Static site generators to watch in 2021

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • gutenberg

    A fast static site generator in a single binary with everything built-in. https://www.getzola.org

    No you're absolutely right -- these are all headless CMSes, I did not actually complete the JAMstack, only the wrong piece -- I don't know what I was thinking, don't know what made me zoom in on CMSes so much, guess I think of them as more important than the front-end in a JAMstack.

    As recompense, some lesser known options for the frontend part of the JAMstack that weren't mentioned in the original post:

    - https://github.com/getzola/zola

    - https://hexo.io/

    - https://www.getblades.org/getting_started.html

  • poor-richard

    Static site for Spotlight PA

    I've switched away from Vue to using Alpine.js, which makes it easier to combine backend templates with frontend ones, but here's the repo back when I was using Vue: https://github.com/spotlightpa/poor-richard/tree/eb816cac807...

    src/entrypoints/donate.js defined a custom element, which was included on layouts/donate-page/single.html and layouts/partials/get-src.html conditionally included the Vue component either with Parcel's dev server in testing or precompiled files in production.

    It's not very different from what you'd do in any not-JS web framework.

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  • sitepress

    Sitepress ruby gems

    If you love building stuff in Rails, keep an eye on my project Sitepress at https://github.com/sitepress/sitepress (there's a project site too at https://sitepress.cc)

    I built this because it was extremely difficult to embed Middleman or Jekyll into a Rails site. While I was building it, I discovered that Rails actually has a LOT of stuff in it already that make it work well for a static site compiler.

    I run it in a few places, with the largest deployment at https://www.polleverywhere.com. At Poll Everywhere it's happily been serving up content pages for a few years. I've switched all of my personal static websites over to it as well.

    Here's what's kind of crazy about Sitepress: you can use it to compile static websites -- OR -- you can embed it in rails and do things dynamically like display a "Login" vs "Logout" button state. The choice of "static" vs "dynamic" just isn't a big deal with Sitepress, you can have it both ways.

    Last thing: I'm currently working on making Sitepress serve up Notion and Webflow content. This can be really helpful for teams that need to deal with multiple CMS formats from large teams.

  • Pelican

    Static site generator that supports Markdown and reST syntax. Powered by Python.

    For me it was the license that made me not pick it: https://github.com/getpelican/pelican/issues/1397.

    A while ago I was picking a new SSG and I would have preferred something written in Python so I can hack on it more easily. I ended up moving on because of the license.

    I am now very happily using Hugo.

  • Gridsome

    ⚡️ The Jamstack framework for Vue.js

    Think twice about building on top of Gridsome.

    I love Gridsome, and it had tons of potential, but it's effectively a dead project. The maintainers haven't cut a new release since November 2020.[0] There's barely been any feature work since 2019.[1] Their Github repos have tons of PRs that have not been reviewed. There are serious site-killing bugs that have not been fixed for over a year.[2]

    I really wanted this project to succeed. I asked to sponsor the project and volunteered working on their documentation for a few months, but it didn't seem to yield any new dev work.

    The maintainers are extremely talented, and this is not a knock against them, but I just caution anyone against marrying themselves to a framework that's unlikely to have any ongoing maintenance.

    [0] https://github.com/gridsome/gridsome/releases

    [1] https://github.com/gridsome/gridsome/graphs/code-frequency

    [2] https://github.com/gridsome/gridsome/issues/1032

  • netlify-cms

    A Git-based CMS for Static Site Generators

  • Textpattern

    A flexible, elegant, fast and easy-to-use content management system written in PHP.

  • OPS

    OPS - Build and Run Open Source Unikernels. Quickly and easily build and deploy open source unikernels in tens of seconds. Deploy in any language to any cloud.

  • Strapi

    🚀 Open source Node.js Headless CMS to easily build customisable APIs

  • Directus

    Open-Source Data Platform 🐰 — Directus wraps any SQL database with a real-time GraphQL+REST API and an intuitive app for non-technical users.

  • tinacms

    Open source editor that brings visual editing into React websites. A developer-centric CMS to build contextual and intuitive editing experience without sacrificing code quality.

  • sanity

    The Sanity Studio – Collaborate in real-time on structured content

  • winter

    Free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform based on the Laravel PHP Framework.

  • firecms

    Awesome Firestore based CMS

  • Publish

    A static site generator for Swift developers

    For any Swift devs needing to put together a webpage, check out Publish: https://github.com/JohnSundell/Publish

  • react-static

    ⚛️ 🚀 A progressive static site generator for React.

    I still like react-static. Minimalism on react:

    https://github.com/react-static/react-static

  • mdtohtml

    Command-line tool to convert markdown to htm

  • Bridgetown

    A next-generation progressive site generator & fullstack framework, powered by Ruby

    If you love building stuff in Rails…

    Check out Bridgetown, "a Webpack-aware, Ruby-powered static site generator for the modern Jamstack era". It's come a long way since it forked from Jekyll a year ago [1].

    [1]: https://www.bridgetownrb.com

  • Lektor

    The lektor static file content management system

  • Nikola

    A static website and blog generator

    I also know that there is also Python-based Lektor [2], however I found Nikola more intriguing than this one.

    [0] https://getnikola.com/

  • Grav

    Modern, Crazy Fast, Ridiculously Easy and Amazingly Powerful Flat-File CMS powered by PHP, Markdown, Twig, and Symfony

  • hakyll

    A static website compiler library in Haskell

    Btw there is a static page generator utilizing pandoc directly: hakyll[1]. Since it's configuration is done via haskell source code file, you need to be willing to learn a bit of haskell though.

    [1] https://jaspervdj.be/hakyll/

  • Hexo

    A fast, simple & powerful blog framework, powered by Node.js.

    No you're absolutely right -- these are all headless CMSes, I did not actually complete the JAMstack, only the wrong piece -- I don't know what I was thinking, don't know what made me zoom in on CMSes so much, guess I think of them as more important than the front-end in a JAMstack.

    As recompense, some lesser known options for the frontend part of the JAMstack that weren't mentioned in the original post:

    - https://github.com/getzola/zola

    - https://hexo.io/

    - https://www.getblades.org/getting_started.html

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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