Static Site Generators Are Easy to Use…Right?

I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for months now Actually, it’s ever since I realised how hard it is to manage content with Static Site Generators, and flipped back to WordPress.

I had some rough notes, but never got around to writing the post out in a long-form. Here’s my notes:

  • Hear all the time that SSGs are easy to setup and simple to get going with.
  • Sure, like pinning a broken bone is easy for a surgeon. Devs don’t realise that is a massive barrier for entry for anyone who isn’t a dev.
  • Most people struggle with the concept of FTP’ing files to a server, let alone CI/CD, Git, layouts, markdown and front matter.
  • Oh you wanna write a post? Sure, open a text editor and type out all the meta data first. Many people just want something they can log into, type a post and hit publish.
  • I know CMS’s exist for SSG’s, but they’re can’t be easily deployed by most people.
  • I’m not against SSG’s. I think they’re incredible pieces of software, which I use myself for certain projects, but please stop saying they’re simple to use, because they are not.

Then I read a post by Florens Verschelde, entitled Static Site Generators, where he said everything I wanted to say and then some. So why re-invent the wheel?

It turns out that static site generators are terrible at handling content. Which is too bad, because that’s one of their very few features to begin with.

Florens Verschelde

Static Site Generators

by Florens Verchelde

I’ve been looking for a decent static site generator to build a simple, 10-page-or-so documentation site, and I’m failing. Here are some notes on my journey, to serve as a warning sign to future travellers, and thoughts on what static site generators could do better.

I know there are many people who read this blog and use Static Site Generators. What do you think? Are Florens and I missing something here? Please let me know by using the reply by email button below.

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