There are some good WordPress plugins out there that transform your site to static (Simply Static and WP Static HTML Output are some examples), and they can work more than well for some websites, but remember that, compared to HardyPress, besides not to host and distribute your content through a CDN, they have some limitations because many sites just can not work as plain HTML files, but the server still need to be configured to set the response-header correctly.
Simply Static generates a static website and can not be aware of the environment this site will be deployed on, this is why the only way it has to manage 301/302 redirects is to write a simple HTML file with a meta-tag redirect, something like this:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=https://www.example.com/redirect-destination-page/">
This is obviously far from optimal from a SEO prospective.
HardyPress is able to instruct the CDN servers about 301/302 redirects so they will set correct response-headers, making search-engines happy 🙂
Basic ajax requests
More than often your site needs to make some simple ajax requests to “admin-ajax.php” in order to asynchronously retrieve some content. Lots of themes do this to load custom CSS settings. Lots of plugins do the same thing (eg. Simple Custom CSS). Even the popular Visual Composer/WPBakery plugin use ajax to load “data-grid” content. All this stuff won’t work on a Simply Static generated site.
HardyPress is always improving plugin/theme compatibility and, at this stage, it has no problems at all with the above scenarios.
Contact forms and full-text searches
This is one of the biggest issues when you go static. Even the simplest websites has a “Contact” page with a contact form and a simple full-text search-box that can not works on a classic “static” site in a serverless environment.
HardyPress allows you to use this dynamic features seamlessly. If you use Contact-Form-7 everything will work normally (see here for more details). We also take care of scraping your website’s pages, and augment the search box to provide instant suggestions.
Resources with query-string parameters
Sometime your website make requests passing query-string parameters to the server to identify the right resources. This is obviously a problem on a server-less environment and even if the resource get correctly staticized, you will probably face some content-type header issues rendering the page on your browser. HardyPress uses a sophisticated mechanism to rewrite and handle these requests so everything will looks good!
When you use static site builders or other solutions for existing WordPress sites, you will probably need to take care to many tasks, for example, you probably need to
- hide your WordPress real installation
- create a static copy of it
- search/replace every contact form to make it works somehow
- publish your static generate site to your hosting service
- invalidate the CDN, if you have one
With HardyPress you can benefit of full automation and still get a serverless environment for your websites
Final client access
If you are an agency or a developer, you probably create WordPress sites for final users and want to allow them the edit their contents autonomously.
HardyPress allows your clients to seamlessly turn WordPress on and to generate a new deploy. Their user-experience won’t change.
HardyPress has a “time-machine”
HardyPress has a nice feature that allows you to go back in time and restore a previous staticized version with a click. Every time you create a static version of your website, HardyPress creates a backup that you can restore anytime. Check our guide to better understand how “deploys” work.