Siteleaf - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Stephanie Gonzaga
Written by Stephanie GonzagaLast updated October 17, 2016

Building a website used to be rocket science. You had to learn code, write with clunky text editors, and manage your own server.

Today, content management systems (or CMS) have simplified the process. Whether you need a simple portfolio or a company blog, building a website is something anyone can do. There's everything from easy-to-use database-powered tools like WordPress and Joomla, to developer-focused static site generators like Jekyll. The latter are popular for their speed and flexibility—but they can be daunting for the less tech-savvy, since they require coding and scripts to rebuild your site each time you make a change.

Siteleaf strikes a balance between the two. It's a simple, flexible CMS designed to bridge this gap between easy development and simple content management. It fully integrates with Jekyll, which lets you use Jekyll's flexibility and host your site for free on GitHub. But it also includes an easy-to-use online editor where your team can write and edit content without having to worry about code.

This gives you the best of both worlds. With Jekyll support, you can use existing themes, ask help from experienced users, or build your own themes from scratch with Jekyll documentation. And with the option to sync your site with GitHub, changes made on Siteleaf are synced to your GitHub repositories, and vice versa. This prevents accidental overwrites and deletes, which are a pain in the neck to revert and recover. It's everything developers want for building a site, without forcing your whole team to code every time something needs changed.

As a static site generator, Siteleaf's pages are compiled once instead of dynamically generating HTML from a database each time someone visits your site as WordPress does. This means faster performance, and less resources to power your website. You'll just worry about designing a theme—or adding an existing one for Jekyll—and the site maintenance will be taken care of by Siteleaf. You won't need nearly as much hosting resources to serve static pages, and can simply save your site to GitHub Pages to host it for free.

Then, to manage your site's content, you'll open Siteleaf's app. There, you'll add your pages, organize them into sets, and publish them to your site. Everything you need to build your website is in the sidebar menu. When creating and managing content, you can either use the visual composer, write in Markdown, or drag-and-drop existing text files into the app. You can then specify authors, timestamps, metadata like additional page information or lists, and parent pages before hitting Save.

From there, building your website is pretty straightforward. You can upload and manage your theme files and site assets (e.g. images), invite users as writers or collaborators, and edit your website’s settings. You can edit your site’s metadata further for SEO. When everything's done, you can publish your site to the web, hosting it with a supported third-party hosting provider like Digital Ocean or Media Temple, or on a tool like Amazon S3, GitHub Pages, or Rackspace Cloud Files.

Whenever anything needs changes, just open Siteleaf, tweak the copy, and re-publish the site. It's the simplest way to re-deploy a static site without having to run scripts and FTP your site from your computer.

Siteleaf lets writers and developers both work the way they want, for the benefits of a static site without all of its difficulties. And even if you're not a developer, it can be an easy way to start a static site with one of the many open source themes you can find online.

Siteleaf Resources:

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Siteleaf Features

  • Build static websites with Jekyll and sync your work to GitHub

    • Design your own Siteleaf themes from scratch with Liquid, Sass, and CoffeeScript, or use any existing Jekyll theme
    • Collaborate with others on content online
    • Publish static websites to Amazon S3, GitHub Pages, Rackspace, or FTP

Siteleaf Pricing

  • Free developer plan for basic functionality, unlimited collaborators, and limited API access

    • $7.20/month per site Personal plan for GitHub repo support, preview before publishing, and Jekyll themes
    • $29.40/month per site Team plan for user roles, unlimited pages, increased file storage and API limits, and third-party Jekyll plugins
    • $89.40/month per site Business plan for improved build performance and priority support
    • From $299/month Enterprise plan for enterprise support and custom build process

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