Netlify - Build, Deploy, and Manage Modern Web Projects
Netlify is a serverless approach to developing and deploying websites. No longer do we worry about servers, databases, backends. Now we build the website and distribute around the world's Content Delivery Network for blazing performance and increased security.
Episode Transcription - https://thebyte.io/netlify/
Welcome back to The Byte. This episode, we are going to talk about Netlify. Netlify is a new way to provision your website so no longer do we need like WordPress sites or sites that have servers and back ends. This is a completely serverless approach to website development and maintenance actually, so it's more of a development workflow that we're used to in normal application development, and it brings a lot of features along with it.
So Netlify, I mean the tagline is built, deploy and manage modern web applications or projects, and the benefits right off the bat is you can use it to develop a workflow for your website. So if you're using GitHub or GitLab, this falls right into your workflow already.
Global development, as it's pushing out to, I think it's Amazon has three buckets, it then automatically replicates this out to their CDN, so their content delivery network and is globally available instantly. So we don't need to scale more servers because you deploy once and it goes global right off the bat.
Next is CI/CD integration. This is brilliant because you take your Git repository, you link it to Netlify and this allows you to basically make changes and do like an automated workflow for your website. I actually documented this on our website because our company website 56k.cloud uses Netlify for quite some time now, and our GitLab we make, basically make a branch and we submit it to Netlify, it makes a preview branch. When we're satisfied with it, we merge it back together and it becomes actually the actual live website.
This is quite cool because consider like WordPress, you don't get a preview branch. When you do like a template or some new changes, usually you're always doing it on the live system. In this situation, we can actually have a complete preview that's a separate URL, separate everything that's running, we could test out and when we're happy with it, we can actually merge it back into Netlify's master branch.
Now, it automatically uses https. You can add your domain name to it and the biggest kicker I found is it's free. It's free as in like it doesn't cost anything, like free coffee free.
Now there are different pricing tiers. If I look quickly, the free branch is more for personal projects, hobby sites, and experiments. We're using it for our company website and we don't have a ton of traffic going there but it works fine.
But the major difference between the starter package and a pro is how many team members you can use on the site. So I myself am considered an owner to the site and then my colleague Darryl would be just a member so he can contribute code but he can't make site adjustments. I mean that's fine for most people. So I think a good start there, again it's free so we can start out.
But the principle behind Netlify is there's a jam stack. So it's Java API and markup and basically, we are not using a back end. So WordPress, you have like a PHP front end and you have a minus quora back end and it has to generate the content every time someone visits.
Where this, why Netlify is better is because of performance. It builds the website when we submit it to Netlify and then it's completely available as a static website and then it's distributed over the globe through the content delivery network. It's more secure because there are less moving parts and it scales. I mean it's, we don't have the scale servers like WordPress. You have to always give it more rams, CPU or actually give it another server. In this instance, it's actually, you're just replicating the data to the CDNs around the world.
I mean it is beautiful because it's reminding you of a normal developer workflow. As I said, we use it. Kubernetes uses it for their documentation. Docker uses it for their documentation.
About Netlify themselves, they recently received some funding to make the platform even better. They have 400,000 developers using the platform and 7.5 million websites are actually live at the moment. And if I look into our, actually our website, it gives you a lot of details. I can change the system status. I can actually kick off builds within the platform itself. I can inject like analytics information and control domain management. It also allows you to have forms, so it does form collection. It does identity. It does actually serverless for you within it.
So this is a completely different way to do a website. And like I said, if you follow like the Amazon way to build like a new website, it's like stick it in an S3 bucket, it doesn't cost anything. Netlify is actually expanding on this and making a nice workflow for you.
I can really recommend this. I mean even if you don't use Netlify, the jamstack principle is brilliant. So you're generating the entire website, making it ready and distributed, and this allows us to basically focus more on the content, less worried about servers, so a really serverless approach to websites.
Have a look, Netlify, and I'll put the links into the show notes. So Netlify.com and that's all for this episode. Have a wonderful day and we will see you next time.