With 39.8% of all the websites today powered by WordPress, there’s no doubt that WordPress is the king of web development. However, it’s still open to vulnerabilities from many every side.

Now, running a WordPress powered website requires you to keep an eye on core updates for one, being on top of your plugin and theme updates.

While  making sure that you are using a secure hosting environment and keeping current versions of critical technologies like PHP and MySQL. Finally, it takes simple steps like using two-factor authentication to keep WordPress, FTP or your Hosting account credentials secure.

A range of API and CDN options, with modern browsers abilities and all of the WP drawbacks together grew the web development scene towards helping to find better front-end solutions.

It’s not because WordPress is a bad option, and yes, this blog and many websites I and many others built use WordPress. It’s more than right now, the use of static site generators and a fast CDN-powered distribution is an option from performance and security standpoint.

Entering these static site generators

Static site generators allow for the production of static HTML-based websites that don’t rely on databases or other external data sources.

They avoid server-side processing when accessing the website; Static sites have various advantages to dynamic websites and are becoming popular each day.

But why care about Static Sites?

Here are some reasons why you should care about them.

Less Complexity: With static sites, all you need is a web server that is capable of serving static files. Adding in basic hosting and deployment is then especially easy with services like GitHub pages and Netlify.

Stronger Security: There is few to no server-side functionality on many static setups, which means fewer security concerns. Unless there’s a vulnerability on your server then a hacker can exploit it, static sites ensure a more secure experience than dynamic sites.

Flexibility: As static site generators requires some technical know-how. That may mean learning a few new things at the start, it comes with more freedom as many static site generators have plugins that can be extended using their core programming language.

Loads Faster: Since Static site generators serve pre-compiled files to browsers, it cuts loading times by a large margin as the webserver just need to return a file. There is a good amount of optimisation options that can be added to the files before everything is deployed.

1. Gatsby

Gatsby Static Site Generator

Gatsby is presumably the most popular static site generator for React in the world. The ReactJS siteitself is, in fact, built with Gatsby. Therefore, why is Gatsby so popular?

I plays wonderfully with the React ecosystem, from React components to Webpack and CSS techniques. It also features a rich data plugin system that makes it easy to pull and use data via GraphQL from third-party services and APIs so that you can improve your experience with real data.

Also it’s easy to deploy and works very fast with nearly zero loading times if you built and deployed correctly. It as a variety of starters, templates and even to some extent works in accordance with PWA guidelines.

2. Jekyll

Jekyll Static Site Generator

Jekyll been around here as the world’s most widely used static site generator which mainly suited for blogs and eCommerce. The part of the success for this static site generator can be attributed to the very fast migration to Jekyll, using importers. This generator been built with Ruby and integrates into GitHub Pages, and comes with a rich ecosystem of themes, templates and plugins.

It even provides free website hosting with GitHub Pages, which is a plus and in the React world, Jekyll struggles compared to the big 3 above.

3. Cuttlebelle

Cuttlebelle Static Site Generator

Cuttlebelle is a highly impressive React static site generator that been built with a vision to separate editing and coding concerns.

This generator lets you use one layout per page-partial and neatly separates content from code. You can extend this generator with React components, which opens various possibilities.

You can create a layout for one part of the page and then compose them together to create a single static page. Create Cuttlebelle templates with JSX, compose a layout, fetch data from third-party APIs and test with Jest and deploy it anywhere.

4. Hugo

Hugo Static Site Generator

Hugo is an amazingly fast framework for building static sites, which is highly flexible and works cross-platform. It supports multiple content types, taxonomies, menus, dynamic API-driven content, and more without plugins.

Hugo also provides over 300 themes out of the box, unlike Gatsby. Hugo with React is not an out of the box thing; however, your Hugo blog can live inside a larger React application. So enjoy the superior performance and SEO of Hugo inside you React application.

5. 11ty

11ty Static Site Generator

11ty is simply the alternative to Jekyll and been built on JavaScript. This means you don’t need to already be familiar with React. It’s zero-config by default but has flexible configuration options.

11ty works with your project’s existing directory structure, it uses independent template engines. 11ty don’t want to hold your content hostage. So if you decide to use something else, having your content decoupled in this way will make migration easier.

6. Sapper

Sapper Static Site Generator

Sapper is a framework for building high-performance web apps. You’re looking at one right now! There are two basic concepts, first is the for each page of your app is a Svelte component. And the other is you create pages by adding files to the routes directory of your project.

This will be server-rendered so that a user’s first visit to the app is as fast as possible. And then a client-side app will take over. Building an app with all the best practices code-splitting, offline support, server-rendered views with client-side hydration is fiendishly complicated. Sapper does all the boring stuff for you so that you can get on with the creative part.


6 Static Site Generators