Deploy static WordPress sites easily to an AWS S3 bucket

v2.1.0 2021-02-11 12:47 UTC


Deploy static sites easily to an AWS S3 bucket

  • Utilizes the excellent Simply Static plugin for static site generation.
  • Adds deployment to S3-compatible storage (AWS S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, ...).
  • Adds optional CloudFront CDN invalidation step.
  • Steps can be triggered via a simple user interface or programmatically.
  • Ability to generate and deploy a single page
  • Customizable using hooks and actions.

Developed with ❤️ by GRRR

Generate and deploy user interface

Screenshot of Simply Static Deploy plugin interface for WordPress

Single page/post deploy user interface

Screenshot of plugin interface for deploying a single page

Minimum requirements

This plugin requires:


This plugin needs to be installed using Composer.

Make sure you have the right installer paths configured in your composer.json. This has to be done before requiring the package:

"extra": {
  "installer-paths": {
    "wp-content/plugins/{$name}/": ["type:wordpress-plugin"]

Install via Composer:

$ composer require grrr-amsterdam/simply-static-deploy

If you're not using Composer in your project yet, make sure to require the Composer autoloader. A good place would be in your wp-config.php:

/** Sets up WordPress vars and included files. */
require_once ABSPATH . 'vendor/autoload.php'; # ‹— add this
require_once ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php';


First define SIMPLY_STATIC_DEPLOY_CONFIG in your WordPress configuration:

    'aws' => [
        'key' => '...', # AWS access key
        'secret' => '...', # AWS secret key
        'region' => '...', # AWS region
        'bucket' => '...', # S3 bucket
        'bucket_acl' => '...', # S3 bucket ACL (optional, defaults to `public-read`)
        'distribution' => '...', # CloudFront distribution ID (optional, step is skipped when empty)
        'endpoint' => '...', # For usage with providers other than AWS (optional)
    'url' => '...', # Website url (used for displaying url after deploy is finished)

Then configure the Simply Static plugin via the admin interface. The most important setting to get right is:

  • Delivery Method: set to Local Directory (files are synced to S3, zip won't work)

Other settings which you should pay attention to:

  • Additional URLs: add any URL the plugin is unable to find
  • Additional Files and Directories: add additional directories (for example front-end assets)
  • URLs to Exclude: for example the uploads folder (but only when you're offloading uploads at runtime)

If everything is configured correctly, hit Generate & Deploy in the Deploy tab.


Available filters to modify settings and data passed to the plugin:

Available actions to invoke or act upon:

Available filters

Adjust additional files

Modify entries from the 'Additional Files and Directories' option. By default all paths are temporarily resolved to absolute paths via realpath, to ensure symbolic links are resolved. An array of unmodified files from the options is passed as an argument.

add_filter('simply_static_deploy_additional_files', function (array $files) {
    # Modify files, and possibly resolve paths with `realpath`.
    return $files;

Note: during generation of the static site, the additional_files setting is updated. It is restored when finished.

Adjust additional URLs

Modify entries from the 'Additional URLs' option. This can be useful to add pages that can't be found by Simply Static (not in the sitemap, are excluded by a password, have noindex, etc...). An array of unmodified URLs from the options is passed as an argument.

add_filter('simply_static_deploy_additional_urls', function (array $urls) {
    # Modify urls, for example by adding missing pages.
    return $urls;

Note: during generation of the static site, the additional_urls setting is updated. It is restored when finished.

Handle errors

Called from the plugin, and receives a WP_Error object explaining the error. You can decide how to handle the error, for instance by logging it with a service of choice.

add_action('simply_static_deploy_error', function (\WP_Error $error) {
    # Handle the error.

Modify generated files

Called when Simply Static is done generating the static site. This allows you to modify the generated files before they're being deployed. The static site directory is passed as an argument.

add_action('simply_static_deploy_modify_generated_files', function (
    string $directory
) {
    # Modify generated files, like renaming or moving them.

Schedule deploys

Schedule a deploy event.


  • Time: should be a simple time string, it is automatically converted to a UNIX timestamp in the configured WordPress timezone.
  • Interval: accepted values are hourly, twicedaily and daily. Can be extended via cron_schedules.
do_action('simply_static_deploy_schedule', '12:00', 'daily');

Note: it is important that WP-Cron is called regularly. You could do so by disabling the default WP-Cron mechanism and switch to calling it via a dedicated cronjob.

To disable the default WP–Cron (which is normally called when a user visits pages), add the following to your WordPress configuration:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Create a cronjob calling the WordPres WP-Cron. Setting it to every 5 minutes would be a good default. For example via crontab -e on a Linux machine:

*/5 * * * * curl > /dev/null 2>&1

Common issues

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class 'Grrr\SimplyStaticDeploy\SimplyStaticDeploy' not found

Check the installation instructions, and require the Composer autoloader in your project.