WordPress is a great Content Management System, and it’s difficult to find a reason why not to use it, unless… you don’t really need a CMS. What you need is a simple static site that doesn’t require a database to store its content, and can be loaded as fast as a lightning. Well, guess what? There is a solution that can combine both WordPress’ ease-of-use and loading speed of a static website.
Simply Static is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create a static version out of your WordPress website. Every page, every post that you have on your site will be transformed into a static HTML document. Let’s take a closer look at this plugin and discuss in which cases you can use it.
Why we use Simply Static plugin and what is the benefits?
WordPress is used by one in four websites. That makes it a prime target for hackers. There are a lot of ways that your site can be compromised, but two-thirds of all hacks are caused by vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins, themes, and core files.
Keeping WordPress secure requires constant vigilance. Exploits are being found for WordPress themes and plugins every day. Even WordPress itself has critical vulnerabilities from time to time. If you don’t stay on top of updates, your site will get hacked. It’s just a matter of when.
But what if there was an easy way to keep WordPress secure? What if you could lock WordPress away somewhere where no one can get to it but you?
With Simply Static you can put your WordPress installation in a secure location and publish a static site for the rest of the world to see. You can keep WordPress at a secret URL, protect it with .htaccess, or even put it behind a VPN. Simply Static will create static copies of all of the pages from your WordPress installation and replace the URLs to match where you’ll be hosting it.
Every time you visit a WordPress page it needs to perform database queries to fetch content and run PHP code to render the page. These actions take time to perform.
With Simply Static, you’re creating a static copy of all of your WordPress pages. That time to create each page is incurred once, when Simply Static runs. When someone visits your static site they can instantly receive the page because Simply Static already did the work of creating it.
Depending on the complexity of your site, theme, and plugins, using a static site can easily increase the performance of your site by 10x.
Let’s go to implement
Now for example, this can be a subdomain, or a subfolder in your current directory. Once you have specified the desired location, go to ‘Generate’ panel and click ‘Generate Static Files’.
It would take some time to generate the static files, especially if you have a large number of posts and pages. When the process is finished, you’ll be provided with a link to download the archive with an HTML version of your site.
Download the archive and unzip it into your new location. This should be the location which we specified previously, otherwise all the links on your site will be pointing to a non-existing direction.
A Note of Caution
Simply Static generates static files only, such as HTML, CSS, JS, images, etc., but you won’t be able to use any functionality that requires PHP. That includes contact forms, comments, eCommerce, membership features, etc. If you would still like to have the comments and contact form functionality enabled, you can use third party tools such as Disqus and Wufoo.
Being able to generate an HTML version of your WordPress site is a valuable feature you should be aware of. What do you think about it, would you like to try it out? Or perhaps you know some similar tools that deal with the same problem? Let us know in the comments below.
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