25 Comments

  1. Miriam Schwab

    Very exciting to see this trend of static/headless becoming a part of the conversation! I love seeing how people are creating tools to bring that JAMstack world to WordPress.

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  2. Anh Tran

    Creating a static site on Netlify is a great experience. I’ve switched the documentation site for Meta Box plugin to a static site on Netlify without any problem. Netlify integrates with Github/Bitbucket which make auto deployments easy.

    Regarding the contact forms for the static sites, there are many options available such as Formspree, Simple Form or Form Keep. Most of them are free and easy to use.

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    • Ryan Peacan

      This is the one thing keeping me from using this for client sites.

      All of the form options seem expensive! I haven’t found one free option yet that will allow custom forms built by the client, and a way to see entries. Even $5/month would be ok, but everything is like $30/month if you need more than one form.

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      • Studio Admire

        All you need is an endpoint that isn’t a static server. WordPress must be running somewhere? Failing that, just buy a cheap cheap host, and run all your forms through that.

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      • Ryan Hellyer

        WordPress must be running somewhere?

        Yes, but plugging into that negates some of the benefits of a JAMstack site. The goal is to totally separate the frontend from the backend, so that there is no risk of frontend traffic interfering (maliciously or otherwise) with your backend. By plugging comments directly into WordPress itself, you lose that benefit.

        Your cheap host solution would work, but it wouldn’t scale very well and scalability is another huge benefit of JAMstack’ing things.

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  3. donnacha

    WP2Static deploying to a free Netlify account, or even just deploying to a cheap VPS (DigitalOcean, Linode, Hetzner Cloud etc) is a terrific solution for 95% of WordPress sites. If your site is not doing something that absolutely needs to be generated dynamically, such as an ecommerce cart, the advantages of going static, while retaining the familiar WordPress interface, are undeniable.

    This is a way to escape the hosting industry, which has always been a marketing-driven scam, so, it makes zero sense to tie your WordPress-to-static generation to the new generation of “static hosts”. Even if you are part of what this article calls “the less technical crowd”, it is worth investing an hour into getting to grips with a tool such as WP2Static.

    Again, if your site is a suitable candidate for being static, generating a static version with WP2Static is probably a lot easier than you imagine. I tend to design sites on my own laptop, using Local by Flywheel to host them during the design process. I install the WP2Static plugin and enter my Netlify credentials. When I am happy with the design, I deploy to Netlify and shut down my locally-running site until I want to make changes again.

    If I didn’t want to run WordPress on my laptop, I would fire up a 1-Click instance of WordPress on DigitalOcean (or Linode, or Vultr etc) for less than one cent per hour. Again, once I am happy with the design, I use WP2Static to deploy to Netlify, download a backup of the site, and destroy the VPS – no need to keep paying for it. If I want to edit the site again in the future, I simply fire up another VPS and re-install from the backup.

    All the JAMstack stuff is wonderful but don’t let it distract you from the beautiful simplicity and logic of using WordPress to create static sites. You do not need some expensive host, spewing marketing BS, to gain all the speed, security and zero-maintenance benefits of static. Install WP2Static and cheerfully wave goodbye to the middlemen.

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  4. Frans Allen

    It’s fun to run a static site which give us benefits to performance and security, but the engine is actually is still WordPress, develop page with page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder, etc, then we deploy the site to Netlify or GitHub Pages, going static or JAMstack is now easy than ever.

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  5. Frans Allen

    It’s fun to run a static site which give us benefits to performance and security, but the engine is actually is still WordPress, develop page with page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder, etc, then we deploy the site to Netlify or GitHub Pages, going static or JAMstack is now easy than ever!

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  6. flanky

    One can simply just use static cache plugin without hassle of so called “jamstack” and over-complicated things.

    Static sites are great and simple, upload some files to any host or service like Netlify and job is done. Static site is fast, safe and reliable way to display content to visitors.

    It’s fun to open vim editor in terminal, add some content, then just git push and within few seconds content is online with Netlify without leaving terminal and open any other software or window. The site is not only fast and secure, but admin have own backup and backup in github/gitlab …

    To be honest, majority of website online could be done as static sites. However admins like some bloat so today’s web is practically broken.

    If someone try to add some “features” like contact form from third party service, it’s more hassle than it’s worth. These service does not work well at all. Static site does not need contact form, it’s less secure and less reliable than just mailto link.

    So called “jamstack” sounds cool, however it’s complicated and no less bloated than traditional CMS.
    In many cases, admin deal with some CMS, some API, some third party service for it and still he has zero content online.

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  7. Kevin N. Murphy

    Forms are quite easy on Netlify: https://www.netlify.com/docs/form-handling/

    Combined with Zapier its more than adequate, its delightful!

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    • Kevin N. Murphy

      Also

      Woocommerce? There’s https://snipcart.com/

      Events? There’s https://loxi.io/

      Comments? Disqus or Commento https://commento.io/

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      • Ian

        Like Kevin pointed out, SnipCart is an option to use in place of WooCommerce.

        I’m actually in the middle of building a headless WordPress, Gatsby site that uses WooCommerce and SnipCart.

        The WooCommerce data is made available through the REST API and is accessed through a Gatsby plugin. On the Gatsby side, the data (price, product name, etc) can be fed in as attributes to a SnipCart button! This affords someone without a technical background the ability to add new products in the WordPress dashboard through WooCommerce, just like they would if it were a normal WooCommerce site.

        Drawbacks:
        If you need to track inventory, this setup will take additional steps to do so.

        SnipCart charges either $10.00 a month or 2% if sales are greater than $500/month.

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    • flanky

      Good luck with it. Use it for a while and you will see that’s it less reliable than send a pigeon.

      Other thing is, what is the benefit of using all these services (paid) to handle just one contact form? I can imagine than even 3,5$/month server will handle emails more reliable and under your control.

      Also Netlify can filter messages which are legit, bc. of spam filter what you can’t turn off.

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  8. Peter

    There is no mention at all of CSS.

    Will the JAMstack static site maintain my original design and CSS customizations in WordPress?

    Or I have to repeat them all in the static?

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    • Kristian

      A static website is seperate from your WordPress website. WordPress only functions as a data store where you manage your content in this setting, the JAMstack fetches the data through REST (or GraphQL) and builds a completely new website.

      This means:
      No theme, no CSS nor no JS served from WordPress. No headers, footers, sidebars nor widgets, you only get the data you want/need to build your website.

      The JAMstack introduces a bit of complexity WordPress has worked hard to eliminate, but at the same time it’s offering incredible speed and control. For many that’s more hassle than they want to deal with for others it fixes optimization problems they have with the monolithic solution.

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    • Peter

      I see. Thanks Kristian.

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  9. Zaman.Q

    Speed is the way to the future. Static sites are gaining popularity. I really adore the concept of headless wordpress and decoupling front-end from the wordpress backend. It gives design freedom.

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  10. Pankaj Grover

    A static website is seperate from your WordPress website. WordPress only functions as a data store where you manage your content in this setting, the JAMstack fetches the data through REST (or GraphQL) and builds a completely new website.

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  11. BadCase

    Sounds like a bunch of hoops to jump through to accomplish something any decent server should be able to do already

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  12. christian ramirez

    What are the pros and cons of WordPress using Woocommerce vs Shopify?

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  13. Chris Blackwell

    My company recently just did a Nuxt SPA frontend with a WordPress backend. I wanted to go all native WordPress, but my Sr Frontend Engineer talked me out of it.

    Interestingly though, we couldn’t use Netlify. I wanted to make sure everything would come up for SEO, so we went with Nuxt with SSR. This essentially renders the initial page on the server, then loads the site into SPA mode. If you want to see what it looks like – https://yabhq.com

    We ended up going with Heroku for the hosting because they support an easy build process for SSR. I would love Netlify to add SSR to their offering, as Prerendering is the closest thing they currently offer.

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  14. Ryan Hellyer

    I’m just glad to see that the term JAMstack is now a thing. I used to shudder whenever I heard the word “serverless” to describe the same thing, since there’s obviously a server serving the darn thing from somewhere.

    JAMstack is definitely going to be a bigger thing going forward.

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  15. Stephen

    Is there any thorough, objective comparison between a JAMstack implementation and WordPress on a server configured with pre-caching and using a CDN?

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    • Ryan Hellyer

      Most of the metrics people usually use to measure these things would give the same values (simple load testing of known pages etc.) between a JAMstack and a regular WordPress install with a CDN cache shoved in front. The benefits in JAMstack are related to simplification of the infrastructure, which leads to benefits which aren’t so easy to quantify IMHO.

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