Insights into SSGs


When I first dipped my toes into web development along with cybersecurity, I wanted to track my progress through a blog. Then, I only had a surface level understanding (and experience) with HTML (and also a penchant for ctrl+c, ctrl+v), and my first ever blog was just built off a Bootstrap blog template. The site was extremely hardcoded, and made updating and maintaining the site cumbersome, and slowly, my motivation to write entries waned.

Getting into SSGs

I first got hands-on experience with Static Site Generators (SSGs) when my friend and I tried building our CTF team’s website. SSGs, as its name suggests, generate (HTML) pages at build time. Essentially, they take source files, typically written in Markdown, and transform them into static HTML, CSS, and JS files. These files can then be deployed to a web server, resulting in a website that loads quickly, and efficiently. What allured me towards SSGs lie in their ability to create Single Page Application (SPA) sites; ensuring a smooth user experience, while simplifying maintenance.


I was rather interested in Jekyll at first, and did experiment with it for a good two weeks. The learning curve was surprisingly almost non-existent (to be fair, SSGs are more or less the same in terms of creating new pages). I then continued on with the styling and configurations of the Jekyll site. But!! I came across Hexo, in particular, a theme called the Redefine Theme, the one YOU are on right now! The simplicity of Hexo, and its diverse plugins drew me in.

Transitions were smooth, and the minimalist, yet flexible theme was such a joy to work with, and the process of creating and managing posts were rather easy. For instance, creating a post requires one to just type:

kairos@opensus:~/Documents/Github/blog> hexo new post "Hello World!"

And Hexo will create a new post for you!


In essence, exploring SSGs pretty much revitalised my interest in tracking my progress, interests, and everything in between. The efficiency, simplicity, and flexibility of SSGs make them really invaluable tools for us to navigate web dev easily!

PS. Thank you Bowen for pushing me to start learning about SSGs :D

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.