The Static Site Generator is Reborn
Fast forward to recent years, since mid-2012 Static Site Generators have since regained their popularity after having gone through a serious revamp. Even back in days WordPress’ biggest competitor, Movable Type offered the capability of working as a static site generator.
A lot of the constraints and drawback have since have been improved upon to meet today’s competitive site building industry and appeal to frontline developers.
A good Static Site Generator should include the following attributes:
- A good static site generator should enable a developer to get rid of duplicate headers/footers. Manually getting rid of duplicates or splitting a website layout increases the time to develop a website significantly.
- All good static generators should allow the developer to work with Markdown. This will allow developers to separate the content from the design, enabling them to upload plain-text and modify within the site generator.
- A static site generator should enable the developer to use Front Matter when working with Markdown. Front matter is a bit of meta data typically in YAML format & can be found on the top of a document containing information such a author of the document, date published, category, etc.
- A lot of frontline development today revolves around Tools & Compilers. Website data needs to miniaturized and conjoined for minimum load time and optimum efficiency. Make sure your choice of Static Site Generator includes an asset pipeline that can carry out the functions of: Compiling, Transpiling, Miniaturization & Bundling.
- Lastly, your choice of static site generator should be a good finisher. Which means it should come with a comprehensive Command-line UI for putting it all together ready for upload to any static host server or be served from any normal web server.
Better Late Than Never
To conclude, if the above aren’t reasons enough why your existing or next website development project should be one that is based on a Static site generator then consider the following as our closing statement.
Static site generators are now very versatile as compared to their original versions. With the growth spurt that browsers have shown, trying to implement features like social media snippets or feeds, chat & even real time data updating through a dynamic website platform can be very challenging and unnecessary.
Static site generators now offer useful plugins through private developers that allow for quick social media integration & live real time data updating. Simply put static site generators are now capable of running full-fledged web applications.
Another reason to prefer Static site generators over dynamic website are CDNs or Content Delivery Networks. In 1999 Akamai released the first CDN. CDNs allow vast amount of data to be delivered to the web all around the world in a very short time. At the time only companies like CNN & Facebook could afford the leisure of such a service, however that has drastically changed over the years with the introduction companies like Fastly, MacCDN & CloudFlare offer comprehensive CDN services to even small size business. Now CDNs can be used in a dynamic website foundation too but caching is much riskier and complicated. This caching process can even be automated with services like Netify on a static site generator based website.
The demand for outstanding performance outweighs all others. The introduction of Mobile devices to the consumer market has risen the standards and demands of mobile users everywhere. Several million people view website from their mobile devices often on 3G & 4G networks with 5G in the works. Performance has never been more important. It’s a commonly known fact that approx. 57% of all visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, whereas not too long ago visitors used to wait up to 10 seconds. No matter how well optimized your dynamic website or how much you have spent on its maintenance & upkeep, it will never compare to a Static site generator website that is well-tuned & hosted on the right CDN for just a few dollars a month.
Lastly, with build tools now so easily and readily available, no longer do you need to restrict to C or Java programming. Build tools are simple, user & UI friendly tools that allow a multitude of tasks and affects to be carried out effortlessly with basic knowledge of website development and a little bit of creativity.