Building Sitesauce: static sites for everyone

Building Sitesauce: static sites for everyone

2 min read

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If you follow me on Twitter you have surely seen me tweet about the project, teasing out little details of my "secret project". I've had a lot of fun with cryptic tweets and blurred out screenshots but now that the project has reached a usable state (in fact both this website you're on right now and the Sitesauce landing page are using it) it's finally come time to announce what this thing I've been building since I came back from LaraconEU actually is.

It all started last Christmas when I was looking to move from my Ghost setup to a static-site generator. I had suffered from a server incident that took my website offline and was looking for a solution where my online presence didn't depend on a server going down while I was sleeping. I looked around for better options and noticed that a few sites I had on Netlify had a 100% uptime in the last three months and started looking into Netlify and static sites. While my main concern was with uptime, other benefits like almost-instant loading times, incredible scaling or unbreakable security (there's nothing to hack when you're dealing with HTML files) motivated me to make the move. I continued using Ghost as a data-source but switched to Jigsaw.

It took a while to get things where I wanted them to be. I had to rewrite my Ghost theme to a new templating engine, modify some of the Jigsaw core to make it work like I wanted to and manually trigger a new build every time I changed something. It also meant an added layer of complexity, not being able to instantly preview my changes and more things that distracted me from writing, which is why I had been using Ghost in the first place. I ended up getting all the static benefits, but at a high time & complexity cost, so I started thinking about how to make switching simpler.

What I set out to build was a one-click solution that got rid of all the drawbacks that I had experienced and worked with any platform, be it Ghost, Wordpress, Statamic, a Laravel-based blog or any other CMS. I worked on it for a few days, but some technical problems with my implementation made me give up. I threw the code on a private repo and forgot about it.

Fast-forward to LaraconEU, where a new Laravel feature (Lazy Collections) and a talk about improving performance gave me some tips on how could I make my implementation work. I then rescued my old code and managed to get a basic prototype working. Since then, I've been hands-down working on fixing edge-cases and building the best experience for everyone using Sitesauce.

I'm incredibly excited to finally share my work with everyone and continue building it in the open. You can get more information about Sitesauce and sign up for early access here.

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