Why should you opt-in for a static website generator?

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Do you recall the first website ever that you built? If yes, then you know that the majority of the web developers begin by developing a page series, which has single HTML files. And each of these pages will have assets like CSS, images as well as a JavaScript. Probably, you launched all these files directly from a file system and didn’t have to use a server. Those days were simple.

That challenge starts when your website expands and adds in complex updates. You might want to consider the navigation as it is more comfortable in most files. However, when you add a brand-new page, there might be new updates that are necessary. Also, the references to images and the CSS might be slightly different when the folder structure changes. You might have considered choices like PHP or server-side. However, the most straightforward way out is a CMS.

Understanding content management

Usually, a CMS offers administrative control panels that in turn enable the authors to write the content which gets stored in the back-end database. As a user requests for an URL, generally the CMS:

  • Applications for the apt content from the database
  • Decides on the required page
  • Loads the HTML template
  • Returns the structured HTML page to the browser
  • Provides content inside the HTML template

The entire process takes place instantaneously. And these templates can contain the codes for generating a menu based on the navigation hierarchy. However, a CMS can give rise to multiple problems, such as:

  • Following the CMS’s working style entirely, which makes it slightly awkward to add components and custom text
  • There are extra failure points, such as a database failure or a software upgrade which can bring down the website
  • The server does more work which might affect the performance

It is here that a popular static website generator might be required.

What is a static website generator?

It is a way-out between a complete CMS and a static site (hand-coded), which provides the best features of both. You opt-in for this when you are opting for CMS concepts, for instance, templates. Here the content gets drawn from a database. Also, the site generation can take place on the staging server or your development device. And the final HTML files get implemented to the live website server. Generally, users are aware of the difference.

Today, you can have access to the well-known static website generators. However, it is essential to know the benefits of using one.

Ease and flexibility

Usually, a CMS can limit your choices, as they get connected to the database with particular fields. Hence, if you decide to add on the Twitter widget on a few pages, you will have to use a plug-in or any other customized feature. In case of a static site template, this same widget can get inserted in a file directly with the help of a snippet.

Enhanced performance

The majority of CMS applications provide plug-in empowered cache systems that make sure that web pages get generated as well as reused. It is an active process. However, there’s always the trouble of validating, managing and re-generating cached web pages. Furthermore, the static website templates are the pre-cached web pages that don’t expire. You can minify the files before implementing to ensure minimal load. Also, a static website will always have better performance as compared to a CMS-powered version.

Fewer dependencies on the server-side

When you install a WordPress site, it usually requires the following:

  • MySQL
  • A website server
  • An apt OS
  • WordPress application
  • PHP with related extensions as well as the webserver configurations
  • The template/theme code
  • All the necessary plug-ins

It is essential to install as well as manage these dependencies. Also, with WordPress, you will need reduced effort instead of some other applications. However, there’s a chance that a single update on any part might create confusion. On the other hand, a static site template is lightweight and gets hosted by almost any server that can return the HTML files. You don’t have anything else to manage, install or update.

Enhanced reliability

Usually, a CMS is complicated with several moving parts and failure points. You can also operate a WordPress site for as much time as you want. But then you will come across the famous failure to set up database connection error sometime soon. Also, the unwarranted CMS issues can stem from abrupt traffic surges, and that can crash the database. When you have a static site, things are less intensive. All that the server needs to do is return the flat files. Though there exists a chance for web server crash, it will absorb in more synchronized requests.

High-end security

You have many reasons for a cybercriminal to attack your site. Today, there are instances of rogue advertising, traffic hijacking, malware hosting and the like. All these allow an unauthorized user to have access to private data and make monetary gains. There are several attack vectors with a CMS. The most prominent one is the log-in screen. If you have a weak password, you are at a higher risk. Also, you need to know that a web page that uses a server-side code can be a channel of potential vulnerabilities, such as spam emails and the like. Though it might not seem obvious, a closer view will prove so.

On the other hand, a static website template doesn’t have any server-side functionality. You can’t access it through database security loops. There’s a chance that a person has FTP or SSH access, but they won’t be able to significant damage, apart from uploading files and defacing pages. You can conduct a folder check to outline the break-ins.

These are some of the features and advantages of a site website. Once you are convinced about its virtues and uses, you can opt-in for one. Today, several service providers offer these site generators. You can search for an expert name and opt-in for the best solution.

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