Webhosting - going static with Netlify

4 September 2021 7 mins read

Discovering the beauty of static web hosting! With Netlify.

Being a student, I had always found it hard to keep up with the cost of “cheap Webhosting.” By the end of 2018, I took down the WordPress site due to said costs and replaced it with a static site that looked more like a CV. In 2019, I came across Netlify and setup a blog using the provided sample templates. Later on, life got in the way and I never got the time to work on a website for the next two years, thanks to research work.

cheap_webhosting

Let me tell you why I chose to ditch traditional Webhosting. Think of a webpage as a block of data. In the conventional approach, you rent a computer and put the block of data in that computer’s hard disk, and run a program in that computer to serve that block of data. In Netlify’s case, they just rent their hard disk so multiple people can access data through the network with their own devices simultaneously. 

Shared hostings share their CPU, RAM, and hard disk with their customers. In contrast, Netlify only shares their harddisks, which spreads worldwide in the form of CDN (you get CDN even for a free plan while paying more gives you a better CDN). They can afford to provide free hosting with excellent performance to their customers because their operational costs are dirt cheap. Since static hosting is served over CDN, the performance is excellent. 

Considering there’s no computing time when the browser hits the CDN servers, your site’s Time to First Byte will be very short, regardless of the geographic location.

The catch here is that you can’t host Server-Side Rendering websites. So, frameworks like WordPress cannot be hosted on Netlify (a static website that pulling content over WP Rest API is viable, though). Suppose you need some server-side computing or database in Netlify. In that case, they provide Lambda functions and FaunaDB integration even in their free plan. You just need to code it differently than you code like in PHP.

TLDR;

I could try to explain this further, but it would take a whole new article to achieve that. So, here are some reasons why Netlify is cool:

  • Well, It is free
  • Easy to use
  • Deploy in seconds
  • Continuous Deployment (CD)
  • Branch Deploys
  • Free Private Repo Hosting
  • Deploy Previews
  • Asset Optimization
  • Free SSL
  • Rewrites and Redirects
  • Custom Subdomains
  • Free DNS

Checkout Netlify if you plan to take the static webhosting route. Now that I have decided on the Webhosting side of things, It's time to build that static site!

Read the next post in this series here:
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