What is Netlify
Being a developer has never been easier, than it is today - and amongst the many tools that's responsible for this we find Netlify. Often it's a real pain for web-developers to create projects and deploy them. It's time consuming and at times quite complicated. Fortunatly for us developers Netlify takes care of this proces.
When would you use netlify
Netlify is a tool that will help you deploy a site on the web - wether that's a netlify domain or your own custom domain. At Kodex we are primarily using Gatsby.Js to generate our Static sites, and in order to put this site online, we use Netlify. But tools like Next.js, Nuxt.js, Vue.js, React.js and a bunch of other frameworks can easily be deployed to netlify as well.
If you want more information on what Gatsby is and how we use it - you can read it here.
In short, you would use Netlify if you're a developer or a team of developers that want to deploy website/webapplications.
How do you use netlify
Deploying your site
So the process is actually pretty straight forward. Lets say that you've finished your site in your code editor and JS-framework of choice (And since you're professional developer I'll assume, that you have already created a Git-repository for this project).
You are now ready to showcase your work on the world wide web.
Step 1: Login or Sign up to Netlify
Step 2: Create a new site from Git
Step 3: Connect to Git
Step 4: Select your repository
Step 5: Select your branch and select build settings
Note: As I mentioned Earlier, we are using Gatsby for most of our projects, that's why the Build Command option says 'gatsby build'. If you're using a different framework, then please make sure the proper command is typed in. However, Netlify should be able to register the command automatically anyway.
Step 6: First deployment
Now you'll see your site being processed. In a couple of minutes your site is online. 'friendly-bose-e008aaIf' is the domain name, that netlify has generated for you. If you want you can set up a custom domain in the 'getting started' tutorial.
So at the moment I've only been using the free version (Starter) - but I would say that it's more than plenty for the demands that we have at Kodex at them moment. The biggest limit is the build minutes. You get 300 minutes a month and each build is in average 45 seconds. That means that you can build your site 450 times. Every time that you push something to github or update something in your backend (If you have set up build hooks) Netlify starts counting. If you're working on one project solely this is more than enough - but if your dev team have more than one website in development mode, 300 minutes probably wouldn't be enough. However you get 500 build minutes extra for only 7 USD if you exceed your limit, so I would't upgrade until you or your team is using +1000 build minutes a month.
Netlify provides the users with a lot of additional settings.
Setting up an contact form is extreemly easy. You can watch Scott Tolinski's short tutorial on this here.
For 9 dollars a month Netlify is offering real time analytics.
You can test alternate versions of your design.
If you're a semi-large team with a pro account you get an audit log to keep track of what changes were made, when, and by whom.
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