4253 – Inside Saint Laurence Church X

What I’m after is something that’s commonly called a “Static Website Generator”. Let me explain.

In the beginning, websites were simple. You had a few text files containing HTML, they were served by a webserver and that was it. Those text files were static files, which means that at the time the browser accessed the site, the static file indicated by the URL was simply delivered, instead of being generated on-the-fly, like it is normally done today.

What do Wordpress or Blogger? All their content is in a database. When the browser arrives, the content is fetched, rendered to HTML, framed in a “theme” and “augmented” with dynamic information like targeted ads, tag clouds and comments.

Comments are a concern, I agree a blog needs them. It’s not funny blogging into the void. Everything else I could live without. I won’t ever bother you with ads again, and most widgets are useless rubbish anyway. Other than that, my content is totally static.

Going static would suddenly make my blog much faster, especially on a low end hosting solution. But of course I wouldn’t want to maintain 4300+ HTML files, and I also wouldn’t want to maintain layout and theme directly in HTML.

This is what the generator in “Static Website Generator” does. It takes raw content written in something else, something easy to write and read (like Markdown), converts it to HTML, frames it in a theme and writes each post into a static HTML file, ready to be delivered.

This means I would simply maintain Markdown files in some clean and logical directory structure. All HTML would be generated.

I would use a “Version Control System” (Git, like everybody else uses today and like what I use at work for program source code) to maintain the files locally (on my laptop) and to sync them to a repository in the cloud (for instance GitHub).

More or less that’s my vision, and of course I am not the first one to have it.

There are 2 comments

Ladislav Petrus   (2018-06-11)

Hello Andreas, Concerning the static cms - if you have time, take a look at grav (https://getgrav.org/). It is not quite static html, but there is no database and content is stored in markdown files. Best regards, Ladislav

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andreas   (2018-06-12)

Interesting. It's not exactly what I'm looking for, it's PHP, the Wordpress plugin for migration seems to have been dumped by Wordpress, but I'm sure there is a solution. It's an interesting concept, looks nice, feels nice, but - again - just not what I'm looking for. Thanks anyway!

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