Most websites were static once upon a time when the internet was young and items like fake news, social media bubbles, and nasty comments were years away from being widespread.
However, things changed, and dynamic websites became the rage. Personalization, commenting, and other forms of interactivity that were not possible with static sites were made possible. For a while, it seemed that the whole internet had become dynamic.
WordPress has become the most common content management system (CMS) for a variety of reasons. It's the simplest and quickest way to get a blog or a company online, with unparalleled flexibility, customization, and ease of setup and activity.
However, it leaves a lot to be desired, which is why people look for other options, or in this case, a more comprehensive approach that combines the best of both worlds. Yes, we're talking about converting WordPress pages to static HTML without having to abandon the WordPress CMS.
In other words, an installation like this one I talk about allows you to easily use WordPress to manage your content and site, avoiding some major problems with CMS, including hacking vulnerabilities, speed and performance issues, hosting dependency and much more.
What is WordPress? What is it?
WordPress is a system for content management (CMS). You can manage your website from a user-friendly interface through content management systems. All changes can be made to your website, even for absolute beginners, from an administration area that is quite easy to understand. WordPress is the most popular one, although it has many CMS out there because it can copy almost 40% of all Internet websites.
WordPress.org should not be confused with WordPress.com. WordPress is available on WordPress.org for open source CMS. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a hosting blog service.
Benefits of WordPress
Easy to update – simply log in and add new pages to your WordPress site without paying the developer. Easy to use and with an intuitive user interface, WordPress makes building or updating pages in your site easy for you.
Templates for professional use – On your site, you may use thousands of ready-made templates. Professionals from around the world develop these themes.
Incredibly powerful – plug-ins can easily be added to WordPress websites. Installing plug-ins allows you to add any functions such as adding a contact form, booking system, photo gallery, and more to your current Website.
Complete Control and Ownership – Your website, domain name, and all its contents are fully controlled by you. There are no limits to the extent to which popularity, traffic, sales, and users can increase on your website.
WordPress Usage Disadvantages
Learning Curve – while WordPress is easy to use, the software requires a while for most beginners. To get through this learning curve quickly, there is plenty of aid, but it will take a little effort.
Maintenance – WordPress, installed plug-ins and topics will be kept up to date. You can also use WordPress management hosting to host yourselves.
What is an HTML Static Website?
HTML is the web page markup language. Most internet sites use HTML to create web pages in a variety of markup and scripts.
A static website is a website that is built and delivered on pages long before any user attempts to access them. They are per-rendered, cached and served as static contents for a dynamic website through a content delivery network. However, in this case almost everything is static – there is only the most basic way a user can interact with the static website.
WordPress-like CMS software uses the database to store and retrieve content. HTML websites, on the other hand, contain all their contents in static files.
Benefits of Static Website
Static websites may not seem like the obvious option for those trying to build a rich user experience, but they can still offer a number of advantages.
Little to No Maintenance – You need not install updates or regular backups once your website is live. You can only back up your website and forget about it once if nothing is changed.
Low Needs – HTML sites do not need PHP or MySQL servers installed on them. You can run on low-capacity servers. Although PHP and MySQL are supported by most good web hosting companies.
Websites that are static are fast to load – When anyone visits a static website, all you have to do is serve static content and nothing else. There are no scripts to run and no server-side code to run. While large images can still slow down a website, this can greatly reduce the time it takes to load a page.
Websites that are static are secure – Since static websites lack the most vulnerable sections of a normal website, they are more difficult to hack. They also don't need a database, so there's no room for error.
Hosting is inexpensive and simple to scale – Since a static website does not need a database, there are few items to host and manage. As a result, prices are reduced. When it comes to scalability, items like content delivery networks and service providers with auto-scaling can be all the website requires to provide top-notch performance even during peak traffic.
Static Website Usage Disadvantages
No Updates – Static HTML websites can be difficult to update for beginners unless you know HTML/CSS. Even simple tasks like adding new pages, upgrading old content, or uploading videos or photos would necessitate hiring a developer.
No additional features – If your company expands and you want to add a feature to your websites, such as a shop, a survey or poll, a gallery, or something else, you'll have to pay for it. All of this would necessitate hiring a developer, who would most likely advise you to switch to WordPress.
Costs – Since you'll have to employ people for even minor tasks, the cost of an HTML website could be much higher than the cost of a WordPress website.
Converting WordPress to Static Site
Now that you have seen both the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress and Static websites there might be situations where you might just need a simple static website. Or your client is a new local small business startup with limited budget and opts for just a simple static website. You can make use of the best of the both the world's by converting WordPress to a static website.
Create a Headless WordPress Website
You can use WordPress as a headless CMS if you want to maintain the advantages of using WordPress as a CMS but don't want it to manage the frontend. So you'll create a website with a development framework and then link it to WordPress, which will act as the backend, using an API.
Does it seem to be straightforward? Obviously not. All of this can seem foreign and confusing to someone who is used to building websites with WordPress. There are platforms like Netlify that strive to make the whole process simpler, so you should look into them.
Create a WordPress website and then convert it to a static website using a static website converter service.
Creating a website in WordPress and then converting it to a static website is also a choice for the website developer who is already comfortable with WordPress and does not want to move into other environments.
If you go this route, using a dedicated service like Strattic, a static WordPress website host, makes a lot of sense. You'll not only be able to check it out for free, but you'll also be able to complete the migration in three steps and get a lot of help with stuff you'd otherwise have to find out on your own.
Strattic, unlike other solutions for creating a static version of your WordPress site, goes beyond the restricted features and boasts a vast network of CDNs distributed around the globe, ensuring that no matter where your website's visitors come from, they will still get blazingly fast loading speeds because the content will be served from the closest place to them.
Strattic disconnects the interactive WordPress site from the internet and redirects it to a secure URL that only site owners can access. You can continue to use WordPress as usual – marketing people can continue to add content, you can continue to add plugins, and so on.
It also gets around most of the limitations of conventional static site generation solutions, thanks to built-in functionality for dynamic elements like a contact form and a site search feature, among other things.
Strattic boasts that it is a serverless static WordPress hosting solution with its own serverless architecture, which eliminates most hacking vulnerabilities and performance issues associated with hosting servers automatically.
The Strattic Starter package costs $35 a month and includes all of the functionality for one website. Strattic can handle the migration process for you for free, regardless of which plan you choose.
HardyPress is another serverless WordPress hosting option. It's also much less expensive than Strattic, with the personal website plan costing about $5 a month (if paid annually), but it's not without features.
Improve the efficiency and protection of your WordPress site in no time! Visitors see a version of your website that is entirely static. Your actual WordPress installation is hosted on a different domain and is only used when a content editor wants to make adjustments.
It's also more flexible because it lets you use any WordPress plugin that doesn't have any front-facing dynamic elements. Contact Forms 7 is also assisted by HardyPress.
It places your WordPress installation on a different domain that only you can reach, and it creates a completely static version of your website with 30 locations around the world for even faster loading times, just like the Strattic.
SSD technology, HTTPS, the ability to shut down your WordPress case, and other features are included.
If you want to go static with your WordPress account, Shifter is another great choice. It works with all WordPress themes and plugins (except those with dynamic elements), and it's surprisingly simple to set up and maintain.
There are 1-click choices for almost all, and Shifter makes setting up a new site or migrating an existing WordPress site a breeze.
The security and efficiency will be comparable to the other two static site generation options we discussed above, with some cool extras like Netlify deployment and Slack alerts, or even a custom integration tailored to your needs, HTTP/2 powered gateway, IPv6 deployment, and more.
It has options for your feedback and contact form, and it deals with Shopify based e-commerce sites as well.
In terms of pricing, the most basic plan, which does not include a custom domain, is free for one website, while the cheapest plan, which does include a custom domain, costs $16 per month.
If you already have a WordPress website, you can use a plugin
Finally, you can build a static version of your WordPress website with the help of a plugin. Simply Static is a common solution that allows you to build a static version of your website at the click of a button.
However, before it does, you'll need to set up a couple of items. You'll have to migrate your regular WordPress website to a different subdomain if your website already occupies the location where you'd like to have its static edition. If you want to transfer your website to a different server, you can download the static version of it as a .zip file.
If you are building your WordPress site on a AWS instance, do check out our blog post : Install and Manage WordPress with Nginx and PHP-FPM on AWS EC2 Micro Instance
However, once you've finished setting it up and clicked the Generate Static Files button, you'll be informed of all the URLs the plugin found and copied, as well as any issues it encountered. You will either receive a connection to download a .zip file containing the website, or the static version of your website will be sent to the defined server route, depending on the distribution method you selected. In any case, the plugin can only get you so far; you'll have to get the website up and running on your own.
This is a new plugin in WordPress repository which generates both HTML and CSS files in one click.
The free version has very basic functionality of exporting single pages of the website. The pro version of this plugin exports the full site as html with related pages linking. Exported files can also be uploaded to another FTP server.
Even if you don't make any changes to your WordPress site on a regular basis, you should think about which choice you'll need to make the switch to a static version of your site.
Although the plugin option can seem appealing to budget-conscious users, it may create problems for large websites that are difficult to resolve. However, for landing pages and small content-only sites, it would most likely be a great budget choice.
Using one of the third-party serverless static WordPress hosting solutions we reviewed above is the way to go if you need more features or have a fairly large WordPress site. It not only ensures a seamless transition but also helps you to continue using WordPress in the same way you did before, with built-in support for essential dynamic elements such as contact forms and website search.
If going the serverless static way I have found Shifter quite interesting with good features. Both their plans Shifter Static and Shifter Headless have Free plans to try their services. Shifter Static is free forever with limitations of 1 site, 500MB storage, and 1GB bandwidth while Shifter Headless is free for one month initially and then needs to be upgraded. This gives an opportunity to learn and feel how the static WordPress site would feel and look.
Finally, keep in mind that while switching to static will boost your WordPress website's overall speed, efficiency, and security, it's only a viable choice if you don't need to use many dynamic elements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a static page in WordPress?
It's a homepage without any blog posts or other frequently updated material. Instead, it's “static,” meaning it doesn't change.
A static front page also referred to as a “splash page” or “custom homepage,” can include whatever you want. It could include headlines, videos, or text blurbs that entice visitors to stay longer on your web.
What is the difference between WordPress static website and a static page in WordPress?
A static front page in WordPress is a website's front page that does not change. When tourists arrive at your website, it is the first thing they see. Typically, it's the home page. The landing page is another name for it. The latest news, a list of the most famous content, or links to your social media accounts can all be found on a static page.
How to make WordPress static?
When it comes to making a static WordPress website, you'll have a few choices. With the headless CMS configuration, you can use the CMS to power the backend by itself. However, if you want to create the whole website with WordPress, you'll need to use a converter service or a plugin.
Is WordPress static or dynamic?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) (Content Management System). It provides a graphical user interface for making improvements to your website. It uses PHP and a MySQL database in the background to build and serve HTML pages as needed. However, there are WordPress themes that allow you to create static websites that don't need database queries. So, if you choose the right theme, you can create both static and dynamic websites with WordPress.