Going static - why I switched to Jekyll

The first version of this web site used Drupal 6. Having no previous web site building experience, it was quite a task to install and customize. But in the end, I did manage to get it working. However in the long run it turned out that with my infrequent use, most of my time was spent updating modules, applying security patches and backing up the database. Time that I should have spent posting contents.

For a long time the whole thing has been at a standstill while I was pondering how to update the site to be mobile friendly etc. One day I came across a completely different concept for site building: the static site generator. This is in some ways a throwback to the original way sites where built: No database, no CMS, only static files on the server. But this time with a twist, the contents are not coded directly into html. Instead an application on your PC generates your complete site from your content and template files. This implies that you can easily serve your site on localhost while editing and updating your site contents and layout. Then when you are ready to deploy or update your live site, its just a matter of uploading your complete site folder to your server and start serving your static files.

Since the site can be served locally during editing, you can do this completely off line if necessary. Updates can thus be tested without disturbing the live site. Only taking the site off line for the short time it takes to upload an updated site.

In the end I decided to use Jekyll for my new static site. I seriously considered Hyde, since it is written in my favourite language: python, but in the end Jekyll’s larger adoption and maturity won out.