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Hexo vs Jekyll: What are the differences?

Hexo: A fast, simple & powerful blog framework, powered by Node.js. 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; 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.

Hexo and Jekyll belong to "Static Site Generators" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Hexo are:

  • Blazing Fast - Node.js brings you incredible generating speed. Hundreds of files take only seconds to build.
  • Markdown Support - All features of GitHub Flavored Markdown are supported. You can even use most Octopress plugins in Hexo.
  • One-Command Deployment - You only need one command to deploy your site to GitHub Pages, Heroku or other sites.

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

  • Simple - No more databases, comment moderation, or pesky updates to install—just 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.

"Ease of deployment" is the top reason why over 15 developers like Hexo, while over 65 developers mention "Github pages integration" as the leading cause for choosing Jekyll.

Hexo and Jekyll are both open source tools. It seems that Jekyll with 38.1K GitHub stars and 8.31K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Hexo with 27.1K GitHub stars and 3.6K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Jekyll has a broader approval, being mentioned in 111 company stacks & 125 developers stacks; compared to Hexo, which is listed in 6 company stacks and 24 developer stacks.

Advice on Hexo and Jekyll
Needs advice
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GatsbyGatsbyHexoHexo
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WordPressWordPress

I have been building a website with Gatsby (for a small group of volunteers). I track it in GitHub and push it to Amazon S3.

I am satisfied with it as a single user; however, I would like to get non-technical teammates to be able to post Markdown blog posts. I tried to teach them to add mdx files, git push, gastby build, and publish with gatsby-plugin-s3, but I am getting a fair amount of resistance :).

So I wonder if there are tools, preferably using Node.js, that allow multi-user blog authors a la wordpress, i.e. with an interface for non technical bloggers, but producing static/pre-rendered web pages.

(PS: I am considering having a node/express.js server where they could upload their mdx file and the server would re-build push and publish for them, without having them install anything, but I'd like to know if something already exists before jumping into this endeavor)

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Replies (1)

If you're after Markdown I would look at https://www.netlifycms.org. I've used it on several projects to allow clients to use Markdown to publish and it integrates really well with Gatsby. You can create your own content structures using it then implement them into your templates. These are all the widgets you can use: https://www.netlifycms.org/docs/widgets/

This keeps it strictly static file driven with no database or need for express etc.

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Decisions about Hexo and Jekyll
Manuel Feller
Frontend Engineer at BI X · | 4 upvotes · 133.1K views

As a Frontend Developer I wanted something simple to generate static websites with technology I am familiar with. GatsbyJS was in the stack I am familiar with, does not need any other languages / package managers and allows quick content deployment in pure HTML or Markdown (what you prefer for a project). It also does not require you to understand a theming engine if you need a custom design.

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Pros of Hexo
Pros of Jekyll
  • 18
    Ease of deployment
  • 13
    Uses NodeJS and npm
  • 12
    Easy GitHub Pages publishing
  • 10
    Powerful templating
  • 7
    Useful tools and plugins
  • 4
    Easy intergrating with js
  • 3
    Open source
  • 2
    Blazing Fast
  • 75
    Github pages integration
  • 54
    Open source
  • 37
    It's slick, customisable and hackerish
  • 24
    Easy to deploy
  • 23
    Straightforward cms for the hacker mindset
  • 7
    Gitlab pages integration
  • 5
    Best for blogging
  • 2
    Low maintenance
  • 2
    Easy to integrate localization
  • 1
    Huge plugins ecosystem
  • 1
    Authoring freedom and simplicity

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Hexo
Cons of Jekyll
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 4
      Build time increases exponentially as site grows
    • 2
      Lack of developments lately
    • 1
      Og doesn't work with postings dynamically

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is 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.

    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.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention Hexo and Jekyll as a desired skillset
    CBRE
    United States of America Nebraska Omaha
    CBRE
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland England Canary Wharf
    What companies use Hexo?
    What companies use Jekyll?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Hexo or Jekyll.
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    Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

    What tools integrate with Hexo?
    What tools integrate with Jekyll?

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    What are some alternatives to Hexo and Jekyll?
    Ghost
    Ghost is a platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. It's beautifully designed, completely customisable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even fun to do.
    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.
    Apache Aurora
    Apache Aurora is a service scheduler that runs on top of Mesos, enabling you to run long-running services that take advantage of Mesos' scalability, fault-tolerance, and resource isolation.
    WordPress
    The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
    11ty
    A simpler static site generator. An alternative to Jekyll. Written in JavaScript. Transforms a directory of templates (of varying types) into HTML. Works with HTML, Markdown, Liquid, Nunjucks, Handlebars, Mustache, EJS, Haml, Pug, and JavaScript Template Literals.
    See all alternatives