The 5 Most Popular Static Site Generators in 2020 (2023)

Static Site Generators (SSGs) are a new emerging trend in the web-development world. For many decades, developing, publishing and editing content on a website required HTML skills. This made publishing a website beyond the capabilities of the average user.

The emergence of Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal alleviated the challenges of relying on technical support to modify web content. These convenient and user-friendly CMSs enabled non-technical users to manage their own content on the web and take control of a website’s design and content.

However, over time, CMSs have gained much notoriety for their limitations. CMSs can be slow and cumbersome to work with, and struggle with scalability and security issues. This has set the stage for the return of static site generation as an answer to these problems.

Static site generators have grown greatly in popularity in recent years due to their simplicity, security benefits, and ability to quickly serve content. They offer a number of benefits such as speed, freedom and flexibility, development workflow - to name a few.

If you are thinking of building a website using a static site generate, which one should you pick? Let’s have a look at the 5 most popular static site generators in 2020 to help you make your decision.

(Video) Top 10 Static Site Generators in 2020

Jekyll (Ruby)

Jekyll is considered as the most widely used static site generator and has been around since 2008. Jekyll was first released by Tom Preston-Werner, who is better-known as the founder and former CEO of GitHub. Jekyll is built with Ruby, and is most often used for blogs and personal projects.

This is partially due to its close integration with GitHub. GitHub has a feature called GitHub pages which allows you to build a Jekyll website have have it hosted and automatically rendered using GitHub infrastructure. It’s a free service (although it does have traffic limits), which has made it a popular method for hosting personal sites. My own blog is hosted using Jekyll on GitHub pages!

Jekyll generates a publish-ready static website by taking a directory filled with text files and then rendering that content with Markdown and the Liquid templating language (an open-source project developed by Shopify). It provides a wide array of plugins that make it a great starting point for bloggers coming from the world of WordPress and Drupal, making it easy to import content from those formats and more.

One of Jekyll’s key advantages for newcomers is its range of importers. It provides a series of tools to enable existing websites for easy migration to Jekyll

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of Jekyll:

(Video) How to choose your static site generator

Pros of Using Jekyll

  • Easily configuration with GitHub pages
  • Learnability and simplicity of its core concepts
  • Huge community support availability
  • A wide range of plugins for various tasks

Cons of Using Jekyll

  • Jekyll requires pre-installed a Ruby environment
  • Ruby is (arguably) not among the top trending programming languages anymore, so some developers might find it outdated

Gatsby (JavaScript)

Gatsby is another SSG that has become popular among the developer community. It is based on React and GraphQL and one of its attractive features is that it allows you to pull data from different CMS such as Wordpress. This feature of Gatsby makes it a great choice if you want to access data from multiple sources in an easy and consistent way.

Gatsby is also known for being optimized for speed. It only loads the parts of the website which are needed at that exact moment. Gatsby also pre-fetches resources for other pages. This means that navigating between pages on the sites built with Gatsby feels incredibly fast.

Unlike a few other SSGs I’ll talk about in this article, Gatsby comes with a plugin system that allows for additional functionality. These plugins enable using multiple features such as sitemap, robots.txt files, image manipulation, and more.

Here are some of the major pros and cons of Gatsby:

Pros of Using Gatsby

  • A wide range of plugins available
  • Data can be pulled into Gatsby using GraphQL
  • Fast static HTML pages with prefetching capabilities
  • Huge community support available

Cons of Using Gatsby

  • Solid knowledge of JS, React, and GraphQL is necessary to use Gatsby. Said differently, it is more technically demanding than some of its simpler counterparts.

Next.js (JavaScript)

Next.js is another amazing option that is built on top of React. It is also extremely popular in the developer community and is basically the other de facto static site generator (along with Gatsby) that uses React.

(Video) Top 5 Static Site Generators to watch out for in 2019

Next.js is not only a static site generator, it is also the first and foremost solution that supports server rendering. You also can define serverless functions as API endpoints. This gives you lots of control over how you build and deploy your Next.js applications. Some of the significant features of Next.js are:

  • Server rendering
  • Automatic code splitting for faster page loads and file system based routing
  • Fully extensible with complete control over Babel and Webpack

Here are some pros and cons associated with Next.js

Pros of Using Next.js

  • It comes with its own configuration. All you need is to run “npm run dev” and start building your website or application
  • Very easy to get started
  • Zero configuration so it’s possible to start quickly and easily

Cons of Usin Next.js

  • Basic understanding of JS and React is necessary
  • No integrated plugin system is available

Hugo (Golang)

Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It comes with an ultra-fast build process and makes the creation of static websites quite seamless. It is arguably the fastest static site generator available at the moment. A significant benefit of using Hugo is that it comes with a theme library containing more than a hundred themes you can use to build a website.

Another key benefit of Hugo is its quicker and simpler path to getting started, with very little need for configuration and no dependencies other than the core binary. Hugo also provides full support for multi-language sites using the same straightforward development process as single-language sites provide.

Have a look at pros and cons before you make a choice:

(Video) Static Site Generators | What Are They?

Pros of Using Hugo

  • The building process is super fast
  • A system with a lot of themes and available templates
  • Flexible framework structure with the support of various content types

Cons of Using Hugo

  • In order to use Hugo, you will need an understanding of the Go programming language which is not so common in the current web development world

Nuxt.js (JavaScript)

Nuxt.js is a progressive, opensource, Vue.js framework. It includes a bundle analyzer and lots of opportunities to fine-tune an app or website. Nuxt.js has a powerful modular architecture that allows you to choose from more than 50 modules to make your development faster and easier. This framework bundles the following: Vue 2, Vue Router, Vuex, Vue Server Renderer, and vue-meta.

Some of the pros and cons of Nuxt.js are discussed below:

Pros of Using Nuxt.js

  • Based on Vue.js framework
  • Very easy to learn and understand
  • Various build options available

Cons of Using Nuxt.js

  • Not limited to generating static sites
  • Requires understanding of Vue.js framework


In this article, I have discussed top 5 static site generators in 2020. The choice of which static site generator to use depends upon your required features and preferred programming languages. In my opinion the best way to select a proper static site generator for your website is to simply get started!

This article was a guest contribution by Nick McCullum. Nick is an independent Python and JavaScript developer that lives in New Brunswick, Canada. He likes long reads, long runs, and is passionate about open source software.


What are the 5 static websites? ›

You should check these thoroughly before selecting the tool.
  • 1) Hugo. Hugo is based on the Go programming language. ...
  • 2) Jekyll. Jekyll is one of the most popular generators for static websites and is based on Ruby. ...
  • 3) VuePress. ...
  • 4) Publii. ...
  • 5) Gatsby. ...
  • 6) Pelican. ...
  • 7) Metalsmith.
Apr 20, 2022

What is the most popular Python static site generator? ›

Static site generators written in Python
  • VenC - Markdown/Yaml static blog generator with multiple columns layout support. ...
  • Clay - Jinja2 for easy site prototyping, MIT.
  • Complexity - A refreshingly simple static site generator, for those who like to work in HTML.
  • Cyrax - poetic Jinja2 engine, used for osgameclones.
Sep 19, 2022

What is the name of the most popular dynamic site generator? ›

Answer: The most popular dynamic site generator is called WordPress. Explanation: WordPress is a free and open-source Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.

What is the fastest static website generator? ›

Hugo is one of the most popular open-source static site generators. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun again.

Is Wix a static site generator? ›

All Wix sites are static. This means that site pages are displayed to your visitors exactly as they are stored. However, you can make individual pages dynamic within the Wix Content Manager.

What are 2 examples of static websites? ›

Common examples of static websites include resume websites, portfolio websites, brochure websites, one-off landing pages, and other informational or read-only sites.

What is the largest static websites? ›

The World Record of “LARGEST STATIC WEBSITE MADE BY AN INDIVIDUAL” is achieved by a Delhi, India based Amit Sharma on 25th September 2016. He made a largest static website that consists 31 crores 84 lacs 60 thousand and 567 of pages/urls. The size of the website is 5 TB.

Should I use Jekyll or Hugo? ›

Liquid vs.

Jekyll uses Liquid as its templating language. Hugo uses Go templating. Most people seem to agree that it is a little bit easier to learn Jekyll's syntax than Hugo's. Even without any Ruby experience, the conditional statement seems rather clear in the Jekyll example.

What is Jekyll vs pelican? ›

Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories; Pelican: A static site generator, written in Python, that requires no database or server-side logic. Pelican is a static site generator that supports Markdown and reST syntax.

Is Django a static site generator? ›

django-distill is a minimal configuration static site generator and publisher for Django. Most Django versions are supported, however up to date versions are advised including the Django 3.

What is the number 1 website builder? ›

We've researched and tested more than 50 website builders over the years, which is why we feel confident saying that Wix is the best overall website builder out there. Wix combines ease of use with total creative freedom, making it easy for beginners to create professional-looking websites.

What is the simplest static site generator? ›

Static Site Generators are easy to use, simple, and provide a fast and scalable environment for building websites.
Let's check them one by one and see why it's worth using them.
  1. Gatsby (JS) ...
  2. Hugo (Go) ...
  3. Next (JS) ...
  4. Eleventy / 11ty (JS) ...
  5. Jekyll (Ruby) ...
  6. R Markdown (R) ...
  7. Pelican (Python) ...
  8. Sculpin (PHP)
Feb 11, 2022

Which technology is best for static website? ›

Here are a few more great options for Static Site Generators, categorized by the programming languages they are built on.
  • Vue: Gridsome, Nuxt, VuePress.
  • Vanilla JS: Eleventy.
  • Angular: Scully.
  • Golang: Hugo.
  • Python: Pelican, Cactus, MkDocs.
  • Java: JBake.
  • Ruby: Jekyll, Slate and Middleman.
  • Svelte: Sapper. js.
Apr 25, 2022

Which website loads the fastest? ›

Which Website Builder Loads the Fastest?
2 more rows
Jun 4, 2021

Is Google Sites a static website? ›

Google returns results based on what the user has typed in. Even though Google is a dynamic website, it encourages site owners to use static parts such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Even though Google is a dynamic website, it may have certain static parts.

What is the best alternative to Wix? ›

11 Best and Most Popular Wix Alternatives in 2023
  1. WordPress. WordPress is an open-source software for creating all types of websites. ...
  2. Squarespace. Squarespace is one of the trendiest and easiest website builders out there. ...
  3. Jimdo. ...
  4. Webnode. ...
  5. Webflow. ...
  6. GoDaddy Website Builder. ...
  7. Pixpa. ...
  8. Shopify.
Feb 15, 2023

Is WordPress a static site generator? ›

If you're technically savvy, it's even possible to get the best of both worlds and use WordPress as a static HTML website generator. However, you just have to remember that if you use WordPress in this way, you'll have to make sacrifices: There won't be any “real-time” dynamic content on your site, at all.

Do professional website builders use Wix? ›

Wix makes it easy for any person to create websites – no design skills needed! But even experienced web designers can use our web publishing platform as a working tool. In fact, Wix can help web designers acquire new business and satisfy their clients in a speedy and professional manner.

Is Google a static or dynamic website? ›

Even though Google is a dynamic website, it encourages site owners to incorporate static elements in their sites, in the form of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). While Google is considered a dynamic website, it may still have some static elements.

Is Netflix a static website? ›

Netflix is just one example of a very large, complex and yet sophisticated dynamic website, both in terms of functionality and user experience.

Is Apple a static website? ›

An excellent example of a static website is The site utilizes the scrolling mechanism to display a plethora of information about their products on a single page.

Is Facebook a static website? ›

Facebook and Twitter are also prime examples of dynamic websites that generate unique, personalized content for their users. On sites like Facebook and Twitter, your feeds are based on friends or accounts you follow.

Is Facebook a static or dynamic website? ›

Facebook and Twitter are also prime examples of dynamic websites that generate unique, personalized content for their users. On sites like Facebook and Twitter, your feeds are based on friends or accounts you follow.

Which website is a static website? ›

A static site is the most basic kind of website, and the easiest to create. It requires no server-side (also called back-end) processing, only client-side. Client-side technologies are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. No programming languages, including JavaScript, are required to make a static site.

What is basic static website? ›

A static website has fixed content. It does not require programming languages to build one. It is the easiest form of website to create. Static websites are build of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is an example of static content in website? ›

Static content is any file that is stored in a server and is the same every time it is delivered to users. HTML files and images are examples of this kind of content.

What is the most popular Ruby based static site generator? ›

Jekyll is a static site generator written in Ruby, known for making the creation of static blogs and websites extremely simple. It is widely popular with GitHub Pages, where you can host your site with a few simple steps.

Which is commonly used to create static websites? ›

What do I need to know to build a static website. HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the basic languages to build any website. Create the structure with HTML. The first thing you have to learn, is HTML, which is the standard markup language for creating web pages.

What is the most popular JAMstack? ›

Nuxt is a preferred JAMstack open-source framework that helps build a variety of web applications along with Vue. js. The framework has several problem-solving capabilities, including the combination of libraries, organization of code, SEO, and website speed optimization. The framework is based on Vue.

What are examples of static sites? ›

Common examples of static websites include resume websites, portfolio websites, brochure websites, one-off landing pages, and other informational or read-only sites. These websites are small (three to four pages or fewer), limited in content, and don't require personalized content or frequent updates.

Is Octopress a static website? ›

Octopress is a framework designed by Brandon Mathis for Jekyll, the blog aware static site generator powering Github Pages.

What is Hugo static site generator? ›

Hugo is a general-purpose website framework. Technically speaking, Hugo is a static site generator. Unlike systems that dynamically build a page with each visitor request, Hugo builds pages when you create or update your content.

Which is better PHP or Ruby on Rails? ›

PHP is easier to learn and in much more widely used, though it is not as powerful as Ruby. And PHP is also custom-built for web development, though it's not as good for general-purpose development.

Which companies use Ruby best? ›

Companies like SlideShare, Airbnb, CrunchBase, Bloomberg, Dribble, Shopify, and GitHub (to name a few) have trusted Ruby on Rails and used the framework in their applications. Here's a roundup of the top 28 Ruby on Rails companies in 2022.

Is Google sites a static website? ›

Google returns results based on what the user has typed in. Even though Google is a dynamic website, it encourages site owners to use static parts such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Even though Google is a dynamic website, it may have certain static parts.


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