VuePress is a static site generator powered by Vue.js If you’re looking for an easy to use solution to quickly put together a static site in JavaScript, VuePress is definitely worth a look! 

Of course, choices are plenty in this field. We have Jekyll, Hugo, Hexo and many other amazing static site generators. What makes VuePress special? Well, first, it is powered by Vue. And second, it is more geared towards handling documentation. 

This means if you are looking for a site generator to help you compile a documentation site, VuePress might be the right fit. 

VuePress: Vue-powered Static Site Generator

As mentioned earlier, VuePress is a static site generator powered by Vue. This means there are no databases to write data to/from. As such, you cannot possibly hope to use it for building an eCommerce store or a complex database-driven site.

On the other hand, this also implies that VuePress will run super fast and pages tend to load quickly. If you are looking to create a single page web app or a website that loads instantly, VuePress is a blessing! 

Ideally, VuePress caters more towards documentation-centric sites. You can use it to create documentation sites for your existing or upcoming projects. With that said, it is still under active development, and more and more features are being added regularly. Perhaps, in near future, blogging in VuePress becomes easier to accomplish (as of now, there is no support for tags, categorization, and other blog-centric features). 

Installing VuePress

Installation of VuePress is fairly easy and rather straightforward if you are already well-versed with JavaScript usage.

When installing VuePress, make sure you have Node.js 8 or higher.

Next, all that is needed is to run npm (can also be done via yarn if you prefer that): 

npm install -g vuepress 

Working with VuePress

VuePress handles its content in Markdown. Thus, you need to just create *.md Markdown files, and VuePress will render them as *.html in the browser. 

By default, there should be a README.md file at the root level, which will serve as the index.html file for our site. So to get things rolling, simply create a README.md file in Markdown, and edit it accordingly.

Building the Site

Once you’re done editing the content, simply run the command: 

vuepress dev

And then navigate to the shown port address. In most cases, it is localhost:8080 

All changes are live, so as you edit your Markdown files, the changes should be reflected in the browser, as long as the dev engine is running.

Once you have finalized everything, you can build the site. 

vuepress build

The final build files will be in .vuepress/dist directory, all ready for you to export and deploy to your server. Much like any other static site, VuePress-exported files too can be deployed to any popular hosting service, such as Heroku or Surge.sh 

Appraisal

VuePress is rather new as compared to most other static site generators. However, it is a very simple tool and you will feel right at home if you are accustomed to the Vue templating engine. 

However, as already mentioned, VuePress is far from being a blogging tool as it currently lacks support for most blogging features. This means there might not be a lot that you can accomplish using it, save for creating documentation for your projects and other related simplified sites.

With that said, if you are looking for a simple static site generator that gets the job done, VuePress is ideal and definitely worth a look.