A lightweight website generator perfect for a narrow use-case
Wordpress is a web pillar
Wordpress.com sites have the fifth most unique visitors in aggregate. This success is thanks to how easy it makes standing up a static website, blog or storefront. With thousands of themes and plugins you can go from concept to production without hiring a developer.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows
Content management systems (CMS) like Wordpress have drawbacks out of the box.
Insecure – 80% of hacked websites were running Wordpress due to outdated plugins, default admin URLs, weak passwords and an unencrypted connection (to name a few).
Slow – Pages are dynamically generated and involve querying a database. This creates a perceivable page load lag.
Messy – Projects are managed through a user-interface and don’t lend themselves to versioning (e.g. in GitHub).
Jekyll - Templated static sites without baggage
Jekyll is a static site generator, and as the name implies, using its templating system you define all of your site’s pages and blog postings. Then, before deployment, Jekyll converts your content into plain HTML files ready to be served.
This is completely different than Wordpress which generates pages dynamically after they are requested. Jekyll is just a generator of dumb web pages with no database, server-side scripting or user sessions.
No CMS issues
There are benefits to jettisoning the bloat of CMS:
Secure – There’s nothing to hack. Your site isn’t an application, it’s just a set of static pages being served with no server-side scripting.
Fast – Since the pages being requested are pre-generated, they are delivered quickly.
Clean – A Jekyll project is a Ruby project and it fits neatly into source control:
Give it a try
If you have a GitHub account, you already have a free hosting provider.
When you create a Jekyll GitHub project called
you site will automatically be hosted at
Wordpress plugins give you the power to build full-blown web apps. With Jekyll you can’t have things like users, a shopping cart or an admin portal. The point is Wordpress is a CMS and Jekyll is not a CMS.