There seem now to be a number of free services that allow you to host static websites, however as static websites seem to be a little bit old hat I’ve not paid them much attention, until now.
It occurred to me that it’s possible to generate a static website from a dynamic site (like WordPress), then automatically mirror the static version to a free static hosting account, maybe updating it daily.
- It’s free
- It’s super quick and very resilient to DDOS attacks etc
- You don’t need a (relatively expensive) WordPress server on the Internet (desktop will do)
- It’s unhackable (directly) because it’s just static pages
- You (initially) lose dynamic features like logging in, comments, feedback forms
- … ?
Process as follows;
Set up an experiment using my recently created Local WordPress / Containers setup.
(as documented in the HOWTO’s)
Added the simply static plugin to generate a static version of the site in a local folder.
Created a GitLab project
Added the local folder containing the static folder to the GitLab project.
Created a new project in CloudFlare Pages (which is one of the aforementioned free services)
Created a new CloudFlare project
Connected the CloudFlare project to the GitLab project
- The source / original WordPress hosted website is visible at https://madpenguin.uk
- The static version on free hosting is visible at https://madpenguin.pages.dev/
On the static version I turned off the preloader to make the loading speed more visible. Would be interested in feedback / how it looks to others.
- better with / without pre-loader?
- is the speed noticeable?
- apart from feedback forms, any noticeable downsides?
Updating the (static) site involved making a change on WordPress, then clicking Deploy in Simply Static … (the rest is done with automated hooks) … total publication (update) time on a small site like that seems to be around 1-2 mins.
Might try it on Linux.uk, although it’s a larger site … might be somewhat slower to update …
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