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13 reasons why you should be using Netlify

ogurinkaben profile image Ogurinka Benjamin ・4 min read

Few months ago, I wanted a quick, fast and easy way to showcase a small project I worked on using Javascript and shared hosting seemed like too much stress for me (I mean, I am still trying to understand a lot). Few random Google search later, I found Netlify and I have never looked back ever since. Currently I have a few portfolio projects hosted on netlify and even my personal website is hosted on Netlify. Great stuff!

So what exactly is Netlify?

A platform that offers cloud hosting and
serverless backend services for static websites.
Netlify is everything you need to build fast, modern websites: continuous deployment, serverless functions, and so much more.

I could try to go further and explain this, but it would take a whole new article to achieve that.

But like the definition says, Netlify offers you cloud hosting services as well as present you with the ability to handle backend operations with its serverless backend service.
You can understand the concept of serverless backend by clicking this link.

So what are my 13 reasons why you should be using it?

1. Well, It is free

I think personally for me, the easiest catch is the fact that I do not get to worry a whole lot about pricing when I need to use Netlify. It offers massive features (which I find mind-blowing) on its free plan and as a matter of fact, all the features Iisted as reasons why you should use Netlify are all available on the free plan.

2. Easy to use

The Netlify User Interface is perhaps one the of the easiest to understand and be able to find your way around without needing to Google a lot of “How to “ or spending time reading the docs. The first time I used Netlify, from registration to deployment was an exciting experience and I never really got confused about anything.

3. Deploy in seconds

Deploying projects on Netlify are not just easy, but pretty fast too. You have the option to deploy from a Git repository or just by simply dragging your project folder and dropping it. Netlify takes care of everything else from there on. It identifies build commands (if any) and with just a click your project will be live in a few seconds

4. Continuous Deployment (CD)

Anytime you deploy your project from a Git repo, Netlify automatically activates CD for you. With that, whenever you make a new commit and push to your repo, Netlify builds it for you and automatically updates your project to the most recent version. All this is achieved without having to create a configuration file and writing a long list of rules.

5. Branch Deploys

Ever wanted to know what a branch of a project looks like? Netlify has got you covered! You could easily choose any branch of your Git project and deploy just that branch. This comes in handy when testing new features that may or may not make it to the master branch or just a quick way to easily see how a PR would affect your site.

6. Free Private Repo Hosting

If you have a private repo, you could easily still get it online and keep your codebase private without having to pay for anything. Enough said

7. Deploy Previews

Netlify gives you the ability to preview every deploy you make or want to make, This will allow you and your team to see what changes will look like in production, without having to deploy them in your existing site.

8. Asset Optimization

Netlify gives you the ability to automatically optimize assets for your project. Available options like CSS and JS minification, image compression, and pretty URLs allow you to improve the performance of your sites with just a few clicks.

9. Free SSL

Netlify adds security to your site with its Free SSL option with Let’s Encrypt. With one click install, HTTPS will instantly be available for your sites.

10. Rewrites and Redirects

This gives you the ability to easily perform redirects and control certain actions on your website. I found this particularly useful when I wished for a way to be able to easily direct users to a custom error page and have clean URLs. Creating a simple _redirects file and with a few lines of text, I was able to give my site better urls and just by adding my own 404 file, I can control what users see when they access a broken or invalid path on my site. Great stuff!

11. Custom Subdomains

By default, Netlify gives you a free custom subdomain whenever you create a new project (something like_mywebsite.netlify.com_), but they also give you the ability to use a custom domain name which you own and by simply updating your DNS records, your Netlify site will have it’s own domain.

12. Free DNS

Although still in BETA, Netlify gives you the option of DNS Management absolutely free (that’s all I know about this).

13. It gets thumbs up from the likes of Google, Facebook, Verizon, etc.

One of the many features that Netlify offers which I find very useful, but I didn’t feel should make my list is Netlify Forms. With this, I can easily setup my form on my static site and get submissions without having to write any backend code or subscribe to any third-party service. It even gives me the ability to enable reCAPTCHA and even allows me specify my own success page. With 100 submissions per month on the free plan, I find this very useful.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it, head over to Netlify right after you leave a 💗.

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Discussion

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Yeah, I hear ya. I used Netlify on a project once and it was incredibly easy and made everything work great, it made me feel dirty that I got to use something so good for free.

If I ever have a project that warrants using their fancier features I'll be sure to become a paying member

 

I’ve been thinking about swapping from Digital Ocean droplet to netlify. I had big intentions when I got the droplet but only ended up running a static site on it. Thanks for listing out it’s features. I will definitely try it out.

 

A little late to the party but, I’m in the same boat as you. Did you end up switching to Netlify? If so, is there anything you miss about your Digital Ocean setup that isn’t available with Netlify? Do you recommend switching over?

 

Yes I switched to Netlify. It’s for a Jekyll site so the free plan is great for me and saves a few dollars each month. The push to deploy was very easy to configure.

That's great, thanks for the reply!

 

Ha! Catchy title love it!

 

This guy gets it😼😁

 

I use netlify with stackbit.com, and I love it.

 

You can also run a page for a private GitHub repo!

Of course, all pages are accessible if you know the structure, but heyyyy

 

I used this method too. No regrets. 🔥🔥

 

Great article. Netlify is simply awesome :)

 

I use Netlify too. But the big downside for now is only about unsupported DNSSEC.

 

This is a great Article 👍❤️ Thanks to you, I have a better understanding of Nertify.
I'll have to share this article with my community.

 

I'm glad you liked it😩😁