In Defense of Static Sites

CascadiaFest 2016 in Semiahmoo, WA

August 04 2016

Abstract

The most basic sites don’t need servers, and they don’t need fancy front end routing. And yet… how did we get here, and why are we so afraid to go back to the basics? Who are we actually building these sites for and who are we harming by front loading so many build tools, complex frameworks, and overblown architecture? Hint: it’s not just us, it’s our users, too. Static sites serve a purpose, and they’re really important pieces of the web’s history and its future. Static doesn’t mean forever unchanged and it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a dead site that you can never update. Quite frankly, static sites have gotten a bad reputation and it’s not their fault: we’ve all been so distracted by shiny new things to remember their virtues. I’ll revisit what it means to build a static site, what the use cases are, how you know its the right technical choice, what tools to use, and when to scale up to something more complex.

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