A case for WordPress
WordPress is not bad on its own. It has its uses. Just like how Shopify is king of online shopping, WordPress is great for blogging if you need especially powerful tools as a developer. There are alternatives to it like Ghost which I personally like more because they are newer, but they are not as popular and supported by third parties precisely for this reason. WordPress is a giant in the web industry, some even use it to make web apps.
In other words, static site generators are not a magic bullet.
A case for static site generators
What is a static site generator?
The main difference between it and a traditional CMS is that there are no databases.
SSGs, for short, are often used in conjuction with Git version control on platforms like GitHub and GitLab.
Everything is just files. No databases to corrupt or hack, so for this reason…
There are typically no security updates to SSGs like there are for WordPress (unless you want new features or want to avoid bugs).
It is true that WordPress can be kept secure with “basic” webmaster effort, but WordPress still falls short here in terms of what damage can be done to what and where.
Your site can be stored on a CDN even, serve it from whichever node is closest to your users.
Say goodbye to “Error establishing a database connection”, your site is served exactly the same to everyone, always.
4. Undoing changes takes seconds
This requires Git, like mentioned earlier, but it is one of my favorite features of using SSGs really.
5. Superb developer experience
I make sites more than 2x as fast using Hugo than any other type of software, at a higher quality. I just love it and my clients love saving time (and money, since I charge by the hour)!
6. Scalability & hosting
This is a big one.
CDNs are much cheaper than WordPress hosting.
In fact, you really won’t get “good” cheap WordPress hosting if it’s not at least $10 per month.
There are free static site hosting providers such as Netlify, you can also use GitHub Pages or GitLab Pages which are a little less fun, but still really good.
All of the reasons above also lead to one final conclusion: it is just cheaper.
- Netlify blog post this short intro to SSGs was based on
- See examples of sites and principles of this model at JAMstack.org
- More about JAMstack on jamstack.wtf
What agencies are saying about JAMstack: