What Makes Good Web Copy Convert

Convert dynamic website ✅

Every day we come across websites that run with very old versions of WordPress, Joomla or other systems. Many websites have been created with such systems without the real need to choose a dynamic website for it. In advance or when planning a website, people should be consulted who are familiar with this subject. Good advice at the beginning often saves trouble later.

Usually we create a dynamic website if we want to publish new content frequently or if I have more complex requirements. In cases where the website has only been created once and then nothing ever changes, we should go for a static HTML website.

WordPress and Co. create dynamic websites. A characteristic of a dynamic website is the separation of content and layout. The content of dynamic websites is stored in databases and then read out when the website is accessed.
To make things work a little faster, many website systems use a temporary storage facility called a cache.

Especially with old systems that have not been updated for a long time, attack vectors lurk in the database and cache. Older MySQL databases in particular offer gateways for hackers. It is not for nothing that the well-known large systems are updated so often. Very often security gaps are closed here.

Those who do not maintain their dynamic website, or only very rarely, could sooner or later fall victim to a hacker attack.
If the website was created with WordPress, for example, and the version is already very old, a migration to a current version will often no longer work or require manual intervention that requires a certain amount of know-how. As an experienced webmaster you will always keep your CMS (Content Management System) up to date. That is part of everyday bread.

For security reasons, we would recommend converting every old dynamic website (approx. Older than 6-7 years) that will not change much in the future to a static HTML page. There is also an excellent tool that does this job almost automatically.

You can download this free tool here:
http://www.httrack.com/page/2/
It runs with Windows (from Win 2000 to Win 10), Unix, BSD, Linux derivatives, Android and OSX.

It is relatively easy to use.

We create a root directory in which the software stores the converted static HTML files and all other elements of the website.

After clicking on "Next" we can choose what we want to do. Normally we choose from “Automatic website copy”.

For web addresses (URLs) we can enter all addresses that we want to copy / convert.
So several websites can be copied one after the other. We only enter the root domain here.

A lot of things can be configured in the settings. By default, however, not much needs to be done here.

A copy should work properly with Structure -> Structure Type -> Site Structure (Standard).
If the copy was not made well the first time, we can specify something under Structure.
Various options can be selected here. It is not possible to predict exactly what the result will be. Especially with CSS there are sometimes a few small difficulties, so that you may have to try out the variants. Problems are also known with some WP plugins, e.g. the well-known Revolution Slider no longer works without further ado. Various scripts have to be created manually here.

If you want to do it very precisely, you can specify in detail with the Mime types which Mime should correspond to another Mime. In general, it should work if we assign a script language “text / html”.

In the case of more complex websites, it is advantageous to set the main filter rule "Save all files (standard)" in the options under "Expert", if this option was not already preselected.

If you have problems, you can activate the troubleshooting mode. Here you get hints as to what is not working.

If there are a lot of outgoing links on the website, “stay in domain” should also be activated here. Otherwise the software could also copy external websites that you linked. This can then, under certain circumstances, fill the entire hard disk. That already happened to us :-).

Likewise, in the case of large websites with many outgoing links, the maximum external depth should be set to 0 in the "Limits" tab. In any case, this ensures that no foreign domains are confiscated.

Here you can also define the maximum depth of your own website, up to which it should be copied. If you only have 2 levels of depth as a link structure, you should also select 2 here. Everything that is linked deeper than these 2 levels is then ignored by the software. There may be deeper link structures on the old website that should no longer be adopted. The remains in e.g. menus etc. must then be removed manually.
Furthermore, we can define the maximum size the HTML files can be. Huge landing pages can be 5, 6 or more MB in size.

When we have configured everything or just leave the standard settings (without configuring anything) we click on “Next”. This frame then appears.

Here we can set the PC to shut down automatically when the job is done. You can also define an exact time for how long the software should work. When this time has elapsed, the software stops.
Then we click on “Finish” and the process of copying and converting begins.

After the process has ended, we look in the directory that we set as the base directory at the beginning.

Here we then take the content of our website and upload it to our server via FTP.

We have now converted a 1 to 1 copy of our old dynamic website into a static HTML website. Accordingly, we can now delete the database.

Danger: All functions such as login, member functions, shop functions and others that require complex database operations are no longer available. However, the website with its layout and structure works as before. Javascripts will also continue to work as long as they are not dependent on a license server.

The best thing to do is to test the whole thing in a separate subdirectory on the FTP or locally before finally replacing the old website with the new one. Since WIN HTTrack converts everything into relative paths, URLs no longer have to be adjusted manually. If the directory is moved, or its contents (but this must always remain together in one directory), the links always work, regardless of the directory path on which the files are located.

Content stealers copy entire websites this way, but we're the good guys and we're using the tool to turn an old insecure dynamic website into a secure static website.

advantages
The website performance will increase enormously since there will be no more database access. Furthermore, the attack vectors have been minimized. The website is now realistically secure, although there is no 100% security, as is generally the case in IT. Ultimately, it all depends on how the web server is administered. For the webmaster, the administrative level now drops to ZERO. With a static HMTL website, there is nothing to maintain from a technical point of view. Static websites are completely maintenance free.

disadvantage
Complex operations no longer work and WIN HTTrack leaves its comments in the source code. These comments can easily be removed manually. Editing the static HTML website is also no longer as convenient as with a CMS. Now the website has to be edited directly in the source code and that requires some knowledge of HTML.


This method of converting a dynamic, insecure website into a static one is particularly suitable for websites that run with a very old version of a CMS and that only have the character of a website business card. Many small company websites are only informative in nature. If there is no budget for a relaunch of the website and there are concerns about security, then the solution shown here is a good workaround to get a secure website that can then be completely maintenance-free on the Internet. Hacker attacks on pure HTML pages are impossible.

Note: All images used in this article come from the Steem blockchain. We first published this article there. This version here has been slightly revised. For us, such articles also offer the opportunity to test how the search engines deal with very similar articles that come from the same pen, but where no cannonical is specified. We are curious whether we will rank better with this article than with the almost duplicate in the Steem blockchain.

Since the topic of website security also belongs to the field of SEO, we have published this article in the "SEO" category.

Are you having problems with the security of your web server or website? Wolfram Consult GmbH & Co. KG can certainly help you.