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You could also do plain html but using some good templating language like handlebars or pug, and do on the fly compilation with a few scripts in your preferred language.

Yes indeed -- and I've played with that before. There's nothing wrong with doing that, but for my needs, just going with plain HTML is easiest.

If these sites needs to be more complex, then I'll likely use a static site generator of some sort. I have two sites that are more complex still, and I use WordPress for them.

There's also Emmet shortcut extensions to write html faster, it usually is supported for most popular editors.

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