Wordpress and the rise of static site generators
Wordpress is extremely flexible, but that’s also caused it to become a huge tool that many agencies end up using for small sites, just because it’s what they know or their clients know. Wordpress has evolved from a blog engine to a toolbox for CMS-powered websites. Like a toolbox full of stuff, it’s a lot heavier to carry around and share than it needs to be, and it’s hard to find the tools you really need inside it. So there are certain scenarios where Wordpress just isn’t the right fit.
Some examples of use cases when Wordpress is too much:
- Simple blog with only one user
- Static website that may require occasional changes to copy
- Developer or designer blogs that focus on copy or assets, with a simple theme
What can you turn to when Wordpress seems like a 3 course meal and you’re just looking for a sandwich? How about consuming one of these options:
- Wintersmith (NodeJS) - markdown files
- Statamic (PHP) - A CMS tool that saves data in PHP files. It’s a fully fledged CMS.
- Jekyll (Ruby) - Similar to Wintersmith in that you edit markdown files. More plugins available and themes.
- Middleman - Great for static site development, and also blogging.
Anyway, the point is, let’s not use Wordpress unless we need a fully-fledged blog/CMS tool with advanced database schema and templating options. There are plenty of alternatives out there, and we don’t have to be afraid to try them out if it means creating leaner projects that are easier to maintain in future.
I was previously using Wintersmith but I've since created my own flavour of static site generators on PHP, which this blog is now built on. I'll be spending a bit more time improving it as I write more posts, and then stick it up on Github for community access.