Strattic, a WordPress hosting company that creates static files managed via a headless install, has acquired WP2Static, an open source plugin for generating a static WordPress site. Leon Stafford, the plugin’s creator, has been working for the company for the past nine months and will continue to maintain WP2Static.
In 2020, Stafford removed WP2Static from WordPress.org after the downsides of hosting in the directory began to outweigh the benefits for his project. He cited WordPress.org’s lack of a straightforward way to alert users to important updates, users abusing the Reviews section to file issues, the inability to disable support, and the cumbersome plugin release process.
WP2Static is a tool aimed more at DIY users who want to manage their own static site generation, but Stafford found that hosting on WordPress.org often brought the plugin to users who didn’t fully understand its function.
“It was almost too easy for people to install WP2Static/Static HTML Output when in the wp.org repository,” he said. “This lead to quite a few people installing it on their live production servers and expecting some magic performance improvement, which is not the way it’s intended to be used.”
Acquiring WP2Static allows Strattic to funnel the less technical crowd to its hosting services, as well as those who prefer a more managed experience. At the moment users get updates from the WP2Static website, or via the Composer package, or GitHub download. Strattic plans to relaunch the plugin on WordPress.org to improve its discovery, installation, and update process.
“While Leon was focusing development primarily for the open source/GitHub users of the plugin, we’d like to get this static site solution helping as many WordPress users as possible and for that, the WordPress repository makes it the easiest experience for them,” Strattic CEO Miriam Schwab said.
Schwab said prior to acquiring WP2Static, it was already generating high quality leads for Strattic, as Stafford had listed the company as an alternative to using the plugin.
“We expect this trend will continue and grow now that WP2Static is part of the Strattic family,” Schwab said. “WP2Static is an excellent option for users who want to test the waters with static WordPress in a low-commitment way, and also for users who are more ‘DIY’ and get excited about building their own infrastructure and architecture for their websites, and maintaining it on an ongoing basis.”
Strattic will be marketing the plugin as a starting point. Users who outgrow WP2Static will be encouraged to look to Strattic for more complex functionality, such as dynamic plugins, forms, search, 301 redirects, SEO plugins, multi-language, and other features not supported by the plugin. Schwab said they do not currently plan to rebrand WP2Static but are considering revising its name to “WP2Static by Strattic.”