Craig's Blog

Swapping GitHub for Netlify

May 23, 2020

I wrote previously about building this site with GitHub Actions and hosting it on GitHub Pages. While that was a fun learning experience, the issues configuring GitHub pages to work with a custom domain and having to manually edit the workflow if my project structure changed caused me to consider alternatives. I had not used Netlify before, but had heard good things about it, and its free tier offered a drop-in replacement for my existing setup with GitHub Actions and Pages, only with less configuration.

With little setup, Netlify provides automatic www. to root domain redirects and free, auto-renewing HTTPS certificates via Let’s Encrypt. I replaced my custom workflow configuration that I’d used to build the site with GitHub Actions and move files around in favor of simply giving Netlify a build command and publish directory. For a personal project like this, I like to prioritize ease of maintenance, and limiting the amount of customization and moving parts needed to keep the lights on helps a great deal.

Bonus: Netlify also includes basic server-side traffic statistics, so I can know how many readers end up here while respecting privacy-conscious users.

Craig Palermo

UX Software Engineer at Priceline, 🐴 rider, 🐀 owner, ✈️ enthusiast

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