5 Best Static Site Generators of 2021 | Read the Facts!

Laiba Siddiqui Laiba Siddiqui Jun 10, 2021 · 8 mins read
5 Best Static Site Generators of 2021 | Read the Facts!
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Developing a website has always been a complicated task for most people. Website creation includes two fundamental parts. These are content creation and content management system setup.

Once both of these are unified, there comes the need for static site generators.

What is a Static Site Generator?

A static site generator is an advanced framework that is used to form a complete website with just a raw piece of content and a set of templates. These site generators simplify and speed up the coding of the HTML pages to deliver satisfactory results before the expected time to the users.

The 5 Leading Static Site Generators

There are tons of static site generators available in today’s era. Each of them competes with others to stay ahead by advancing their features in every new release. Among the large variety of available static site generators, the top 5 are said to be:

  1. Hugo
  2. Gatsby
  3. Jekyll
  4. Next.JS
  5. Nuxt.JS

We’ve explained each of these in detail below. Stay connected to read about them!

1. Hugo

Hugo is one of the most widely used and trusted static site generators. It provides pre-built templates for its users for managing web analysis, search engine optimization, and other functions. Hugo takes 1 millisecond to build each page of the website proving itself the fastest website builder.

Hugo provides perks of flexibility to its users in terms of content creation. You can upload any type of content in Hugo without using plugins. In the output, Hugo provides content in JSON and AMP formats.

Hugo also makes it easier to build a website from existing data. It has a feature known as “data-driven content”. This feature helps in loading the existing data in JSON and creating a set-up into the new website for making it public to the audience.


  • Hugo is the fastest site generator
  • Hugo provides a clear and easy documentation facility to the users
  • Hugo is easy to set up and does not require a lot of time
  • Hugo has built-in plugins to support the changes


  • Hugo does not support XML files.

2. Gatsby

Gatsby is also one of the most advanced frameworks that are being used by most developers in 2021. It is known as a progressive web apps generator. Being a PWA, it can perform its functions while being offline. Gatsby permits its users to install it on the home screen of the mobile phone.

The offline support of Gatsby is considered the best support as compared to others.

With Gatsby, users can utilize its different plugins to source the data from the content management systems. Gatsby also uses GraphQL to manage the data continuously throughout the application. It is one of the most intriguing features of Gatsby as it provides ease to the users while setting up their websites and deploying them.

Gatsby automates the coding process which results in speedy loading of pages and optimized images. Its framework offers strong security to protect websites and applications from being attacked by hackers.


  • Gatsby generates search engine optimized pages
  • Gatsby offers strong security for the user’s data
  • Gatsby offers clear and well-structured documentations
  • Gatsby lets its users extract data from multiple data sources


  • Gatsby can take up to 15 minutes in generating a static website
  • Gatsby requires constant content updates

3. Jekyll

Jekyll is the third framework on our list. It’s also one of the leading giants among the static site generating frameworks. It provides simple website development and deployment within minutes. Jekyll makes it easy for you to manage your website. With Jekyll, you wouldn’t need to check and update your databases from time to time.

As far as the themes of Jekyll are considered, there are a large number of them available. You can use both free and paid themes as per your budget. Free themes are great but paid themes work better than free ones.

It is one of the oldest site generators used by developers but due to its sound performance, it is still used. Jekyll is built in the Github code hosting server. Once you save the content in its cloud drive, Github runs the Jekyll code to convert your content into a ready-to-use website. The documentation of the Github host is clear and simple making it easier for the users to understand.


  • Jekyll loads web pages quickly
  • Jekyll does not require database maintenance and set up
  • Jekyll has self integrated development server
  • Jekyll requires no updates and offer strong security


  • Jekyll does not have GUI
  • Jekyll does not have any image editing program
  • Jekyll does not offer a server-side scripting facility to the users

4. Next.JS

As per the specifications and benefits of Next.js, it is more a static application builder than a static site generator. However, as all frameworks are being continuously improved by the modifiers, similarly it was also revamped in 2020 to enhance its static website generation ability.

Next.js is built in React. It offers both server-side rendering and pre-rendering to the customers. Being one of the most advanced frameworks, it permits its users to perform live editing seamlessly and more quickly to make it accessible to the audience. Fast loading pages and highly optimized image production are what inspire the most.

Next.js also allows its users to generate a static testing website with demo content and templates to test its functionality on their systems. For a better user experience, it also keeps the testing site protected from the public and makes it visible to the user only.


  • Next.js is easy to set up and runs with basic configuration
  • Next.js is responsive and offers strong data security to the users
  • Next.js pre-renders the web pages at build time in the project
  • Next.js provides community support to resolve the queries of its users


  • Next.js is considered expensive when compared with the quality of services it provides
  • Next.js does not have a lot of built-in plugins
  • Next.js requires proper management from the user side after the site development

5. Nuxt.JS

Nuxt.js is as detailed as The Vue.js Framework for React-based applications. It is an open-source framework that makes web development easier for its users. It has around 50 built-in modules to automate and advance the website development procedure for its customers. You can choose one of your own choices and get your website ready.

Nuxt.js also provides exemplary optimization for the applications to deliver seamless and bug-free facilities to the users. There are also a lot of opportunities available that will help you in continuously tuning your app for attracting more audiences.

It provides both server-side rendering and static generation facilities to the users. In server-side rendering, Nuxt.js provides an HTML based on the Vue components instead of the Javascript to the customers. Whereas, in static site generation, it designs a complete website based on the vue components and pre-renders all HTML pages.


  • Nuxt.js is easy to set up and has an opinionated structure
  • Nuxt.js provides an automatic code-splitting facility
  • Nuxt.js streamlines server-side rendered vue apps development
  • Nuxt.js resolves all the technical search engine optimization issues


  • Nuxt.js can not support high traffic on the website. High traffic results in heavy servers
  • Nuxt.js provides limited resources to its users
  • Nuxt.js makes it hard for its developers to debug the issues

Which Static Site Generator Among the Top 5 Leads the Rest?

As we’ve mentioned, Gatsby, Hugo, Jekyll, Next.js, and Nuxt.js are some of the topmost widely used and reliable static site generators. But there’s 1 among these 5 that leads the rest. CSS-TRICKS performed a test in November 2020 to compare the functionality of six static site generators.

In this test, the performance of static site generators was compared while building both small and large sites to obtain accurate results.

These graphs show the exact results:

Image source: CSS-TRICKS

Image source: CSS-TRICKS

To summarize the graphs, here are some key points that were taken out from the test results:

  • Hugo remained the fastest among all the other site generators regardless of the website size.
  • Gatsby remains the slowest static site generator among the top 5 in both small site-building and large site-building.
  • Jekyll was the second one after Hugo to build the website within less possible time.
  • Next.js and Nuxt.js were more close to Gatsby but performed slightly better than Gatsby.

Based on test results and performance analysis, Hugo can be declared as the best static site generator because it generates the highest quality websites within less possible time.

Laiba Siddiqui
Written by Laiba Siddiqui
Hey, I'm Laiba. I write about web development.