Where I show that only a static website gives you
But, I’m on Facebook, Linkedin etc…
Sorry to have to inform you, but the corps don’t care about you. At all.
Say the wrong thing, write the wrong thing, even like the wrong thing, and you could be deleted. Many people have. Or, one day they could go the way of the dodo. Along with all your content. Look up Myspace or Google+ if you didn’t live through those messes.
Also, ask yourself — what value do you get from these platforms?
If you do use these types of sites, be sure to drive visitors to your website. Use them as a bypass to your website. Linger on those sites for as little time as possible.
I use Wordpress, Wix, Medium etc…
These all have advantages — lots of options, commenting, seo optimizations (all the bells & whistles).
But, do you really need all that for a personal site? And remember, if you use a companies platform, you no longer have control over your content. Effectively, you’re at their mercy as you are on the social media platforms! Self hosting a CMS is different of course, but you still have the complexity problem (setting everything up, security, site maintenance, upgrades).
Tell me about static sites then
Glad you asked! Static websites are simply html documents served by your http server (Apache, Nginx). For the last few years, most of us use Static Site Generators, such as pelican that I’m using for this site. These tools generate the html on our behalf and create rss / atom feeds, sitemaps (loved by search engines), handle pagination and lots of other things.
But, at it’s core, it’s just html. So, if you fall out with your web hosting provider, you just dump your entire site (a directory) on another server. No faffing about with databases, and minimal configuration of any kind.
Plus, static sites work great with revision control tools like CVS, Mercurial or Git. I may do a post on this another day.
Are they suitable for business use?
Which static site generator should I use?
The primary reason why someone chooses one over another is the language they’re written in. I’m a Python guy primarily, so I use Pelican.
Honestly, they all do the job and having an abundance of choice is a good thing. I believe most of them allow you to import an existing site made by another site generator; similar to converting a Microsoft Word
.docx document to a Libreoffice Writer
.odt document. No big deal.
I wrote at the top that only static websites give you the following desirable features. I’ll summarise them now:
Nothing is faster than just serving html. It’s the original purpose of the web — request a page, deliver the page.
- Simplicity & Security
No databases, no logging users in and out. No caching. No need for https (even though it’s best practice everywhere nowadays).
Your entire website is a single directory (usually). Back it up, move it from one host to another. It’s just a folder.
Your website, your platform. Host it where you want, even from home if your ISP has ports 80 / 443 open.
Thanks for reading, and as always, email me a comment using the link below if you’ve something to say.