Trying the Pelican Static Site Generator and Abandoning it – the Best Python Static Site Generator is found…

I used to use Jekyll site for my notes and summaries called fixes

I wanted to move away from Ruby, that Jekyll uses, and try the language I prefer – python – and saw that pelican was the most popular.
I also wanted to move away to improve the way categories are shown and to speed up the site.

Don’t Use Pelican

After trying it out I have come to the conclusion that it is best to avoid it.

The problems I had:

  • When setting up it creates a fab file for you, for the convenience of deploying and running the site locally. Unfortunately it is based off of the old fabric that required python 2. Using fabric > 2 gave errors.
  • It is September 2018, the last release of Pelican was in January 2017. The author is relying on the community to review pull requests and it seems the community is not alive and kicking anymore.
  • The default theme is not what I deem elegant or simple.
  • AWS is used by default to show assets (like the github ribbon), which is slower and less reliable than a locally hosted version in my opinion. I don’t want to be reliant on some external service.
  • It also uses Google fonts for the default font. Yet more bloat and reliance on Google.
  • Themes are in a seperate repo and are complicated to use.
  • I found that 50% of the themes give errors when you are building them
  • All themes require significant customization.
  • Extra stuff is in yet another repo called pelican plugins, which also requires more technical skill and doc reading to make work.
  • None of the themes I tried were light weight and looked descent and required not much effort.

All in all, things have just gotten a bit too complex and complicated. Too much unnecessary shit is included in the standard package and too much necessary stuff requires external repos and customisation.

Things don’t just work, so I am going to look for another solution or stick with Jekyll.

Use MkDocs

Update September 2020: The best option I have found is mkdocs. It is a pure and simple python static site / documentation package.
You can write in markdown and the themes available like readthedocs, material and the mkdocs default are clean and simple.

It is also has a built in search.

Other Options

Other possible options: