StatiCL - Flexible static site generator

ASDF System Details


This library is not in Quicklisp yet, but you can install it from

(ql-dist:install-dist ""
                      :prompt nil)
(ql:quickload :staticl)

Or, if you wish to use a command line utility, then install it with Roswell like this:

ros run --eval '(ql-dist:install-dist "" :prompt nil)' --quit
ros install 40ants-asdf-system
ros install spinneret
ros install 40ants/staticl


Why was another static website generator made when the world is already full of them? There are only three reasons.

The first reason is that at 40Ants we prefer to use Common Lisp in our projects, because it is a significant lever and increases the efficiency of the developer. But the choice of static generators of sites written in Common Lisp is not so great. We know of only one such project – Coleslaw. Actually, we used it, but it turned out that it was not flexible enough.

And here we come to reason number two – Coleslaw was originally conceived as a static blog generator and only later it became possible to add arbitrary pages. So its whole architecture revolves around posts and indexes. We wanted something more. For example, the ability to make static landing pages with arbitrary placement of blocks, and remove blog posts in a separate subsection. And also, we really wanted to run a multilingual blog where posts in different languages could be in different folders. And so on.

Of course, we could look at static site generators in other programming languages, for example Hugo or Nikola. But most of them use simple linear configs or awful YAML files, whereas with Lisp we have more extensive site configuration options due to the fact that all the features of the programming language are available to us. The ability to use DSL (Domain Specific Language) for greater expressiveness of site configuration is the third reason why it was decided to make StatiCL.


See also the Roadmap section.


Why do we need static website generators?

In the era of high technology and fast access to information, when every second of page loading is worth its weight in gold, static website generators come to the fore. But why are they so important? And which tool should I choose to create the perfect static website?

We present to your attention StatiCL — one of the most promising tools in this niche. But before we dive into the specifics of StatiCL, let's figure out what static site generators are for and what advantages they bring.

The main advantages of static site generators

How static site generators work

Generators convert content from a simple Markdown markup language to HTML and CSS. They allow you to create beautiful and readable web pages without requiring the developer to write complex code. Generators greatly simplify the process of website development by providing fast and efficient formatting of text, inserting images, videos and other multimedia components.

You can use various methods to host a static site, including Github Pages, CDN, or other affordable cheap hosting services. Github Pages is a free service provided by Github that allows you to host static sites directly from the repository on Github. This is a convenient way to host small projects or personal pages. CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of servers distributed around the world that helps speed up the loading of content on a site due to the proximity of servers to end users. This is especially useful for sites with a large number of visitors and traffic. If you have a budget, you can also consider other cheap hosting providers that offer good conditions for hosting static sites. It is important to consider the requirements of your project and choose the appropriate option that meets your needs in terms of performance, reliability and price.

Why was StatiCL created

At 40Ants, we believe in the power of Common Lisp and use it as the basis of all our projects. We used to work with the Coleslaw static blog generator, but we encountered some of its limitations. For example, it was difficult for us to create a website in several languages and set up the main page in a different way than just a list of articles. Coleslaw is more suitable for blogs than for sites with a diverse structure. Therefore, we have developed a StatiCL tool with even more flexibility. With StatiCL, you can create a static website of any complexity, without limiting yourself to blog templates.

In StatiCL, you can easily create extensions, as well as use any template engine, not limited to Clozure Templates. This gives you more freedom in choosing tools to work with your static sites and allows you to use those technologies that are more convenient and familiar to you. The flexibility of StatiCL makes it an excellent choice for developers who want to create high-quality static websites optimized for their needs and preferences.

The basic principles underlying StatiCL

StatiCL is an innovative content processing system based on the pipeline concept. The pipeline consists of various nodes, each of which receives all the content objects generated by the previous parts of the pipeline. Each node has the ability to modify existing content or add new elements to it. This allows you to create unique and high-quality content enriched with a variety of data and information. In addition, thanks to the use of a content processing pipeline, StatiCL provides efficient and fast information processing. Each stage of the pipeline is performed sequentially, which allows you to optimize the process of creating content and improve its quality. This approach allows users to easily manage the content processing process and create unique materials for various purposes. Thanks to the flexible pipeline structure and the ability to add new nodes, StatiCL provides a high degree of personalization and customization of the content processing process for specific user needs. Thus, the system allows you to create content that meets the individual requirements and tasks of users, ensuring high efficiency and effectiveness of work.

The pipeline describing the site generation is written in Lisp and is a series of nested function calls. Each site using StatiCL must contain a .staticlrc file in its root directory, which contains a description of the pipeline. This is how the simplest description of the site looks like:

(site "Trivial Site"
      :description "A trivial staticl site."
      :url ""
      :pipeline (list (load-content))
      :theme "readable")

When you run the staticl generate command, the engine will start processing content from files on disk. It will read all the files with the post and page extensions, and then create the corresponding html files. This way, you will receive ready-made files that can be easily placed on the site for visitors to view.

To create an RSS feed for all blog posts, you need to add a new step in the StatiCL pipeline. Let's create an element (rss) that will be responsible for generating the RSS feed. This element will extract data about blog posts and generate an appropriate XML file containing information about the titles, publication date and content of each post. This way users will be able to subscribe to blog updates via RSS readers.

(site "Trivial Site"
      :description "A trivial staticl site."
      :url ""
      :pipeline (list (load-content)
      :theme "readable")

When creating sitemap.xml In addition to RSS, we can add another step to our pipeline - creating a sitemap. This file is a special format that allows search engines to index pages of our site more efficiently. Creation sitemap.xml It will help to improve the SEO optimization of the site, as search engines will be able to detect and index new content faster. In addition, sitemap.xml allows you to tell search engines which pages are the most important for indexing, which can also affect the ranking of the site in search results.

(site "Trivial Site"
      :description "A trivial staticl site."
      :url ""
      :pipeline (list (load-content)
      :theme "readable")

The (sitemap) step will receive all the content created by the previous steps and create a file at the output sitemap.xml.

In addition to sequentially executing the pipeline steps, you can split the content into different "streams". For example, you can filter them by the language in which the texts are written, and perform different pipeline steps for each language. For example, you can create separate RSS feeds for each language. You can read more about this in the tutorial.

Read more about pipeline in the Pipeline section and walk through a tutorial in Making a Static Site section.


Sites Built With StatiCL

Here is a list of sites which use StatiCL to generate HTML:

Feel free to create PR to add your site here. It will be intresting to share configurations, themes and plugins!


I'll be happy to discuss your ideas in the issues and to review your pull-requests.

Follow these few rules to make it be merged faster: