static site generator

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A Static site generator or SSG is software that uses a set of text content files typically stored on a server, and transforms them into a set of static HTML files for a website.

How to

For details on implementations and examples of IndieWeb building blocks e.g.

  • How to send & receive Webmentions with static site generators

See:

Advantages

  • Long term maintenance advantages
  • Archival ready HTML output
  • Can be hosted on any webserver
  • Free or cheap static hosting options are available
  • No "moving parts"; nothing to break
  • Easy to get started
  • Source files can be edited on an operating system. Usually its just text files!
  • Generators are typically fairly simple programs to write and modify
  • Lots of existing options; Few are better than most
  • No database-antipattern
  • Fewer security vulnerabilities with static HTML+CSS

Disadvantages

  • Most SSGs are written as CLI programs and are difficult for non-technical people to learn
  • Can be difficult to install due to the use of programming language package managers
  • Most SSGs don't scale well with large data sets
  • Supporting dynamic interactivity usually requires JavaScript and APIs
  • Changes can only be shown as quickly as the build runs
  • SSGs are not always a "simple" option: https://kevq.uk/static-site-generators-are-easy-to-useright/

Popular and Documented SSGs

Graphical Editing User Interfaces

Setting up a CMS or micropub service can help make it easier to post without editing files directly. These usually require some kind of continuous integration to allow automatically building and deploying the site whenever these UIs change the underlying files.


Page editing User Interfaces

Some services add the ability to edit pages graphically in a "What You See Is What You Get" style visual editor. This can be more accessible to users without coding experience.


IndieWeb Examples

IndieWebCamp Sessions

See Also