Jekyll vs Middleman: What are the differences?
What is Jekyll? Blog-aware, static site generator in Ruby. 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 Middleman? A static site generator using all the shortcuts and tools in modern web development. Middleman is a command-line tool for creating static websites using all the shortcuts and tools of the modern web development environment.
Jekyll and Middleman belong to "Static Site Generators" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by Jekyll are:
- Simple - No more databases, comment moderation, or pesky updates to install—just your content.
- Static - Markdown (or Textile), Liquid, HTML & CSS go in. Static sites come out ready for deployment.
- Blog-aware - Permalinks, categories, pages, posts, and custom layouts are all first-class citizens here.
On the other hand, Middleman provides the following key features:
- Sass for DRY stylesheets
- Multiple asset management solutions, including Sprockets
"Github pages integration" is the top reason why over 65 developers like Jekyll, while over 17 developers mention "Rails for static sites" as the leading cause for choosing Middleman.
Jekyll and Middleman are both open source tools. It seems that Jekyll with 38.1K GitHub stars and 8.31K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Middleman with 6.49K GitHub stars and 696 GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Jekyll has a broader approval, being mentioned in 111 company stacks & 125 developers stacks; compared to Middleman, which is listed in 32 company stacks and 17 developer stacks.
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
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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With limited knowledge of CSS/HTML5, Jekyll makes it easy to create templates for static HTML5 sites. Unless I really need a database for something, this is the tool I prefer for standing up websites.
I settled on Jekyll to be the CMS for my research blog. Out of the box it works, and over time I added to it... why write a dissertation when you can instead hack templates to tweak things.
This static site generator is used with "contentful-import" ruby plugin, which allows to fetch data from Contentfull and generate new web-pages based on it. Easy and fun to use.
We wanted to pay the cost for website generation up front. Doing this allows us to put our website up in AWS S3 where it can be served reliably and for cheap.
We use Jekyll to build our website. We created a collection for talks. We handle speakers and sponsors via data files.
[FREE] We use middleman for its ease and speed to develop and deploy micro/marketing sites.
Flexible static site generator, doesn't need to be more complex than this.