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Cactus
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Jekyll

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Cactus vs Jekyll: What are the differences?

What is Cactus? Static site generator for designers. Uses Python and Django templates. Cactus makes setting up a website look easy. Choose a template for a blog, portfolio or single page and Cactus generates all files and folders to get you on your way.

What is Jekyll? Blog-aware, static site generator in Ruby. Think of Jekyll as a file-based CMS, without all the complexity. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and spits out a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories.

Cactus and Jekyll can be categorized as "Static Site Generators" tools.

Some of the features offered by Cactus are:

  • Mac App
  • Focus on editing - Under the hood, Cactus runs a small local web server for each website you're working on. This makes it possible to build your website locally, using modern web technologies, and have the results generated to a collection of flat files.
  • Live preview anywhere - Cactus monitors all changes you make to your files and automatically refreshes your browser. Preview your project on mobile devices, and they'll instantly refresh too.

On the other hand, Jekyll provides the following key features:

  • Simple - No more databases, comment moderation, or pesky updates to install鈥攋ust your content.
  • Static - Markdown (or Textile), Liquid, HTML & CSS go in. Static sites come out ready for deployment.
  • Blog-aware - Permalinks, categories, pages, posts, and custom layouts are all first-class citizens here.

Cactus and Jekyll are both open source tools. It seems that Jekyll with 38K GitHub stars and 8.28K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Cactus with 3.29K GitHub stars and 313 GitHub forks.

What is Cactus?

Cactus makes setting up a website look easy. Choose a template for a blog, portfolio or single page and Cactus generates all files and folders to get you on your way.

What is Jekyll?

Think of Jekyll as a file-based CMS, without all the complexity. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and spits out a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories.
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    What are some alternatives to Cactus and Jekyll?
    Cacti
    Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool's data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box.
    Marvel
    A super simple tool that turns any image (including PSDs) or sketch into interactive prototypes for any device. Powered by Dropbox.
    Gatsby
    Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future.
    Hugo
    Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It is optimized for speed, easy use and configurability. Hugo takes a directory with content and templates and renders them into a full html website. Hugo makes use of markdown files with front matter for meta data.
    Hexo
    Hexo is a fast, simple and powerful blog framework. It parses your posts with Markdown or other render engine and generates static files with the beautiful theme. All of these just take seconds.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Cactus and Jekyll
    Josh Dzielak
    Josh Dzielak
    Developer Advocate at DeveloperMode | 4 upvotes 30.7K views
    Jekyll
    Jekyll
    Hugo
    Hugo

    Earlier this year, I migrated my personal website (dzello.com) from Jekyll to Hugo. My goal with the migration was to make the development environment as pleasant as possible and to make it really easy to add new types of content. For example, I knew I wanted to add a consulting page and some portfolio-style pages to show off talks I had given and projects I had worked on.

    I had heard about how fast Hugo was, so I tried it out with my content after using a simple migration tool. The results were impressive - the startup and rebuild times were in milliseconds, making the process of iterating on content or design less cumbersome. Then I started to see how I could use Hugo to create new page types and was very impressed by the flexibility of the content model. It took me a few days to really understand where content should go with Hugo, but then I felt very confident that I could create many different types of pages - even multiple blogs if I wanted - using a consistent syntax and with full control of the layouts and the URLs.

    After about 6 months, I've been very happy with the results of the migration. The dev environment is light and fast and I feel at ease adding new pages and sections to the site.

    See more
    Todd Gardner
    Todd Gardner
    President at TrackJS | 4 upvotes 109.4K views
    atTrackJSTrackJS
    Jekyll
    Jekyll
    GitHub Pages
    GitHub Pages
    ReadMe.io
    ReadMe.io
    Read the Docs
    Read the Docs
    Gatsby
    Gatsby

    We recently needed to rebuild our documentation site, currently built using Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages. We wanted to update the content and refresh the style to make it easier to find answers.

    We considered hosted services that could accept our markdown content, like ReadMe.io and Read the Docs, however both seemed expensive for essentially hosting the same platform we already had for free.

    I also looked at the Gatsby Static Site generator to modernize Jekyll. I don't think this is a fit, as our documentation is relatively simple and relies heavily on Markdown. Jekyll excels at Markdown, while Gatsby seemed to struggle with it.

    We chose to stick with the current platform and just refresh our template and style with some add-on JavaScript.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Cactus and Jekyll
    No reviews found
    How developers use Cactus and Jekyll
    Avatar of Bob P
    Bob P uses JekyllJekyll

    With limited knowledge of CSS/HTML5, Jekyll makes it easy to create templates for static HTML5 sites. Unless I really need a database for something, this is the tool I prefer for standing up websites.

    Avatar of David Somers
    David Somers uses JekyllJekyll

    I settled on Jekyll to be the CMS for my research blog. Out of the box it works, and over time I added to it... why write a dissertation when you can instead hack templates to tweak things.

    Avatar of ioi0
    ioi0 uses JekyllJekyll

    This static site generator is used with "contentful-import" ruby plugin, which allows to fetch data from Contentfull and generate new web-pages based on it. Easy and fun to use.

    Avatar of CloudRepo
    CloudRepo uses JekyllJekyll

    We wanted to pay the cost for website generation up front. Doing this allows us to put our website up in AWS S3 where it can be served reliably and for cheap.

    Avatar of Sud Web
    Sud Web uses JekyllJekyll

    We use Jekyll to build our website. We created a collection for talks. We handle speakers and sponsors via data files.

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