MakeStaticSite provides a range of functionality to manage the creation and deployment of static versions of a number of websites, all in one area. It does so in a way that enables you to continue your existing website construction and authoring methods.

  • A straightforward command line interface
  • A setup script that guides users through the creation of a configuration file through a simple interactive dialogue; manual editing is not required. Choose from three run levels to determine the amount of customisation – from minimal to advanced.
  • The target website can be hosted on one domain, whilst including assets such as JavaScript, CSS and images from other domains and subdomains.
  • If the website is a directory, then assets on the same domain, but outside the directory, can similarly be properly incorporated, thereby aiding portability.
  • Multiple sites can be managed, each with custom settings defined in their own configuration file (and multiple config files can also be used for any given site).
  • Suitable for batch processes, allowing operations to be scaled up so that any or all of the sites are updated in one process.
  • Support for HTTP basic authentication and CMS web form logins, with credentials management. This paves the way for converting your existing site whilst maintaining the WordPress installation in situ.
  • Support for sites archived by the Wayback Machine.
  • Runtime options, such as verbosity, to configure the level of output; and whether to archive each build
  • Option of providing a downloadable copy of the entire site as a zip file which can be used offline, e.g., off a memory stick, making your site portable.
  • Local and remote (server) deployment options, including rsync over ssh and Netlify.
  • For WordPress installations, WP-CLI is used to prepare the site for mirroring plus a drop-in search replacement (WP Offline Search plugin) that works offline.
  • Snippets – an experimental facility to tweak any page and provide offline variants using chunks of HTML.
  • Support for custom attributes using post-processing – by creating a list of URLs unaccounted for and then re-running Wget on them
  • W3C standards compliance. Whilst this really depends on the source, pages may be cleaned up by HTML Tidy. The system also generates a sitemap XML and robots.txt file to match the outputted files.

Of course, the more we see its capabilities, the more we see its limitations

This page was published on 31 October 2022 and last updated on 18 October 2023.