I read this post last night and found it really interesting. Especially since I’ve been exploring Static Site Generators again myself. Clearly Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, doesn’t think that SSGs will hold much weight in the future.
To be honest, I can see where he’s coming from – SSGs are great fun to play with, but as I alluded to in my SSG post (linked above), anything more than a simple site/blog and the thing can become convoluted very quickly. Hell, my VERY simple site is already fairly convoluted to maintain.
SSGs are great as a fun project for a developer, but for the vast majority of web users, I can’t see them taking off. Just imagine someone from the marketing team in a small company trying to update their company’s blog. With an SSG they would have to:
- Learn how to use Markdown.
- Learn how to use YAML and front matter to get the post’s metadata correct.
- Learn how to use Git so they can commit the changes.
- Write the post.
- Save the post in the correct directory within the website tree.
- Commit the changes to their Git repo.
- Hope the build triggers and the site updates.
- If they don’t have a builder, then they will need to then learn whatever SSG their dev implemented.
- Carry out a local build.
- Upload the built site using FTP.
Same person, same scenario, using WordPress:
- Login to WordPress.
- Click New > Post.
- Write the post using the WYSIWYG editor.
- Click Publish.
This is why I don’t think that static site generators will ever gain the market share that WordPress has.
And that’s fine, by the way – SSGs are really cool and super fun to play with – I’m really enjoying it on my side project; but I wish a lot of devs would stop touting about how amazingly simple they are, as it’s just not the case.