Static site generation and SEO

February 1, 2019
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As you’re probably aware, at Yoast we’re all about WordPress. But of course, there are other ways to build a website, like with another content management system, or even by static site generation. If you’ve only ever used a Content Management System (CMS), like WordPress, to build your website, you may wonder what static site generation is. In a nutshell, it’s a ‘simpler’ way to generate an HTML-based site that is completely static and doesn’t require a database or server-side processes. This means that content is pulled directly from a file, when users visit the page, without requiring any more compilation or generation before showing up in the browser.

Most of the general rules of SEO still apply, regardless of whether you use WordPress or not to build a website. You need quality content and a proper site structure. To improve these aspects, using WordPress (or TYPO3 or Magento 2, for that matter) gives you the great advantage of being able to use the Yoast SEO plugin ;-).

But what about site speed, one of the pillars of good SEO? Does static site generation have the edge on using a CMS when it comes to speed? Here’s some thoughts!

Erwin emailed us about static site generation and SEO:

Static site generation results in faster load than using a dynamic platform such as WordPress. But the ecosystem for static site generators doesn’t include a good SEO tool, so optimization must be done manually. Which aspects should I pay attention to, to optimize such a website?”

Watch the video or read the transcript for my answer!

Static site generation vs WordPress

“Well, to be honest Erwin, I disagree with your premise. Static site generation is bullshit. It’s literally the case that any WordPress site can be made as fast as any static website.

Look at Yoast.com, it loads in under half a second, every single page. It’s WordPress, it’s a full-blown WordPress in fact, but it’s just cached properly.
There’s really no reason why you would not use WordPress, but use a “modern” static site generator… it really doesn’t work like that. Good luck!”

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