Ben Chinn

Slightly nerdy ramblings and linkage

Hammer and Anvil

I recently had to put together a static site in a hurry and remembered coming across a Mac app designed to make the process easier. The app in question Is Hammer. This is a great app, especially when used in conjunction with Anvil.

Hammer has some basic functions which make generating multi-page static sites much easier. First, it automatically compiles SASS and Coffeescript whenever those files are saved. It also lets you use includes and variables. There are a lot of other nice features such as a “nav helper” feature which automatically adds a “current” class to a link if that link is to the current page. Basically Hammer gives you most of the benefits of a server side templating engine without requiring any programming or server configuration.

Anvil is great for serving up sites from your local machine without having to configure virtual hosts. It relies on pow and integrates with so that you can browse your local site from other devices (just browse to

For quick static prototypes or full static sites these apps make everything much easier. Anvil is free and Hammer is well worth it’ price for the time it will save you. Both are available in the Mac App Store.