The Downsides of a Static Site Generator

The Downsides of a Static Site Generator by Martyn Chamberlin (Drinking Caffeine)

Database-driven architectures are better than file-driven ones. Who knew?!

Although Martyn later changed his mind about switching to WordPress, from my experience, his points are valid.

The challenge I have with using a static site generator or daily blogging is the amount of time needed to create a new post.

I like to create posts with featured images and many of my posts have several images. My current workflow for WordPress is:

For static site generators, the workflow is.

  • Export images to a folder
  • Open terminal and navigate to the content folder
  • create a new post — don’t forget to add font matter for the date, post title, etc.
  • Insert text and images —more challenging since I have to copy paste path and name of specific images. Lots of back and forth between text editor and files system
  • save file
  • build the ENTIRE site -- wait. Wait some more.
  • move files to the production web server

I don’t want to do that for every blog post. Too much work. It’s friction that gets in the way of content creation.

If I want to, I can create a WordPress post directly from my iPhone while travelling using the WordPress app. Or from my iPad.

Because Jekyll and Hugo have not front end, the way to create a post from a mobile device with a static site generator is to string together a solution using GitHub and Dropbox and a bunch of other third-party services.

I think Static Site Generators are great for creating static websites. For example, a business, church or organization website that doesn’t update very often. I think they are the wrong solution for a blog.