When comparing Nikola vs DocPad, the Slant community recommends DocPad for most people. In the question“What are the best static site generators?” DocPad is ranked 5th while Nikola is ranked 21st. The most important reason people chose DocPad is:
There are multiple [custom interfaces](http://docpad.org/docs/plugins#custom-interfaces), including [miniCMS](https://github.com/jeremyfa/docpad-plugin-minicms) available to DocPad which provide WYSIWYG editing and article management.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro HTML input
Nikola posts may be written in a variety of formats. You can write posts in HTML, with all the expressive power of HTML and CSS, and still have the benefits of a site-wide theme and navigation structure.
Pro Host on any web server
Nikloa sites are static files, and thus may be hosted on any web server that allows you to upload your own files. This lets you use simple and inexpensive hosting providers and still have a reliable site.
Pro Write in reStructuredText and Markdown
You have better choices for markup than raw HTML.
Pro Free open-source software (MIT license)
Pro Built on Node
DocPad is published as an NPM module which makes it easy to integrate with an existing Node.js deployment.
Pro Has an active plug-in ecosystem
DocPad's has a large amount of plug-ins available to extend its functionality and compatibility with other language preprocessors and markup languages.
- CSS preprocessors include: LESS, SASS, Stylus, and Roole
- HTML markups include: Markdown, and Textile
- Templating engines include: Eco, Handlebars, Moustache, HAML, CoffeeKup, Jade, and Teacup
- JSON converters include: YAML and CSON
Pro Easy to deploy
Deployment plug-ins make deploying to hosting providers even easier, with plug-ins for GitHub Pages, AWS, and Google Storage.
Pro Has Live Reload
DocPad has a Live Reload plug-in that leverages websockets to automatically update the blog content for users live on the site.
Pro Built on top of the Express framework
Although DocPad is a static site generator, if you find the need to, you can extend the site with the Express framework for dynamic content as well.
Pro Prebuilt Skeletons
Skeletons are boilerplate setups to provide a baseline structure for you to fill content into.
Con Support for Handlebars templates is not mature - integration is awkward
Handlebars' philosophy of "no logic in templates" makes some things difficult:
- DocPad built-in template helpers aren't available by default - they have to be manually added/exposed
- DocPad's example template code often includes logic, which makes it impossible to use within Handlebars templates -- it has to be abstracted into custom helper functions.
- Can't pass objects to function calls from within HB templates.
Con More up-front investment to learn/use well
DocPad provides a LOT of extensibility and dynamic capability, which means there's more up-front investment to learn DocPad well -- and deviating from the defaults while maintaining project robustness may be difficult.