When Tim Berns-Lee wrote the very first web page he didn’t use JavaScript, or PHP or Perl, he only wrote HTML to display text content in a browser. Sure enough, it was because these technologies were not working for the web or were not invented yet.

The first websites were only text and then images, tables and styles. But they were easy to develop and maintain. I love the dynamic web. I love the beautiful and extensible CMS’s we have like Wordpress and Drupal, but sometimes I think for a simple landing page or a website for a tiny company using a website with a big database is too much.

In the last decade the static website movement has gained fans and support around the globe because of two main reasons. First we don’t have to maintain databases anymore for small websites and second we don’t have to maintain plugins, extensions, libraries and virtual environments anymore. Sure we can still do this, but it’s not the only option and for small websites and small clients it’s better because now we can offer a better price and better speed development.

With static websites you only need to use HTML and CSS, maybe JavaScript but that’s all. And you can try two different approaches: first you can build everything from scratch and copy paste the common components in your website for different pages or you can use a static website generator which is a tool to work with reusable components you built over static content written in a format like markdown.

The downside of using static websites is with your final users. People like to work with user interfaces to edit and create content. A decade of Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla and websites similar to these caused this. And it’s okay, I mean for developers and websites built for developers the use of text to edit and create content it’s better, but for the final users it’s going be difficult.

And here it’s when services like Netlify, Strapi and Ghost enter. They offer well designed UI to edit and create the content from your static web site generator or static website.

The prices are, at least for me, high so there is a opportunity to compete. But it’s good that we web developers have a lot of options right now to create websites according to your client and users.