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📘 A static-site generator made in Node.js. You can deploy your static site to Netlify.
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lib final version ready Sep 13, 2019
scss final version ready Sep 13, 2019
src center-aligned text at hero section Nov 8, 2019
Procfile watch changes w nodemon, some restructuring Jun 25, 2018 final version ready Sep 13, 2019
package.json version 4.1.0, complete ui redesign Sep 13, 2019
site.config.js add url Sep 13, 2019


static-site-express is a simple Node.js based static-site generator that uses EJS and Markdown. You can deploy your static site to the Netlify cloud computing platform. Deploy, customize, and write your own blog.

Post updated on September 13, 2019 Current version: 4.1.0


Install static-site-express

You have to options:

a) Clone my repository:

git clone name-of-your-site

b) Use the 'Deploy to Netlify' button on the example website

Build your site locally

a) Build site from ./src into ./public folder:

npm run build

b) Serve website on localhost:4000:

npm run serve

c) Or you can watch for changes and trigger re-build with nodemon:

npm run watch

You need to add sudo before the commands on Linux system.

Important notes

  • nodemon not trigger re-build on Linux on file changes (this behavior was experienced on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver)
  • On Ubuntu, you can run npm run watch-exp command which uses the chokidar package. Experimental!

Inspect package.json for more info. The ./lib folder contains the JavaScript files used for building and serving the website. Check them out.

The site.config.js file contains some of the site properties (like site title, author, description, social media links etc.) that are used in the EJS partials.

Register at Netlify and publish your website

  • Register on Netlify, and see this tutorial video if you are unfamiliar with the procedure. You can publish your site in a minute.

  • The netlify.toml configuration file contains important properties:

  base    = "/"
  publish = "public"
  command = "npm run build"

The base path, the build command, and the publish directory. You can keep those settings.

In the _headers file you can specify the HTTP headers and set Content Security Policy (CSP) rules for the Netlify server. Currently, CSP rules are not set because I don't know which domains you want to whitelist when you create your own website. I recommend you the CSP Evaluator by Google.

The _redirects file is currently empty. When you have a custom domain, you can make a redirect from * to your custom domain.

sitemap.xml is self-explanatory. Empty by default. robots.txt is for search engines. Default settings:

# Disallow admin page
User-agent: *
Disallow: /admin/

# Disallow message-sent page
User-agent: *
Disallow: /message-sent/

# Rule 3
User-agent: *
Allow: /

For Google Search Console verification, you should have an HTML file from Google included in the root of your Netlify publish folder (in our case, public). The build script copies this file from ./src to ./public. Change line 87 in ./lib/build.js:

ssg.copyRootFile('FILENAME.html', srcPath, distPath)

Alternatively, you can use the Express server app on Heroku (not recommended)

A Procfile is already supplied for you with the command to build the site, and after that, to run the app server:

web: npm run heroku

You need improve security! I already set security headers with the helmet npm package, just 2 lines:

// Set Security Headers.
const helmet = require('helmet')

Also, you can set Content Security Policy (CSP) rules using the helmet-csp package.

Keep in mind that the contact form on the example site only works on Netlify!!


If you have a problem or a question about static-site-express, open an issue here.

PS. The idea of making a static site generator in Node.js came from this good article by Douglas Matoso: Build a static site generator in 40 lines with Node.js.

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