Static Site Generators

Does your website actually need a complicated CMS? A Static Site Generator could improve the security, maintenance and performance of your website.

In the Good ol' Days of web development, your website was made up entirely of simple static HTML files that you could upload to a server. Just like any good trend, the idea of static websites are making a comeback from the past via Static Site Generators.

The simplified rationale behind Static Site Generators is:

  • Many medium or even what are sometimes considered "large" websites running on relatively complicated CMS's like Wordpress or Drupal consist of only a few thousand pieces of content.
  • This content is often only updated a few times a day.
  • It makes little business difference if the content on these websites update a few seconds after the edit or a half hour after the edit has taken place.

Increased performance with a Static Site Generator

With modern day processing speeds, a few thousand pages can quickly be generated and stored on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) so that an application server never needs to be used. The buzzword behind avoiding the installation and maintenance of a server that routes traffic to different pages on your website is Serverless.

Improved security with a Static Site Generator

We believe that open-source Content Management Systems are superior because "security through obscurity" is not an option, but when a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress is open source, vulnerabilities are a big deal, because millions of CMS installations could become vulnerable at once. Frequent security updates are often released by core contributors to address these vulnerabilities.

The security teams that release these updates are super vigilant, but updated a bunch of Drupal/Wordpress installations after a vulnerability is identified takes time and money and the consequences are real if updates aren't properly monitored If you do not make it possible for your site to be shut down, spammed or hacked in various ways. A Static Site Generator can mitigate this problem in various ways because the website is just a collection of public HTML/CSS/JS files and is decoupled from the back-end administration.

Quicker and easy maintenance with a Static Site Generator

It is without a doubt easier to install most Static Site Generators using NPM (Ruby in Jekyll's case) than manage a Linux/Apache/Mysql/PHP installation.

Some Static Site Generators even allow you to use Git a your database via services like NetlifyCMS and tools Markdown. We use this approach on Desarol.com and it has been super handy. Jekyll, Hugo and GatsbyJs are all options in the field of Static Site Generators. At Desarol we have been choosing GatsbyJs as our Static Site Generator of choice.