Cactus - Python static site generator for designers

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Cactus static site generatorCactus is quite simple, yet powerful static website generator. It has Python and the Django templates at the core. Cactus was developed for designers or other people who want to use templates and handle HTML and CSS code on their own, but don't like to setup and configure Django or Amazon’s Web Services (S3) platform. Cactus is great for both company’s and personal use. It is easy to develop websites, blogs, portfolios, web stores and documentation sites.

Static websites are easy to host, very fast, cheaper and more secure, since though site is static, it preserves all dynamic features that are provided by JavaScript. Cactus has tools to develop websites locally and generate results to a collection of flat files that can be deployed directly to S3 or hosted anywhere you'd like. This system is great solution that supports blogging, spriting, and versioning.

Cactus simplifies the process of starting a new site. Just choose a template and all corresponding files and folders will be automatically generated:

  • Default template includes only the basics to set up a website without pre-defined styles and allows starting from scratch.
  • Blog template includes an archive and individual post pages with metadata such as author, date and title. Blog will have an overview of your latest blog posts formatted using Markdown.
  • Portfolio allows displaying images in a grid, optionally with individual pages with their description.
  • Profile - a simple personal landing page with avatar and text snippets for personal information or a quick description.

Also Cactus coordinates all the tools involved, like CSS preprocessors, Markdown syntax, boilerplate files. The Django template engine, SASS, SCSS and CoffeeScript are supported out of the box. By applying template language Cactus can re-use a single template in multiple pages and avoid duplicating code.

The main advantage of Cactus is its previewable content and immediate visual feedback with auto-refresh. It allows you to work with editor and browser side-by-side. After saving changes in editor, Cactus will rebuild the project and refresh browser and you will be able to see results immediately. Auto refresh function is very helpful for designing responsive websites or testing in multiple browsers simultaneously.

There is no need to setup template engines or deployment scripts. Cactus is great software for those who want to build and deploy fast static websites using flexible features like auto refresh, CSS preprocessors, and advanced Amazon hosting. Visit cactusformac.com for more information.

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