We are developing Quire, a new publishing tool—optimized for publication discoverability and longevity—that uses a static-site generator, Hugo, to create and output titles in multiple formats from plain text files. E-book files are distribution-ready for Amazon, Apple, and other vendors; PDF files are print-on-demand ready. And the online edition can be hosted on any web server, with no special configurations or installations necessary and no backend databases or content management system to update and support over the long term.
In traditional website publishing, a content management system (CMS) is connected to collections and image databases (1) and set up on a server (2). The CMS is used to create the website, and once the website is published, the CMS rebuilds the site pages each time they are loaded by a user (3). Thus, the CMS must be kept running for the lifetime of the publication.
In static-site publishing, the CMS is just software and a folder of files on your, the publisher’s, computer (1) that are used to build the site. The site files are then uploaded to the server (2), and users (3) access them directly. You only need to run the site software and upload new files if you want to make updates to the publication.