People are always in a rush. I feel that the on-demand generation has made everyone impatient. The other day, my sister was looking for an LBD little black dress for her friend’s sinister party. Before even checking on our wardrobe, she swiped open (and closed) all the online shopping apps.
Your website users can’t stand a delay of a mere few seconds. They abandon your site without a sane consideration. Developers using CMS (content management systems) can understand the background functioning as the web-search takes time to fetch the LBD from the database/server to my sister’s screen.
This post is for those who know about JAMstack. Also for those that don’t yet know what is JAMstack or its community, here is the answer:
Why React and Why Static?
Front-end development is at the fore-front owing to the intuitive APIs of ReactJS. Developers use React.js for component-based client-side application development, which aids excellent user-experience.
React enables server-side rendering to reduce the users’ performance costs by saving their UX penalty for single-page applications SPA. There is no server-maintenance in static websites, and these static sites perform much better in Google indexing.
Advantages of Static Site Generators
Below are mentioned the benefits of using SSG over CMS:
- Speedy Loading
- No back-end
- Secure and Reliable
- Flexible and Scalable
- Better Developer Experience
- Low Maintenance
A dynamic website built using a content management system pulls information from the database whenever the user requests a page of a content-heavy site. This process may consume time and causes a delay, which frustrates the user. Whereas if you build your website using a static site generator, it provides the user a compiled file at the browser. This way, the SSG site loads faster and satisfies your user.
You do not need a web-server or a database when building your website using SSG. You can directly host your site on the CDN (content delivery network), which improves your web performance.
While you build your website using a CMS, it might require additional plugins, and with each plugin, there comes a higher security vulnerability. On the contradictory, when you use an SSG for your website development, you do not need to run any extra code on the server-side that gives a threat to security.
As compared to the CMS sites, there is a negligible chance of a server-crash. All the pages of an SSG website are kept together. Thus, static site generators build a reliable and secure website.
Websites built using SSG have no database calls that speed their performance, and this flexibility ensures quick results on the browser. All the pages of your site, when you host them on the CDN, can serve them on multiple places improving your scalability.
If you build your website using a CMS, you might have to keep separate technology stacks for your developers and the marketing team. Whereas by using SSG, you ensure loose coupling and much better debugging, which eases the tasks of developers.
You do not need to look after the database while building your website with SSGs, which means less to bother, maintain, and keep a check. At the same time, you pay less saving costs.
Here, I’ve presented a list of my favorite React Static Site Generators, which are the finest. Using these SSGs, you can build amazingly attractive and content-right websites. You shall be relieved with the ease it enables and spare time due to its fast development speed.
8 Top React Static Site Generators to Use in 2020
Gatsby is the popular static site generator that is used in the official ReactJS website. Gatsby was released in 2015 and is free and open-source. It collaborates well with the React ecosystem and uses GraphQL, a rich plugin for 3rd party services and API.
Gatsby comes along with many starters, templates, and it works by the PWA guidelines. As you develop your website using Gatsby correctly, it loads in no time. You can consider it as a modern front-end framework that uses static files for faster page-loads.
Gatsby has an amazing GitHub community holding 8.3k forks and 45.3k stars.
This static site generator is written in the Golang programming language, and you can use it within your ReactJS application. Hugo is also a free and open-source framework that has more than 300 themes.
The best thing about Hugo is that it takes less than one millisecond for a page to load, making users get an entire website within one second.
Hugo supports Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, and other operating systems. It also aids menus, taxonomies, varied content types, dynamic APIs, and other plugins for building amusing React websites.
GitHub community is strong with 45k stars and 5.1k forks.
3. React Static
The React team created this new static site generator to overcome the drawbacks of other SSGs so that your developers can have a better experience. Using React Static, your website enables faster data streaming from source to the route.
React Static has a shorter learning curve, so your developers will be more than happy to use it. It incorporates prop mapping functionalities along with data ingestion and querying. There have been no complaints regarding data colocation and dynamic data.
With a fan-following of 8.8k stars on GitHub, React Static is making its way like Gatsby and other proven React SSGs.
Next.js is yet to stand upright for the static upload and routing issues. It is still an excellent choice for your next web application development using ReactJS.
Next.js holds a prominent 49.9k stars and 7.7k forks on GitHub.
Cuttlebelle is a comparatively less renowned SSG, but it is an awesome framework that keeps editing and code concerns separate. You can expand your possibilities by combining Cuttlebelle with React components.
Cuttlebelle has just started growing on GitHub with 442 stars and 26 forks.
Across the globe, the most widely used SSG is Jekyll, especially for eCommerce websites and blogs. Though it was built using Ruby, Jekyll can show its power along with React as well. It uses importers for quick migration.
Jekyll provides your website hosting for free along with GitHub pages. It has a vast community on GitHub, enrolling 40.7k stars and 8.9k forks.
Phenomic is a modular website compiler where you can use React as a renderer and Webpack as a bundler. Your developers will have the experience of building a full-blown website or app using this static site generator.
Phenomic does have a handful of resources along with a doc to build your React blog application. With this SSG, you can build a high-performing SEO website with a fantastic and speedy user-experience.
On GitHub, Phenomic collects 3.3k stars and 284 forks.
The Founder of SurviveJ built Antwar, a blog-aware static engine using React and Webpack. You can create your customized pages by combining layouts and content on top of configurations, using Antwar.
You can build websites using Antwar that are friendly, speedy, and extensible. This project is not actively maintained, but still worth being here in the list of React static site generators.
Antwar has 463 stars and 35 forks on GitHub.
Considerations Before Choosing your React SSG
You might be daunted by all the options available here; however, you want to know the right SSG for you. Here are some considerations that you should ask yourself before you finalize your status site generator. As you answer each of these questions, you will get close to your answer.
1. How many features do you need for your website?
You can choose an SSG with various features for you so that you can develop your plugins by yourself, e.g., Gatsby or Next.js. On the other hand, you can choose an SSG with minimal functionality but built-in plugins that help you create your fantastic website. Say, for example, Jekyll.
2. Does your website have a crucial build-time and deploy-time?
Static site generators are indeed a boon for improvising your development and loading time. However, built-times are still at stake. Can say that Hugo has best of all speed with less than a millisecond per page, however, Gatsby’s latest version is also promising. Experienced developers have voted a thumbs down for Jekyll’s pace, but its v4 is improvised.
3. What type of project do you want to build using SSG?
Choosing an SSG is directly relevant to what is your end-goal? What do you want to build? A blog, documentation page, marketing website, or an eCommerce website. You may consider Gatsby or Jekyll for your blog development, and a headless SSG like Hugo for creating a shopping website.
If you are looking forward to developing your marketing website, using Gatsby as your static site generator will enable you to incorporate dynamic content or forms, or authentication, etc. on your website.
4. Who is going to use your website?
You should be clear about your users, whether they are your developers or your marketing guys. You might have already noted that some SSGs are logic-oriented, whereas others are simple- easy for marketers.
5. Do you need help from the community?
Entrepreneurs rely on the community for the continuous support and maintenance of their websites. As you may check the list of top 8 React Statis Site Generators, those having a wide range of stars and forks on GitHub will get you more help from the community.
However, some projects are static, with no future need for updating ever. In that case, even any number of GitHub following will be futile.
I’m sure you might be clear about your upcoming project needs and choose the right React Static Site Generator.
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