In general, the use of MakeStaticSite is in two steps:

  1. Set up a configuration file ( script)
  2. Run the main program ( script).

We start with the setup script.

Once the MakeStaticSite bundle been extracted, at the command line enter the makestaticsite folder and run


For a quick taste of what the software can do, you can run the setup with just a couple of options to create an offline archive of a chosen website. Just supply the -u flag and then the URL (web address):

./ -u

This proceeds to set up and then run MakeStaticSite using default options, so it completes both steps described above. This may well be sufficient for creating a snapshot of a site that is simple in structure.

However, for more complex sites and/or production deployment, some customisation is required, for which there are many options. We’ll start by giving an overview.


The general setup process consists of a series of questions to configure options for each phase of the site capture and generation process. Each question will specify which field you are setting, a description, together with a sample answer.

On running the script, you will initially be asked to choose the run level. This determines the extent to which you can customise the options for your site. Currently there are three levels:

0 — Minimal setup, suitable for sampling or archival. Currently, this only requires a URL to be entered, will all other options being generated automatically.
1 — standard customisation options, including basic deployment.
2 — full customisation for fine-tuning options, including Wget parameters.

The first option enables a quick impression of what MakeStaticSite offers. It is strongly recommended when using the tool for the first time (and for the URL choose a small site). Afterwards, it should be easier to explore successively greater customisation in levels 1 and 2. The exact sequence of questioning will depend on earlier responses. Refer to the Help section for details of the configuration fields.

Answers are generally one of the following types:

  • yes/no – it suffices to enter y or n
  • one or command line options, which generally start with a hyphen (-)
  • a file name, folder name or URL
  • other strings, such as usernames and port numbers

Note that if you are using at least version 4 of Bash, the sample answer will be offered as the default input, otherwise it will be embedded in the question text. To submit an answer, press [Enter].

Next steps

For a detailed step-by-step walkthrough explore the series of examples.

Once you have set up a configuration file, you can proceed to run to build the site.

This page was published on 30 October 2022 and last updated on 18 April 2024.