Technology We Use
Thank you for your interest in PageDragon.
We've taken the time to compile some information about the tech we use and love. We build with much cooler parts than your typical stack. We build sites this way because it's just faster... and easier... and way more reliable, both for us and our clients.
What "platform" do you use?
This is probably the most common question we get. The surprising answer is “none.” We do use a methodology called JAMstack. Read all about it here: https://jamstack.org/. In a nutshell, everything you see on our sites is served statically… no backend servers, no databases, and no moving parts to break down.
We use amazing leading edge tools to make this happen:
- Metalsmith.io (https://metalsmith.io/)
- Hexo.io (https://hexo.io/)
- Node.js (https://nodejs.org/en/)
- Netlify.com (https://www.netlify.com/)
- Netlify CMS (https://www.netlifycms.org/)
- Npm (https://www.npmjs.com/)
- GitHub (https://github.com/)
The next question becomes why did we make these architectural choices? Why didn’t we use Wordpress or any number of other cms platforms?
Well… we needed speed, robustness, and simplicity… and we wanted to be able to sleep at night knowing that our sites are not going down because of an unforeseen security flaw or poorly written plug-in.
Wordpress is old, PHP is even older (17+ years!), and blog platforms based on these technologies (like Joomla and Drupal) are struggling more and more while trying to keep up with security threats and performance issues. They require sophisticated backends and databases just to function, with many points of possible failure. Even if you do manage to keep it all secure without introducing breaking changes, keeping it all running fast and snappy is a whole other ball game.
The method that we’ve adopted, however, eliminates ALL of that. All the sophistication happens on the site generation side. We “push a button” and generate a static website that needs nothing more than a file system to run.
Benefits? Here you go…
- Fast! There’s simply no faster way serve a website, because there’s no databases to query and no program that needs to do the querying.
- Search Engine Friendly! These techniques generate the kind of site that search engines just love to eat up. Sitemaps are auto generated and everything is easily crawled. Most CMS platforms require Google to make several passes to index the entire site… but the vast majority of our sites will be indexed on the first pass.
- Secure! There’s nothing to break into, except maybe our host servers, and even if you managed that, the site is reconstituted from scratch every time a change is made… so what’s the point?
- Easy! Our backend “CMS” just injects content into GitHub. The CMS is very simple to use (as compared to Wordpress, Joomla).
- Versioned! Because we use GitHub as our content store, every change (articles, code, everything) is archived for all time, and in a way that cannot impede performance.
- Flexible! Because we don’t have to deal with messy templates, we can respond to changes really fast.
- Resilient! These technologies are simple and elegant. They will stand the test of time.
It’s The Cool Thing To Do
Just because it’s new and cool certainly does not make it the right choice. The technologies we chose, however, are built by the people who are building the web.