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Decisions about Gatsby, Jekyll, and Metalsmith
Manuel Feller
Frontend Engineer at BI X · | 4 upvotes · 99.3K views

As a Frontend Developer I wanted something simple to generate static websites with technology I am familiar with. GatsbyJS was in the stack I am familiar with, does not need any other languages / package managers and allows quick content deployment in pure HTML or Markdown (what you prefer for a project). It also does not require you to understand a theming engine if you need a custom design.

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Pros of Gatsby
Pros of Jekyll
Pros of Metalsmith
  • 20
    Generated websites are super fast
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
    Progressive Web Apps generation
  • 7
    Easy to connect with lots of CMS via official plugins
  • 7
    Reusable components (React)
  • 6
    Allows to use markdown files as articles
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
    Easy to connect with Drupal via official plugin
  • 3
    All the benefits of a static website + React+GraphQL
  • 3
    List of starters as base for new project
  • 2
    Open source
  • 1
    Gitlab pages integration
  • 1
    Incremental Build
  • 75
    Github pages integration
  • 53
    Open source
  • 37
    It's slick, customisable and hackerish
  • 23
    Easy to deploy
  • 22
    Straightforward cms for the hacker mindset
  • 6
    Gitlab pages integration
  • 4
    Best for blogging
  • 2
    Easy to integrate localization
  • 2
    Low maintenance
  • 1
    Huge plugins ecosystem
  • 1
    Authoring freedom and simplicity
  • 9
  • 4
    Easy to install, easy to hack, easy to deploy
  • 2
    Really works hard to be simple
  • 1
    Chain plugins like a file processing pipe
  • 1
    CI: push to github, auto-deploy to netlifly (free)
  • 1
    Build any kind of website
  • 1
    Use any templating engine

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Cons of Gatsby
Cons of Jekyll
Cons of Metalsmith
  • 6
    No ssr
  • 3
    Very slow builds
  • 3
    Documentation isn't complete.
  • 2
    Slow builds
  • 2
    Flash of unstyled content issues
  • 2
  • 1
    Too many dependencies
  • 1
    Difficult debugging
  • 1
    Problematic between develop and build commands
  • 1
    Plugin driven development
  • 1
    Difficult maintenance
  • 4
    Build time increases exponentially as site grows
  • 2
    Lack of developments lately
  • 1
    Og doesn't work with postings dynamically
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    What is Gatsby?

    Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future.

    What is Jekyll?

    Think of Jekyll as a file-based CMS, without all the complexity. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and spits out a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories.

    What is Metalsmith?

    In Metalsmith, all of the logic is handled by plugins. You simply chain them together. Since everything is a plugin, the core library is actually just an abstraction for manipulating a directory of files.

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    What companies use Gatsby?
    What companies use Jekyll?
    What companies use Metalsmith?

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    What tools integrate with Gatsby?
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    Blog Posts

    What are some alternatives to Gatsby, Jekyll, and Metalsmith?
    Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It is optimized for speed, easy use and configurability. Hugo takes a directory with content and templates and renders them into a full html website. Hugo makes use of markdown files with front matter for meta data.
    Next.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications.
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    Create React App
    Create React apps with no build configuration.
    The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
    See all alternatives