Matt Biilmann has been building developer tools, content management systems and web infrastructure for more than a decade. He is co-founder and CEO of Netlify, the premium static hosting platform.
In his spare time he drinks Jazz and listens to Beer, while helping to organize the SF Static Web-Tech Meetup.
Static website generation is quickly becoming a big part of the professional website builder’s toolbox. A new static website generator seems to pop up every week. Figuring out which one to use can be like a walk in the jungle.
In the last article, I looked at why static website generation is growing in popularity, and I gave a high-level overview of all of the components of a modern generator. In this article, we’ll look at four popular static website generators — Jekyll, Middleman, Roots, Hugo — in far more detail. This should give you a great starting point for finding the right one for your project.
At StaticGen, our open-source directory of static website generators, we’ve kept track of more than a hundred generators for more than a year now, and we’ve seen both the volume and popularity of these projects take off incredibly on GitHub during that time, going from just 50 to more than 100 generators and a total of more than 100,000 stars for static website generator repositories.
Influential design-focused companies such as Nest and MailChimp now use static website generators for their primary websites. Vox Media has built a whole publishing system around Middleman. Carrot, a large New York agency and part of the Vice empire, builds websites for some of the world’s largest brands with its own open-source generator, Roots. And several of Google’s properties, such as “A Year In Search” and Web Fundamentals, are static.