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10 BEST STATIC SITE GENERATORS 8. 8. METALSMITH PRO : Metalsmith is an extremely simple tool where all functionality is provided by plugins Metalsmith takes a different approach to many other static site generation tools, in that it doesn’t try to do very much at all. Essentially, static site generatorstakeasetofsourcefiles, manipulate them, and then generate a set of output files which is the static site itself. Metalsmith provides a framework for doing this, but leaves all of the actual manipulations to plugins. These manipulations are things which typically come out of the box with other static site generators, such as utilising templates, substituting variables, or interpreting languages like Markdown. When run through Metalsmith, all source files are converted to JavaScript objects, which means that manipulations by plugins are essentially modifications to properties “ METALSMITH IS IMMENSELY CUSTOMISABLE, BUT REQUIRES A LITTLE MORE CONSIDERATION DURING SETUP ” of these JavaScript objects. There is, for example, a markdown() plugin which transpires Markdown to HTML. The result of this approach is that Metalsmith is immensely customisable, but requires a little more consideration during setup than some of the more monolithic tools. Don’t like Jekyll’s use of the Liquid templating engine? Here you can pick your own. On the Metalsmith page, you’ll find a lengthy list of plugins to provide a wide range of functionalities, ranging from compiling Sass to CSS through to computing a word count. If you have a preference for unopinionated frameworks, Metalsmith is about as unopinionated as you can get. HONOURABLE MENTIONS THERE ARE MANY MORE STATIC SITE GENERATORS OUT THERE. HERE ARE A FEW MORE WHICH ARE WORTH A LOOK OCTOPRESS Octopress is a framework for Jekyll which tailors specifically for blogging, and bundles a number of commonly-used plugins. If you like Jekyll’s style, it may take some of the setup work off your hands. 9. 9. MIDDLEMAN PRO : Middleman has been around for a long time, and is designed with more complex sites in mind Middleman was released around the same time as Jekyll, and will be most familiar to developers who have worked with Ruby on Rails. Its default template engine is ERB (Embedded RuBy) and it also includes built-in support for Haml, Sass, SCSS and CoffeeScript, and can be extended further to support more. Some leading static site generators are heavily geared towards blogs, but Middleman sets its ambitions wider and aims to provide the flexibility to develop any type of site. It’s highly unopinionated and extensible. This means, if all you are doing is a blog, the setup is a little more complex since you’ll have to configure it. 10. 10. SPIKE PRO : Spike is the spiritual successor to Roots, a popular static site generator that is no longer maintained Spike is built by the same team as Roots, which saw great popularity while it was actively maintained. It provides a familiar ecosystem for JavaScript developers, utilising webpack, Postcss, Reshape and Babel. Much like Metalsmith, Spike is designed to provide a very simple framework and allow plugins to handle your transformations. PUBLII If you don’t want the trouble of setting up a command-line tool, Publii is a desktop application with GUI designed to develop static sites. Think of it like a CMS that sits on your local machine rather than a server. HAKYLL Someone made a Haskell library for static site generation? It might not be that widely used, but fans of Haskell (and there are many around) will love this. 78 __________________________________________________feature

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