Recently, a friend of mine wanted to turn his personal domain – hosting self-written poetry – into a professional one, but he didn’t want to delete his old content as well. What if someone actually missed his art? No arguments on that.
The old site ran on WordPress, but since it is never going to be updated again there is really no need for a CMS. So eventually we decided to archive all pages as plain HTML and CSS files and move everything to a separate directory on the server. This also offers the benefit of improved page load times and reduced server load because we aren’t waiting for PHP and SQL queries to execute. Thankfully we found a nice plugin called Really Static for the job.
After installing and activating, Really Static plugin scrapes the entire WordPress site and automatically creates static HTML pages with all files and attachments arranged neatly in folders. This static version mimics the original URL structure of the WordPress site and it’s exactly what we were looking for.
By default, static pages and files are saved in a “Static” directory inside the plugin folder, but that can be changed before starting the process or, if you wish, you could even save everything to an external FTP server. Moreover, you can include useful attached files, filtered by, extensions and also create static pages of tags, categories, authors, and date based archives.
One thing to remember is that all links are going to be hard-coded into the site — that means that you need to tell Really Static what URL you are going to have for the archived pages before starting the process.
Below you can see an example of the result. A neatly arranged plain HTML version of the site which you can then configure on a subdirectory or subdomain or anywhere you want.
You could even set up a 301 redirect to the new URL to prevent old links from breaking, and it even makes it easier for anyone who wish to access the content.
Download: Really Static