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What is Netlify and Why Should You Care as an Editor?

Gabriella Pirrone
Gabriella Pirrone
September 20, 2019

There are hundreds of static website hosts companies out there today; however, our favourite is Netlify. Why do we prefer Netlify over its competitors might you ask? Netlify makes it super easy for developers to host websites responsibly, a way that is scalable and secure.  

Netlify simplifies the process for developers to deploy and host a website. It does all the work for them that they probably don't want to spend too much time or effort on. Not just that, but it also provides several benefits for editors too! Let’s explore those benefits and more below. 

What is Netlify?   

First, let's start by identifying who Netlify is and what they provide. Netlify is a web hosting infrastructure and automation technology company based in San Francisco. What's cool is that JAMstack was initially brought to life by Netlify's Co-founder, Mathias Biilmann. Netlify provides next-generation web hosting and automation that's very affordable. They also offer web hosting infrastructure for JAMstack websites.  

Netlify works by connecting to your GitHub repository to pull your source code, then it typically runs a build process to pre-render all of your pages in static HTML. The resulting HTML, CSS, and JS are then deployed and distributed across a large number of content delivery networks. When a visitor tries to access your website, it automatically chooses the data center closest to you and serves you the static files.  

"The way that a front-end developer would work would be to go into a server and change how things were structured, but then Git came in and became the basic way of operating," said Mathias Biilmann, Co-founder of Netlify in an interview with TechCrunch and added "You get more and more the expectation that pushing to Git something happens." 

Take advantage of all their products such as:  

  • Netlify Build - The Git workflow for web development. Build, deploy, and manage modern web projects. 
     
  • Netlify Dev - Imagine the productivity boost of being able to locally test your site generator, API integrations, serverless functions, and edge rules, all in a single development server. That’s Netlify Dev: a powerful way to build and test modern web apps on your local machine. 
     
  • Netlify Edge - A new type of application delivery network custom-designed for blazing-fast sites and modern workflows. On top of that, you can also include powerful add-ons such as analytics, functions, identity, forms and more. Netlify makes it easy to build and deploy a feature-rich site at the click of a button! You don’t need to be an experienced developer or architecture.  

The Top 3 Benefits of Netlify for Editors   

  • Netlify is less expensive, and you get a faster site – Building and hosting a static website will help you save money in the long run. Also, with Netlify Edge, your website and applications will be super-fast using global distribution and automated prerendering. 

  • Take advantage of features like Netlify Build –  Netlify Build enables developers to build with any integration. Any time you (as an editor) want to change content or add new functionality to your site, it lets you create unlimited branches of your website. What this means is if your website is hosted through Netlify, it allows you to spin a unique URL and have multiple ways for your editors to test any sort of change they have made in different views. Every single change of your content allows you to easily preview in different environments. 

  • It's easier to launch a site using Netlify – Netlify has a built-in DNS management & SSL certificates (and it's FREE, no expiry). This means less complexity in launching your website and it’s all hosted in one place.  

Ending Notes 

If your developers haven’t yet discovered Netlify, then be sure to forward them this article. Not only will they be super intrigued, but they will also be excited to learn how easy it is to get a static website hosted on Netlify. 

If you want to learn more about Netlify, JAMstack and other technologies disrupting the web development space, then make sure you check out our upcoming Fastr Conference. A one-day, single track, crash-course packed with powerful learning sessions led by agile innovators and cutting-edge developers. We have an amazing line up of speakers that we'll be announcing soon so stay tuned!

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