Static site generator recommendations

I’ve gradually been leaning towards two opinions:

1: Having the Digest load as fast as possible is a benefit for everyone, and

2: I want to get off the PHP/Wordpress vulnerability merry-go-round.

Does anyone have specific experience with static site generators?  Ideally there’s something out there as polished/unfiddly as WordPress, but I don’t know what.  The Digest started using the Movable Type product, and I’m tempted to return.

Update: People have been recommending Hugo, Pelican, and Jekyll.  It looks like comments would end up going into Disqus, which is an external not-under-my-control application.  There are other plugins for comments, but none of them as straightforward.  What are people’s thoughts on using an outside service?

18 Replies to “Static site generator recommendations”

  1. I have been using octopress(in the past) and jekyll (currently). Jekyll is pretty simple and I would not recommend using octopress. But there may be better alternatives around (Hugo?).

  2. I have been using Nikola ( It is written in Python, actively developed (last commit yesterday, last release 4 days ago), and very responsive to requests for help and code changes (if they make sense).

  3. I’m using Pelican on my blog as well. Used Octopress in the past, but all this Ruby stuff… I tend to use Python because it’s less pain than the Ruby stuff I’ve used.
    From the config point of view Pelican is easier to learn than Octopress.
    Pelican also has an active community and nice themes from which you can choose

  4. I am using Hugo and like it so far. It’s very powerful and especially very easy to install on.any platform. There are quite a bunch of templates available.

  5. I have used nanoc before. It works alright, but it was quite a bit of fiddling and configuration to get it set up. Not really comparable to wordpress in terms of ease of use. On the plus side this allows you more control over the site generation (it’s good for more than just blogs). If you are already familiar with ruby and the ruby family of web dev stacks, then nanoc will seem familiar.

    I will be monitoring this thread also, because I wouldn’t mind replaced my nanoc setup with something easier to use.

  6. Another vote for hugo. Powerful with plenty of options. And indeed easy to use and deploy (single binary).

  7. Thanks to constant patching, I think CMS is just too risky these days. Good luck with your search. I’m looking too.
    Typo3 has a startcgen module.

    Other options:

  8. WP is a nightmare. The cost of having Bluehost or Dreamhosts WP hosting is worth the reduction in fuss

  9. I can recommend two of them.

    One is Jekyll:

    This seems to be one of the most broadly used one in general. It is famous even among non-Ruby people (like me), unlike many others that are only famous in certain language communities.

    And Hugo:

    This one is rather new, but works like a charm. The main benefit of this particular site generator next to being full-featured is speed. What differentiates it from most other generators that are in this particular style is that it is written in a compiled static language, which of course has performance benefits. In many cases that is not your big problems, but if your archive ends up at a certain size you might run into problems.

  10. I’ve recently evaluated a couple of static site generators, too. Without going into details I really liked Pelican, Nikola and Hugo.

  11. I really don’t like Disqus and the like. You’re basically tracked from site to site.
    Actually I blocked the cookies and JavaScript from Disqus for privacy reason.
    I don’t trust any external service for comments.
    One way to maintain discussion is to have a separate self hosted forums or discussion service. And you create a new thread for each post. But of course such self hosted service will require a dynamic language such as PHP, Python or Ruby, and a way to store the data like a DB or files. So you can’t really run away from The WordPress scheme (PHP/MySQL or any other equivalent)

  12. No “outside services”, please, and certainly not Disqus. Since this tracking conduit is blocked in sensible configurations, the presence of comments would not be visible. The other flaw is its JavaScript requirement to work properly. Crap in every respect, that external Disqus “service”. Even the name.

  13. When I was a child, I was programming with bash scripts and later using perl such static site generators, that worked quite well, in spite being very primitive, but for that time it was pretty much OK, but I did not feel that way, I was not proud of that crap I was writing down there.
    Later I realized that every CMS works like this. WordPress just takes crap from MySQL and concatenates it with other crap that is being found in its files to give it some CSS, some JavaScript and all the headers a HTML site needs. And this is being done each and every time unless you are using some kind of reverse proxy caching or PHP caching or whatever it is called.
    So there was one thing I was actually better at without realizing it. Because I was never thinking of myself as a programmer.

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