Hosting Tips Tech

Does Serverless WordPress Make Sense? Shifter vs HardyPress

static WordPress
Desk of contents:
 What’s serverless WordPress?  | Why would I’m going static WordPress? |  Who wants static WordPress internet hosting?  | Who ought to keep away from serverless WordPress? |  How serverless WordPress works  | Prime static WordPress internet hosting corporations in contrast |  What concerning the efficiency?  | What if I need to go DIY? |  Last verdict 

What’s serverless WordPress?

The phrase “serverless” is probably not probably the most lucky since you continue to do want a server to make your website work. “Static WordPress” is rather more on level.

So the essential concept of serverless / headless / WordPress to static is that this:

As an alternative of producing each web page on the fly every time a customer needs to see it, you possibly can convert your entire WordPress website to static HTML simply as soon as, after which serve that to everybody a number of occasions.

One thing like this:

static WordPress

static WordPress

What this implies is that headless WordPress is a course of involving two important steps:

  1. Convert your website to static (HTML, JS, CSS).
  2. Serve it to individuals as an alternative of the common website.

Now the cool factor is that you could nonetheless work together with your “seed” WordPress website fairly usually. You get so as to add plugins, themes, work within the wp-admin, change stuff, write posts, and so on. The one distinction is that if you’re carried out with all that, you must convert the location to static and deploy it to the server.

There are some execs and cons to the entire strategy:

Why would I’m going WordPress to static?

👍 There are 4 causes headless WordPress is sensible:

  • Safety. Static is additional protected. I might even danger saying that it couldn’t be extra protected. No WordPress safety plugin, no safety guideline (complicated password a lot?) can provide the similar degree of safety as does headless WordPress. Principally, because it’s all static, there’s nothing to interrupt into … aside from the precise machine on which the information are sitting.
  • Velocity. Static information load quicker than dynamic information. PHP directions and database calls merely take time to execute. Since there’s no such step, static masses quicker.
  • Value (often). Static must be cheaper to host, particularly should you’re coping with excessive visitors. In any case, there’s much less server time required to course of the requests. I’m saying that it “should” be cheaper as a result of, in apply, this isn’t all the time the case.
  • Peace of thoughts. This can be a mixture of all the above, however the concept is that you simply don’t have to fret about any updates, hackers, upkeep, scripts breaking, dangerous plugins, and so forth. Static websites merely don’t shouldn’t break.


👎 There are some fairly vital downsides as properly, and particularly when you’re used to that “WordPress life”:

  • Fixed reconverting. You must reconvert and deploy your website every time you modify something on it.
  • Feedback don’t work. Okay, I’m being harsh. What I truly imply is that the native WordPress feedback gained’t work on serverless WordPress, plus no remark plugins will work both, since all of them require PHP. Your solely answer is to modify to Disqus or use social feedback (these work off outdoors sources).
  • Contact types don’t work. Similar factor as with feedback. If you need contact varieties, you’d have to embed from Typeform, Google Types, Zendesk, and so forth.
  • WooCommerce doesn’t work. Once more, WooCommerce is a dynamic PHP plugin. Subsequently, it gained’t work. Various? Change to Shopify after which combine it together with your WordPress website.
  • Boards don’t work. Overlook about bbPress. Zendesk supplies some options.
  • Membership modules don’t work. Should you’re utilizing BuddyPress or WPMember or something like that, once more, these gained’t work. You’ll want to modify to third-party.
  • Website search doesn’t work (!) – yep, your good ol’ WordPress website search gained’t work. You’ll be able to add a Google Search module instead. Although, in fact, not good.

Generally, should you use a plugin that does any type of dynamic factor based mostly on the customer’s enter, it gained’t work on serverless WordPress.

Fairly vital downsides, that’s for positive. Plus, these serverless WordPress setups are usually troublesome to handle if you wish to go the additional budget-minded route (learn: you need to pay only for the server area and never signal as much as an out-the-box serverless WordPress answer, which we’ll examine a few under).

In such a DIY state of affairs (we even have some DIY serverless choices for you on the backside of the publish), you will see that your self working with the command line and speaking with the server instantly. In fact, this won’t scare you in any respect, however for many individuals, this can be a no-go space.

So, earlier than we listing a number of the viable headless WordPress internet hosting options out there, let’s first reply the primary query:

Who wants static WordPress anyway?

So regardless of some great benefits of the serverless WordPress setup – the velocity, safety, and so on. – isn’t the entire level of WordPress that the location stays dynamic with the modifications happening in actual time?

It’s onerous to argue with that, however there are nonetheless some viable use instances the place WordPress to static may be, dare I say, higher.

a) Freelancers and businesses

That is in all probability probably the most intuitive state of affairs the place static WordPress makes numerous sense.

As a WordPress freelancer, you could encounter shoppers that aren’t very keen on updating their websites in any respect (and even publishing content material) after you hand them the keys to their new website. Perhaps they want a easy business-card web site, or can’t be bothered to do something with it because of lack of time or personnel.

On the similar time, you don’t need to depart something to probability and danger the location getting damaged into when there’s a brand new vulnerability found or one thing.

In a state of affairs like that, changing the location to serverless WordPress simply is sensible:

  • the location stays on-line,
  • it may be accessed by everybody,
  • it’s cheaper to run and uber-fast,
  • the shopper doesn’t even discover nor care that the factor is static.

You get all of static’s advantages with not one of the downsides.

In such a case, you principally deal with WordPress as your “site builder” and never the engine operating the location.

b) Websites that don’t get up to date lots

Usually talking, having your WordPress in an always-on state – the place everybody can log in at any time and do no matter – isn’t good.

In the event you’re already updating the location very occasionally then why not lock it down utterly when nothing is occurring. Once more, this can be a a lot safer and less expensive solution to host your website.

Talking of safety:

c) Websites the place safety is of the very best significance

There are instances the place you simply can’t afford in your website to be damaged into and messed with.

And this isn’t even about authorities websites and so forth (I’m positive these reside by their very own requirements).

However, for instance, even your native faculty wouldn’t need their web site to be hacked into and populated with content material that’s inappropriate or obscene. Although conditions like that may be defined afterwards, the dangerous impression stays.

d) Websites with complicated designs

Within the age of the web page builder, it’s not unusual to deal with the majority of a website’s design within the builder itself. As in, you get only a easy framework theme after which construct all the things else together with your favourite web page builder, plus add some cool plugins to the combination to make the location look extra-great.

The one drawback with that’s that such a website finally ends up being a bit heavy, which can be mirrored in its efficiency.

Going WordPress to static is a fast repair that also lets it look nice, and in addition carry out nice on the similar time.

e) Websites which have run their course

Sure forms of web sites have restricted shelf lives. This is perhaps a website for an occasion, gov-founded undertaking, an archive, and so forth.

A few of these websites might have to stay lively for authorized causes or simply to point out individuals what had occurred. Maintaining these websites as reside WordPress installs solely creates issues. It’s a must to keep them, come again and replace the scripts, and so on. It’s subsequently lots easier to go WordPress to static and be accomplished with it for good.

f) Demo websites

For instance, when you’re a WordPress themes developer and need to showcase demos of your themes, why not do this on static websites slightly than run some elaborate WordPress setups?

A bonus is that you simply additionally don’t have to fret that issues will break after a rogue WordPress replace.

Who ought to keep away from static / headless WordPress internet hosting?

This principally all comes down to at least one issue:

If you end up logging into wp-admin day-after-day, keep away from serverless WordPress!

It might simply be an excessive amount of work each day to need to cope with changing your website from WordPress to static again and again. Particularly since changing a normal-sized weblog can take something from 20-60 minutes.

In different phrases, for those who’re a blogger, you possibly can overlook about headless WordPress internet hosting.

How serverless WordPress works

There are two paths to serverless WordPress:

  • path (a) is just about signing up with a headless WordPress internet hosting firm and letting them do all of the heavy lifting, whereas you should use a WordPress dashboard fairly usually
  • path (b) is the DIY strategy; this time it’s you who takes a working WordPress website, converts it to static after which uploads it someplace from the place it may be served to guests

Let’s concentrate on path (a) right here because it’s extra approachable for everybody. We’ll have some suggestions on the DIY strategy on the finish of this submit.

Basically, all static WordPress options on the market are comparable from a consumer’s perspective.

Your expertise begins if you enroll with a headless WordPress internet hosting platform and decide your plan, the standard.

After that, you get to create new WordPress websites with a single click on – a number of ones as properly.

These websites are absolutely useful and can be utilized like another WordPress web site. You possibly can log in, set up themes, plugins, configure something, do customized code modifications, the lot.

The one distinction is that the location just isn’t seen to the general public. For all it’s value, it’s your personal private staging surroundings.

Once you’re completed making your tweaks, you’ll be able to roll all of it out to the general public with a few clicks. The conversion course of may take some time relying on how huge the location is (20-60 minutes, even).

The entire course of could be very approachable and simplified to the max. Principally, no server administration expertise are required.

That being stated, there are some variations between the highest serverless WordPress options on the market.

Prime static WordPress internet hosting corporations in contrast: Shifter vs HardyPress

Right here’s a simplified comparability desk:

Shifter vs HardyPress

Shifter HardyPress Worth $zero – 1 website
$20 – three websites
$40 – 10 websites
$90 – 30 websites
$150 – 50 websites $5 – 1 website
$20 – limitless websites
from $350 – customized for enterprise Free trial Y – bank card required Y – no bank card required CDN Y Y HTTPS Y Y Backups Y Y Built-in website search and get in touch with types N Y

Right here’s the in-depth comparability. The gamers we’re wanting into listed here are: Shifter vs HardyPress:

Shifter (