Netlify JAMStack hosting review (August 2020)

I discovered Netlify a couple of years ago and was immediately impressed by the ease of use, the feature set, and price (free at the very generously-provisioned Starter level). Since then, it’s just gotten better and better.

The other day I was buried in work, so instead of doing something productive, I tried using Github Pages instead of Netlify for a couple of my sites, just out of curiosity.

Not only was set-up more difficult (in part because the GitHub documentation is vague where it needs to be specific), but there is actually more latency between pushing to a repository and seeing your changes online with Github Pages than there is with Netlify.

With Github Pages you can use Jekyll. With Netlify builds you can use any of dozens of SSGs (Static Site Generators).

Furthermore, missing from Github Pages are virtually all of the niceties you get with Netlify, such as redirects (unless you are using Jekyll), DNS dashboard, Snippets, and straightforward internal links on projects with generic URLs.

Page load speeds with Github Pages were very, very fast, but Netlify page load speeds test within one percent of Github Pages on, and GTMetrix scores are virtually identical.

Netlify has better documentation and a great support portal, where Github Pages has a more traditional system of filing a request and waiting for an e-mailed response.

WPEngine is great for my WordPress sites, and Digital Ocean with ServerPilot are great for my PHP sites. But for JAMStack sites, Netlify has been simply fantastic. Highly recommended.