How to simply convert WordPress to HTML
While we all love WordPress for its flexibility and huge ecosystem there are also a lot of drawbacks to using it. Be it security, performance, or the costs that are required to get decent hosting.
Reasons to convert WordPress to HTML
There are three key benefits to converting WordPress to an HTML website.
- Hosting costs
HTML or static websites are insanely fast as they don’t need a webserver to process the information and build the page out of dynamic elements. It’s just a file that gets returned to the user’s browser in almost no time.
This results in a huge increase in the performance of the website and it’s more important than ever that your website is fast as Google already uses it as a ranking factor for your website.
HTML sites are way more secure than a traditional WordPress website. There is no database to hack, there are no plugins that can be exploited. Most static sites do not even have contact forms, so there is really not much for hackers to get from you.
Hosting static sites can be really cheap or even free (Take a look at Netlify or Cloudflare Pages). Most of them do require some technical knowledge like setting up GitHub and pushing your static files to a repository. Once that’s done, these providers pull the data from the repository each time you pushed updates to it.
How to convert WordPress to HTML
There are two WordPress plugins to make it easy to convert WordPress to HTML and provide you with a ZIP file that contains all static files (HTML, JS, CSS, and images) of your dynamic WordPress website.
Simply Static is our own plugin. It’s entirely free and is used by over more than 30.000 users at the time of writing this article.
The default configuration is pretty much prepared for exporting your WordPress website as a ZIP file so pretty much everything you have to do is go to Simply Static -> Generate and click on the “Generate” button.
There is an activity log that updates real-time and shows you the current progress of the static export. Depending on the size of your website this can take quite a while.
Another awesome plugin for that use case is WP2Static. It’s not on wordpress.org, but that may change soon due to the latest announcements. You can download the plugin for free, but make sure you also install the ZIP addon to get what you need to convert WordPress to HTML.
WP2Static is a bit more technical and more targeted to developers than end-users, but if configured correctly it’s extremely powerful.
Host your WordPress HTML website
You generated a static version of your WordPress website with one of the tools provided above. Now it’s time to upload these files to a hosting service to bring them online.
A couple of services allow you to host your static website for free or a small free. I already mentioned two, but let’s add a little list of providers that can handle that for you:
Netlify is an all-in-one tool for hosting your static website. It also provides a lot of solutions to common challenges with static websites like 404 pages or forms. Their pricing is a bit too complex, but the service itself is great.
Cloudflare Pages is free, but you have to share the deployment time with other users of the service. This can be quite frustrating as soon as you have wait more than 30 minutes to fix a typo on your new landing page.
It’s a lot like Cloudflare Pages, but you need the pro version if you like to use your own custom domain.
Amazon S3 is quite cheap, but you have to do everything on your own. Configuring your DNS, uploading the files, managing SSL certificates, redirects, and more.
BunnyCDN is also a cheap solution and really powerful. You can upload your files via FTP, configure redirects and set up an SSL certificate with a click of a button. Compared to the other services it’s almost the best fit comparing pricing and features.
Netlify, Cloudflare Pages, and GitHub Pages do require a GitHub repository to fetch the files and deploy them to be available on your configured domain. Amazon S3 and BunnyCDN work more like a traditional server. You get access via (S)FTP and you upload your files manually, then you add your Domain to it to make it available to your visitors.
While most of these providers are cheap (or free) they all come with certain restrictions and the requirement of technical knowledge. You may have to know how to use GitHub or FTP, how to connect a domain to your storage and how you set up things like redirects, SSL certificates, and caching.
How to update your static WordPress website?
Here is where things get a bit trickier. While you can export a new HTML version of your WordPress website with the plugins mentioned above, that would require:
Updating a site manually
- Create the ZIP file containing your static files
- Download the ZIP file
- Extract it and commit it to your repository
- Trigger the deployment on your hosting provider
- Double-check the result
This is fine for websites that don’t get updates that often, but downloading and uploading a ZIP file multiple times a day isn’t really something you want to do when you are serious about publishing regularly on your website.
Simply CDN is a static hosting service that helps you get your static generated website up and running in no time and directly from within your WordPress dashboard.
The benefits in short:
- easy pricing based on storage
- no limitation on the number of websites you like to host
- directly upload and update your static website from within WordPress
- a powerful CDN for maximum performance and security
- no complex setup – copy a key, activate the plugin, and start exporting to static
You can check the Quickstart guide to see how it works in detail.
Simply CDN also handles a couple of things the other providers don’t. Let me show you a couple of awesome features included in the hosting service:
We automatically receive and forward all kinds of POST requests from your website and send you the details to your configured e-mail address. This works best with Contact Form 7, but you can use pretty much any contact form plugin you like.
Simply CDN will handle the most common redirects for you like forwarding all requests to HTTPS, redirecting missing results to your 404 page, and providing a solution to use your existing RSS feeds on your static website.
Your CDN is automatically configured with our own best practices. We configure caching, security, and things like GZIP compression or deflate tags for you.
In this article, we learned a lot of things about how to convert WordPress to HTML. Different plugins/tools to do this as well as a couple of cheap and free providers to host your static HTML files like GitHub Pages, Netlify, or Cloudflare Pages, but if you need a simpler and more powerful solution to host your static website, give Simply CDN a try.
You can start a 7-day free trial before committing to a payment plan or you can use the e-mail / live chat option to get all questions answered that you may have. As I’m the founder and developer of Simply Static and Simply CDN I know quite a lot about how to convert WordPress to HTML so don’t hesitate to get in contact.