Why do we use Netlify?

Arlind Musliu Portrait
Arlind Musliu

May 5, 2020 · 5 min read · 130 views

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2024 UPDATE

While we used to recommend Netlify and liked what it could do, we've moved on to other options that fit our changing needs better. We've decided to keep this article on our blog to show our commitment to being open and always learning as technology changes. It shows how we've grown and adjusted. Now, we use Vercel to host our Next.js static websites because we like its features and how it helps our projects.

Netlify for Static Websites

Netlify is a popular choice for hosting static websites because it has built-in continuous deployment. If you're new to static websites or looking for a better hosting option, Netlify could be just what you need for your project. If you don't know about static websites, you might want to read our post about why we like them more than websites that use databases.

Why Static Websites Are Great

Before we talk about what Netlify offers, it's important to understand why static websites are good. They're simple, safe, and very fast compared to dynamic, database-driven websites. Static pages are made of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that are ready to go and can be sent to the user right away without needing to be processed by a server. To find out more about why static websites are beneficial, check out our detailed post on the subject.

Why You Should Choose Netlify as Your Host Provider

Netlify is becoming more popular with freelancers and small to medium businesses because it's affordable and can grow with your needs. The service has a great free package for individual developers or small teams and also offers more complete paid plans for bigger businesses with more complex needs.

It's really easy to start your project on Netily. The process to get your site up and running is super fast, usually only taking a minute or so. Plus, it's easy to connect your domain to Netlify's nameservers, which means your website can be found online with hardly any downtime.

Fast Loading with Netlify

To see how fast a Netily-hosted static website can load, go to www.barneysbrunch.house. You'll be amazed at how quickly it loads, thanks to the HTML and CSS files that are ready on the server. The server can send out these files, which are between 300-700kb, right away. It usually takes about 2 seconds to load at first, but with caching, later visits can take as little as half a second.

Easy Deployment with Netlify

With Netlify, you don't have to upload files by hand. Your projects are linked to GitHub repositories, whether they're public or private. Any changes or updates you make on GitHub automatically start the deployment process on Netlify.

Here's what you do: change some code, commit it, and push it to the main branch on GitHub. Netlify sees the change and starts putting the code up for everyone to see. The whole process, from changing the code to updating the live site, usually takes between 3-5 minutes. This lets developers spend more time on what they're good at, coding.

Connecting Netlify and GitHub

Netlify works great with your GitHub repository. Just follow Netlify's easy steps to set it up, and you'll let Netlify keep an eye on your GitHub repository. Whenever you make a change and push it, Netlify gets told to start deploying without you having to do anything.

Flexible Updates with Netlify

If you need to update your site quickly, Netlify can handle both small tweaks and big code changes. If you don't want to put every change up right away, you can test your updates on your own and put them up when you're ready.

Optimizing Netlify Builds

Netlify lets you do more than just the basics. With the netlify.toml file, you can choose PHP versions, make assets better, and more when you're building. You can change settings to make URLs look nicer, shrink CSS or JavaScript files, and compress pictures to make things run faster.

Fixing Deployment Issues

If something goes wrong after you put your site up, Netlify lets you go back to a version that worked before. This is really helpful if you run into unexpected problems with your website, keeping your online presence stable.

Conclusion

Netlify is a great choice for developers who want a strong, easy-to-use, and efficient place to put their static websites. With its close connection to GitHub, quick deployment, and ways to customize, Netlify makes the development process smoother. You can spend more time making great web experiences. To learn more about how we work, take a look at our case studies to see Netlify in use.

This article is part of our ongoing series, "Which technologies do we use and why?", where we explain the technologies that we use on a daily basis and the reasons behind our choices.


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Arlind Musliu Portrait
Arlind Musliu

Cofounder and CFO of Lucky Media

Technologies:

Next.js
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