Static & Simple Sites: Generators and Hosting
What’s a static site?
This is in contrast to dynamic sites. Dynamic sites are sites where the pages aren’t ready for a user until the visitor makes a request for them. Dynamic sites also rely on database information to create sites that show pages specific to each visitor (whereas a static site shows the same information to any visitor). Most websites you can think of are dynamic websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Static sites have several advantages: they can be blazing fast, can be cheaply hosted or hosted for free, and are very lightweight. Static site generators are frameworks that permit you to spin up and support static sites with ease.
Jekyll is an amazing, lightweight static site generator. It’s a framework for organizing and generating static files and partials. It’s got great documentation and was created by a Github founder. It’s an awesome solution for rolling your own blog or small personal site, and can be hosted for free on Github’s gh-pages.
I built a seed Jekyll application with tons of lovely features for you to fork and use for free on Github for your own projects.
Visual interfaces for creating Jekyll sites and adding or editing pages
- Prose.io: create MD files via a web interface that immediately show up on the appropriate Jekyll site (or just to the appropriate repository).
- Forestry.io: even better than Prose.io, it’s a lightweight content management system that mimics Wordpress’ functionality for Jekyll sites.
Themes and freebies
- Hydejack, one of my favorite Jekyll themes.
- Lots of Jekyll themes
- Planet Jekyll, an awesome showcase of many Jekyll themes
- Gorgeous HMFAYSAL Omega theme for Jekyll
- Create and publish your own Jekyll theme gem
Documentation and tutorials
- Liquid documentation: the Ruby-based language Jekyll uses to manage dynamic qualities in building your site.
- Tags and categories with Jekyll
- Jekyll tags from scratch
- Put interactive Ruby snippets on your blog
- Putting Disqus comments onto a Jekyll site: basically the comments feature below! (And this is a Jekyll site.)
- Implement Jekyll search using lunr.js: adding search functionality to a Jekyll site
- jekyll-assets, a very useful gem for managing assets with Jekyll in a Rails-like way
Hosting static sites
- Learn and use Github Pages to host your pages and sites: essentially a free, hosted, live version of your front-end repositories.
- Using static site generators at scale: specifically, Jekyll. Great read.
- Jekyll on Firebase, a great post talking about deploying a Jekyll site to be hosted on Firebase. Great for Firebase newbies as well.
- Netlify, static site hosting for free for personal projects
- Gatsby, static single-page sites with React