I have wanted to run my blog posts through a static site generator for a while. For a little bit, I made my own engine with RazorViewEngine templates in C#. That worked fairly well for rootbeergames.com. But that's super simple. Now I'm trying to build my own. I wanted something fairly portable and with a customizable setup. Enter Metalsmith. It seems pretty good for that use. Everything runs through a pipeline.
You can customize each file as it passes through a series of transformations. For example, one transformation will convert markdown to html, another sets up pagination, and a third spits out rss. It has been a bit of a learning curve, but I find it interesting.
And because I wanted to overshoot complexity, I also bought a theme that looked nice. Cool theme, but pulling out chunks of html, setting up data binding in the right places can be a challenge. It was setup as an example site, and I replaced many filler details that are just listed inline in HTML. If you want to use a rought HTML template (not wordpress), it might be useful to have it already setup for being data driven. But... that's not a huge deal. I think it looks pretty nice.