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Jekyll
Jekyll

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Jekyll vs Squarespace: What are the differences?

Developers describe Jekyll as "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. On the other hand, Squarespace is detailed as "Everything You Need To Create An Exceptional Website". Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website. Squarespace starts you with beautiful designs right out of the box — each handcrafted by our award-winning design team to make your content stand out.

Jekyll can be classified as a tool in the "Static Site Generators" category, while Squarespace is grouped under "Website Builder".

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, Squarespace provides the following key features:

  • SELL ANYTHING- Easily add a store to any Squarespace website and start selling physical and digital goods immediately.
  • PAINLESS STORE MANAGEMENT- Manage your inventory, process customer orders, print packing slips, and customize emails all in one intuitive interface.
  • BUILD BETTER PAGES WITH LAYOUTENGINE- LayoutEngine technology gives you the freedom to create visually rich pages with any configuration of text, images, products, and content blocks. Simply drag and drop your content exactly where you want and we'll automatically align them in a perfect grid.

"Github pages integration" is the primary reason why developers consider Jekyll over the competitors, whereas "Easy setup" was stated as the key factor in picking Squarespace.

Jekyll is an open source tool with 38K GitHub stars and 8.28K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Jekyll's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Squarespace has a broader approval, being mentioned in 418 company stacks & 23 developers stacks; compared to Jekyll, which is listed in 110 company stacks and 123 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

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 Squarespace?

Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website. Squarespace starts you with beautiful designs right out of the box — each handcrafted by our award-winning design team to make your content stand out.
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Why do developers choose Jekyll?
Why do developers choose Squarespace?

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What are some alternatives to Jekyll and Squarespace?
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.
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Decisions about Jekyll and Squarespace
Josh Dzielak
Josh Dzielak
Developer Advocate at DeveloperMode · | 4 upvotes · 22.8K views
Hugo
Hugo
Jekyll
Jekyll

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.

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Todd Gardner
Todd Gardner
President at TrackJS · | 4 upvotes · 76.7K views
atTrackJSTrackJS
Gatsby
Gatsby
Read the Docs
Read the Docs
ReadMe.io
ReadMe.io
GitHub Pages
GitHub Pages
Jekyll
Jekyll

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.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Jekyll and Squarespace
Avatar of lsharkey
Information Technology Directory at Off the Mat, Into the World
Review ofSquarespaceSquarespace

I inherited the SquareSpace site I support. SquareSpace may be great if all you want is a really pretty site; it's great for that. But if you use commerce and need anything more than the simplest transactions, SquareSpace will be the bain of your existence. I have it in my stack because it's my job to use and maintain it, not because I like it. The documentation is rudimentary at best, there is no published API, and tech support won't help you if you use "developer mode" - which is a must if you want to do anything more than the simplest modifications. Speaking of which, I've found the tech support to be consistently lackluster; opening a ticket is most often nothing more than an exercise in frustration. Most problems I've reported are treated as if they are a feature request rather than something broken - "we're considering adding that feature in the future" is the common response.

The quality of available data (especially for commerce) and ease of integration with other services is also deplorable. I spend the majority of my time developing workarounds for the lack of features, customization and integration that are the hallmark of this platform.

I will move my workplace off of this platform as soon as if feasible.

How developers use Jekyll and Squarespace
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 Analytical Informatics
Analytical Informatics uses SquarespaceSquarespace

Squarespace hosts our website for ease of management and with beautiful design.

Avatar of Navarik
Navarik uses SquarespaceSquarespace

Squarespace powers our public website

How much does Jekyll cost?
How much does Squarespace cost?
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