I’m John Shaffer. I’ve made several contributions to the S3 addon, and I’ve authored fixes for core WP2Static as well as the Algolia addon.
I got into WP2Static because I was deeply unhappy with how insecure and unmaintainable most WordPress installs are. Everything has to be kept up-to-date, but updates inevitably break things. If a plugin or theme isn’t maintained, or you get big and get hit by a zero-day, you’re screwed. I thought that it would be much better to have a private, secure WordPress install that just deploys to static files. Then updating to new versions becomes optional. If the site works great with version it has, just leave it alone!
I found WP2Static to be the best option for static deployment. I evaluated other solutions like Gatsby, but they seem to add a lot of complexity for a very marginal benefit. Maybe it’s just that I’m not on a big-city internet connection (beefy rig though), but all of the fancy JS solutions like Gatsby and Facebook’s new interface seem very sluggish and regressive. Pre-rendered and server-rendered HTML are like lightning.
I’ve built a stack using WP2Static along with a Clojure server to provide security and provide functionality that is hard to do in PHP (like keeping tabs on the WP2Static job processor). The default deployment is S3 with CloudFront, as the performance is fantastic and well worth the slight premium. We’re using it now for existing clients at StaticWeb.io. We plan to open it up as a public hosting service in the future.