Get Advice Icon

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

Jekyll
Jekyll

958
700
+ 1
203
Metalsmith
Metalsmith

36
36
+ 1
19
Add tool

Jekyll vs Metalsmith: What are the differences?

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.

What is Metalsmith? An extremely simple, pluggable static site generator. In Metalsmith, all of the logic is handled by plugins. You simply chain them together. Since everything is a plugin, the core library is actually just an abstraction for manipulating a directory of files.

Jekyll and Metalsmith can be primarily classified as "Static Site Generators" tools.

Some of the features offered by Jekyll are:

  • 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.

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

  • Read template files from a directory
  • Parse files for template placeholders
  • Prompt user to fill in each placeholder

"Github pages integration" is the top reason why over 65 developers like Jekyll, while over 8 developers mention "Plugability" as the leading cause for choosing Metalsmith.

Jekyll and Metalsmith are both open source tools. It seems that Jekyll with 38.1K GitHub stars and 8.31K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Metalsmith with 7.27K GitHub stars and 640 GitHub forks.

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.

What is Metalsmith?

In Metalsmith, all of the logic is handled by plugins. You simply chain them together. Since everything is a plugin, the core library is actually just an abstraction for manipulating a directory of files.
Get Advice Icon

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

Why do developers choose Jekyll?
Why do developers choose Metalsmith?

Sign up to add, upvote and see more prosMake informed product decisions

    Be the first to leave a con
    What companies use Jekyll?
    What companies use Metalsmith?

    Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

    What tools integrate with Jekyll?
    What tools integrate with Metalsmith?

    Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

    What are some alternatives to Jekyll and Metalsmith?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    VuePress
    A minimalistic static site generator with a Vue-powered theming system, and a default theme optimized for writing technical documentation. It was created to support the documentation needs of Vue's own sub projects.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Jekyll and Metalsmith
    Josh Dzielak
    Josh Dzielak
    Developer Advocate at DeveloperMode · | 4 upvotes · 27.8K 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 · 97.5K 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 Jekyll and Metalsmith
    No reviews found
    How developers use Jekyll and Metalsmith
    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.

    Avatar of Secumail
    Secumail uses MetalsmithMetalsmith

    Liked the approach the best of all SSR's out there, integrated it with Gulp for one single build pipeline

    Avatar of DroneDeploy
    DroneDeploy uses MetalsmithMetalsmith

    Static site generation from various sources.

    How much does Jekyll cost?
    How much does Metalsmith cost?
    Pricing unavailable
    Pricing unavailable
    News about Metalsmith
    More news