Jekyll Static Sites and the Search for a CMS

2 minute read

Jekyll is wonderful. When GitHub Pages launched, it was exactly what I was looking for. What I felt was missing was decent CMS for writing, managing and updating posts. I found it was awkward having to write, commit and push to GitHub everytime I wanted to post something on my blog. Writing is what I want to do on my blog so it’s the only thing I want to focus on. First I tried Prose but found it too simplistic. Now I’m using Siteleaf and I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave…

About Jekyll…

It’s lightweight and is quite easy to use, after some setup and configuration. When all I want is somewhere to write stuff it’s perfect. Before static site generators were a thing, popular ways to have blog were sites like Blogger or WordPress.

Jekyll has changed everything. Unlike Blogger, I feel a greater sense of ownership and my blog truly feels like it’s mine. And unlike WordPress, Jekyll is lighter and doesn’t come with all the baggage of WordPress.

In short, with Blogger I didn’t feel like I had enough control, and while WordPress did give me full control over all aspects of my blog it was overkill for what I wanted to do.

Why Jekyll

If not for Jekyll, in time I might have begrudgingly gone with WordPress. But let me talk more on the “overkill” aspect. WordPress is a dynamic blog. Dynamic because of php backed by a MySQL database. On a practical note, the things that make WordPress dynamic are also what introduce security vulnerabilities, so I would have to keep up to date with latest updates. With a static blog, I don’t have to worry about any of that and still have everything I want from a blogging system. The only update I ever have to apply is if I want to update the theme my blog is using.

If I need any dynamic features like a comment system or email form, there are plenty of external services I can embed.


For me, the major advantage of WordPress is that it’s got a great CMS (Content Management System). Because I wasn’t fond of the write/commit/push cycle every time I wanted to post, I ended up not posting much. More specifically, I wasn’t keen on having to do it myself. I wanted to be able to just write, click a button and be done with it. So what I needed was some web based system to manage my blog. What I needed was a CMS. For a while I tried Prose. Now I use Siteleaf.