Support » Plugins » Simply Static: make/distribute copies for local hard drives?

  • dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)


    I run a WordPress website/blog that was created for a 50-year high school reunion, and has a couple of hundred readers, mostly retired seniors. The website at this point is all but static. The site is hosted under Linux at Godaddy. I’m in excellent health as far as I know, but, you know… most of the recent changes to the site have been changes in contact information… and obituaries 🙁

    I’d like to leave the current website basically untouched, but create a static version that could be packaged up as a zip file that class members could download, expand on their own computers, and view via a file URL on their local disk.

    As far as I know, I’m not doing anything active except for a spam plugin on the comments, and a password plugin to provide a very thin barrier to Google scarfing up classmate bios.

    Before I get too deeply into things, is Simply Static a good tool for this job? I don’t want to replace the existing site in-place, for several reasons–one being that I’m not 100% confident about my ability to backup and restore the old site if anything goes wrong with the conversion to static. (Yes, I know, but better to be honest about it).

    • This topic was modified 3 years ago by dpbsmith.
    • This topic was modified 3 years ago by dpbsmith.
Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Hi dpbsmith,

    I think Simply Static would be a great tool for what you’re trying to do. It has the option to create a static version that can be viewed on their own computers, and you can download it as a zip.

    The nice part about Simply Static is that you can try it out without having to commit to it. If you like the static version of your site that it generates, you can use it, and if not, you don’t have to use it. Simply Static doesn’t alter or replace anything on your WordPress installation.

    One word of caution, the password plugin will probably give Simply Static a bit of trouble, so you might want to disable that before generating a static site using Simply Static. Also, comments won’t work on the static site that you generate.

    I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Best,
    Scott

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    Yes, that’s exactly what I needed to know, thank you.

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    Unfortunately, when I tried to activate it, I got this error:
    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/content/d/p/b/dpbsmithcom/html/shs/wp-content/plugins/simply-static/includes/libraries/PhpSimple/HtmlDomParser.php on line 3

    That doesn’t suggest a conflict with other plugins. I tried deactivating “Password Protected” but got the same error. The site is not fully up-to-date but is not terribly far out-of-date, either.

    Wait, I guess I lied: I’m only at WordPress 4.2.10

    Other plugins:
    Akismet
    Version 3.2 | By Automattic | View details

    Grunion Contact Form
    Version 2.3 | By Automattic, Inc. | View details

    Jetpack by WordPress.com
    Version 3.1.1 | By Automattic | View details

    Password Protected
    Version 2.0 | By Ben Huson | View details | GitHub | Translate
    There is a new version of Password Protected available. View version 2.0.3 details or update now.

    Robots meta
    This plugin allows you to add all the appropriate robots meta tags to your pages and feeds, disable unused archives and nofollow unnecessary links.
    Version 3.3.1 | By Joost de Valk | View details

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    I just updated, apparently successfully, to WordPress 4.6.1 but I’m still getting the same error, “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/content/d/p/b/dpbsmithcom/html/shs/wp-content/plugins/simply-static/includes/libraries/PhpSimple/HtmlDomParser.php on line 3”

    when I try to activate Simply Static.

    Hi dpbsmith,

    It sounds like you’re likely using a version of PHP prior to 5.3. Would you be able to update your server to use PHP 5.3+?

    Best,
    Scott

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    I’ll look into it. Probably yes. Scary. I won’t do it right away, I’m too relieved that a) installing UpdraftPlus to do a no-brainer backup seemed to work, and b) updating four hops from WordPress 4.2.x to 4.6.x didn’t break anything.

    Apparently (yes, one more plugin) I’m running PHP version: 5.2.17. GoDaddy will let me update from “5.2” to “5.3

    Let me ask: in your opinion, how risky is the transition from 5.2 to 5.3? (Because I have no idea whether GoDaddy will let me go back!)

    In my opinion I’d say it’s minimally risky. There wasn’t much in the way of backwards-incompatible changes from 5.2 to 5.3.

    Best,
    Scott

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    OK, folks. Here goes nothing. (Deep breath).

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    Updated to PHP 5.3, apparently without problems. Simply Static activates, runs, and creates a downloadable ZIP file without generating error messages. I’m not currently having much luck “browsing” the results of expanding that ZIP file on my local drive, but I need to learn a few things about Simply Static and for the time being I’m done playing with it and don’t want to ask questions yet until I have my head on straight and am prepared to ask high-quality questions.

    Thank you!

    dpbsmith

    (@dpbsmith)

    General settings: “Save for offline use.”
    Advanced settings are all as defaulted.

    I download as a .zip file, Safari automatically unzips the file into the standard “downloads” directory, and I attempt to view the site by opening …/simply-static-1-1481043768-dpbsmith/index.html in a web browser, either Apple Safari or Firefox for the Mac.

    The problem is that internal links are being rendered like this:

    file:///wp-content/uploads/2011/12/bandy-4.jpg

    file:///?cat=5

    and neither Safari nor Firefox for the Mac appears to know what base address to use.

    This is obviously some kind of generic problem with “website-on-a-hard-drive” since Simply Static doesn’t know what directory I’m going to put it in… but I don’t know how to solve it.

    Should I continue this here, or via email with scott@codeofconduct.co ?

    Hi dpbsmith,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ll have to give this a try on a Mac. Maybe there’s something I hadn’t considered there when generating the file paths.

    I’ve got a note to take a look into this further.

    Best,
    Scott

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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