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Nikola - static blogs and website generator written in Python

Nikola is blog and static web sites generators written in Python. It has many features, but here are some of the nicer ones:


Overview is based on

Technology, on the basis of which operate websites, quite often, is a variant of "hunting sparrows with a 5" cannon". I wonder can anybody expain to me the rational of creating wensite of companies using the database such as MySQL? After all such sites are updated once a year, do not providing any feedback to the visitors and often contian just two dosen pages.

It looks that not only me is thinging this way. That's why there are several engines and quite a lot of software that help to create sites based on static pages without database engine that supports the display of pages to ordinary visitors.

Moreover, as it turned out, people are thinking hard about in the direction of the static sites and there are tools ready to connect to these sites dynamic component, implemented by third services, of course through AJAX it. For example comment and search...

And writing about this topic a lot. Here, for example, you can read:

However, as with most other articles in the Network, mainly discussing one or two thoughts, and the same programs and services mentioned. And interesting technology/software, not included in the mainstream flow, difficult to find.

The General idea

Principle on which such generators work is very simple:

1. Initially, the author of the site accommodates future publications (articles, posts) in certain directories in ordinary text files.
2. The template pages are separate.
3. In separate text files or inside files publications are additional metadata, for example, categorization (tagging) publications, etc.
4. Start a program generator, which from all this creates a set of html, css and, sometimes, js file.
5. Run advanced automation tools that publish the resulting website. Or just copy generated pages to the target directory on the web server.

Part of all of the text can be  in more user friendly and simplified formats instead of HTML but this is not proncipal advantages, as complexity of HTMLK is greatly overblown.

Nikola and Tipue

There are several packages which can genrate static sites. One of the most popular emong them is Nikola. This is fairly well-developed software that is extensible, well documented. A smart tool with the ability to connect plugins. Implemented in Python.

One of the most interesting features of the generator Nikola - the ability to create pages with search engine without engine on the server side - the search is implemented in the browser. Implemented AJAX'ohms means Tipue

Generator static websites Nikola is well developed and well-documented system
Nikola provides the ability to use multimedia sites sich as Vimeo, Youtube, etc...
It also provided teasers and drafts. It also provides image gallery.

You can change the appearance (themes), which are on the official site devoted quite a lot of documentation, there are a dozen themes. Provided writing plug-ins to extend the functionality (plugins).

For a well-written and detailed documentation special thanks to the developer Roberto Alsina

How to try

All below was tested with Python 2.7, not Python 3.

Install the software using the package Manager for Python. I use pip. Sure you can do it using easy_install:

pip install nikola

If this is done under *nix, then those dependencies that require compilation, most likely, will be compiled normally. Well, under Windows, as few sets and configures required to compile some enhancements will likely be cursing:

running build_ext building 'PIL._imaging' extension error: Unable to find vcvarsall.bat

Such relationships are easier to establish in binary form, choose the appropriate version 32/64-bit and corresponds to your version of Python:

The algorithm for the lazy is - launched the installation via "pip install ...", revered stumbled on what was installed from binaries what stumbled, ran the install via "pip install ..." again, and so on.

After the generator Nikola with dependency was installed with it, create a blank with demo data:

nikola init demo mysite

Then in the directory "mysite" you can edit text files, which after generation will be converted into pages on your website.

When you are done with editing run Nikola so that the directory "mysite" would be the current (i.e. from inside the directory "mysite"):

nikola build

In the subdirectory "output" you will see a static website. In order to work properly search for AJAX you want to view the site through a web server.

For testing you can use by the generator Nikola as a web server:

nikola serve

Then the site will be available at

The format of the source data

Special mention is the format of the source text files. It is written using lightweight markup language ReStructuredText. Additional information (metadata) on the publication (article, post) are placed directly in the text.

In addition to "ReStructuredText" can be used markup using the "bbcode", "wiki", "markdown", "html", "txt2tags" and "textile"..

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Last modified: March, 12, 2019