Why Static Website Generation?

This website is statically generated. This means I write a blog entry or web page and then run a script that pre-processes everything. All that processing is then not needed each time someone views the site.

There are lots of reasons why it's done statically. I have access to space that can serve up files to the web but no access to any sort of processing like PHP or Python or whatever to generate the web page.

Advantages to static website generation:

  • Pages generally load faster
  • Website hosting is generally cheaper
  • No Content Management System to maintain
  • others

Pages load faster since your request doesn't have to use webserver resources to run some content processor that builds the web page dynamically. Your web browser may be able to pull up a locally cached copy from the last time you visited.

Dynamic generation typically involves an SQL database and some script processor. They both cost the website hosting company money in electricity, software maintenance and configuration, and computer loading. Not using all those things generally results in cheaper or free website hosting without advertising.

I don't have to maintain a Content Management System (CMS) which takes away time that I could be doing research, writing code, or writing blog entries :).

At the bottom of this page it says Proudly powered by Pelican. After looking at a few static website generators I settled on Pelican. It is not trivial to set up the first time but I look forward to simple publishing.

Another "other" is forcing me to write in MarkDown or ReStructuredText. If I lose access to the web hosting or Pelican I still have all my content in a simple tree of files. I control the backups and I have the original content no matter what happens.