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This is likely to be an unpopular answer, but the best choice is probably WordPress. I just used it to generate a network of about 40 static sites because (1) it has literally thousands of beautiful, professionally-developed themes for free; (2) same goes for plugins; (3) it's easy to hack if need be; and (4) it probably has one of the easiest-to-use and most-complete content editors, capable of creating both pages and blog entries, upload media, cropping images, etc.; (5) it has a variety of static site generation plugins to choose from; and (6) I spent hours looking at hugo, pelican, etc. and realized that any minor qualm I had with any of these common solutions was more or less addressed by the large and robust community of WordPress developers and enthusiasts.

It's not a sexy answer, but it's practical. Just make sure you don't leave the WordPress site you use to generate static content open to the public.

I also recommend Wordpress with HardyPress. You can use Wordpress to create content more elegantly than with static plain files, and you can use HardyPress to make the result a fully static site.

I've been running my own blogs / portfolio in the last decade on static sites, from now now I'm using this new combo. Why? With the advent of the headless CMS scene static site generators just lost their unique advantage to spitting out HTML files. And meantime they didn't advance at all on the content creation side.

Creating, managing and distributing content with a CMS is far easier than with a static site generator. And when the final output is the same the choice is obvious.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with HardyPress nor Wordpress, however I do create themes for Wordpress.

Notes: In my profile the first link is a statically generated site, as well as the others in the About section. The second link is a Wordpress+HardyPress combo and you can check it live the amazing speed it offers.

Will check out HardyPress. Thanks! It might make things easier if I end up with WordPress. Wasn't aware of it :)

What’s your recommended method to make WP static? Have any of the other plugins broken for you from making WP static?

I think I ended up using "WP Static HTML Output" (not sure how to make the link citations here on HN, but the URL is https://wordpress.org/plugins/static-html-output-plugin/ ) because it exports to S3, which is where I was hosting the static sites.

I'm not a huge fan of WordPress mainly because of the security issues like the others have mentioned.

I've used it a little over a year ago and found things rather unintuitive when it came to setting up plugins. Not sure if it's gotten any better though. But, if you say it's practical, I'll give it another look and see if suits my needs. Thank you!

I was going to say the same thing, but I would go a step further and say why the heck would you want a static site for a blog in 2018? WordPress is fast, secure, and sooooo easy to use. I'm a professional web developer with 20 years experience and I still use WordPress for my personal blog because it's so simple it saves a ton of time and effort.

There's really no value in "static" websites, if by static you mean pure HTML and CSS. a 512MB server from vultr for $2.50/mo can host dozens of simultaneous visitors on a well-built WordPress site without any slowdown at all.

its not static tho, which invalidates it from this list.

The fact that you mention it has a content-editor indicates you're not using it in a static fashion.

(Correction, I hadn't realised you could use it in a static way... I last touched WordPress back in the dark ages!)

The output is static HTML files uploaded to S3, that makes it a static site generator in such a setup. That it has a dynamic component for the editing process only doesn't change that.

The idea is to use WordPress as the generator: Not the generated site.

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