Middleman vs. Pagekit: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems

Middleman vs. Pagekit: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems


Welcome to this comprehensive comparison guide between Middleman and Pagekit, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS) designed to help you make an informed decision for your organization. As a digital leader or decision-maker, it is crucial to understand the features and capabilities of different CMS options before selecting the one that best suits your needs.

Foundations of CMS

Middleman is a static site generator built on Ruby, while Pagekit is a modern CMS built on PHP and Vue.js. Middleman offers a straightforward and efficient way to build static websites, perfect for small to medium-sized projects. On the other hand, Pagekit provides a dynamic and user-friendly environment, making it ideal for complex websites requiring a content management solution.

With Middleman, you have complete control over your front-end assets, HTML, and CSS. It leverages the power of Ruby's ecosystem and enables easy integration with various libraries and frameworks. Meanwhile, Pagekit takes a modular approach, allowing you to customize your site's functionality by installing extensions and themes. Its built-in page builder simplifies the content creation process, giving non-technical users more control over design and layout.

While Middleman focuses on simplicity and speed, Pagekit prioritizes ease of use and flexibility. Both CMS options have their strengths, so it's essential to consider your project requirements and technical expertise before making a decision.

Overall, Middleman is a reliable choice if you prefer static site development and need more control over your codebase. On the other hand, Pagekit excels in providing a seamless user experience and offers a wide range of features for dynamic website management.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both Middleman and Pagekit offer robust solutions tailored to different needs.

Middleman allows you to design and build your site from scratch or utilize pre-designed templates. It provides flexibility and freedom in creating a unique user interface and user experience. However, it requires more technical knowledge and development skills to achieve the desired design outcomes.

On the other hand, Pagekit offers a user-friendly interface with an intuitive content editor and live preview features. Its drag-and-drop page builder simplifies the design process, making it accessible to users with limited technical knowledge. Pagekit also provides a wide selection of themes and extensions to further enhance your site's design and functionality.

Ultimately, the choice between Middleman and Pagekit in terms of design and user experience depends on your organization's specific requirements. Middleman caters to developers who prefer more control and customization, while Pagekit is a better fit for users seeking a user-friendly, visual approach to site design.

Content Management

Both Middleman and Pagekit offer powerful content management solutions, but they differ in their approach and features.

Middleman provides a simple and efficient way to manage content through its data files and template-based system. With a Markdown-based content workflow, you can easily create and organize content while utilizing Middleman's flexible templating engine. However, it lacks some advanced content management features like in-place editing or rich media handling.

Pagekit, on the other hand, excels in content management with its user-friendly interface and built-in media manager. You can create and edit content directly on your site, thanks to its in-place editing feature. Pagekit also supports various content types, including blog posts, pages, and custom content types, allowing for a more versatile content management experience. It also provides extensive control over SEO settings and meta information for each piece of content.

If you prioritize a more straightforward content management process and wouldn't mind the extra development effort required, Middleman could be a suitable choice. However, if you require a more user-friendly and feature-rich content management system out-of-the-box, Pagekit would be a more appropriate option.

It's important to consider your organization's content management needs, such as the complexity of your content structure and the technical skills of your content creators, when making a decision between Middleman and Pagekit.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are crucial aspects of any CMS, and Middleman and Pagekit offer different approaches to address these requirements.

Middleman is primarily designed for individual developers or small teams working on static sites. As such, it doesn't include extensive collaboration and user management features out-of-the-box. However, you can utilize version control systems like Git to collaborate with team members, track changes, and manage contributions effectively.

Pagekit, on the other hand, caters to a broader range of users and provides built-in user management functionality. You can create and manage multiple user accounts with different permission levels, enabling collaboration among team members and content contributors. For larger organizations or websites with multiple content authors, Pagekit's user management capabilities offer a more streamlined workflow.

Consider the size of your team, the level of collaboration required, and the need for granular user management when deciding between Middleman and Pagekit. If you have a small team or prefer utilizing external collaboration tools, Middleman might suffice. However, if you require built-in user management features and a more integrated collaboration environment, Pagekit should be the preferred choice.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are essential considerations when choosing a CMS. Let's explore how Middleman and Pagekit perform in these areas.

As a static site generator, Middleman produces static HTML pages that can be served directly from a server, resulting in excellent performance and fast loading times. Since Middleman generates static files, it can handle high traffic loads with ease and is highly scalable. It requires minimal server resources, eliminating the need for complex server configurations.

Pagekit, being a dynamic CMS, relies on a server-side scripting language (PHP) and a database for content storage. While this allows for more dynamic and interactive experiences, it can introduce additional processing overhead and potentially slower performance compared to static sites. However, Pagekit is still optimized for speed and offers caching mechanisms to mitigate performance issues.

In terms of hosting, Middleman excels due to its simplicity. Being a static site generator, it can be hosted on any web server, including CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), making it easy to deploy and manage. On the contrary, Pagekit requires PHP support and a compatible database, which may limit your hosting options to servers supporting these technologies.

When deciding between Middleman and Pagekit, consider your performance requirements, expected web traffic, and hosting preferences. Middleman is an excellent choice if performance and scalability are critical, while Pagekit is more suitable if you prioritize dynamic content management without compromising overall speed and performance.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and a thriving ecosystem are vital aspects of a CMS. Let's compare Middleman and Pagekit in these areas.

Middleman offers extensive customization options, allowing you to tailor your site as per your specific needs. It supports a wide range of front-end technologies, libraries, and frameworks, enabling you to build a completely custom website. You have the freedom to modify code templates and take advantage of the vast Ruby ecosystem to enhance your site's functionality.

Pagekit, on the other hand, comes with a rich collection of themes and extensions, making it easy to customize your site without extensive coding. With its marketplace, you can access a variety of premium and free themes and extensions developed by the Pagekit community. This vibrant ecosystem ensures compatibility, regular updates, and a wide range of design and functionality options.

If you prefer complete freedom and have the necessary development skills, Middleman offers unmatched customization capabilities. However, if you want a more streamlined approach to customization and rely on ready-made themes and extensions, Pagekit's ecosystem makes it an excellent choice. Evaluate your customization requirements and the available development resources before making a decision.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

SEO, marketing, and monetization features are essential for websites aiming to attract traffic and generate revenue. Let's compare how Middleman and Pagekit support these aspects.

Middleman provides a solid foundation for SEO due to its static nature. With clean HTML output, fast loading times, and control over metadata, Middleman sites can achieve excellent search engine rankings. However, advanced SEO features like automating XML sitemaps or managing canonical URLs require additional configuration and potentially custom development.

Pagekit offers comprehensive SEO tools out-of-the-box. You can easily manage metadata, create XML sitemaps, define canonical URLs, and optimize your site for search engines. Pagekit's built-in SEO features simplify the optimization process and eliminate the need for additional plugins or custom development.

In terms of marketing and monetization, both Middleman and Pagekit offer integrations with third-party tools and services. With Middleman, you can easily integrate analytics solutions, email marketing services, and advertising platforms by leveraging Ruby's extensive library ecosystem. Pagekit, on the other hand, provides built-in widgets and extensions for integrating marketing tools and monetizing your site through advertisements, subscriptions, or e-commerce functionality.

If you prioritize a strong SEO foundation, but don't mind configuring advanced features, Middleman can be the right choice. However, if you want more seamless SEO management and built-in marketing and monetization options, Pagekit provides a comprehensive solution.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations when choosing a CMS. Let's compare the security features and compliance capabilities of Middleman and Pagekit.

Middleman, as a static site generator, eliminates many common security risks associated with dynamic CMS platforms. With no server-side scripting or database interactions, Middleman sites have a reduced attack surface and are less vulnerable to common web application vulnerabilities. However, since Middleman requires manual deployment and lacks user roles and permissions, additional security measures need to be implemented at the server level.

Pagekit provides essential security measures out-of-the-box. It includes user roles and permissions, authentication, and password protection for content management. Additionally, Pagekit has a dedicated security team that regularly releases updates to address any vulnerabilities. While Pagekit provides a secure foundation, it's important to stay vigilant and keep the CMS and its extensions up to date.

Regarding compliance, both Middleman and Pagekit can be designed to meet your organization's specific requirements. Both CMS options allow for adherence to regulations such as GDPR by implementing appropriate consent mechanisms, data protection measures, and privacy policies.

Consider your organization's security and compliance needs when choosing between Middleman and Pagekit. If you prioritize simplicity and reduced attack surface, Middleman might be a preferable choice. However, if you require built-in security measures and user access management, Pagekit provides a more comprehensive solution.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

The ease of migration, available support, and maintenance requirements are important factors to consider when choosing a CMS. Let's explore how Middleman and Pagekit perform in these areas.

Migration to Middleman from an existing CMS might require more effort and development resources due to the differences in site architecture. Since Middleman generates static sites, you'll need to manually migrate content and set up redirects if necessary. However, once migrated, Middleman sites are easier to maintain and require fewer regular updates.

Pagekit, being a more traditional CMS, offers migration tools and extensions to simplify the process of transitioning from other CMS platforms. Its extensive documentation and community support can further assist in the migration and adoption process. However, Pagekit's dynamic nature means regular updates are essential to address security vulnerabilities and ensure compatibility with PHP versions and third-party extensions.

Consider your organization's resources and available technical expertise when considering migration, support, and maintenance requirements. Middleman is suitable if you require a simpler maintenance process and have the development resources for migration. If you prefer more migration support and maintenance assistance, Pagekit offers comprehensive tools and a supportive community.


In conclusion, Middleman and Pagekit are both powerful CMS options with distinct features and capabilities. Middleman is a static site generator ideal for developers seeking complete control and customization. It excels in simplicity, performance, and scalability.

Pagekit, on the other hand, is a modern CMS that prioritizes ease of use, flexibility, and collaboration. It offers a vibrant ecosystem, built-in content management features, and a robust user interface.

Consider your organization's specific needs and priorities when making a decision. Middleman is a suitable choice for developers who prefer control, customization, and static site generation. If you prioritize user-friendliness, collaboration, and dynamic content management, Pagekit is the recommended option. Evaluate your requirements for design, content management, collaboration, performance, customization, SEO, security, and support to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's goals and resources.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.