Over the years mainstream web development moved from simple HTML files to more advanced scripts and finally the modern CMSes we have today. Along the way there have been times when Static HTML was been mentioned as a joke.
In the last five years ago static site generators such as Jekyll, Metalsmith and Spress have risen in popularity. They generate static HTML files from some sort of source data and that is then served with a simple web server. Having a full blown CMS with a database and all is overkill the case of a rarely updated brochure sites — only increasing risk and investment to maintenance with few benefits.
With Content APIs and static site generators we can build complex sites and then deploy them to configuration-free hosting environments as static packages. This will keep your online setup as straightforward as possible, reducing complexity and risk. For the backend you can keep using a headless CMS or some other thingamajig.
If static HTML is all you have online, then static HTML is all you can loose in case of server breaches. This obviously won’t work for very dynamic use cases where you’ve got users logging with content limitations and more.With the prospects of Web CMSes as attack vectors on the rise it’s certainly an option. Complex layouts can be hard to manage and visualise with this toolset, but client side technologies can be used to give static sites a dynamic feel.
There is nothing stopping you from exporting out a static version of your dynamic CMS staging environment upon publish. To give this package site more interactive features, you can dump the selected items in the common JSON format to the package.
Using contemporary front end technologies like Angular, React or Vue to add dynamic functionality like product comparisons, a search and dynamic calculations — All happening on the browser with pre-built static assets retrieved from the the server.
Valid use cases for static generators range from small local business to large brands that work with a number of agencies, but need to guard their image closely.
In 2016, It’s worth considering going old school for delivery.
Originally published at www.linkedin.com.