The Most Popular Static Site Generators

By Mike Johnston July 3, 2017 Articles and Editorials

Static site generators have always been popular amongst developers and those who prefer to work via the command line. It's no surprise, therefore, that tons of them exist and are used regularly for blogs and websites. Here is a list of the most popular static site generators out there.

Jekyll

Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator that can be used for personal, project, or organization sites. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and provides you with a complete, static website. Jekyll is also the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites for free right from your GitHub repositories.

Language: Ruby

Website: http://jekyllrb.com/

Hugo

Hugo is another static site generator programmed in Go. Hugo is optimized for speed, easy use and configurability. It works by taking a directory with content and templates and rendering them into a full, HTML website. Like Jekyll, Hugo uses Markdown as well. According to the developers, Hugo can render a typical website of moderate size in a fraction of a second.

Language: Go

Website: http://gohugo.io/

Hexo

Hexo is programmed in Node.js, similar to the popular Ghost blogging platform. You write posts in Markdown (or other languages) and Hexo generates static files with a beautiful theme in seconds. Hexo has a powerful plugin system as well, allowing it to use Octopress plugins as well as others. It can also be deployed to Github Pages, Heroku and other sites in seconds.

Language: Node.js (Javascript)

Website: https://hexo.io/

GitBook

GitBook is a static site generator that was developed in order to provide an elegant way to build beautiful books using GitHub/Git and Markdown. There is a desktop editor as well for GitBook that is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. You can also easily host your created books on GitBook.com

Language: Node.js (Javascript)

Website: https://www.gitbook.com/

Gatsby

Gatsby is a super fast React.js static site generator that supports pages written in Markdown, HTML, and React.js by default. It's also very simple to add additional file types. Gatsby loads an HTML file that’s a server rendered version of your React.js page then makes it live with JavaScript. Code and data for your other pages gets preloaded to ensure that everything loads instantly.

Language: React.js (Javascript)

Website: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/

Pelican

Pelican is a static site generator powered by Python. It allows you to write your content in reStructuredText, Markdown, or AsciiDoc formats. Pelican uses Jinja templates which means developing themes is quick and easy as well. Pelican also allows the importing of data from WordPress, Dotclear, RSS feeds, and other services. Pelican has a pretty impressive plugin library as well which you can check out here: Pelican plugins.

Language: Python

Website: https://blog.getpelican.com/

There you have it, these are the most popular and most active static site generators that we are aware of, what do you use? Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston Author

Mike started CMS Critic in 2008 and has become a recognizable face and valued expert in the world of content management. He has worked with many small business and enterprises to establish their online presence and to assist with marketing strategies. If you are interested in working with him, drop him a line.

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