(in a good way)
Browser-based content editors will emerge that make Jekyll feel like WordPress and the world will be crazy ready.
Static Site Generators
Currently static-site generators are the domain of techno-dweebs who aren’t afraid of putzing around on the command line to publish a blog post. Once these types get familiar with Jekyll, Middleman, or Hugo (which is go-based, i.e. incredibly fast to compile) they are lifetime converts. With good reason, these tools make it incredibly easy to create and host a maintainable, secure, blog-oriented site with completely badass performance. The site is just static files after all.
Get an idea for an edutaining site late one night and you can buy a domain and host for free on GitHub Pages in a matter of minutes. It’s pretty amazing.
A Huge Opportunity
Every single brochure+blog WordPress site in the universe should be using workflow, if only the barriers to entry were a bit lower. Which is where the excellent prose.io project enters the picture.
Prose makes Jekyll feel more like WordPress. It’s a web-based content editor. Once a Jekyll site is configured with Prose, the world starts to look like this:
Which is exactly what is needed to bring Jekyll to the masses, where it will thrive.
What’s left to be done?
Setting up and configuring Jekyll and Prose is still the domain of hackers. In the next year we will start to see Jekyll consultants pop-up to fulfill this need. Then comes valuable feedback: what do normal users struggle with, and how can we make the workflow more accessible?
I’m in the process of using this workflow myself to see what gaps exist and where I might contribute to Prose.
Static site generators are headed for a broad audience and a bright future. The world is most definitely ready.
p.s. The makers of Prose have also introduced a project to host a Jekyll-site generator on your own infrastructure called Jekyll Hook. This is a great idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you’re free to use any Jekyll plugins that you like where GitHub’s generator forbids them. Hosted static site generation unlocks all types of interesting possibilities.