How Static Site Generators Work

Sure, they seem simple, but are they really?

Anyone who follows this site knows that I have an unhealthy obsession with static site generators. One of the things that I like about them is the straightforwardness of what they do - take some combination of lightweight markup and templates and compile those into static HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

But is it really that simple? This is a topic I take a look at in my recent article for CSS Tricks called ā€œWhat Really Makes a Static Site Generator?ā€ In this article, I dissect a static site generator called Harp to see how it handles the process of serving and compiling the files that make up your finished site. As I note in the article, I chose Harp because it is simple by design (and because I know JavaScript well enough to understand the code).

Hopefully some folks find the article useful. Iā€™d love to hear any feedback you may have.