8 Best WordPress Static Site Generators
WordPress is well-known for the rich and dynamic experience it offers to website visitors. It’s this wealth of interactivity, propelled by awesome themes and plugins, which have launched WordPress to the stratosphere as the CMS with the biggest market share among all content management systems.
Still, it’s possible to use WordPress in other ways, too. You can, for example, trade some of the interactivity for speed, and opt to build a static WordPress site. This is a relatively common occurrence when creating enterprise websites, for example. So if you’re looking for a way to use WordPress to generate a static website, don’t worry!
In this article, we’ll show you a list of the best WordPress static site generators – services or plugins that can come in handy when you’re looking to generate static websites with WordPress. The list includes:
We kick off our list with a delicious treat for all lovers of Go programming language (GoLang). Hugo is a fast, flexible and reliable static site generator, and it’s open-source. Speed is one of the major selling points for this generator – it promises to create an entire website in under one second! Furthermore, it offers robust content capabilities – unlimited post types, taxonomies, menus and dynamic content, all straight out of the box.
In addition to Markdown syntax, Hugo also uses shortcodes, allowing for more flexibility. For those looking for more than just HTML, it also supports AMP and JSON. It comes with pre-made patterns or templates for faster completion of SEOanalytics, commenting and other features.
Finally, Hugo has a library of 300+ ready-made themes that are both simple and feature-rich, allowing to create even quite complex websites.
Like many similar open-source tools, Hugo is completely free and has a large community of contributors and forks on GitHub.
Moving along, we come to one of the best static site plugins for WordPress – Simply Static. If you already have a WordPress website and you want to create a static version of it, Simply Static is the plugin you want to have in your corner.
The free version of the plugin is straightforward – with a click on a button, you can get a completely static version of your website, ready for you to download it in a .zip file or move it to a subdomain of your choosing.
The pro version, which starts at $99 per year, can help with deployment to various static website hosting services, enable automatic push of new versions of pages, and even set up a search with full auto-complete.
If you’re looking for a platform where you can generate headless or static WordPress websites and host them, Strattic is one of the top choices. The services Strattic offers, coupled with the innate benefits of running a static WordPress website, should help you create a fast and secure website that’s easy to use and scale.
With Strattic, you’ll have everything you need for creating and deploying websites within arm’s reach. You can use a preview or staging static site to make sure your ideas look good before you push them to the live site. Your site will be pre-rendered to boost speed, and you’ll have the benefits of a global content delivery network with no less than 225 locations. And those are just a few of the awesome features Strattic offers.
Strattic offers a free 30-day trial. After it passes, you can opt for one of the paid plans, which start at $45 per month.
Gatsby is a platform you can use to create amazing web experiences – more than just websites. If you choose to use it with WordPress, however, Gatsby will let you generate static sites while maintaining all the familiarity and convenience of using WordPress as a real CMS.
Gatsby lets you uncouple the front end of your website from the backend, which remains fully WordPress. That way, you get the major benefits of using a static website, mostly in speed and security. With Gatsby, you can also preview the content you are publishing in real-time and collaborate on content creation with team members.
Best of all is that you can start using Gatsby for free. You’ll have a limit to the users who can work on the website, though, and you’ll see some other limitations, too – but you’ll still be able to experience a static WordPress website. When you outgrow the free package, you can opt for the professional which starts at $42.50 per month when paid yearly.
Need a hosting platform for your website that can help you create, or migrate, a static website using WordPress? Shifter has your back. The platform boasts tools and functionalities that will help deploy websites, collaborate with team members, and provide a great experience to your website’s visitors.
Shifter is a platform built for WordPress, so the features it offers are geared towards static WordPress enthusiasts who want to push the limits of static. The platform can help you develop eCommerce websites, it will support forms, offer CDN caching, search functionality, and more. You get all of this in a maintenance-free package with site usage statistics and access to Shifter’s media CDN.
All of these goodies won’t cost you an arm and a leg – Shifter has a free plan that comes with plenty of its finest features. It’s the perfect place to start exploring the world of static WordPress. When you think it’s time to move up, you can choose one of the paid plans which starts at $16 per month.
A static website is easy to wrap one’s head around – static sites have been around for a long while and we’ve all gotten used to them. The concept of serverless websites with backends that only appear when someone’s using them is something different. With HardyPress, that’s what you use to modify your static WordPress website.
The virtualized nature of the WordPress backend is just one of the features of HardyPress. The service is built on the Amazon AWS cloud, with the static versions of sites hosted on Amazon S3 Buckets. There’s also a global CDN in the mix, you get free SSL encryption, a staging environment, support for search and contact forms, and a year of backups for the site. You can also download a copy of your website at any time you want.
You can start using HardyPress for a single, personal website at the price of €4 per month.
If you’re a fan of Python, do not miss out on this amazing gem of a generator. Perhaps a less known one than the others on this list, Pelican requires no database or server-side logic. The static websites built with this generator are clean, well laid-out and can be made very quickly, using Markdown and reStructuredText.
It comes with page templates you can use, supports multiple languages and generation of Atom and RSS feeds and content caching, which allows for very quick rebuilding of pages. It integrates with many external services and WordPress users can import content from their website quickly and seamlessly, which makes it a good solution for headless setup.
If you opt for Pelican, you can easily expand the functionality of your static website through the rich native plugin system. In addition, if at some point you decide to create dynamic pages, you can do so, as Pelican is not reserved to static websites exclusively.
Plus, if you were thinking of learning Python or already have some basic Python knowledge you want to improve, this lean solution is just the thing for you.
Oh, and – it’s free.
For the last entry on the list, it seems appropriate to have a regular host offering irregular services. WP Engine, besides offering regular hosting and enterprise platform for WordPress, also offers headless WordPress hosting which you can use to create static or dynamic websites.
Atlas is WP Engine’s headless WordPress hosting product. With it, WP Engine can provide near-to-static website speeds with dynamic websites – much faster than traditional WordPress. Still, anyone who’s interested in having a static WordPress site can use the same architecture to deploy it. WP Engine also offers great security in a package that feels like the best of both worlds – static and dynamic.
WP Engine offers Atlas for a free trial. You will need to ask for a quote, however, to find out how much it will cost you once the trial expires.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Creating a static WordPress website is a surefire way to provide a faster browsing experience to your website’s visitors, while also making the website safer. There are many different ways to build and run a static website, but these static website generators should help you take the usual dynamic experience of WordPress and create a static version of it.