To self-host web applications is challenging as it requires you to pay for, manage and maintain the servers by yourself. This can be time-consuming, hard, and even costly. With many free front-end web-hosting services, hosting sites has never been easier.
Netlify, one of the popular front-end hosting services, provides developers with everything they need to take their web projects from the first preview to full production without having to think about servers or DevOps. Netlify automatically builds your site and deploys it across a global edge network.
This article will give you an overview of Netlify alternatives for deploying single-page applications and their pros and features. Let’s get started!
Netlify and others
Netlify started as a company called BitBalloons, a simple service that lets you drag and drop a folder from your desktop to BitBalloons web UI and have it deployed onto a CDN. BitBalloons later graduated to become Netlify, a next-generation web hosting and automation platform for JAMstack websites. Netlify simplifies the process of deploying websites for developers. Everything you deploy to Netlify is a static asset, and Netlify takes care of deploying it on a CDN so that they are available to your users.
If you want to learn how to deploy an application on Netlify, you can check out this article on Open Replay.
Netlify isn’t the only JAMstack hosting platform. There’re a ton of alternatives to Netlify for deploying JAMstack applications, and that’s what we will go over in this article. Each one has its advantage over others but choosing any web hosting service is highly dependent on your preference. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
AWS Amplify is an all-around solution that ships with many tools for building and deploying secure, scalable web and mobile full-stack applications powered by AWS. With AWS Amplify, creating web and mobile apps is easier and faster.
- AWS Amplify enables you to automatically configure cloud backends with the Amplify CLI, allowing you to accelerate your app for common workflows like sign up and sign in.
- The AWS Amplify libraries allow you to easily add secure authentication, serverless APIs, file storage, analytics, push notifications, and more to your app.
- AWS Amplify also offers Amplify UI, a set of accessible and themeable, pre-built UI components that can integrate into any application
Cloudflare pages is a serverless, JAMstack web-hosting platform for collaborating, building, and deploying static sites using frameworks like Jekyll, React.js, Gatsby, Next.js, and many others. Cloudflare pages offer dynamic functionality through its integration with Cloudflare workers.
Check out this article on Open Replay to find out how to host your React application with Cloudflare Pages.
- Cloudflare pages provide domains that act as registers and have no markup pricing
- It offers Out-of-the-box performance on Cloudflare’s edge network
- Cloudflare pages is developer-focused with easy Git integration
Digital Ocean offers a cloud computing service for developers to quickly deploy and effortlessly scale applications that can run parallel across multiple cloud servers. Digital Ocean allows you to manage your servers using API, CLI app, and dashboard.
- Digital Ocean has a comprehensive and intuitive documentation
- It offers a team inclusion option that fosters collaboration among developers
- Digital Ocean has 14 globally distributed data centers, making your websites accessible and available in almost any location
Firebase is a hosting service/platform designed by google for deploying mobile and web applications. Firebase is exceptional because of its one-click deployment feature: it takes just one command from your local app directory to the web.
- Firebase offers a performance monitoring tool to give you insight into
- Database option - offers database features for users.
- It has top-notch accessible UIs and smooth integration.
Session Replay for Developers
Uncover frustrations, understand bugs and fix slowdowns like never before with OpenReplay — an open-source session replay suite for developers. It can be self-hosted in minutes, giving you complete control over your customer dataHappy debugging! Try using OpenReplay today.
Aside from allowing developers to host all of their code in repositories, GitHub also provides a free hosting service for static sites called GitHub Pages. With GitHub Pages, each repository on your GitHub account can have its own hosted website.
- Because of its integration with GitHub, GitHub Pages is ideal for teams
- GitHub Pages doesn’t require any installation or files to store on your machine
- It offers top-notch security and reliability
Heroku is a cloud computing service that specifically optimizes backend developers to build and host their applications. Heroku isn’t created for deploying front-end applications and doesn’t have its own CDN. However, hosting JAMstack applications with Heroku is possible by integrating third-party services.
- Heroku is deployable with Git and Docker
- It offers over 200 plugins, making it easier for you to deploy your applications
- Heroku enables you to monitor and enhance performance through rich application monitoring
Surge is a cloud hosting platform for JAMstack sites. It is straightforward to use and offers customization options for those needing them. Surge is optimized for native web application. With Surge’s super-fast CLI, you can deploy your static sites in no time.
- Its free tier allows unlimited publishing and using custom domains
- Seamless integration with build tools like Grunt and Gulp
- Surge requires minimal configuration to deploy a project
Vercel is a cloud hosting platform for front-end frameworks and static sites. It comes with serverless functions, built to integrate with headless CMS, commerce, or even databases. Vercel actively maintains Next.js as Guillermo Rauch, the founder of Vercel, is also the creator of Next.js. This is the core reason why Vercel is optimized best for Next.js. Deploying and scaling Next.js apps on Vercel requires zero configuration.
- Vercel offers automated testing, which effectively detects bugs early in the deployment
- Vercel can be easily integrated with external tools
- Vercel Analytics provides real-time traffic insights from visitors, enabling you to analyze your website without leaving the dashboard
It’s been such a ride! This article introduced you to many Netlify alternatives for deploying your front-end applications. Choosing a free web hosting platform for your application depends on what you focus more on when deploying your site, be it security, speed, etc. As such, this article exposed you to the pros of each web hosting platform and what they have as an advantage over each other. When next you want to deploy a front-end app, check out one of the listed platforms above.
A TIP FROM THE EDITOR: If you stay with Netlify, our Deploying React Applications To Netlify and Deploying A Vue JS App With Netlify articles will help you!