grrr.tech. If you’re using Simpler Static and want S3 deployments today, you can use the AWS CLI tools to do an
aws s3 sync (which is how I deploy most of my Hugo-powered websites).
This leads nicely into talking about one of the projects I’ve been most excited about.
OK, so this is the coolest thing for me this year. It’s a project which isn’t well known yet, but a few users have discovered it and are enjoying it. I’m putting some final touches on the next release and then really need to muster up the confidence to share some videos about it. Lokl not only works great in its own role as a local WordPress development environment, but it comes bundled with WP2Static, Static HTML Output, Simpler Static and a bunch of other useful tools for static site generation and local WordPress development.
It serves an additional purpose, as a quick testing and increasingly a development environment for me, which all the plugins benefit from. The latest release will offer both PHP 7 and 8 environments, helping to test your sites for PHP 8 readiness and for those already up to date, they should see great performance improvements for their local dev and static site exports.
It already includes things like the ability to quickly launch 100’s of WordPress sites on mac, Win and Linux (good news this week, that the new ARM-powered macs should now work, too!), easy wizard for things like checking server logs or SSH’ing into the website’s local server and taking backups. There’s currently PHPMyAdmin baked-in, too, with plans to add a nice browser-based editor.
Lokl serendipitously came about one day when I had a thought to try out a technical approach to a problem I’d pondered for years - how to get the simplest “WordPress in a box” that would work across all popular desktop operating systems. It’s the perfect environment to run local WP sites, with the intent to publish them statically, providing everything needed with the least amount of friction. I was never happy with other options, like MAMP, XAMPP, Local by FlyWheel, DevilBox, etc. All had some cool features, but all led to frustration for me, so I could never recommend them wholeheartedly to my plugins’ users.
I’ll rave more about this when I publish a video walkthrough of it.
Again, a big thanks to all users, bug reporters, donors, license holders and all the open source developers, whose code is the foundation of all of my projects.
WP2Static has been around in some form for over 10 years. Without corporate/shareholder pressures to be first to market at expense of quality, I’m confident now in the slow and steady progress things are making. I’m also not deaf to the many user requests and huge backlog of GitHub Issues we’ve got. Suprisingly, there aren’t many competing projects in the same space, besides SaaS based options, like Strattic, Shifter, etc, all doing great things. I’d love to see more competing options. Though, probably not greatly commercial viable, as long as mine remain free and open source, I still believe this is the best way to deal with WordPress’ security and performance problems. All of my projects use The Unlicense, meaning you can use any parts of it in your own free or commercial forks - I’d be happy to help you spitball ideas, too!
Of note, I’m in discussion to join the upcoming StaticWeb.io team in some capacity, which is a new entrant to the group of SaaS solutions to static WordPress. Their lead developer, John Shaffer, used WP2Static behind the scenes, whilst contributing some great improvements to it back to the community. John’s architected a brilliant solution for a really easy way to spin up WP dev sites and publish to S3/CloudFront (without restrictions to deploy anywhere else you want). The SaaS offerings are great when you can’t just run Lokl on your own machine (say, you need to collaborate on the dev sites with large teams or change machines a lot). Being broke asides from donor support, I’m also applying to some fulltime dev gigs in Australia at the moment, but working on something like StaticWeb would be more beneficial to WP2Static and friends, where I’d have a large feedback pool of users/sites to improve the plugins against.
That’s it for now, stay tuned for more project updates in coming weeks (but keep in mind my complete inability to predict deadlines!).
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