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Should WordPress be Used to Create Static Websites?

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A member asks if WordPress is an appropriate tool for a purely static website. If the website has no “dynamic” elements and consists of only static webpages, should WordPress and Thesis be used to create such a site?

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Video Transcript

Does that make sense?

Yes, that’s fine. What about… how do I handle the… yeah, what I would like to see… what I’m happy with is the static pages.

The what? I’m sorry?

The pages that I call static pages.

Yes?

Yeah… that I’ve been very happy… I know how to create them ‘coz I’m familiar with creating the static sites. So my objective is to create as much as possible at the site, is a normal, traditional static site to get away from all of the problems inherent in debugging code in a dynamic environment.

Well you know, most… well, anything you do in WordPress… it’s only going to appear static even if you just do pages. It’s just… it’s not actually static because WordPress can’t really do actual static. You would have to you know, a page in WordPress is in fact a, nevertheless, a dynamic element that’s assembled from parts that are you know, accessed from the database. And since those parts are accessed from the database, they aren’t actually static even we talk about pages as being static and posts as being dynamic.

Actually, in WordPress, everything is dynamic. So any kind of debugging problems that you have with WordPress are gonna persist in you know, what appears to be a static site but is built on the WordPress platform. You know, I’m not… because the site that you’re describing is relatively simple, it doesn’t seem to be like you really have much opportunity for debugging issues because WordPress you know, works just fine with relatively simple stuff. You really only end up with debugging issues when you start adding plugins and you know, have plugin conflicts and that kind of stuff. But… and then the only debugging issues you really end up with are CSS and you know, CSS debugging issues… that’s my dog being happy to be done here in the sunshine too… CSS debugging issues are gonna be the same whether you’ve got posts or pages or anything in WordPress and in Thesis.

So you know, I mean I personally feel like that there’s not a lot of benefit to creating a real static site. If I’m asked to create a real static site, I’ll still create in WordPress, it’s still a dynamic site just because in my standpoint, it’s easier to you know, assemble all that stuff as WordPress pages than it is to you know, rev up my HTML editor and create pages that are static in the traditional sense. So and if you really don’t want any dynamic elements to it all then that’s really what you have it’s that you… I mean, that’s the benefit of using WordPress is that your client doesn’t need to have a code editor. He doesn’t need to understand that you have to put their stuff in HTML tags. He doesn’t need to know how to you know, upload their page, their website or how to add their page to a navigation bar or you know, add their footer to their page or any other kinds of things that you have to do when you create a static page that you don’t have to do in WordPress.

You know, plus there’s a relatively friendly text editor there for them to add new news items and new events. So from a client’s standpoint, I wouldn’t give them a static site. I would give them a WordPress site that gave them the opportunity to add content to their site through the relatively friendly interface and have all of the mechanics handled in the background by WordPress. So how is that different from what you want to accomplish?

That’s fine, Rick. Supposing you had a client who didn’t want the facility to do any modification themselves ever so another words, a normal, traditional static site is all that is needed. Are you saying that you would still make a website in WordPress?

It would probably be faster for me to create it in WordPress. If it was 3-5 pages for example, it would probably be faster for me to create it in WordPress than it would be for me to essentially relearn how to do that in the latest version of Expression Web for example, which is the system that I use for creating my older static sites. Rickandersonaia.com is a static site built on you know, standard HTML but I used Expression Web. Back then, I think it was like version 1 or something like that… version 1 or version 2. And so I need to relearn some you know, software in order to create a 3 or 4 page HTML site.

And while I was doing it, I really wanted to have… not have to redo headers and footers you know, on each page. So I’d spent some time trying to figure how to make sure that the headers and footers are all properly called you know, on each page. By the time I was done with that, I would have been a lot faster just doing it in WordPress. So the answer is I would just do it in WordPress and if they didn’t have PHP and MySQL running on their server and so if WordPress wasn’t a possibility for them, I’d probably refer them to a different client personally. Just because you know, to a man on the hammer every problem looks like a nail right? And then so the hammer is the tool I have and so that’s the tool I would use even in a single page site, probably.

That’s fine, Rick. Thank you very much. That’s fine.

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