A couple weeks ago, I completed a couple web maintenance projects I’ve been meaning to tackle.


I (finally) secured many of my DoOO websites using this guide from Reclaim Hosting (thanks Tim!). Now keeganslw.com, GOBLIN, eXperiencePlay, etc. will automatically serve encrypted https:// links instead of http://. I’m really EXCITED about completing this project as Google uses https:// in site rankings and Chrome often shows http:// sites as “insecure.” (Goodness, the ways in which Google rules the web has no end. :P) Anyways, I feel better about accessing my websites now.

WordPress to Static HTML Archiving

I downloaded an old WordPress website I only briefly used years ago (tlc.keeganslw.net) with the SiteSucker app. Using SiteSucker yielded HTML, CSS, JS, and asset files from my php-based WordPress website. More importantly, I was able to decrease the size of my site from ~65MB to 4.5MB! That feels awesome because 60MB has been reclaimed on my web server!

A Bit Of Troubleshooting

No index.html File At Root

I did run into a few problems during this process. First, when I used SiteSucker to only download files “2 levels deep,” it didn’t include an index.html file at the root folder of the website. Instead the proper index.html file was located one folder deep. This meant that when I visited tlc.keeganslw.net, it would load a page like so:

tlc.keeganslw.com website without index html file just shows domain directory.

Rather than spending a bunch of time rewriting portions of the code in the proper index.html file I just created a new index.html file at the root folder using code from this website to redirect visitors to the right index.html file. Preview that code here:

<html lang="en-US">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url=http://example.com/replace-me">
    <script type="text/javascript">
      window.location.href = "http://example.com/replace-me"
    <title>Page Redirection</title>
    <!-- Note: don't tell people to `click` the link, just tell them that it is a link. -->
    If you are not redirected automatically, follow this <a href='http://example.com/replace-me'>link</a>.

Therefore, currently if you navigate to tlc.keeganslw.net, you will be redirected to tlc.keeganslw.net/teaching-learning-conference where the proper index.html file will be accessed and the website should display properly.

File Permissions On Server

The second problem I had was needing to go through the website files on the web server and change the access permissions of each. This problem occurred when I uploaded the website, every file defaulted to access permission values of 600 (meaning each file was not readable by any visitor). After I modified the permissions to 644, the website became accessible to the world. This process wasn’t a huge deal, it just took a few minutes of time.

Showing the file manager of OU Create - how to set the permissions to 644.

Deleting Comments & Footer Sections

Like the Mobile Blogging & Scholarship website, there was some information in the footer (contact info) that I wanted to remove for the archived copy of tlc.keeganslw.net. So, because I deleted the installation of WordPress at tlc.keeganslw.net after I used the Sitesucker app, I had to open the index.html file in Atom, search for this contact info, and delete the code located in file. After modification, I’m happy with the state of this archived website:

Screenshot of the tlc.keeganslw.net website.Wrap Up

I recognize that this post only covers a very small example of using SiteSucker to convert a WordPress website to static HTML. So, if you’re hungry for more, here are some larger WordPress archiving projects folks have pursued and written about:

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this. Happy archiving! 😀

The featured image is provided CC0 by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash.


  1. Way to put your domains on a diet but also aiming towards longer term survival. As always there are small things to fix.

    That’s curious about site sucker placing the map n index.html I wonder if this site had a static page as the home page setting in WP? That might explain it.

    Or voodoo.

    1. Yes, the original WordPress website did have the “static page as home page” setting enabled before the site-sucking. Easy fix going forward if that’s the cause. Although voodoo sounds like a better explanation.

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