Static Site Generators

11 Best Free and Open Source JavaScript Static Site Generators

LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

There are lots of other advantages of running a full, static HTML website.

Here are some of the main advantages:

  • Less software is needed to produce a static site. A small software stack can improve security. Static sites do not contain dynamic content, and are therefore immune to most common attacks;
  • Obsolescence. Running a dynamic site relies on a content management system that constantly needs to be updated. The foundations of a dynamic site changes over time;
  • Cost – every time a visitor accesses a page, a set of database queries are made with dynamic sites. While caching reduces these queries, there are always pages that aren’t in the cache or need to be refreshed. With a static site, the load on the server is considerably reduced;
  • Previewable – as static sites are developed locally, you can play around with the site to your heart’s content without affecting the live site;
  • A static site means that data is easier to export than if it’s contained within a database;
  • Versionable – ideal to be used with version control system, such as Git.

A static site works very well in certain use cases. For example, it’s great for documentation. And static sites can be just as engaging as dynamic sites. The only real difference is that all the HTML is generated before being uploaded.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled our recommended JavaScript static site generators. All of these tools are released under a freely distributable license. Here’s our verdict.

Ratings chart

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each static site generator.

JavaScript Static Site Generators
Next.jsMinimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications
EleventyTransforms a directory of templates (of varying types) into HTML
GatsbyReact-based open source framework for creating websites and apps
HexoFast, simple & powerful blog framework, powered by Node.js
DocusaurusBuild, deploy and maintain documentation websites
VuePressMinimalistic Vue-powered static site generator
DocsifyDocumentation site generator
MetalsmithSimple, pluggable static site generator
React StaticProgressive static-site generator for React
GridsomeJamstack framework for Vue.js
GitBookPublish beautiful docs for your users

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

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Professor Plum
Professor Plum
2 years ago

You should provide a brief summary about JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language that is high-level, often just-in-time compiled, and multi-paradigm. It has curly-bracket syntax, dynamic typing, prototype-based object-orientation, and first-class functions.