Top 5 Static Site Generators(SSG) for headless commerce in 2022

Modern front-end frameworks bring not only development experience, but also improve the performance of websites and applications. Static Site Generator SSG is the main development tools when building headless commerce. Compared with traditional development frameworks, SSG speeds up web building and enhance web performance and loading speed.

Definition of Static Site Generator (SSG)

Static Site Generator SSGs are front-end frameworks that generate HTML, CSS and JAVASCRIPT from raw data and templates of an application during development stage. SSG generated static websites is different with traditional HTML sites, although both are static sites. In traditional web, HTML page is rendered only after the browser gets the server data, while SSG can generate a complete HTML page in advance, there is no more require for server, which greatly improve the loading speed and user experience.

There are many Static Site Generators, commonly used such as React, Vue, Angular, or Go languages. These modern JavaScript-based frameworks provide SSG with a friendly development experience.

What are static sites?

The static sites are generated by SSG tool in the development and production, all the raw data will be parse into static files (HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT). In the next step they will be deployed in the Content Delivery Network (CDN). When user sends a request, the CDN immediately delivery the content to browser. Inversely, traditional dynamic websites, as we known PHP sites or WordPress platforms, only render the content after the server responses to the request.

For online e-commerce, the SSG static site can quickly load the page. Big retailers may have as many as 10,000 product pages, which make the server overload. That's why SSG so important for online business. Moreover, the SSG rendering shows its powerful advantages in building the headless e-commerce and JAMstack, offering a sub-second response speed to display your products.

SSG vs traditional HTML vs CMS

The static generator is a modern construction tool, which has the following advantages compared with the traditional web development and PHP CMS platforms.


Traditional Web technologies have usually two rendering methods, browser-site rendering and server-site rendering. No matter which one is used, it must go through the process: The browser sends a request to server; The server response to the request; Parsing the data into browser language; Rendering the HTML page. These steps cannot be omitted. Besides, there is a biggest limitation, the father the distance between user geographical location and server, the slower the response.

For static websites or online stores built with SSG, all HTML pages have been generated at the time of development. You don't need the server or database. Once the pre-rendering static sites will be deployed on the CDN, which is a global content delivery network. The nearest CDN will send the HTML sites directly to browser without re-rendering. In general, the page loading speed of SSG static site is 5-10 times that of traditional websites. It is awesome.

Safety and reliability

Traditional websites or CMS are deployed on servers with database, which may be invaded by hackers, resulting in data leakage or web crashes, this is a huge security risk. However, for static sites in headless ecommerce is much more reliable and secure, because you don't need a database, even without a server, the communication between front-end and back-end data is implemented by API.

Synamic content available

Although SSG generates a static site, it essentially prepackages data, sometimes dynamic data, and then generates static HTML files. The raw data contains various formats, such as JSON, YAML or Markdown, which are obtained through the API at build time. SSG can obtain various required APIs, whether local or remote, to achieve more functions. This flexibility gives businesses, especially online sales businesses, convenience and scalability when building headless e-commerce.

Save server costs

Undoubtedly, SSG has low server needs because all page resources are deployed in CDN in advance, which saves the cost of purchasing expensive databases. The cost of deploying a static website is in generally low. For B2B website or small online business, you can deploy your static sites in a high-performance CDN using the free plan by Vercel and Netlify.

Top 5 Static Site generators for Headless e-commerce

The reason why SSGs are becoming more and more popular with developers is, on the one hand, that they can bring developers a more convenient and flexible development experience. On the other hand, enterprises have won higher market benefits by building leading online e-commerce platforms or applications.


Next.js is a React-based front-end development framework that ranks first in popularity among all static site generators. In addition to providing the SSG rendering mode, Next.js also provides powerful server-side rendering SSR and browser-rendering CSR solutions. These features make Next.js better than other pure SSG when building large-scale projects and online e-commerce. Tools are more advantageous. In addition, Next.js has a built-in powerful image optimization function, which will render the appropriate size according to different screen sizes, avoiding the problem of slow loading caused by excessively large images.

Not only can developers use multiple rendering schemes in one project, but for headless e-commerce, pages with few products can use pure static rendering, and the lightning-fast page speed creates a better user experience. A large store may have 10,000 online products, and the hybrid rendering method combining SSG and SSR can be used to achieve the effect of improving website performance.

There is a another key feature of next.js is the incremental static regeneration(ISR), which allow you to rebuild the page, that have been modified. This enable to avoiding the rebuilding all the static pages and cutting down the CDN cost due to over long time in building process.


Since its launch in 2015, Gatsby has become the most influential SSG tool. Gatsby is a React-based development framework and a pure SSG development tool that provides rich implementations of headless commerce and the JAMstack tech stack. Develop plug-ins and use the Graphql tool for API data acquisition, which can greatly improve the convenience of data acquisition from third-party applications.

Gatsby is especially suitable for developing blogs, corporate websites and small and medium-sized headless e-commerce. It will be more convenient to use Gatsby to rebuild Headless WordPress. The speed of data acquisition greatly improves the loading speed of the website. More and more traditional WordPress starts Build headless commerce with Gatsby. The disadvantage is that Gatsby's static site generation time is relatively long, and every time the content is modified, all pages need to be regenerated. When there are too many content or products on the site, the generation time will be correspondingly longer.

Gatsby's team is also committed to integrating PWA technology into applications, and they are constantly developing new products and matching plug-ins for a good user experience, improving development experience and web performance.


Created in 2013, Hugo is an open source SSG development tool. Unlike other SSGs, it uses Go language for programming instead of JavaScript. Hugo is specially optimized for speed, and users can open Hugo static sites in milliseconds. Static sites built with Hugo do not require many dependencies and are easy to install and update. Hugo only needs to obtain the data and template directory containing the content to render the HTML website. The developer does not need too much configuration and can directly enter the development stage. The Hugo development framework is constantly improving, using modern front-end building tools to make the Hugo website more dynamic.


The Nust.js framework developed based on VUE is also an excellent SSG construction tool. It has many similarities with Next.js, and is not a pure SSG static site production tool. It can also use server-side rendering at the same time. Dynamic site rendering Data optimization. When building Nust you can introduce full static mode, define the site as static, and add the tools and optimizations a static site needs. Likewise, you can define a page as a dynamic page, and Nust will optimize it accordingly.


The popularity of the SSG static site generator concept is due to the Jekyll framework, originally created by its co-founder Tom Preston-Werner in 2008 and supported by GitHub Pages as the official GitHub build tool, making Jekyll the standard SSG Build tools. While Jekyll can be used to build any type of website, corporate websites, blogs, and e-commerce, all are still centered around developing blogs, making it very easy to start a static blog site with it.

Why recommended Next.js as the SSG for Headless Commerce

Why it is recommended to use Next.js as a development tool for roof e-commerce Building a modern headless e-commerce is not an easy task, the introduction of SSG can greatly shorten the development cycle and achieve better web performance and user experience. Although each SSG has its own advantages, openness, compatibility and extensibility make Next the first choice for developers in the future.

Next Community

The framework developed based on React has many followers, providing it with continuous function optimization and expansion. When building various types of web applications, it provides developers with rich solutions. Problems encountered during the development process can be quickly solved in the community.


For large sites, pure SSG may not meet the needs of enterprise development. Some real-time update status needs to respond quickly and display the latest data and content in front of users. SSG cannot complete the update task in a very short time. , and SSR can retrieve the data of the server in real time and update it instantly. The CSR browser rendering scheme provides users with a good experience, and it can update data between pages in a timely manner. Using CSR to make the backend interface is the most suitable solution.

Using the ISR to update the static pages after building is the most useful tool for saving the building time in CDN, particularly, when more than millions of static pages.

Full stack development framework

Next is a full-stack development framework, which can develop both front-end and back-end databases. It integrates the front-end and back-end into a unified development framework, making it easier to build web applications, which other SSGs do not have. With the development of enterprise business, the interaction between various data will become more complex, and Next can handle it well.


The benefits of SSGs static site generators are not only these, when enterprises choose SSG tools to build headless commerce such as headless shopify, they need to consider many aspects, the type of enterprise website, the size of site content, digital content planning, and the preference of the IT department. As the decoupled architectures of headless and JAMstack website grows, the combining with static site generators is the best-in-breed solution for hypergrowth. In HaiCommerce we take NEXT.JS as the mian generator for building headless and JAMstack projects, which offers us much more flexible by developing, also scalalbe for business growth in the future.


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