How to turn a WordPress site into a static HTML website

Many website owners try to make their WordPress website special from the start. But instead of relying on unique content or special content, they fall for the temptation of the many dynamic features. The website, which is actually very interesting, quickly gets all kinds of dynamic widgets, an incredibly complex magazine layout or a theme with all sorts of special functions. Soon more than ten plugins will also be installed to add endless functionality. Simply because it is so easy in WordPress.

But stop, stop! Better think the other way around. Instead of making your own WordPress website more and more dynamic and extensive, you should pay attention to performance and create content that is as readable and consumable as possible.

In today’s post, I’ll explain how to get back to basics and turn a WordPress website back into a static HTML website.

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Why WordPress should go static
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What I used to think was great, I now enjoy with much more restraint. We are talking about WordPress and other dynamic content management systems. Dynamics always affects performance, brings weaknesses into play and requires a lot of effort in terms of administration. A static CMS is completely different. It was not for nothing that I presented my favorite flat file systems some time ago.

But today we’re going to talk about how we can easily turn a WordPress website into a static HTML website and why exactly that doesn’t seem so wrong. After all, a static page has many advantages.

First of all, the performance should be mentioned here, after all, PHP does not even have to be started. Then there is the issue of security, because you can also save yourself a WordPress firewall with a purely static website. Last but not least is the administration of the whole thing, because if it’s a pure HTML website, there isn’t much to manage at all.

Above all, however, a static website always makes sense when it comes to a company website or a portfolio. So a page that experiences little change and rarely gets new content. This means that you can use themes and the WordPress editor when creating them, but then create a pure HTML website from them. This makes sense since a company website doesn’t have to be dynamic.

So you take advantage of WordPress and create the static copy from it.

Make WordPress website static

It doesn’t take much skill or special knowledge to make a WordPress website static. If you are a little familiar with WordPress and know how the CMS works, you can use the appropriate plugins to initiate a direct and simple conversion of the website.

Basically, that’s exactly the point of many caching plugins. These create a static copy from the dynamic website. But compared to a page in the cache, the purely static website no longer runs WordPress in the background. There is therefore no vulnerability that can be hacked and also no admin area or WordPress core that eats up the server’s performance. PHP doesn’t even need to be started.

My favorite plugin in this area is Simply Static.  The WordPress extension is installed and then called up via a separate menu item in the WordPress admin.  Minor options can be selected here before the static version of the WordPress website is generated.  This is done with a simple push of a button.

How to easily turn a WordPress website into a static HTML website!

The purely static website is then downloaded as a zip archive. The files contained are HTML pages, which are then uploaded to the server in exactly the same way. The website can now be reached as usual, but without continuing to use WordPress or PHP.

This makes it possible, for example, to run WordPress offline as an editor and only export the static version to the server. But a little more on that below.

Download WordPress website as HTML

Before I go into the offline solution with WordPress, let’s first look at one more method. While Simply Static is very WordPress focused, there are other ways to get a static website as well. Because what WordPress outputs is ultimately nothing more than a static result of many dynamics. You can also download these.

This is possible with programs like httrack or SiteSucker.  These act as full website downloaders.  You can also make certain settings in these tools so that images, videos, dynamics or links are converted correctly.

How to easily turn a WordPress website into a static HTML website!

Use third-party services for static HTML website

Headless WordPress and staging have become a big topic lately. Roughly speaking, headless means separating the front and back end from each other. The CMS is thus separated from the visual representation and the content can be delivered practically anywhere via API. Staging, on the other hand, means creating a closed environment that is not accessible to users, but which is completely cloned.

This sometimes goes so far that WordPress is managed locally and the live version on the server is the copy. Staging is primarily suitable for testing new functions.

Also because Google is strongly moving in the direction of performance with the Core Web Vitals, both topics play a greater role again and again. In addition, WordPress has become a bloated CMS and more and more users are noticing this as performance becomes more important. Many projects needed something sleek and fast. However, WordPress is only chosen because it is simple and well known.

For those who still prefer WordPress, Strattic’s third-party solution is interesting. The service provides you with an all-in-one solution. WordPress remains the CMS of choice, but the generated website is purely static or headless and thus detached from the actual system. A headless CMS is again a topic in itself, which we will perhaps discuss in more detail elsewhere.

This is how you can easily use WordPress offline

The ingenious benefit of using static WordPress websites is that you don’t have to be without WordPress to manage them. Even better, you can run WordPress purely offline, i.e. install it locally on your computer. It is therefore no longer accessible on the server and no attacks on the system can take place.

This way you manage and create your website completely offline, but at the same time pleasantly simple and as usual within WordPress.

You then generate a static HTML website and upload it to your server. The result is the best possible performance and security because the result is pure HTML pages. Super easy to solve and often so powerful that no V-Server or large hpsting package is needed and cheap hosting is enough.

With the plugins it becomes possible to run a super fast static WordPress website without WordPress. Have you tried this before?

What is your experience in this regard and are you interested in the topic?

Tell us more about it in the comments.

David is a WordPress enthusiast and performance fanatic at the same time. He writes books, runs several blogs and, as a freelance author, writes articles and reports for online magazines and niche sites.

When he's not blogging, optimizing websites or writing books, he usually spends time with his dog, leaves his smartphone at home and enjoys the internet-free world for a few hours.
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