After much tinkering, I finally figured out how to make a decent static backup of my old WordPress site. I kept running into problems no matter my approach – whether I tried the web interface or wget – but I had a brainstorm recently that solved a lot of my issues.
The main problem with trying to create a backup in the WordPress web interface is that my site is on shared hosting and WordPress is a resource hog. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to switch to Jekyll in the first place. I’m unlikely to ever be able to afford dedicated hosting, so switching to a static site was definitely an economic choice.