Today I am officially launching a brand-new open-source static site generator, Orchid! This has been a long time coming, well over a year of continuous development, but it is finally ready for the world to see, and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you!
"Why yet another static site generator?" you may ask, and more importantly, why would you choose Orchid over one of those other, much more-established tools? The answer is all about beauty and simplicity, the very essence of an this stunning flower. Orchid was designed specifically to fix the issues common in other static site generators: lack of flexibility, lack of extensibility, the fact that content is inseparable from the display, and the burden on content writers to know how to code.
In short, Orchid is a website framework for everyone, not just programmers. Here's 5 reasons why you should pick Orchid for your next website:
1. Orchid is simple for anyone to use
By keeping a strong separation between your site's content and its theme, Orchid makes it easy for you to just focus on writing and not get bogged down with things that aren't relevant.
Orchid also integrates seamlessly with the Netlify CMS, automatically configuring your CMS to your site's custom needs and installed plugins, so anyone can manage the site content with ease.
2. Orchid is "batteries included (but optional)"
Orchid has more than an dozen officially-supported plugins, giving you features like syntax highlighting, additional languages, shortcodes to enrich your content, new ways to write and manage your content, custom menus, and much more. In fact, everything in Orchid is a plugin, and any feature you don't need for your site can simply be removed, allowing you to optimize your site for your unique needs.
3. Orchid is easy to extend
Orchid's entire codebase is completely modular, giving you dozens of ways to extend Orchid to provide the exact feature you need. Anything from creating custom tags and new components, to the low-level operations to build your site hierarchy, are all equally easy to work with.
Orchid handles all the tough stuff for you, like handling options, letting your plugin work seamlessly with others, and even documenting it for you! This lets you can focus on what actually matters, making Orchid uniquely yours.
4. Orchid makes your site personal
Orchid has a powerful component-based approach to site management. Your pages no longer have to be cookie-cutter pages that all look the same; even sites with the same theme can end up wildly different and personal just by the way you build components.
5. Orchid can replace your entire toolchain in one integrated experience
Most static site generators do one thing well, like blogging or documentation, but they offer very little or no support for doing anything else. Other tools are so focused on being so purely plugin-driven that they intrinsically do very little that you couldn't do yourself with simple NPM scripts.
Orchid is the perfect compromise between these two ideals: it is incredibly flexible and probably already has the plugin you need, everything from blogs, wikis, custom taxonomies, and even Javadocs! But because Orchid does all of this, it can all be integrated into a single site, completely eliminating the need to maintain multiple websites just to get all the features you need.
Hopefully you're intrigued, but you may be wondering if it is stable. Orchid has been continuously, lovingly, developed for more than a year, and I am currently running numerous sites in production with Orchid, including this one you're currently reading. I have been carefully developing this product, testing, documenting, and abusing it until I was sure it is ready for public use.
So give Orchid a try today, and help me spread the word!