Simple Static Site Generators for a Blog

I’ve been playing around with a few simple static site generators, the simpler the better. Here’s a mini review.

In no order, but I’d probaby pick Hugo or Zola at the moment:


This was the quickest way I was able to get to a fancy looking site. It had a nice looking main page, I just copied my markdown formatted blog entries over and it was good to go. It had a nice “archive” list which was what I spent hours trying to add to my old Hugo site. I didn’t love the giant graphic at the top of the default theme, that’s a pretty minor gripe. It is a whole node setup, and my system isn’t set up for node development, I ended up using a Docker container and generating the site under that. “spurin/hexo” is the container.


Zola is indeed simple, to a pretty reasonable extent, but with lots of bells and whistles, and it’s well documented. It has a lot of themes, but many of them are not very recently updated. Most of the themes I couldn’t get working, but I think I wasn’t “fully installing” the themes. I think you really need to start with a theme, copy it’s contents and config.toml over and THEN start playing with it. The complexity is largely driven by the theme you select, and “terminal” is super simple. Available as a deb so easy for me to install and try out.


Gostatic seems to be about the simplest static site generator I can imagine that would be useful for anyone but the author. There don’t seem to be any templates available, and the stock template is barebones to the minimum. Probably too barebones. You’re going to need to create your own templates, so it’s not going to work for you out of the box. Install was simple, just a single downloadable executable.


I’ve heard good things about Astro, and see a lot of mentions of it for generating static blogs. I thought I’d try this to see what something really fancy would look like. These are all npm setups (again, I don’t have a npm environment). I looked at “Astro Ink”. It looked promising, but I didn’t look too far. It felt a lot like getting back into the situation I was in with my current Hugo blog, too big for me to maintain.