How to Host WordPress for Free on Vercel: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Host WordPress for Free on Vercel

Are you tired of the huge bills that come with hosting your WordPress website and want to host WordPress for free? The world of website hosting is evolving, and I’m here to guide you into host WordPress for free. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explore the exciting possibilities of hosting a WordPress site on Vercel using a Static Headless approach—revolutionizing your web hosting experience without denting your budget.

By the way, I’m Yunus, a passionate tech enthusiast, digital product builder, and design aficionado. With a profound love for technology and its transformative capabilities, I dive into the intricate world of building digital products that seamlessly blend innovation and user-centric design. Through insightful articles and guides, I’m writing about tech, building digital products and design. for fellow enthusiasts, aspiring digital creators, and design enthusiasts. Join me on this journey of exploring the intersections of technology, product development, and design, as every piece unfolds a narrative of creativity and functionality in the digital realm.

Traditionally, hosting a dynamic WordPress website could burn a hole in your pocket. Due to the infrastructure needed to handle dynamic content and database queries. However, the landscape is changing, and we’re about to embark on a journey that transforms your WordPress site into a lean, mean, static machine hosted on Vercel’s serverless platform.

Join us as we unravel the secrets of static websites, explore the concept of a Static Headless WordPress, and delve into the powerful world of Vercel. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only understand the benefits of this approach but also have the knowledge to successfully host WordPress for free on Vercel without spending a dime. Let’s turn the page on expensive hosting and usher in a new era of cost-effective, high-performance WordPress websites. Welcome to the future of hosting—welcome to hosting WordPress for free on Vercel.

How to Host WordPress for Free

Understanding Static Websites: Embracing Simplicity for Speed and Security

Now that we’ve set the stage for a budget-friendly WordPress hosting adventure, let’s dive into the fascinating realm of static websites. Imagine a website that doesn’t rely on complex server-side processing for every user request—a website that is lightning-fast, secure, and remarkably efficient. That’s the essence of a static website.

In simpler terms, a static website is like a snapshot of a traditional website. It consists of pre-rendered HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, eliminating the need for on-the-fly content generation with every user interaction. This simplicity brings forth a multitude of advantages:

  1. Speed: Static websites load faster because there’s no server-side processing delay. Your visitors experience quicker page loads, making for a smoother and more enjoyable browsing experience.
  2. Security: With reduced dynamic functionality, static sites have a smaller attack surface, making them inherently more secure. Say goodbye to many common security vulnerabilities associated with dynamic content.
  3. Scalability: Scaling a static website is a breeze. Whether you have ten or ten thousand visitors, the response time remains consistently low.

Is WordPress a Static Platform?

Now, you might be wondering, “How does this relate to WordPress?” Traditionally, WordPress relies on dynamic content, generating pages on-the-fly from a database each time a user requests them. While this approach is flexible, it can lead to slower load times and increased server loads, especially as your website grows.

However, the magic lies in transforming your dynamic WordPress site into a static one. By doing so, you retain the simplicity and speed of a static website while still enjoying the familiar WordPress experience. This shift not only enhances performance but also opens the door to cost-effective hosting solutions, which we’ll explore further in this guide.

So, buckle up as we navigate the transformative journey of making WordPress static and unleash the full potential of a faster, more secure, and budget-friendly website hosting experience on Vercel. The days of compromise between performance and affordability are over; let’s make your WordPress site truly dynamic without breaking the bank.

Making WordPress Static: Transforming Dynamism into Simplicity

So, you’re ready to embark on the journey of making your WordPress site static? Fantastic! Let’s break down the process step by step, transforming your dynamic WordPress website into a sleek and efficient static version.

1. Setting Up a Local WordPress Environment with Local by Flywheel:

  • Download and Install Local: Download and install the Local by Flywheel application on your computer. This user-friendly tool makes it easy to create and manage local WordPress environments.
  • Create a New WordPress Site: Using Local, set up a new WordPress site locally on your computer. This step allows you to work on your website without affecting the live version.
Click the left green "Add Local site" button
Create a new site with Local

2. Developing Your WordPress Website Locally:

  • Customize Your WordPress Site: Build and customize your WordPress site according to your preferences. This is your opportunity to design, tweak, and perfect your website’s look and feel.
  • Migrate Your WordPress Site: If your WordPress site is currently hosted elsewhere, use the “All-in-One WP Migration” plugin to seamlessly migrate it to your local environment. Install the plugin on your existing WordPress site, export the site as a file, and then import it into your local environment using Local.
  • Get Done with Local WP: I created an example WordPress website and will show you the steps.
New Static WordPress

3. Exporting Your WordPress Site to Static Files with WP2Static:

We will use the WP2Static plugin for it. There are some other plugins for it, but I will use this one in this path.

Download and Install WP2Static Plugin

In your WordPress dashboard, install the WP2Static plugin. This tool is crucial for converting your dynamic site into a static one.

Add plugin to Host WordPress for Free

Configure WP2Static: Set up WP2Static to export your WordPress site as static files. The most important thing in this step is to fill your new WordPress domain. Because we need to change the page domains to the actual domain that we will use for the WordPress website.

Static WordPress domain

Generate Static Files: Let WP2Static do its magic. It will generate static HTML files, CSS, and other assets that represent your WordPress site without the need for server-side processing.

4. Creating a GitHub Repository:

  • Set Up a GitHub Account: If you don’t have one, create a GitHub account. This will be the platform where you store and manage the static files of your WordPress site.
  • Create a New Repository: Initialize a new repository on GitHub. This will serve as the central hub for your static WordPress site’s files.
Create your WordPress github repo

5. Pushing Static Files to the GitHub Repository:

  • Commit and Push Changes: Using Git commands or a GUI client, commit and push the static files to your GitHub repository. This step makes your static WordPress site accessible from anywhere.
Push your Static WordPress

6. Deploying Your WordPress Site on Vercel and Host WordPress for Free:

Create a Vercel Account: If you haven’t already, sign up for a Vercel account. It’s free and provides an excellent platform for hosting static sites.

Create A New Project: On your vercel dashboard, create a project for the WordPress website.

Import Your GitHub Repository to Vercel: Connect your GitHub repository to Vercel. This establishes a link between your static WordPress files and the Vercel hosting platform.

Deploy Static WordPress

Configure Deployment Settings: Fine-tune deployment settings on Vercel according to your requirements. This includes specifying the branch to deploy and setting up custom domains if needed.

Deployment Settings for Publishing WordPress on Vercel

Deploy Your WordPress Site: Initiate the deployment process on Vercel. Watch as your static WordPress site goes live on the Vercel platform.

Host WordPress for Free

Congratulations! You’ve successfully transformed your dynamic WordPress site into a static masterpiece and deployed it on Vercel—all without spending a penny on hosting. Now you can Host WordPress for Free. In the next sections, we’ll explore the nuances of GitHub, version control, and the deployment process in more detail. Let’s keep the momentum going!

FAQ: Navigating the Host WordPress for Free Journey

Q1: Why should I consider hosting my WordPress site on Vercel?

A: Hosting your WordPress site on Vercel brings tones of benefits, including speed, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Vercel’s serverless platform ensures high performance without the traditional hosting expenses. You can Host WordPress for Free on Vercel.

Q2: Is the migration process complex, especially for non-tech-savvy users?

A: Not at all. The migration process is designed to be user-friendly. With plugins like “All-in-One WP Migration” and step-by-step guides, even those without extensive technical knowledge can successfully navigate the transition. But still you have to knowledge of github version control and how-to make commit, push and deploy.

Q3: Can I still use WordPress plugins and themes on a static site?

A: While some dynamic functionality may be limited in a static environment, many plugins and themes are compatible. The key is to choose those that enhance static site performance. If you want to Host WordPress for Free on Vercel, you won’t create a dynamic website, like comments, e-commerce etc.

Q4: What happens to my database during the migration to a static site?

A: The static site approach removes the need for a dynamic database. During migration, the content is pre-rendered and stored as static files, eliminating the need for constant database queries and updates.

Q5: How does version control benefit my WordPress site on GitHub?

A: Version control with GitHub allows you to track changes, collaborate efficiently, and roll back to previous versions if needed. It provides a secure and organized way to manage your WordPress site’s evolution.

Q6: Are there limitations to the types of websites that work well with Host WordPress for Free on Vercel?

A: Static Headless WordPress on Vercel is versatile and suitable for various types of websites, from blogs to portfolios. However, websites heavily reliant on real-time dynamic content may need additional considerations.

Q7: Is Vercel’s Host WordPress for Free is sufficient for my site?

A: Vercel’s free hosting tier is excellent for small to medium-sized websites. For larger sites with high traffic, consider their affordable paid plans for enhanced performance and additional features.

Q8: Can I still use Vercel if my WordPress site relies on e-commerce plugins?

A: While certain e-commerce plugins may have limitations in a static environment, there are static-friendly alternatives. Consider evaluating plugins compatible with static sites or explore separate solutions for dynamic features.

Q9: What if I encounter issues during deployment on Vercel?

A: Vercel offers comprehensive documentation and a helpful community. If issues persist, their support team is responsive and ready to assist, ensuring a smooth deployment process.

Q10: Is it possible to revert to a dynamic WordPress site after migrating to static on Vercel?

A: While the migration is generally one-way, keeping a backup of your dynamic WordPress site is advisable if you ever decide to revert. Be sure to plan and test thoroughly before making significant changes. But always the static website will be rendered by the main dynamic website of WordPress. So you need to have the dynamic website allways. In this case it will be on your own local system.

Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions or need further clarification on any aspect of the Host WordPress for Free journey. I will be happy to guide you!

What Kind of Websites Work Best with Static Headless WordPress?

Static Headless WordPress on Vercel is a powerful solution that suits a variety of website types, but it’s essential to understand its strengths and limitations. Here’s a guide on which types of websites work best and where you might encounter challenges:

Personal Websites:

Ideal: Static Headless WordPress is exceptionally well-suited for personal websites. The static nature enhances speed and security, providing an excellent user experience for readers.

Portfolio Websites:

Ideal: If you’re showcasing your work or building a portfolio, a static site offers a fast and reliable way to display your content. Vercel’s hosting ensures your portfolio loads quickly, impressing potential clients or employers.

Business Websites:

Ideal: Business websites with static content, such as service descriptions, contact information can benefit from the simplicity and speed of Static Headless WordPress.

Informational Websites:

Ideal: Websites providing information without the need for real-time updates or user-generated content can leverage the efficiency of a static approach.

Landing Pages:

Ideal: Static sites are perfect for landing pages where quick loading times are crucial. Whether you’re promoting a product, event, or service, the speed of a static site enhances user engagement.

Documentation Sites:

Ideal: Static Headless WordPress is an excellent choice for documentation sites, providing a fast and reliable platform for users to access information.

Educational Websites:

Ideal: Websites offering educational content, course descriptions, and general information can benefit from the speed and security of a static environment.

However, there are scenarios where a static approach may not be the best fit:

E-commerce Websites:

Challenges: E-commerce sites with dynamic product listings, real-time inventory updates, and interactive shopping carts might face limitations with the static approach.

User-Generated Content (UGC) Websites:

Challenges: Websites heavily reliant on user-generated content, such as forums or social platforms, may find it challenging to implement real-time updates and dynamic interactions.

Websites with Dynamic Comments:

Challenges: If your website relies on dynamic comments on posts or pages, a static approach may not be the most suitable, as it lacks the real-time interaction required for comment sections.

In summary, Static Headless WordPress on Vercel excels in scenarios where content remains relatively static and doesn’t require constant updates or real-time interactions. Understanding the nature of your website’s content and functionalities will help you determine whether the static approach aligns with your goals.

  • Essei forte
    Essei forte Essei forte

    HI! thanks for the tutorial!
    I followed your guide step by step. when I go to see the site online it gives me a blank page and downloads a file. are there any other steps?

    • yunuserturk
      yunuserturk yunuserturk

      Can you please give more details? It’s the whole process and I did it exactly what I told. Probably you missed some trick. Did you test locally? Is it working on your local system? and how about the links URLs? are everything is right?

      • Essei forte
        Essei forte Essei forte

        first of all I would like to thank you for the kindness of answering me, also on gtihub. So, I did what you wrote in the guide step by step. I created a new site on Local by flywheel, put the repo on github, installed the WP2Static plugin, gave an address that I will then give to vercel, and then deployed on vercel connected to that address. once done and online, I don’t see the preview on Vercel like your last image, but rather a white preview, and when I click on the link it downloads a file instead of showing me the site. do I need to do something in the plugin? for example press run? (if I press run it tells me that I have to increase the time limit in php) while if I press log, it tells me that it actually converted the files into html.

        • yunuserturk
          yunuserturk yunuserturk

          When you deploying it to the vercel, did you put a dot ( . ) for Output Directory as seem on the image?

          • Essei forte
            Essei forte Essei forte


        • yunuserturk
          yunuserturk yunuserturk

          If it doesn’t bother you, can you send me the backup file from All-in-One WP Migration?
          hi [at] yunuserturk [dot] com

  • sagasu
    sagasu sagasu

    I have a question to ask, about the management background of wp.
    Hello, I read your article carefully. It is very detailed. I have successfully deployed it. I have a small question that I need to ask you. Every time I update the article, I need to update it locally and then package it and send it to vercel, right? Or is there a better way? I tried to log in to the admin in my wp project in vercel, but got a 404 prompt.

    • yunuserturk
      yunuserturk yunuserturk

      You’re right, you need to update all stuff on your local. And package it and push to github repo.

      Then vercel will auto deploy it to the live.

  • Jonatan
    Jonatan Jonatan

    There is a mistake in the article.
    Scalability: Scaling a static website is a breeze. Whether you have ten or ten thousand visitors, the response time remains consistently high.

    It should say low instead of high.

    • yunuserturk
      yunuserturk yunuserturk

      Thanks Jonathan! You are absolutely right.
      I appreciate your careful reading and feedback. I have corrected the text to reflect this.
      Thanks again for your help!