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Serve Static – Automatic WordPress Static Page generator

Serve Static – Automatic WordPress Static Page generator

Description

Serve Static provides a very efficient, simple and fast way of implementing static page caching in WordPress.
It will generate static HTML copies of your webpages which will be then served using your server rewrite rules. This feature will bypass the whole PHP process and render only a simple HTML file without having to interect with the PHP, or MySQL for getting your page’s design or content.

This plugin is really handy and helpful if your webpages are mainly static, like websites of Blogs, portfolios, company portfolios, service, and many more. This plugin doesn’t support any dynamic content caching, that means, all none of your dynamic content will be showing in the frontend, rather, a static version of that content will be showing.

This plugin also comes with home-made HTML, CSS and JS minification features, which you can use to auto-minify the static files. This ensures more lightness of the HTML pages, and more boost to your page speed. Also, you can auto-warm the cache using the Warm feature, which will stimulate a visit on all your pages, to create the static files before they are served to your visitors.

Usage

After activating the plugin, it will try to modify your .htaccess file. If this is not possible for some reason, make sure to enter the rules by yourself. NOTE: without these .htaccess rules, the static files won’t be served or created. Note that, this is only applicable if you are using a Apache/Litespeed server.

# BEGIN Serve Static Cache
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_COOKIE} !(^|;\s*)wordpress_logged_in_.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/(elementor|vc_row|fl_builder|fl-theme-builder) [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/wp-admin/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} GET
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/wp-content/serve-static-cache/$1/index.html -f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /wp-content/serve-static-cache/$1/index.html [L]
# END Serve Static Cache

If you the website installed on a sub-folder, like such that “https://test.com/domain1”, is your main domain of your WordPress site, you need to use a different .htaccess code. The plugin will automatically do that for you, but incase you need to do it manually, below is the format you need to follow.

# BEGIN Serve Static Cache
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_COOKIE} !(^|;\s*)wordpress_logged_in_.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/(elementor|vc_row|fl_builder|fl-theme-builder) [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/wp-admin/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} GET
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^$ [NC]
RewriteCond "WP_CONTENT_DIR"/serve-static-cache/"sub-folder domain without slashes"/$1/index.html -f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /"sub-folder domain without slashes"/wp-content/serve-static-cache/"sub-folder domain without slashes"/$1/index.html [L]
# END Serve Static Cache

The value of the WP_CONTENT_DIR should be something like: “/home/test.com/public_html/staging/wp-content”
The value of the “sub-folder domain without slashes” should be your folder where WordPress is installed. So, if the WordPress is installed in “https://test.com/staging”, you should enter “staging”.

When using a nginx server, make sure to add the following rules:

# BEGIN Serve Static Cache
location / {
    if ($http_cookie !~* "wordpress_logged_in_") {
        set $cache_uri $request_uri;

        if ($request_uri ~* "^/(elementor|vc_row|fl_builder|fl-theme-builder)") {
            set $cache_uri "null cache";
        }

        if ($request_uri ~* "^/wp-admin/") {
            set $cache_uri "null cache";
        }

        if ($request_method = GET) {
            set $cache_uri "null cache";
        }

        if (-f $document_root/wp-content/serve-static-cache$cache_uri/index.html) {
            set $cache_file $document_root/wp-content/serve-static-cache$cache_uri/index.html;
        }

        if ($cache_file) {
            rewrite ^ /wp-content/serve-static-cache$cache_uri/index.html break;
        }
    }
}
# END Serve Static Cache

This plugin creates static HTML versions of your pages/posts, or literally any custom post types, and serves them to your non-logged-in visitors. This is an awesome way to make your website blazing fast, and not even one request is made to PHP to request your pages.

Anytime a Static page/post/any custom post type is updated, the cache of that specific page is automatically cleared, and regenerated. So, you do not have to worry about regenerating the cache eac time after making changes to your content.

This plugin is also well-integrated with frontend post rating plugins as well, so that when any rating is added, the cache gets regenerated automatically. If you are using any rating plugins that are not working with this plugin, kindly let me know in the support forum.

This plugin heavily relies on CRON to process it’s functionalities. So please make sure either your server-level cron or WordPress Cron is running and working. If not, this plugin will show errors in the Admin Notices to help you direct to the problem. If there are still many issues, kindly share in the plugin support thread.

By default, this plugin automatically works with Apache and Litespeed servers, and everywhere .htaccess rules is functional. But to make this plugin work with NGINX, you will be needing to add some rules to your nginx.conf or site.conf file. An appropiate admin notice will be shown to you accordingly, kindly follow those instructions.

This plugin is supposed to work with all the form builder plugins like WP Forms, Ninja Forms. If you face any issues while using any form plugin, kindly let me know in the thread, and I will try to make it compitable.

Performance

Converting your website to a static webpage can drastically improve your performance and page speed. Serve Static eliminates all requests made to your database and ultimately reducing the first time to byte, total blocking time and many more.

This is especially impactful for websites that have mainly static pages, and use long pages with a lot of graphs, sliders, and other load-heavy resources like animations.

Reduce hosting bandwidth

Using Serve Static to serve static HTML pages of your website really cuts a great cost in your bandwidth usage, as this doesn’t hit the MySQL server for your visitors, but instead serves delivers a cached, minified HTML copy. This releases much of your cost, alongside the page boost.

We are working on features like “hosting your Static pages in a third party CDN, and serving those to your visitors”. If you are interested to see this feature in soon, let me know by opening a supprt thread!

NOTE

Caching is fully disabled for Administrators, or any logged-in users. Static Cache will only be served to logged-out visitors of your site.

Note that, the Static Cache can only be regenerated by using the buttons in the admin toolbar, or in the Settings page. After the cache is Flushed, the cache is NOT regenerated when someone visits the pages. This is done so that none of the personalized content gets saved in the HTML caches.

This plugin may not work as expected with a caching plugin like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache. So make sure the URLs of the static pages are excluded from the specific plugins.
For example, when using WP Rocket, you need to navigate under Settings > WP Rocket > Advanced Rules > Never Cache URLs, and enter the URLs to the pages you want to serve as Static.
When using W3 Total Cache, navigate under Performance > Page cache > Advanced > Never cache the following pages.

Screenshots

Installation

  1. Unzip the downloaded package.
  2. Upload serve-static.zip to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  4. Optional: You may need to modify the rewrite rules.

FAQ

What does Serve Static do?

Serve Static generates static (HTML) copies of your WordPress pages. And then serves them to your visitors instead of requesting anything from PHP or MySQL for the page content. It works a bit like a web crawler, starting at the main page of your website and looking for links to all other published pages/posts/custom posts etc to create static HTML copies of. It also includes any CSS & JS files as well.

Who should use Serve Static?

Pretty much everyone who has even one Static page in their website. We beilive there isn’t any much need of requesting to PHP for static pages.

Who should not use Serve Static?

If someone bielives they have all the pages as dynamic in their website, then this plugin is not for them. This is fully made for Static webpages, and with dynamic content, it does not work in anyway. Also, a website that heavily relies on ajax to update content in real-time, isn’t a good fit with this plugin. We are brainstorming some ways we can get this convered, so feel free to share your thoughts with us in a support thread!

How do I set up Serve Static?

Simply install and activate the plugin, and configure it’s settings, and you will be having Static pages on your website served! We do not want you to think technical, so we made it the most user-friendly possible. Your suggestions are always welcomed!

Will this plugin interfere with other caching plugins?

Well, if configured correctly, it will not interfere with any caching plugins! We do have features like HTML minify, CSS and JS Minify. So do not enable those options if you have enabled these minifications from any other caching plugins. For any reports of incompitability, please post in support thread! I will try to update the plugin accordingly to ensure maximum compitability.

Serve Static creates a static copy of your website, which is just a collection of files: HTML, CSS, and JS. Any functionality that requires PHP code will not work with that static version. That includes, but is not limited to: blog post comments, contact forms, forums, membership areas, and eCommerce.

How is Serve Static different from cache plugins?

Cache plugins — such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache or WP Rocket — make your existing WordPress site faster by caching pages as they’re visited. This makes your site much faster but still makes that call to PHP or MySQL. This plugin ensures some call to PHP or MySQL is made to get the page content.

Serve Static creates a static copy of your WordPress pages that is intended to be used completely separately from your WordPress installation, PHP or MySQL.

Reviews

మే 25, 2024 1 reply
I am quite impressed with the functionality of this plugin. The performance provided is really beyond expectation. Highly recommended if you only have limited hosting specifications! It would be nice if there was a button like regenerate this post next to the “Edit, Delete, etc” menu under the post title. And sometimes it doesn’t work either when clicking “Regenerate cache for this URL”. Hopefully this plugin can grow and be useful for users.
మే 11, 2024
SolidWP featured Serve Static in their May Plugin Roundup, prompting me to give it a try. I needed a cache solution that was straightforward to set up without the hassle of complex settings. After struggling with advanced caching plugins and their myriad of settings, Serve Static offered a refreshing alternative. Not only did it match or exceed the performance of those plugins in testing, but it also simplified the process with its very simple interface. I appreciated the ability to easily exclude specific pages as needed. There are thorough setup instructions included. When I encountered an issue setting up one of my sites, the developer provided prompt and thorough support, which was greatly appreciated. Overall, Serve Static is a fantastic caching option for me. While it’s still a relatively new plugin, I’m excited to see its future developments. Thank you for providing such a valuable tool!
Read all 2 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Serve Static – Automatic WordPress Static Page generator” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Changelog

2.3

  • Fixed fatal errors for PHp 7.4.30.
  • Fixed issue with undefined varibale in migration.