Efficient Static Site Generation
August 03, 2017

Efficient Static Site Generation

Eric Mann | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Jekyll

Jekyll is used as the static site generator for project documentation, user guides, and developer best practices explanations. We're using it both through GitHub's built-in Pages feature (which compiles Jekyll sites for us automatically) and locally for content and design staging before anything ever ships to production. Jekyll allows us to work on the content of a documentation site independent of the code that builds and hosts the content.

Pros

  • Static site generation
  • Dynamic templates
  • Single-page applications
  • Advanced, multi-page navigation and organization with template hierarchy

Cons

  • Ease of local usage (Ruby isn't always the friendliest environment, especially on Windows)
  • Up-to-date documentation on configuration for edge cases and plugins
  • All of our documentation is now centralized to one, version controlled location and presented seamlessly. Engineers don't have to spend hours trolling through a wiki or sorting Google Pages to find the information they need.
  • Because Jekyll sites are fully-fledged websites, sometimes the _design_ of a document can overwhelm the interest of the team maintaining it - they'll spend more time perfecting the look/feel than they should.
Jekyll is integrated into GitHub Pages, which made it an easy choice. Using Jekyll was also easier as there's not really a server or a database to configure and you can just get things started from day one. Running and verifying content changes locally for developers is super efficient as Jekyll runs locally, too.
Jekyll is very well-suited for static content that changes infrequently once it's been published. If the site is a blog or needs to generate dynamic content in response to requests (i.e. form builders or other dynamically-generated pages) a more interactive system would be preferable. Jekyll works best with a hosted solution like GitHub Pages or Elastic Beanstalk or something else where code/content can be deployed once, quickly, and left alone.

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