The Pros and Cons of Building a Website with Jekyll

This website originally started off as a Drupal site, after which I rewrote it with AngularJS and Express. Then last year I decided to further simplify it by converting it into a static website with Jekyll. The motivation was to reduce maintenance and the cognitive load associated with taking care of an entire jungle when you just wanted to have a simple website.

I’d like to jot down some of the advantages and disadvantages of building your website with Jekyll, based on my own experiences.

Pros

  • Jekyll requires no server maintenance.
  • No risk of getting hacked (unless somebody guesses your GitHub password).
  • Jekyll is fast.
  • GitHub is your CMS.
  • All your content is versioned in Git.
  • Theming is simple.
  • No programming involved.
  • SEO is baked in.
  • GitHub manages 301 redirects and 404s for you.
  • Hosting is free on GitHub.
  • Custom domains are easy to set up.
  • The Jekyll community offers a plethora of plugins for customization.

Cons

  • No server-side scripting (e.g. contact forms).
  • Content cannot be dynamically presented (e.g. based on popularity).
  • Spinning up a local installation may intimidate non-programmers.
  • No post scheduling.
  • No image manipulation tool for interactively cropping and resizing images.