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Deploy a static WordPress site

​​ Before you start

All of the tutorials assume you have already completed the Get started guide, which gets you set up with a Cloudflare Workers account, and the Workers CLI tool, Wrangler.

​​ Overview

In this tutorial, you will migrate a WordPress site to Cloudflare Workers, making use of Workers Sites. Serving a static version of your WordPress site has many advantages over directly exposing your WordPress site. While WordPress is extremely powerful and easy to use, the consistent discovery of new vulnerabilities make it a target for hackers to attack. Because WordPress is built on PHP, each incoming request to your site regenerates a new response on the server – for most websites this is not necessary and leads to scaling issues when your site receives a lot of traffic.

You will use the free WordPress plugin WP2Static, which generates a completely static (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) version of your WordPress site. Using Wrangler, you will publish the site to Cloudflare Workers. The Workers Sites functionality built into Wrangler includes support for serving and caching your site directly in Cloudflare’s CDN, enabling users to view your site quickly and securely.

​​ Prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that you are:

  • The Administrator account on your WordPress site.
  • Able to install WordPress plugins on the site.

​​ Setup

To start, install the WP2Static plugin to export your WordPress site to a ZIP file. In your WordPress admin, go to the Add Plugins page, by default at /wp-admin/plugin-install.php. In the search bar, search for WP2Static and confirm that the resulting plugin that you will be installing matches the plugin below.

Installing the WP2Static plugin on the WordPress dashboard

Select Install on the plugin. After it has finished installing, select Activate.

​​ Export your WordPress site

When your application refreshes, you should see a new section in your sidebar called WP2Static. Go to that section to begin your first static WordPress export.

From the Where will you host… dropdown on the page, select ZIP archive (.zip). WP2Static supports a number of different export types, including manual and automated exports. To make deployment easier, select Allow offline usage – this will make all the URLs in your WordPress export relative: /logo.png versus It will also reduce the number of asset errors that could occur depending on your theme and WordPress setup.

To do your first export, select Start static site export (this operation may take a while), and when it completes, save the ZIP file somewhere you can easily find later.

Exporting your WordPress site by selecting Start static site export in the WordPress dashboard

​​ Creating the Workers project

With an export ready of your site, it is time to deploy. To do this, use Wrangler, the command-line tool for Cloudflare Workers. If you have not yet installed and configured Wrangler, refer to the Get started guide.

Once Wrangler is installed and configured, create a new project for deploying your static WordPress site to Workers. To create a new project, run:

Create a new project
$ git clone wp-static

​​ Port the WordPress site

The newly generated wp-static directory will contain three components:

  1. A public directory, representing the site you want to deploy to Workers. This will be the location of your WordPress site.
  2. A workers-site directory, which contains the Workers script that will serve your website content. In this tutorial, you will not change anything in this folder.
  3. A wrangler.toml file, which contains the configuration details for your wp-static directory. You will populate this file with some information before the project is deployed.

When deploying a website using Workers Sites, your static code – your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – will be uploaded to Workers KV. The location of these files is by default the public folder mentioned above.

Open the ZIP file downloaded from your WordPress static export, and extract the contents of the ZIP into the public folder:

Copy files into the public directory
$ cp -R ~/Downloads/wp-static-html-output-<some-tag>/ ./public

Your directory structure should look something like this:

Listing the files in wp-static
$ tree wp-static
├── public
│ ├── 2018
│ ├── 2019
│ ├── 404.html
│ └── # More exported WordPress files
├── workers-site
│ ├── index.js
│ ├── node_modules
│ └── # More Workers script files
└── wrangler.toml

​​ Deploying

To preview and deploy your application, fill in the necessary fields in your wrangler.toml file — the configuration file for this project. Fill in the account_id field in wrangler.toml with your Cloudflare account ID.

Using Wrangler’s preview feature, you can quickly upload a version of your site to the Cloudflare Workers preview service and review that the static export looks as expected. Running wrangler dev will upload your static site and preview it in a browser window.

When your site looks correct in Wrangler’s preview, publish your project to a domain. For a guide on how to do this, refer to Get started.

​​ Limitations

There are some features available in WordPress sites that will not be supported in a static site environment:

  • WordPress Forms
  • WordPress Comments
  • Any links to /wp-admin or similar internal WordPress routes

​​ Conclusion

Deploying your WordPress site to Workers has benefits for your site’s performance, security, and cost. With a static version of your site being served, you can do a number of things with your live WordPress installation:

  • Move your WordPress install to a private URL or subdomain, and serve the static version of your site by deploying the Workers application to your domain. Refer to Deploying to a Domain to learn more.
  • Run your WordPress instance locally, or put your now-hidden WordPress instance behind Cloudflare Access to only give access to your contributors. This has a significant effect on the number of attack vectors for your WordPress site and its content.
  • Downgrade your WordPress hosting plan to a cheaper plan. Because the memory and bandwidth requirements for your WordPress instance are now smaller, you can often host it on a cheaper plan, or moving to shared hosting. Your Cloudflare Workers plan is priced per-request and because you can host up to thirty sites on your account, serving a high number of static WordPress sites can be an order of magnitude cheaper on Workers.

Connect with the Workers community on Discord to ask questions, show off what you are building, and discuss the platform with other developers.