Mirror a nonprofit's clearnet website on SAFE

#1

First post, so please be merciful. I work for a nonprofit that promotes free speech and First Amendment rights. We have a pretty substantial website (tens of thousands of pages and posts) that runs on Wordpress, and while we are only censored right now in fairly repressive countries, I was wondering if there is, or is likely to be, some kind of bridge or copying mechanism that would allow an identical version of our website to live on the SAFE Network. Is that feasible, or would it even work? I know part of the goal is to get away from the clearnet, but obviously we have to be on clearnet, and it would be good if we could be accessible from SAFE too, kind of like how some sites can be reached on Tor or on the normal web. Sorry if this is so elementary that I have missed something, but I was not able to find a thread exactly on point.

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#2

I don’t know the workings of wordpress, but if wordpress can create stand alone web sites then it should be a matter of uploading the pages with perhaps a few minor changes. The issues would be more to do with database stuff.

Another choice is to implement a server that reads messages sent to your account and returns the webpage. Then write an APP that sends the request to your account (via messaging) and displays the page returned. But this would be less desirable long term, although it would provide a single source for the information. Of course it would be better for the information to reside on SAFE due to the security and inability for any authority to take down the site.

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#3

@rhambus welcome mate.
I don’t know about mirroring. Some of the more tech savvy will respond I am sure.
Just wanted to say G’day.
Cheers

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#4

There are plugins for wordpress with which you can generate static html site and upload it to the SAFE Network. This can be done even at this stage in Alpha 2 :slight_smile:

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#5

Wordpress uses the PHP scripting language, which won’t work on a hosted SAFE website. As suggested elsewhere on this forum, you could download Mobirise and create a static website (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and upload that.

#6

This is helpful, thanks. I assume that if it were rendered in a static way, we would lose some functionality, like searching? Still, it would be better than nothing.

I’ll try to read up more on SAFE and websites. I assume the limitations come for security reasons, but I can’t help but feel like it will slow down adoption if you can’t easily mirror sites like this. At the same time, obviously, it makes sense that Google or someone couldn’t just mirror Gmail and run it on SAFE. :slight_smile:

We are also in the process of putting together a SecureDrop (see securedrop.org) system so that people can very anonymously submit things to us. It’s sort of a hilariously baroque system that has to be used to ensure security, but it makes sense. Seems like on SAFE, this would not be such a problem.

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#7

Yes it is going to be different, and that means some features will be absent or harder for a while, while others (like security) come for free or are much easier.

I hope and expect that organisations such as yours will be important early adopters. Come back with more questions as needed. Good luck :slight_smile:

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#8

Hi @rhambus,

Author of WP2Static here and happy to help you. A bit swamped with dev work towards version 7, but that’s a version that should better handle larger sites.

I’d start with HTTrack though and then deploy to Netlify, using their CLI client.

This will be the fastest way to test the output.

I haven’t done HTTrack URL rewrites in a while though, so that may require a bit more effort than WP2Static. With the current available version, you’ll need a decently powered VPS ($5/month one from Vultr/DigitalOcean should suffice) and set max_execution_time and memory_limit PHP configuration options high.

I’d also clone the site locally to do any testing/crawling against, so as not to slow down your production site.

Hope to help you find the right solution for what sounds like an important site to benefit from going static!

Cheers,

Leon

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#9

^ my advice to use a local clone first negates the need for the VPS option :wink:

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#10

Thank you. While this is a little above my knowledge level, I am sure our web developer would be able to do it.

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#11

Dear Rhambus,

The SAFE Network is a distributed (or will be) system, which basically means that files are being stored in the unused space on other people’s hard drives.

This means that there is no server side software installed.

All files are static files, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

JavaScript on the website is processed on the visitors own computer, so again there is no requirement for server side software.

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