8 Promising Python Static Site Generators

A static site generator creates static HTML and markdown files to serve as a website. They’re commonly used to host blogs but not exclusively. I recently researched my options to roll a static site in Python. I’m assessing a few of them as a potential future self-hosted blogging solution for this WordPress blog. Or maybe I’ll spin up a new one!

Why Statics?

Most “modern” websites are dynamic in the sense that the contents of the site live in a database, and are converted into presentation-ready HTML only when a user wants to see the page. That’s great. However, it presents some minor issues that static site generators try to solve.

In a static site, the whole site, every page, everything, is created before the first user even sees it and uploaded to the server as a simple folder full of HTML files (and images, CSS, etc).

The Nikola Handbook – https://getnikola.com/handbook.html#why-static

Static Site Generator Python Libraries

listed in largest to smallest order by # of Github project stars

Pelican | Github – 11K Stars

Seems to be the front running static site generator in Python’s ecosystem. It contains a convenient pelican-importer tool to import existing content from WordPress, Dotclear, or RSS feeds. Enjoying the modular nature of the pelican-plugins and pelican-themes!

Lektor | Github – 3.5K Stars

Intriguing CMS project touting a “Python API”, plugins for tools like Webpack and talented maintainers including the author of Flask.

Cactus | Github – 3.5K stars

“Simple but powerful static website generator using Python and the Django template system… typical users would be designers that are tech-savvy, want to use templates, but don’t like to mess with setting up django or S3.” (Mac OS) Demo Video

Nikola | Github – 2.2K stars

Viable option to host your site with the informative Nikola Handbook walking you through each step. Plugins for Jupyter Notebooks, post processing filters, a WordPress importer command line tool and about 40 ready to go themes to find the perfect style.

Makesite | Github – 1.6K Stars

Offers less configuration, using only a single makesite.py file.

Hyde | Github – 1.6K stars

Port from Jekyll, a Ruby static site generator. It has since formed its own “evil twin” identity.

Mynt | Github – 400 stars

“Designed to give you all the features of a CMS with none of the often rigid implementations of those features.”

Staticjinja | Github – 250 Stars

“Minimalist Python library for building static websites with Jinja.”

Additional Resources

Update! I launched a Pelican blog about investing with Cloudflare pages. It’s my first live static blog. Read more about it here.