Github Pages is a hosting solution, that only hosts Static websites which do not use an SQL database.
Static websites are simply files in a folder (or Github repository).
Static websites can use external services (instead of a WP plugin) by simply adding an
<script> tags, just like embedding a Youtube video.
Platforms to store Static websites
Static Website Generators
- Jekyll - Transform your plain text into static websites and blogs.
- See the longer list here
Content Management Systems (CMS) for Static websites
- Forestry.io - A static CMS that commits.
- CloudCannon - The Cloud CMS for Jekyll.
- Siteleaf - A friendly CMS for your static site
Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy (limited) solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.
Installing a Wordpress site requires:
- A private server with SSH access. (Digital Ocean, Linode etc). Cost: ~ 5 USD / month.
- Installing a Webserver (Apache / Nginx) and an SQL database (MySQL / MariaDB)
A Wordpress maintainer needs access to:
- The server via SSH (username / password)
- The Wordpress backend example.com/wp-admin
- SQL database on the server (username / password / database_name) via MySQL
A Wordpress maintainer would need to periodically do the following:
- Update ALL plugins the site is using. A single outdated plugin can be the cause of your website being hacked.
- Install security updates on the server, MySQL, nginx etc.
- Make sure the SQL database is being backed up to a different server.
- Make sure the uploaded files (images etc) are being backed up to a different server.
- Re-install the server, if running Ubuntu LTS, every 5 years. Usually a new server is created and everything migrated to the new one. This takes hours.
Who knows the username / password to that website we made 2 years ago?
A Github Pages maintainer / developer would need to:
- Be granted write access to the repository on Github.
Prior Wordpress experience
Having worked on multiple Wordpress websites, I created a list of some things I have encountered through the years.
- Someone installed a plugin that was able to edit the theme files directly on the server. The code on the server is now different from the code on Github, that the new developer is working on. Which codesource is the correct one?
- Someone installed a plugin that did the same as another plugin, and those 2 plugins were fighting and nobody knew what was causing the weird issue.
- More people installed more plugins and the site got slower.
- Some of those plugins were not being maintained and were out of date and a security risk.
- One out of date plugin caused the website to be injected with hidden keywords like (BRAND NAME glasses / clothes), which in this case, did not break the website, but lowered it’s search ranking. Google penalizes hacked sites
- 3 years later, everyone got sick of the website and a new website had to be made from scratch, again, with Wordpress.
Will your website still be online in 5 years? What about 10-20 years? With Github Pages there are no server fees nor updates needed.
As long as Github (owned by Microsoft) is still running, chances are your site also will. If not, you can easily move it to Gitlab or Netlify by a simple
When using a static page on Github, anyone can clone (or download) your repository and get all the data. No need to ask the maintainer for the SQL database dump. This means that anyone can backup the whole website easily.
With static websites, we get all the benefits of git version control, applied to the whole website.
Who removed line nr 5 in that article and when? Who edited that word in that line? Can we put it back? - Yes. This is all possible when using Git.
A study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run were exploitable because they were running outdated and unsupported versions of the software.
Read more about Wordpress Vulnerabilities
- A static website contains Web pages with fixed content. Each page is coded in HTML and displays the same information to every visitor.
- Dynamic websites contain Web pages that are generated in real-time. They might need to query a database (like MySQL) and then render the data. This is slow.