7 Reasons Not to Use a Static Site Generator
SSGs combine the advantages of CMS and static worlds, but they may not be appropriate for all projects...
1: You're on your own
Without any programming experience, you won't get too far with a static site generator. The method is more complex than using a CMS because fewer tools are available, and pre-built plugins and models can be difficult to come by.
In comparison, take a look at WordPress. Non-technical users can need assistance with installation, but they can edit a site and install one of the thousands of themes and plugins available once that's done. They may not have the best custom website, but they're up and running with very little help.
Even though there are many static site generators, only a small percentage of the web population uses them. You'll need time to investigate, review, and weigh your options. The Ruby-based Jekyll was one of the first SSGs, and although Ruby knowledge isn't needed, it will help if you've used the language before.
There are several CMSs to choose from, but one stands out: WordPress. It runs more than 40% of the Internet, so support is plentiful. Again, having some PHP experience would help, but even non-developers can put together a decent website using off-the-shelf themes and plugins.
3: The Time It Takes to Get Started
It will take some time to construct the first static site. You'll need to learn how to design, and you'll have to write a lot of the template code yourself. Scripts for deployment may also be needed.
Creating a custom CMS theme can be difficult as well, but pre-built models are available, and help is easier to come by. Following the initial installation, additional development could not be needed.
4: There is no management interface
When confronted with a complex CMS GUI, clients can be wary. Many people would be terrified by the prospect of having to build and edit a collection of Markdown files. You may be able to make the process go more smoothly if you:
- Use their existing CMS as a source of SSG data, or
- StackEdit or Hackmd.io, for example, makes it easier to edit Git-based files.
- However, this would harm your initial development period.
5: Consistency of the Website
Static pages are adaptable: any content found in the source code can be shown on a web page. Users can use scripts, widgets, and a variety of other unwanted things.
A CMS may be set up to limit the user's options. Administration panels prompt the user to enter a title, body material, quotes, featured images, and so on since content is usually bound to a database with unique fields. Even if the user fills in an unexpected area, it will not appear on the website unless included in the theme template.
6: Managing Large-Scale Projects
Consider a website with tens of thousands of pages, regular content updates, real-time breaking news, and hundreds of writers spread around the globe. A static site generator can be used to control the content, but:
It can be more difficult to edit and publish material. Instead of a simple web or app interface, editors can need access to the Git repository or shared files.
Since the site must be restored, reviewed, and deployed, real-time updates are delayed. Build times will quickly increase, making deployment difficult.
Static site generators are probably best for sites with less than a few hundred pages and a few new posts per week. Automated build and deployment processes will be needed, and you can find that using a CMS is a better choice.
7: Server-side functionality
Static sites are ideal for content pages, but when you need user logins, form filling, search capabilities, discussion boards, or other server and database interactivity, the situation becomes more difficult. Among the possibilities are:
Using a client-side component from a third party, such as Angolia search or Disqus comments.
Creating pages with?PHP...?> or other similar server-side code blocks.
Using a framework like Next.js, which renders static content as much as possible while still allowing server-side processing.
However, the amount of time it requires to create, the building's difficulty, the security implications, the testing effort, and the cost will all rise. Installing a suitable WordPress plugin, on the other hand, will implement a client or server-side feature in a matter of minutes.
Is a Static Website the Right Option for You?
Examine your project's specifications, scale, complexity, upgrade frequency, and other factors before deciding. Your users, their venue, and their expectations, for example. your team's ability to grow, and any considerations relating to hosting and/or deployment
The vast majority of websites have a few hundred pages or less, are updated infrequently, and rely on a developer to make certain changes. A CMS is often overkilled so that a static site generator could minimize development time and costs. It could be more difficult to persuade the client to give up their content management panels!