Static WordPress Community

Query re WP Plugin + Intro (Newbie in Town)

Hi everyone, and apologies if i seem a complete fish out of water.

I am a self-taught ‘have-a-go’ Wordpress ‘developer’ and have been helping build/develop and migrate a small corporate website.

To improve the speed and performance of a website i have been building on WordPress I have been considering my first foray into ‘headless Wordpress’ and am looking to use WP2Static.

I used Elementor Proto design the site, but also have the following (primary) plugins installed:

Hubspot All-In-One Marketing
Rank Math SEO
Insert Headers and Footers (for Google Tag Manager)
WP-Optimize

In no particular order:

  • Will the embedded tags for GTM and Hubspot (used for tracking purposes) be preserved in the static site?

  • Workflow --> WP2Static plugin converts the files from mysite.com, do i then eg
    –> upload to Netlify
    —> repoint Netlify IP address to my domain name
    —> leave the existing files on my existing host (SiteGround)
    —> the site also has blogs so therefore each time i add/update the blogs i have to repeat the process and upload again?

  • The site also makes use of Hubspot embedded JS contact forms.
    –> I’m assuming this will still be useable on the static site, but will formatting be preserved?

  • SEO from RankMath is preserved?

  • Are animations preserved? (eg background and/or button animations)

I’m looking to dive into this v soon and hopefully be able to showcase some results from my work!

Thanks!!

1 Like

Hi @jellybean and welcome!

It’s nice to see you planning things out and you’re definitely asking all the right questions.

RankMath will be fine, @gulshan here is at least one I know using it without issues now (on version 6.6.21 of Static HTML Output plugin).

GTM and other embeddables (including Hubspot) should have no issues. Animations should all be fine, if they are CSS/JS based, not requiring any calls to the database once page is rendered.

Insert Headers Footers should be fine, I’ve only used HFCM plugin, which I assume is identical in functionality.

Not sure what WP Optimize is, but let me know if any issues pop up.

Now, the important parts, setting up your hosting:

Ideal setup:

  • dev.mydomain.com (can be on siteground, should be non-public, ie http basic auth login/password to stop bots/attacks on your dev site)
  • mydomain.com - the live site, hosted on Netlify, Cloudflare, Vercel, S3 + CloudFront or any other static site host

You can also opt to not keep any SiteGround/remote hosting account active, if it’s only you working on the dev sites. You can then run them on your own local computer and just publish the static site to Netlify/remote host.

So, the first step, is to choose local or non-public subdomain (please avoid subdirectory WordPress installs, not really supported and causes more issues than worth) then clone your current live site to this new “dev” server.

From here, you can do a test deployment to a new throwaway Netlify site, like mytest1234.netlify.app (set this in plugin’s Deployment URL setting), export a zip and drag and drop into Netlify.

Check the site loads fine in https://mytest1234.netlify.app - make sure no insecure content, 404s or console errors, maybe run some speed tests and adjust _headers file in Netlify to improve caching, add any existing redirects if needed in _redirects file.

If that all looks good and you’re confident, then you can change your deploy URL in the plugin, create another new site in Netlify, this time, setting your mydomain.com in Netlify and changing DNS over to Netlify, as per their instructions, wait for DNS changes to propogate and you should be looking at your faster, secure site at https://mydomain.com via Netlify/other host.

You then keep working on your dev site, be it local or on SiteGround/other host (see note below), retire the old production hosting account and just redeploy when you make changes to the site.

If you are making a lot of design changes/adding plugins, etc, I’d recommend to also incorporate a “staging” environment, which can just be another Netlify site (they’re free!) and do a quality check there before updating your live site. Also useful if you’re doing client work and want to send them specific snapshots of a site, you can deploy to as many Netlify staging sites as you like and just send them the link.

I’m sure you’ll be fine once you’ve got a cpl static site conversions under your belt, but you may encounter issues initially, which is normal - just post any questions here on the forum and myself or others should be able to guide (and later improvements to the plugin/documentation should make things easier for future newcomers!).

Cheers,

Leon

(I’m not a fan of SiteGround for many reasons, so if you have opportunity to stop paying them for any more hosting, I’ll happily recommend you some more professional VPS options)

1 Like

hi @leonstafford

Thanks for the detailed reply and apologies for my own late response!
Great to hear that the embeds will not be affected!

WP Optimize is one of the many-recommended optimizing plugins on WordPress that helps improve performance/speed of WP websites by inlining / minimising JS and CSS files.

Thank you very much for the walkthrough as well!
In addition to S3 and Netlify, i’m also considering using GCP bucket as well. (Will there be future updates to WP2Static to deploy to GCP buckets?)

Or is there, in general a preferred static site host favoured by the WP2Static community?

I’ll post my progress at a later stage!!

Many thanks again!