In today’s world, having a robust online presence for your organisation is crucial. Your website serves as the primary platform for customers to purchase from you, perform due diligence on your business, establish communication with you and your team, and form a favourable perception of your products and services, as well as your company’s operational framework.
In simpler terms, it’s imperative.
Chances are, you have invested a significant amount of time and energy into developing and optimising your website to meet your specific needs. Your dynamic site is most likely equipped with numerous features and an easy-to-use interface to captivate your users. You probably update your site’s content frequently to avoid obsolescence and employ a robust content management system (CMS) to streamline the process.
What’s next? What about the rest of your team?
Static site generators are software designed to serve a specific purpose that can prove advantageous to your organisation. Let’s delve deeper to determine whether these tools are a fitting solution for your enterprise.
Could you clarify the meaning of a “static site”?
To answer this question, it’s essential to understand that all websites were initially static. This implies that the page’s assets, which may include pictures and links, were served as HTML files for loading. As a result, the content on these websites remained unchanged except when manually modified by a developer. Consequently, no dynamic activity occurred.
For personal, non-commercial use, these websites were satisfactory. However, it soon became apparent that the static website was too confining as increased numbers of enterprises began to establish an online presence.
This is the impetus behind the ever-evolving nature of this website. Sites like this possess the ability to update their content frequently, offering users an extensive range of new materials. Content management systems (such as WordPress) have been developed to aid in the management of these dynamic sites.
Conversely, during the 1990s, static websites were developed using hand-written HTML and CSS code. These languages were adequate for building the desired websites.
Given the superiority of dynamic sites, what’s the point of static sites?
Returning to the static websites of the 1990s is no longer a possibility. Consequently, the question arises as to why there is an attempt to resurrect them. Automation and DevOps offer a solution to this matter. These technological advancements have enabled businesses to take advantage of static websites.
However, the truth is quite distinct.
Static websites frequently necessitate additional resources to remain operational and modern. Static site generators serve as an intermediary between static sites and more intricate content management systems, enabling website owners to enjoy the advantages of both. These generators offer a blend of features that deliver a more dynamic and effective website experience.
- Develop a static website using pre-existing concepts, like page templates (borrowed from the realm of CMS).
- Any data source, including databases, markdown files, APIs, and others, can be utilized to obtain content for such websites.
- An actual site creation is carried out on a staging server.
- Once the HTML files are created, they are uploaded to the live server.
Static websites have progressed significantly since the 1990s. Thanks to static site generators, it is now feasible to swiftly and simply create and deploy multiple sites with the same design but distinct content. This process is so efficient that your users cannot differentiate between the automated and manual procedures.
Is this particular system suitable for your company?
Integrating a static site generator into your current workflow may appear daunting initially. Developers and DevOps personnel require a high level of technical proficiency to configure and manage all of the components. Though automating this process is challenging, the advantages are abundant.
- Websites that achieve success
- The server-side dependencies are minimized.
- Enhancements in Stability and Security
- Improvements to testing and version control
- New content can be released more quickly.
- Accelerating the pace of automation
- Usage of cached pages to improve performance
Before investing a significant amount of money, it’s crucial to assess if transitioning to a static site generator platform would be advantageous for the company. Moreover, the teams may confront a steep learning curve since this is a completely novel content distribution model, and they have been using the same platform for some time.
Regrettably, many static site generators are still fairly niche applications, which means there may not be a broad community on hand to offer support when issues arise. This could result in a lengthier setup period. Your teams will need to familiarize themselves with an entirely novel building process. The problem is exacerbated when there is no standardized administrative interface.
Things get significantly more complex in the end if your website has functionalities such as user registration, forms, search, and forums.
It’s worth deliberating whether the potential advantages of utilizing static site generators outweigh the required effort. Though it’s highly probable that these generators can lead to substantial benefits, the implementation process comes with its own set of challenges.
If you’re still keen on exploring this option, below are some of the well-known static site generator platforms to consider: