Chapter 3. Popular Static Site Generator Options

At this point, we understand what a static site generator is, that it is a tool geared toward developers and what types of sites it is most useful for. But, with close to 400 options, it can be hard to know where to start. In this chapter, we’ll look at a few of the more popular options available to give you a deeper understanding of what differentiates each solution.

In order to give a the broadest overview possible while covering a small subset of tools, I’ve chosen three options representing different languages: Jekyll, built with Ruby; Wintersmith, built with CoffeeScript (a language that compiles to JavaScript); and Hugo, built with Go.

While covering each engine in depth is definitely beyond the scope of this book, I will take a look at each engine focusing on some key elements:

Getting started

The ease of setup, cross-platform support, and generation of initial site files

Templating and authoring

The choice of default template language, the basics of customizing a site, and writing content

Documentation and resources

A look at the existing documentation and availability of additional community resources


Jekyll was originally created in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, founder and former CEO of GitHub. Jekyll is arguably the most popular static site generator currently available—the Jekyll wiki lists over 800 sites built with Jekyll. Part of this popularity is due to the fact that Jekyll is the engine frequently ...

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