Crafting the Web: Where CMS and SSG unite

· 2 min ·

Do you remember the early 2010s, just before WordPress skyrocketed? Back then, Movable Type[1] was undisputedly the number one blogging system. A position it carelessly lost in 2004 with the introduction of a paid license in version 3.0, driving users towards the open-source competitor, WordPress. Okay, it probably has something to do with Movable Type being written in Perl while most web hosts support PHP.

Why am I putting this in writing? Because Movable Type wasn’t just a pure content management system but also a static site generator[2]. And this is where it gets interesting because static site generators are currently very popular. Examples include Hugo[3], Jekyll[4] or Eleventy[5], to name a few. Unlike Movable Type, they are purely static site generators that don’t function as standalone CMS.

And here comes my small yet exquisite favorite CMS into play: Yellow[6]. Yellow’s zipped installation files are not even 400 kB in size. Yet, they enable the installation of blogs, wikis, or a small website (whatever you choose; blog and wiki are also available as extensions for later installation), allowing you to get started right away. If you want to use Yellow as a static site generator, you can install the 5 kB yellow-generate[7] extension and immediately

You can generate a static website at the command line.

And for this, your server only needs PHP. No nodeJS, Docker, or golang, just PHP. Let’s be honest, dear community: It’s refreshing to not need a framework, not depend on software whose instructions to fix security issues are almost as long as the Wikipedia article describing them, or have to learn the x-th C/C++ clone.

But that’s not the end of the (repeated) praise. No, the developer community, including the maintainers, is incredibly approachable, respectful, and open to improvements. While the documentation could include more examples, if the only drawback is having to occasionally ask a question in GitHub Discussions[8], I gladly accept that.

As I’ve done before, I won’t delve into details, thinking that, even though I might be a nerd who can barely program, the provided links are sufficient to address emerging questions. I’d probably hate myself for this move, but I just wrote and published this entire thing in the bathtub.

Reply via e-mail

Back to top