WordPress Creator Vs The Jamstack

Matt Mullenweg Clarifies Jamstack Remarks ( )

Two weeks ago, Matt Mullenweg made some pointed remarks in an article from The New Stack, calling Jamstack “a regression for the vast majority of the people adopting it.”

I read this post last night and found it really interesting. Especially since I’ve been exploring Static Site Generators again myself. Clearly Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, doesn’t think that SSGs will hold much weight in the future.

To be honest, I can see where he’s coming from – SSGs are great fun to play with, but as I alluded to in my SSG post (linked above), anything more than a simple site/blog and the thing can become convoluted very quickly. Hell, my VERY simple site is already fairly convoluted to maintain.

SSGs are great as a fun project for a developer, but for the vast majority of web users, I can’t see them taking off. Just imagine someone from the marketing team in a small company trying to update their company’s blog. With an SSG they would have to:

  1. Learn how to use Markdown.
  2. Learn how to use YAML and front matter to get the post’s metadata correct.
  3. Learn how to use Git so they can commit the changes.
  4. Write the post.
  5. Save the post in the correct directory within the website tree.
  6. Commit the changes to their Git repo.
  7. Hope the build triggers and the site updates.
  8. If they don’t have a builder, then they will need to then learn whatever SSG their dev implemented.
  9. Carry out a local build.
  10. Upload the built site using FTP.

Same person, same scenario, using WordPress:

  1. Login to WordPress.
  2. Click New > Post.
  3. Write the post using the WYSIWYG editor.
  4. Click Publish.

This is why I don’t think that static site generators will ever gain the market share that WordPress has.

And that’s fine, by the way – SSGs are really cool and super fun to play with – I’m really enjoying it on my side project; but I wish a lot of devs would stop touting about how amazingly simple they are, as it’s just not the case.

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Please read my commenting guidelines before posting a comment.

  1. @kev Good article.Static sites have so many benefits, well just one benefit, they are fast.Why on earth can no one make a feature in Wordrpress: “Publish as static page” It’s shouldn’t exactly be rocket science to transform a page from WYSIWYG editor to static page. It should be like pushing print in windows. Done. The page is on a piece of paper. Super static. (except if you try to print a website – looks bad)SSG generators (yes I use a PC computer) are ridiculously user unfriendly.

    1. Well, short post, something like longer ‘toot’. Let’s see what’s behind.
      35 HTTP requests, 5 domains connected, page size 1,8 MB. Something is wrong.

    2. Sorry, somehow clicked on a reply instead of a new comment.
      To your topic; good points, I tried almost everything, ended with pure HTML and CSS writen in my terminal editor, backing up with git. However theses sites were not blogs where I have to type every day. WordPress is relatively easy and extensible, but I was not able to look at that bloat.
      Static site generator like Hugo, yes it is ‘relatively’ simple, fast but I don’t see some huge advantage over handcoding html 🙂 at least I was able to be more independent of platform or tools available as I needed just a text editor. So amost a calculator can make it.
      Many site generators are too complex and complicate, but practically these have just one job – add html headers and footer mabye.
      Maybe we can compare this issue to web browser situation. There are also some cool ‘lightweight’ but these are okay for 1% of the web?

    3. Agreed. I think a lot of jamstack implementations are over engineered.

  2. I’ll agree with you on all counts. I (mostly) en­joy my sta­tic site at the mo­ment, plus it helps that the whole work­flow is free (which is su­per im­por­tant to me).Static sites too can get un­wieldy, just like any CMS to be hon­est, but the level of ab­strac­tion is far, far less com­pared to some­thing like WordPress or Ghost. The con­trol I have is nice to­day, but what hap­pens when I no longer have the time or in­cli­na­tion to main­tain a big pud­dle of APIs and a bunch of mov­ing parts?I par­tic­u­larly like Ghost and re­cently rec­om­mended it to a friend. It costs â‚ą/month to run but my headache is pretty much re­duced to back­ups and up­grades, and the odd un­usual fea­ture re­quest which I’d have to write man­u­ally. I don’t mind.Another friend is mov­ing to Ghost (to be fair, from some­thing like Medium) as well even though they are tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent. They’d like to fo­cus on con­tent, not babysit­ting the setup. And I com­pletely get it!

    1. I really like Ghost. In fact, I was one of the original Kickstarter backers. For me though, it boils down to the fact that I simply know PHP better than Node, so I’m more comfortable using WordPress.

      Backups are a concern for me when it comes to using Ghost – again, this comes down to my lack of knowledge with the platform, and my lack of time (and inclination) to learn it.

      It’s great that we have so much choice as to what we use though. SSG, WP, Ghost or whatever – what’s important is the end result. My site is good looking and performs well (I think), and it’s WP. You site is BEAUTIFUL and also performs well, and is an SSG.

      As long as the user experience is good, does it really matter what we use on the back end? I don’t think so, as long as we’re happy with our choices as admins.

  3. @kev, I, for one, am happy to not be dealing with a Drupal site, Varnish cache, and pulling my hair out trying to figure out why pages aren’t being either cached or updated. But there were a lot of things wrong with that site, so maybe JAMstack isn’t the solution I think I need, either. (Current website is on a PaaS, and I’m looking for more flexibility.)

    1. Yes that’s what we do on Strattic – users manage their WP sites as usual, and click a button to generate a static version of the site. A very un-convoluted way to generate a static site with WordPress.

  4. @kev I would say you’re not comparing the same tools – any SSG truly isn’t a tool to manage content with. There are many headless CMS one can connect to SSG build pipeline (see Once setup is done, publishing process isn’t much different to one you mentioned for WordPress, and a fictional marketing person does not need to undergo that painful publishing process 🙂

  5. As much as I love puttering and my static site generators? “Puttering” is the main charm of an SSG. The hooks to customize are right there on the surface. Heck some SSGs are nothing *but* hooks. And having everything in a git repository is just a developer-focused version of a smart backup plan.

    For the Jamstack side of things, I’m not sure I see the advantage of relying on a load of external services over oh say for example having a database and an internal comment system. You know, like WordPress. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot in relation to my own site leaning so much on


  • KristĂłfer ReykjalĂ­n
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