WordPress as a static website generator?

WordPress is a great blogging platform. It’s easy to create content and has a good ecosystem of plugins and themes to extend your website. But it has a few problems that have kept me from using it for personal projects:

  • security – WordPress security has improved a good deal over the past few years but there are still core security issues being exploited yearly. With auto-updates, the risk is minimized but it’s still there. Plugins exist to better secure WordPress, but core issues can never be completely protected via plugins. WordPress installations can’t be neglected for this reason.
  • performance – WordPress out of the box isn’t very fast and chews up memory. Again, there are pluginsĀ of various quality with cumbersome installation steps that may mitigate these issues. There are server side caching solutions as well, but for a personal website why bother?

When it comes down to it, most personal blogs are just serving HTML content with little need for the dynamic abilities that PHP gives to WordPress.

What about WordPress.com? The cost is certainly reasonable, but the arbitrary limitations on what can be customized and enabled just doesn’t seem right.

But what if we think about WordPress as a static website generator? When WordPress is first installed, the only dynamic functionality that is enabled besides the admin dashboard is commenting and search (and XML-RPC and REST…). If you don’t need that functionality or can find alternative services, using WordPress as a static website generator is relatively straightforward.

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