I’ve already earned my Udemy certification on Jekyll and I’m currently studying Hugo. I’m also aiming at exploring other static site generators currently not available on Udemy. I have seen how light, fast, and simple static site generators can be and I am really itching to build new sites using static site generators rather than the complex CMS platforms like WordPress.1
I’ve seen how Jekyll (and currently Hugo) works and how they are being configured and maintained before they are launched in public. I currently don’t have anything to show just yet, but after understanding the basics and the in-depth structures, I do quite believe that it would also be a good idea to create simple fanlisting sites using static site generators.
Why am I suggesting on going to this route instead of messing around with the current/popular PHP-based fanlisting scripts such as Enthusiast of Bellabuffs? Here are the reasons why:
- Static site generators are programmed/built using a variety of programming languages, from Ruby (on Rails) to node.js, and are also powered by YAML (for general site configuration) and Markdown (to create the “meat” of the site).2 YAML and Markdown gives a much easier approach to those wanting to build websites but aren’t (expert) web developers, so to speak.3
- Static site generators do not rely on special databases like mySQL, and because they use Markdown to create its content, they are generated into plain HTML. In short, these makes sites a lot more secure. Hackers/spybots won’t be injecting any weird malicious code in any HTML files that would screw your site’s database up.
- There are also plugins available that can add a bit more functionality to your static site-generated website. For example, graphical UI-based CMS-like platforms for you to add your content instead of using your favorite text editor to update your .
- You can host static site-generated websites on your web server, GitHub pages, Dropbox, AWS, Netlify, and other cloud-based servers.4
Static site generators like Jekyll, Hugo, Octopress, and more were developed and offered to everyone as free/open source scripts to create simple and fast websites, especially for those who only wanted a simple blog and nothing more. If static site generators’ purpose was to be a simple, fast, and elegant blog, I’m pretty sure that it will have capabilities of creating/generating a members’ list and (probably) have the ability to display the fanlisting site’s stats. Of course, I’m not being too confident if this is possible, but I’m willing to tackle it as a challenge.
I even thought of using static site generators also to build a web directory site as I planned. However, I face the same problem as the fanlisting idea.
Maybe once I get into Hugo and learn more of its capabilities, I may easily learn other static site generators too. Maybe from those, I’ll eventually figure out something on how to make this project/idea work.
Speaking of Markdown, you can actually use Markdown on WordPress via the Jetpack plugin. I haven’t tried it yet though, but I’ve gotten used to WordPress’s default content creator, so I won’t go to that route just yet.
- Even though I absolutely love WordPress… [↩]
- Other static site generators also use TOML or JSON for their overall site configuration. Hugo, on the other hand, can use either YAML, TOML, or JSON, depending on the developer’s preference. Since I learned a bit about YAML first, I’ll use YAML. [↩]
- I am also currently taking a Udemy class on Markdown also. [↩]
- I think? [↩]