Why do we use Netlify?

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Arlind Musliu

May 5, 2020 · 5 min read · 126 views

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While we previously advocated for Netlify and have appreciated its capabilities, we've since transitioned to other solutions that better align with our evolving needs. In the spirit of transparency and continual learning amidst the ever-changing tech landscape, we have opted to retain this article in our blog's history. It serves as a reflection of our growth and adaptability. Currently, we host our Next.js static sites on Vercel, embracing its features and benefits for our projects.

Netlify has become a go-to hosting service for deploying static sites, thanks to its integrated continuous deployment. Whether you're new to static sites or seeking a more efficient hosting solution, Netlify might be the perfect fit for your project needs. If you're unfamiliar with static sites, we recommend reading our post on why we prefer static sites over database-powered ones.

Understanding the Appeal of Static Sites

Before we delve into Netlify's offerings, it's crucial to grasp the advantages of static websites. Unlike dynamic, database-driven sites, static pages are simple, secure, and blazing fast. They consist of pre-built HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that can be served directly to the user without server-side processing. To learn more about the benefits of static sites, explore our informative post on the topic.

Why Netlify Should Be Your Hosting Service of Choice

Netlify has been gaining popularity among freelancers and small to medium-sized businesses due to its cost-effective and scalable hosting solutions. The platform offers a generous free package, perfect for individual developers or small teams, while also providing comprehensive paid plans for larger enterprises with advanced needs.

Setting up your project on Netlify is a breeze. The deployment process is remarkably quick, often taking just a minute or so before your site is live and ready for the world. Plus, connecting your domain to Netlify's nameservers is hassle-free, ensuring your website is accessible with minimal downtime.

Experience Fast Load Times with Netlify

To witness the speed of a Netlify-hosted static site firsthand, visit www.barneysbrunch.house. You'll be impressed by the rapid load times, attributable to the pre-deployed HTML and CSS files on the server. This setup allows the server to immediately deliver the HTML and CSS files, which are about 300-700kb in total. Initial load times average around 2 seconds, while subsequent visits with caching can reduce this to a mere half-second.

The Seamless Deployment Process with Netlify

Say goodbye to manual file uploads. With Netlify, your projects are managed through GitHub repositories, be they public or private. Any code updates or changes saved on GitHub trigger the deployment process on Netlify automatically.

Here's how it works: make a code change, commit it, and push it to the master branch on GitHub. Netlify detects the update and begins deploying the code for production. The whole process, from code commit to live site update, is typically completed within 3-5 minutes, allowing developers to focus on what they do best, coding.

Connecting Netlify and GitHub

Netlify's magic lies in its ability to sync with your GitHub repository seamlessly. By following Netlify's straightforward setup guidelines, you authorize Netlify to monitor your GitHub repository. Whenever a change is pushed, Netlify receives a notification and kicks off the deployment process without any manual intervention.

Making Changes with Flexibility

Need to make quick updates to your site? Netlify accommodates both incremental changes and extensive code revisions. If you're not ready to deploy every single change immediately, you can test your updates locally and deploy when you've finalized your modifications.

Optimizing Builds with the netlify.toml File

Netlify's customization doesn't stop there. The netlify.toml configuration file opens up possibilities for specifying PHP versions, optimizing assets, and more during the build process. You can fine-tune settings for pretty URLs, minify CSS or JavaScript files, and compress images to enhance performance.

Troubleshooting Deployment Issues

Encountered a problem after deployment? Netlify provides a safety net by allowing you to roll back to a previous successful deployment. This feature can be a lifesaver when facing unexpected website issues, ensuring minimal disruption to your online presence.

Netlify's Robust and Developer-Friendly Platform

Netlify stands as an exemplary choice for developers seeking a robust, intuitive, and efficient platform for deploying static sites. With its tight GitHub integration, rapid deployment, and customizable options, Netlify streamlines the development process, allowing you to focus on creating exceptional web experiences. For more insights into our development process, explore our case studies to see Netlify in action.

This article is part of the "Which technologies do we use and why?" series where we explain the technologies that we use daily.

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Arlind Musliu Portrait
Arlind Musliu

Cofounder and CFO of Lucky Media


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