The Top 5 Static Site Generators – An In-Depth Guide

top 5 static site generators

Static site generators are a growing trend in the world of web development, offering a simple and efficient way to create and manage websites without relying on complex databases or dynamic content. Whether you’re a small business owner, blogger, or freelancer, there’s a static site generator that’s perfect for your needs.

What are Static Site Generators?

Static site generators are tools that generate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files from a set of templates, content, and configuration files. Unlike traditional dynamic websites, which generate pages on-the-fly from databases, static sites are pre-built and ready to be served up to visitors.

Benefits of Using a Static Site Generator

  • Performance: Because the content is pre-built, static sites are lightning fast and can handle a large amount of traffic with ease.
  • Security: Without a database, there’s no need to worry about security vulnerabilities.
  • Ease of Use: With a wide range of options available, you can find a static site generator that fits your needs and skill level. Many are designed with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to create and manage your website.
  • Cost Effective: By eliminating the need for complex databases and server configurations, you can save on hosting costs and get your site up and running quickly.

Top Static Site Generators

Here are some of the most popular static site generators available:

Each of these options has its own unique features, making it important to do your research and find the one that works best for you.

Managing Static Websites: An Overview of the Most Popular Platforms and Tools

Static websites, those that are generated and served without the use of a dynamic content management system (CMS), have been around for a long time. With the advent of new, faster hosting options and the increasing popularity of static site generators (SSG) like Jekyll, there is a renewed interest in using this method for creating and managing websites. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of some of the most popular platforms and tools for managing static websites.

GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket

One common scenario is connecting with Git platforms like GitHub or GitLab. These systems run the static site generator Jekyll in the background. A new GitHub page can be created entirely through the web interface. However, the options are very limited. Alternatively, you can still edit the page and its content locally with Jekyll and then push the updated files to the Git repository via the console.


netlify develop and deploy websites and apps in record time

Netlifly is a host that specializes in static websites. It delivers the static websites through a global content delivery network (CDN). In the simplest variation, you can push the finished pages from your local computer to the host using the console. In the next step, you can set up a process using Git for content management and Travis or Jenkins for automation. Netlify goes a step further and brings both the CI tool and its own NetlifyCMS. You can simply publish the finished page on GitHub, connect your GitHub account with Netlify, make changes through the NetlifyCMS, and then automatically republish the changed website. Admittedly, compared to a normal CMS, this workflow is still too complex for the average user.

Forestry, Cloudcannon, DatoCMS,, Siteleaf

These projects are Cloud CMS. Basically, the services import static websites from GitHub, Gitlab or BitBucket and then provide a web-based CMS for editing the content. The services work like a kind of remote CMS, which can be combined again with services like Netlify. is more of a general file editor for GitHub projects and is not limited to projects with static website generators. Forestry has specialized in Jekyll and Hugo, Cloudcannon and Siteleaf in Jekyll. DatoCMS is a headless CMS with support for Jekyll, Hugo, Hexo, Metalsmith, Middleman and Gatsby.

Headless CMS

In addition to services like DatoCMS or Cloudcannon, other headless CMS can also be combined with a static site generator. The headless provider Contentful, for example, offers extensions for Jekyll, Gatsby, Middleman, or Metalsmith. However, for automating the static website generation, an developer still needs to connect the tools to a host like Netlify. This is basically a solution for the enterprise and service sectors.

Jekyll Admin

In August 2016, an admin plugin was released for Jekyll. With this, new pages can be created and edited similarly to a CMS through an administration interface. However, the plugin is initially designed for use on the local machine. In case of doubt, the publication always takes place via FTP.


What still needs to be installed as a plugin in Jekyll, is already included in the young LektorCMS. Lektor has a relatively complete author interface for creating and managing content.

The User-Friendliest Static Site Generators

Static site generators allow developers to create websites that are fast, secure, and cost-effective, but what about the less technical users who want to create and manage a website? This is where Tina and Publii come into play.

Tina: Bridging the Gap to Mainstream Authors

tina build contextual editing into your site

Tina is an open-source site editing toolkit that is designed specifically for React-based frameworks, such as Gatsby and Next.js. With Tina, users can create static websites using a familiar mix of forms and inline editing. This combination bridges the gap between technical and non-technical users, and it will be interesting to see if it becomes the norm in the future.

Publii: A User-Friendly Static Site Generator with GUI

publii static site cms with gui

Publii is currently the only project that targets a non-technical audience and can be considered a full-fledged CMS (or rather a website builder). It is a desktop application for Windows and Mac that allows users to create their website similar to a CMS, but locally on their desktop. The synchronization with the server or through Git is automatic after the user has entered their login information once. All of this is done without the use of the command line and with a user-friendly interface. This may be the solution for the mainstream in the future.

In conclusion, the rise of user-friendly static site generators like Tina and Publii offers a new and exciting option for non-technical users to create and manage their websites. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these tools will continue to improve and shape the future of web development.

How to Choose the Right Static Site Generator

Choosing the right static site generator for your needs can be a challenge, but here are some factors to consider:

  • Skill Level: Consider your experience with web development and how comfortable you are with code. Some static site generators are easier to use than others.
  • Features: Consider the features you need, such as custom templates, a built-in blog, and the ability to handle complex data.
  • Scalability: Consider how your website will grow over time and choose a static site generator that can accommodate that growth.

The Benefits of Static Site Generators in Today’s IT Trends

In the world of web development, static site generators (SSG) have been gaining popularity in recent years. However, the current IT trends make them even more relevant. Let’s take a closer look at these trends and how they can benefit the use of SSG:

The JAMstack Trend

jamstack for fast and secure sites

The JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, Markup) is a modern approach to building websites that relies on simple HTML markup and JavaScript. Dynamic elements are provided by external services, which can be accessed and integrated into the static website through an API (Application Programming Interface) using JavaScript. Frontend frameworks such as Angular, Vue, and React are commonly used tools in this strategy, and static site generators can easily fit into this approach.

The Microservice Trend

The microservice trend involves breaking down a large software into small, independent microservices with separate APIs, which can then be used by websites as needed. Major API providers include Facebook, Twitter, and Disqus, but in theory, any software can be a data provider through an API. Static site generators are a great fit for this development as well.

The Decoupling Trend

Microservices aim to be small and focused on a single task, such as managing products or delivering media. Tasks are decoupled from each other and completed independently of other services, allowing them to be combined like Legos into a new product. This trend towards decoupling is also happening in the CMS (Content Management System) field, with the emergence of headless CMS, which only focus on managing and delivering content while leaving page generation out of the picture. In this scenario, a static site generator could take on the task of generating pages.

Despite these benefits, the technical nature of static site generators may pose a challenge for less tech-savvy authors and users. Working with the console, Git, Markdown, and FTP uploads, for example, can be intimidating for non-technical users. This can make it difficult to achieve mainstream acceptance for SSG.

In conclusion, the current IT trends make static site generators an even more relevant choice for web development. The JAMstack trend, the microservice trend, and the decoupling trend all offer advantages for SSG, but the technical aspect may limit its adoption among non-technical users.


Static site generators are a powerful and efficient way to create and manage your website, offering benefits like improved performance, increased security, and cost savings. With so many options available, it’s important to take the time to find the right static site generator for your needs. By considering factors like your skill level, the features you need, and scalability, you can choose a static site generator that will help your website grow and succeed.

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