Many site pages are dynamic. That suggests a web page’s content material can exchange from consultation to consultation relying on who’s loading it, whether or not they’re logged in or out, and several other different elements.

In case your site doesn’t do this, then you definately’re coping with static pages.

Static websites don’t have any dynamic content. In a large number of instances, that may translate to quicker loading occasions and higher total web site efficiency. Figuring out the professionals and cons of dynamic websites and pages will assist you make a decision when it is sensible to make use of them.

This text will duvet what static web site turbines are and when you should utilize them. We’ll additionally speak about the professionals and cons of static websites, and we’ll introduce you to 5 of the highest turbines you’ll be able to use as of late.

Let’s get to it!

What Is a Static Web site Generator?

Technically, you don’t want to use a “generator” or any content management system (CMS) to create a static web page. If you realize your approach round HTML and CSS, you’ll be able to create a web page with out an excessive amount of fuss the usage of your favorite text editor:

Screenshot of an HTML document as seen in a text editor.

An HTML report in a textual content editor.

Then again, you’ll be able to depend on internet frameworks like Bootstrap to get entry to complicated HTML, CSS, and JavaScript libraries that you’ll be able to use to create each static and dynamic web sites:

The Bootstrap homepage with the headline "Build fast, responsive sites with Bootstrap".

The Bootstrap homepage.

Static web site turbines be offering a 3rd, extra streamlined choice. They ceaselessly come with more than a few tools that make it simple to release a site, taste it, create content material, post it, and replace pages as wanted.

If you happen to’re now not conversant in site building, then you definately’ll more than likely need equipment like static web site turbines to your arsenal to assist convey your imaginative and prescient to lifestyles.

By means of and big, most well liked turbines be offering a extensive vary of options that make your paintings more straightforward, together with:

  • Fortify for Markdown language: Maximum turbines don’t come with full-blown text editors. As a substitute, they use Markdown language, on occasion even together with further customized Markdown syntaxes.
  • Integrated structure and templating choices: Designing and styling a website is ceaselessly probably the most difficult construction procedure. That’s why turbines have a tendency to incorporate built-in templating and layout options.
  • Fortify for more than one varieties of content material: Relying on which generator you utilize, it must give a boost to more than a few varieties of content material, comparable to weblog posts, pages, galleries, and extra.
  • Integrated search engine optimization capability: No trendy site is able with out correct search engine optimization (SEO). If you happen to’re making an allowance for — or already the usage of — a generator that doesn’t be offering SEO features or add-ons, you’re at an advantage transferring to a brand new software.

It’s vital to notice that almost all static web site turbines suppose that you have already got an very important site building background. Some choices are somewhat beginner-friendly, however they nonetheless require you to be conversant in ideas such because the command line, Markdown language, and extra.

Why Use a Static Web site Generator (Execs and Cons)

You may well be questioning why someone would use a fancy static web site generator when there are tools like WordPress available.

All of it comes all the way down to case-by-case makes use of, non-public choice, and function.

Within the overwhelming majority of instances, static web sites will load much faster than their dynamic opposite numbers. That’s as a result of your servers must handle a ways fewer requests, and there’s no database concerned. Each and every customer will see the similar pages, and all that knowledge is baked into the code that your static web site generator places out.

Some builders additionally like to handle static web site turbines as a substitute of advanced CMSs that pack too many options. Web site turbines have a tendency to be lean, and in some instances, they’re extremely modular. That suggests much less bloat to handle and less options to grasp, particularly should you’re best enthusiastic about developing particular pages.

Static Websites vs Dynamic Websites

In fact, now not all websites must be static. So how have you learnt when that is the fitting manner in your wishes?

Listed below are some examples of websites that don’t essentially want to be dynamic:

Even if the theory of a static site may sound proscribing, there’s so much that you’ll be able to do with out introducing any dynamic components onto a web page.

On the other hand, any site that requires a database is out of the query. That signifies that you’ll be able to’t use static site turbines to create online shops, weblog posts with feedback sections, web sites with consumer registration, and so forth.

If you happen to don’t want dynamic capability, the usage of a static site generator will grant you a ways higher web site efficiency than maximum CMS’s will out of the field.

We are saying “out of the field” as a result of there’s so much you’ll be able to do to optimize a CMS comparable to WordPress. In our enjoy, a well-optimized WordPress website can also be simply as instant as a static one (only if you even have fantastic hosting).

If you happen to’re opting for to make use of a static web site generator merely because of efficiency issues, it may well be price your whilst to consider some CMS options as a substitute.

Then again, should you’re assured that you just received’t want dynamic capability in your site, all that’s left is to search out the fitting software.

5 Absolute best Static Web site Turbines

Ahead of we speak about particular static web site turbines, it’s price bringing up that every one of those equipment are self-hosted. To make use of them, you’ll want to find a hosting provider that may both set them up for you or provide you with get entry to to the command line.

With that during thoughts, let’s pass over a few of our best alternatives for static web site turbines in 2021.

1. Jekyll

The Jekyll homepage with the headline "Transform your plain text into static websites and blogs."

The Jekyll homepage.

Jekyll is without doubt one of the most well liked open-source static site turbines — and with just right reason why. It’s the instrument that powers GitHub Pages, which provides loose web hosting for static websites.

At its core, Jekyll is a blogging-friendly generator. This static instrument helps Markdown, ships with a complete taxonomy device, and helps the Liquid templating language.

One of the vital most well liked web sites that use Jekyll come with Ruby on Rails, Sketch, and Spotify for Developers.

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If you happen to’re having a look to release a loose static site, Jekyll and Github Pages may well be an incredible mixture for you.

2. Hugo

The Hugo homepage with the headline

The Hugo homepage.

Hugo is an open-source static site generator that expenses itself as a “general-purpose” framework. That’s a chic approach of claiming that you’ll be able to use Hugo to construct a extensive vary of web sites, going way past easy blogs and brochure pages.

With Hugo, you’ll be able to generate pages at a blazing tempo, with construct occasions ceaselessly below one 2nd. The instrument allows you to preview adjustments on your pages as you’re making them the usage of LiveReload, and it provides robust theming capability.

Hugo makes use of a modular device that can assist you construct static web sites. You’ve got a number of modules to choose between, together with content material, layouts, and knowledge.

Some fashionable web sites that use Jekyll come with 1Password’s documentation pages, Linode’s docs section, and KeyCDN.

With Hugo, you’ll be able to mix more than one modules on any web page to get the precise options you want.

3. Gridsome

The Gridsome static site generator homepage with the headline "A Jamstack framework for Vue.js".

The Gridsome static web site generator.

Gridsome is an impressive static web site generator. You’ll use it to create pages with trendy equipment comparable to Vue.js and GraphQL.

You’ll additionally use Gridsome to arrange a “head” for a CMS. For instance, you want to use Gridsome to generate static pages the usage of knowledge pulled from WordPress, which is a “headless” CMS setup.

The benefit of a headless setup is that you just get all of the absolute best portions of the usage of static pages whilst additionally profiting from the overall vary of CMS capability. In different phrases, you get access to databases, complicated taxonomies, or even full-blown text editors.

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It’s additionally price noting that Gridsome provides a extensive selection of plugins that you’ll be able to use to increase the generator’s capability. If there’s a function that the framework doesn’t supply out of the field, the likelihood is that that there’s a plugin for it.

Gridsome continues to be a somewhat new static site generator. On the other hand, two nice examples of websites that already use this instrument are Smart City Expo Atlanta and Format.

As chances are you’ll consider, Gridsome isn’t as beginner-friendly as different equipment on this listing. You’ll want some internet building enjoy to get probably the most out of this instrument.

If you know your approach round Vue.js, Gridsome is without doubt one of the absolute best static web site turbines that you’ll be able to use.

4. Eleventy

The Eleventy static site generator homepage with the headline "Eleventy is a simpler static site generator."

The Eleventy static web site generator.

Eleventy is a relative newcomer to the sphere of static site turbines. This actual instrument depends on JavaScript and Node.js. That signifies that you’ll want some stage of familiarity with the JavaScript language to make use of it successfully.

If you happen to’re at ease the usage of JavaScript, Eleventy will praise you with one of the most absolute best efficiency amongst static web site turbines.

This software helps more than one template languages, however at its core, Eleventy depends on Liquid, which makes it very similar to Jekyll in that regard. Past Liquid, Eleventy too can parse a number of different languages in your static pages, together with Markdown and JavaScript.

What’s extra, with web sites like Chrome Developers and Netlify the usage of Eleventy, it’s grown in reputation.

In our enjoy, getting began with Eleventy could be a bit difficult as its documentation continues to be in development. On the other hand, the trouble is definitely price it should you’re in search of a lean static web site generator.

5. Pelican

The Pelican static site generator blog page with the headline "Pelican Static Site Generator, Powered by Python".

The Pelican static web site generator.

Pelican is a little-known static site generator that’s all about Python. If you happen to’re conversant in Python, you’ll be able to use the instrument to create static pages the usage of Markdown and reStructuredText.

This instrument comes with a suite of subject matters that you’ll be able to customise, and it contains multilingual support. Additionally, Pelican allows you to import data from WordPress, RSS feeds, and several other different third-party assets, making it a very good choice for a headless setup.

Pelican provides a strong set of plugins that you’ll be able to set as much as lengthen the generator’s capability. General, it’s one of the crucial leanest static web site turbines on our listing, however it’s an incredible choice if you know or want to learn Python.

What to Believe When Opting for a Static Web site Generator

Your collection of static web site generator will essentially come down to a few elements. Let’s damage down what they’re:

  1. Which language the generator makes use of: Some static web site turbines depend closely on JavaScript and different libraries. Relying on which generator you utilize, chances are you’ll want some familiarity with its programming language.
  2. Ease of use: If you happen to’re an skilled internet developer, you must have the ability to pick out up any static web site generator with relative ease. On the other hand, should you’re operating on one in every of your first initiatives, you’ll need to go for a beginner-friendly generator.
  3. Form of content material it helps: Hottest static web site turbines will assist you create a wide variety of pages. On the other hand, others center of attention on particular varieties of content material, comparable to weblog posts.
  4. Current instrument group: By means of and big, we advise that you just use equipment with well-established consumer communities. That approach, you’ll have more straightforward time troubleshooting issues and getting solutions to questions.

Many of the static web site turbines we’ve checked out right here require you to be a minimum of fairly happy with internet building basics. If that feels like an excessive amount of, you may well be at an advantage with a user-friendly CMS comparable to WordPress.

A managed WordPress website can also be simply as instant as a static web site. Plus, the CMS is easy to make use of (even supposing you’re operating to your first challenge).

Static sites don’t have any dynamic content, which can mean faster loading times and better overall site performance. ⚡ Learn more in this guide 👩‍💻Click to Tweet


Numerous other people take into accounts static web sites as remnants of the previous web. On the other hand, static pages could be a boon to any site, since they ceaselessly ship significantly better efficiency than their dynamic opposite numbers. Relying on what generator you select, chances are you’ll even have the ability to arrange a headless WordPress site with static web page outputs.

If you happen to’re making an allowance for the usage of a static web site generator, those are our best 5 suggestions:

  1. Jekyll: A blog-friendly static web site generator that you’ll be able to use with Github Pages.
  2. Hugo: A module-based static web site generator with blazing instant efficiency.
  3. Gridsome: This scalable generator makes use of Vue.js that can assist you create static pages.
  4. Eleventy: This generator is very best should you’re keen on JavaScript and Node.js.
  5. Pelican: A lean, Python-based static web site generator.

Are you pondering of attempting a static web site generator in your subsequent internet challenge? Let us know all about it within the feedback segment underneath!

The publish Top 5 Static Site Generators in 2021 (and When to Use Them) gave the impression first on Kinsta®.

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