Sarathlal N

An introduction to Static site generators

The Static site generators are set of tools that can generate static HTML files from our content with some template files. Then we can host these static files and use it as a static website / blog.

Even if we are comfortable in CMS / blog engines, occasionally we want some minimal alternative or light weight solutions. The static site generators are usable as an alternative in such situations.

The static site generators are application to be installed in our computer. We want to write content in special & easy formats like Markdown & textile etc. These contents are live in a special folder in project directory in our computer. We can add image, video etc in post like this same way.

In our project directory, we need some template files and configuration file. These template files decide look and feels of our website / blog. The configuration file determine how our content to be converted in to static web pages.

Then we want to generate our website(HTML files) using static site generator. After generating HTML files, we can host them as regular static websites.

Next time, when we want to publish a new article, we want to follow the same steps. First, we want to create a new article in our content folder with old articles. Then again generate HTML files using static site generator and host them.

Some of static site generators are available for free with Open Source license. They are written in different languages like Ruby, JavaScript, Python and even in PHP. They have user community with great skills and how to do articles.

Additionally we can use functionality like Pagination, Permalinks, Tagging, categorization, commenting system and syntax highlighting etc in some of these static site generators.

If you like to test and build your website / blog with a static site generator, you can find a great list at here.

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