Guide to Static Website Generators

Most developers already understand how content management systems work. The popularity of WordPress has permeated the globe and become a staple for creating any blog.

However a growing trend is the use of static website generators for blogs or small websites. These are dynamic compilers that turn preprocessed code into static HTML/CSS/JS files that can be maintained on a server without a database. And while this may not be the best workflow for every site, there are many reasons why developers have been flocking to static site generators.

In this post I’d like to explore the depths of static website generators: what they do, how they do it and why you might want to use one. If you simply don’t understand static site generators then hopefully this post will shed light on the subject.


Origins of the Static Web

The web actually started as purely static HTML files in the 90s. Yes, there were larger applications that ran on Perl or Java, but HTML was the quickest way for anyone to publish content online.