GitHub Pages. Creating a blog with HubPress is easy – all you need to do is fork or create a copy of the repository in your GitHub account and update the included config file as per your requirements.
HubPress also supports Google Analytics so you can keep track of your site’s traffic and reader activities easily.
Getting started on HubPress.
Learn more about HubPress.
Whether you want to build a website with single or multiple page(s), a static site is the option to choose if you want to keep things simple, and save costs and other resources. Of course, there are a number of disadvantages using static sites, but if you believe "content is king", then less is definitely more.
Get started with one of these static site generators and you will find that building a static website is easier and more manageable than a CMS like WordPress.
Read more: 10 Flat CMS to Setup Lightweight Websites
Which is your favorite static site generator? Please let us know via comments.