Are you looking for the best static site generator to convert your WordPress installation into a static website? Although many WordPress sites are dynamic, there are users who, for good reasons, prefer having a static website.
If you’re one of those who prefer a static site, then you’ve come to the right place.
So what are static websites, and how are they different from dynamic sites? We’ll answer these questions in this article. Further, we will discuss the pros and cons of a static site. We will also list the best static site generators for WordPress.
- What Is a Static Site?
- Static vs. Dynamic sites
- Best WordPress Static Site Generators:
What Is a Static Website?
A static website has fixed, unchanging content. The content is written in HTML and is the same for every user who visits the site. Static websites are simple to create and are suitable for small sites or sites that do not require frequent updates.
Updating a static website is done manually by editing the code base. So you’ll need some coding experience to manage a static site.
Static vs. Dynamic Sites
There are essentially 2 types of websites: Static and Dynamic. In simple terms, static means “fixed, constant” while dynamic means “continuous change”. Now let’s put these terms in a practical sense to help us understand better.
For static websites, the site’s contents are fixed. You can only make changes to the website by manually editing the code base. So every user visiting your website will see the same content.
On the other hand, dynamic websites can display different content based on user interactions or other factors. The content is stored on a database by a back-end server. It uses technologies such as PHP, Python, or Ruby.
There are different factors that determine how you can alter the content of a dynamic website. It can be based on user behavior, browser, time of the day, time zone, language, etc.
Benefits of a Static Website
The following are some of the notable perks of using a static website:
A Faster Loading Page
Static websites are considerably fast because each web page is directly fetched and displayed on the browser from the server. They do not rely on database queries or PHP processing on the server. This leads to improved website speed and speed is an important SEO ranking factor.
Security is another advantage of static sites. Dynamic websites come with different entry points for attacks. Because dynamic sites can accept data, attackers often use this for SQL injection or brute force attacks.
With a static site, however, there is less risk for hackers as the site is wholly HTML. So security vulnerabilities that come with those server-side functionalities are absent.
Of course, you can protect your dynamic WordPress site using a security plugin.
Dynamic sites require regular maintenance due to their functionalities. The process can be overwhelming, especially for non-technical users. Static sites, however, require little to no maintenance. The reason for this is that they require less server power to run.
Cons of Static Sites
We’ve discussed the perks of a static site, but there are also cons.
The major con of a static website is its inability to generate dynamic content like most modern websites. Some features require database interactions and going static means these features will stop working. Some of them include:
Another disadvantage of a static site is the hassle involved in updating content. Instead of just hitting the ‘Publish’ button, you’ll need to redeploy your site whenever you edit or add new content.
Best WordPress Static Site Generators
To convert your WordPress site into a static site, you can use a static site generator. This is a tool that generates static HTML pages based on the content on your website. They basically code each HTML page and prepare it to serve users.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best static site generators for WordPress users.
Strattic by Elementor
Strattic is a hosting platform that converts WordPress websites into static and headless CMS. The platform provides features that make your WordPress site faster, more secure, scalable, and easy to use.
Their WP2Static plugin makes it easy to create a static website with WordPress. It converts your WordPress installation into a static headless site.
With Strattic, you can manage your site from the WordPress admin dashboard and have a static site for your site visitors. It pre-renders your site pages and delivers a static version via a global CDN.
With this tool, you’ll have access to 2 preview functions before publishing new content to your live site. You can either use the WordPress preview function or the staging environment provided by Strattic.
In terms of security, Strattic decouples the front end of your website from WordPress. Thus, your site is protected from vulnerabilities like SQL and XSS injections. Also, your site’s performance is improved as no PHP and database will be involved to present your site’s pages and content.
To get started with Strattic, they offer first-time users a 30-day free trial. Afterward, you can select one of their paid plans starting at $32.5 per month.
HardyPress is a WordPress hosting service that creates a static version of your WP site. It then hosts your real WordPress installation in a secure location available to you as the admin. This WordPress server is active when the content manager needs to make changes to the site.
HardyPress provides a staging environment that allows you to make changes to your site without affecting the live content. They also serve your content through their secure CDN with over 30 servers.
The company also offers a free SSL certificate. In addition, their service is built on the AWS cloud, so security shouldn’t be an issue for your static website. Besides that, you get a year of backups for your website. And major maintenance is not needed as there is no PHP or MySQL to be breached by hackers.
HardyPress comes with a site search feature that allows users to easily search content on your website. Further, the company supports the Contact Form 7 plugin, so it can work seamlessly on the static site. To start a trial, you can begin with their lowest plan at €4/month.
Shifter – WordPress Static Site Generator
This is a great option for users who want to create a new static WordPress site or migrate an existing WordPress website. Shifter provides features that allow you to give your site visitors a great experience. Converting your WordPress site to a static site can be done with the click of a button.
Like other platforms, your WordPress backend will still work in a temporary environment only you can access. There you can make changes to your site. Shifter then delivers the updates via a global CDN. Afterward, you can “turn off” your WordPress admin dashboard, leaving the static site displayed to the public.
The platform provides features like a search function, built-in security, automated backups, and more. You also have access to Shifter’s media CDN to allow you to offload your website media. Once offloaded, the CDN then serves WebP images.
Shifter offers a limited free plan that allows users to decide whether to take the static route. Later on, you can select from their multiple pricing plans starting at $16/month.
Unlike the previous static generators, Simply Static is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress site into a static site. The site can be hosted on your server, a static hosting provider, or a CDN.
Simply Static allows you to secure your WordPress installation by keeping it at a secret URL, with .htaccess or behind a VPN. The plugin then creates static copies of your site pages and replaces the URLs to match where it’ll be hosted. This way, security risks are reduced.
With Simply Static, your site’s performance improves. It removes the need for your WordPress website to run database queries and PHP code to render the pages. Thus, a visitor instantly receives a page on your site when it is static.
Additionally, security risks to your site are reduced as the plugin removes any connection to your database and server. This removes the need to constantly update your WordPress site and keep your data secure.
Simply Static plugin’s free plan offers the basics of getting a static version of your site. The pro version allows you to use forms, comments, and their search feature. It also offers GitHub integration and is WPML-ready. The pricing starts at $99.99 per year.
FLATsite – WordPress Static Site Generator
This is an all-in-one platform that securely turns WordPress websites into static ones in minutes. FLATsite provides features that allow you to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard. It also has a secure interface to access all your WordPress backend files.
If you choose to run multiple sites, FLATsite helps you save hosting costs. This is because static pages usually require little disk space to function. So you can conveniently host your sites on any reliable shared hosting or cheap hosting plan.
FLATsite offers assistance that allows you to retain existing plugins. It further provides its own plugins to add a search feature and contact form that works just like Gravity Forms. The platform automates updates for your WordPress site, saving you time and maintenance costs.
In addition to their features, FLATsite also provides IP blocking and an industry-leading firewall. Also provides great server protection so you can rest easy knowing your site is safe from unauthorized users.
The platform goes for a monthly price of $64.95 for unlimited websites. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Static.app provides a simple static hosting solution for website owners. This platform provides the basic features to make your site static. It also comes with a drag-and-drop builder, which makes creating and editing a page easy.
Static.app provides media storage that allows you to store images, videos, and documents for your website. Further, it comes with a code editor to enable you to edit your WordPress site files.
Static.app hosting provides a personal domain and free SSL certificate to help you secure your website and user information.
The platform offers a free 7-day trial. Afterward, you can opt for its paid plans starting at $5/month.
Frequently Asked Questions about WordPress Static Site Generators
What is a WordPress static site generator?
What are the benefits of using a WordPress static site generator?
Using a WordPress static site generator can offer several benefits, such as faster website speed, improved website security, lower hosting costs, and better search engine optimization (SEO).
How does a WordPress static site generator work?
What are some popular WordPress static site generator plugins?
Some popular WordPress static site generator plugins include Strattic, HardyPress, Shifter, Simply Static, FLATsite, and Static.app. Each plugin has its own set of features and capabilities, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Do I need coding experience to use a WordPress static site generator?
You don’t need coding experience to use a WordPress static site generator. However, you may need some technical knowledge to configure the plugin and set up your static site. Some plugins also offer more advanced features that may require coding or development skills.
Conclusion – WordPress Static Site Generator
Although a static site has some advantages, it is important to think if it is necessary to have a static site before going this route.
In this article, we’ve listed 6 great static website generators for your WordPress site. Simply go through the list to find the one best suited for you.
Going static can be a good idea if you have a simple website that doesn’t rely on dynamic content. Sites like business websites, portfolio pages, landing pages, and brochure sites that do not change much can be great as static sites. But sites that require fetching data from a database will benefit from retaining dynamic functionalities.
Finally, if you’d like to boost the speed of your static or dynamic website, be sure to check our guide on how to speed up your WordPress site.