Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

First impressions of Netlify

September 29, 2019 | Tech

I first heard of Netlify while attending a React course. The instructor recommended using Netlify for all small projects we would make. At the time I didn't check into Netlify that much but I remembered the name. 6 months later I set up my account.

Setting up my account was fast and super easy. You can sign up with GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or email. The UI is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. I also like how the UI looks, which is a nice plus. Netlify offers good documentation and user instructions, which is something I love. It didn't take much time to start actually using the service.

When searching for small Gatsby site hosting alternatives, there didn't seem to really be any other than Netlify. And after using Netlify, I easily understand why. You can get a site up and running in no time and you automatically get a Netlify sub-domain for your site. You can also use a custom domain if you don't have one yet, Netlify can help you buy one and set it up. I had my own custom domain and I had no problems setting it up because the instructions were so clear.

What I have on Netlify

I only have my blog site running on Netlify at the moment but I will definitely use Netlify when I have more projects.

I set up my site to deploy from GitHub automatically, so that whenever my repository changes, Netlify will build my site for me. The site set up couldn't really get much easier. I don't have to worry about anything with the deploys, as soon as the Gatsby build is finished, my blog is updated. And if there is an error in the build process, I still have my site up and I can see the error message from Netlify and fix the problem.

When I look at my site's information, I can easily see when the most recent production deploy has been successful. The deployment status changes in real-time, which is a nice way to see when my changes go up.

Other useful Netlify features

Netlify also offers Active Split Testing by splitting traffic to multiple branches. I haven't had the need for split testing but I find this amazing. I believe many people benefit from this.

Netlify also supports automatic collection of form submissions from any HTML forms on the site. I currently don't have any forms on my sites but this is one feature that really caught my eye when looking at all the possibilities Netlify offers.

Netlify Identity helps you manage sign-ups, logins, etc. I very briefly tried this out while testing Netlify CMS and the feature was just as easy to set up as Netlify in general. They provide you with instructions for each step.

And there are even more features listed on the site. I really recommend you check out Netlify!