Static Sites are Cool Again

Back in 1994 we started out with plain old static HMTL. Websites were created by either coding them by hand or by using a GUI application such as Microsoft Frontpage (RIP) or Adobe Dreamweaver. The web was fast, it had to be, the last mile Internet at that time was largely built out of 28k dial-up modems. But sites were difficult to maintain and without a “webmaster” (webmaster@yourdomain was a thing) you were left with site you couldn’t update.

Enter the Content Management System (CMS). A CMS provided an easier way for sites to be built and maintained, either by an individual or team. But honestly, for most websites a full blown CMS like WordPress is a lot more engine and associated maintenance than is needed. A CMS needs a database and some type of server side scripting support. In addition to the CMS itself you’ll need several plugins and a theme. All of these things (PHP, MySQL DB, WordPress, WP Plugins, WP Themes, etc.) require complex configuration and significant ongoing maintenance. Each of them also presents a point of attack and resource constraints (i.e. performance issues). All complexities you probably didn’t expect when you decided to launch your website.

Enter the modern browser and the new static site of 2018. Modern browsers have become micro operating systems providing services like local storage, communication protocols and a fast JavaScript engine. With all of that power there’s fewer reasons to build on top of a complicated back-end stack.

A lot has changed since 1994 but we still have 2 choices for building static sites. Today static sites are still built using a GUI application such as Site Pro, Coffecup or Bootstrap Studio, or hand coded using modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as JQuery or React and static site generators like Jekyll or Middleman. But tools like React and Jekyll are reserved for people comfortable with using the “command line” and building HTML, CSS and JavaScript by hand. If you don’t fall into that category take a look at one of the site builders. These new HTML5 based static site builders provide a simple to use (drag and drop) interface which should allow you to publish an effective great looking website in just a few hours. Site Pro even allows you to import any, yes any, website to help get you started. Give it a try, it’s free. Just point Site Pro at apple.com, or your existing WordPress site, and tell it to import. I think you’ll be impressed at how well it works.

Without the need for complicated setups these new static sites load extremely fast and are immune to attack. Let me say that again. They are immune to attack. Static sites are safe, fast and the only thing that needs to be updated is your content.

A New Simple Model For Static Sites (and sleep)

  1. Build your site using HMTL5, CSS and JavaScript (like Site Pro)
  2. Host and distribute your site using a CDN (like Site CDN).

With no database, no server side scripting and distributed content you can sleep knowing your site will be running when you awake.

2018-04-15T12:36:01+00:00April 10th, 2018|Technology, Web|