Josh Rogers

Network Automation, System Architecture, Data Wrangling, and other Cleverties

Netlify!

May 15, 2020

I love learning about new stuff. I’m not you’re typical early adopter who wants to turn every knob, and use every new tech they can find. Instead, I like to cut my teeth and learn, and think about how to think about tech. This blog is me dipping my toe into yet another thing to ‘check out.’ Netlify is a web hosting platform which has tight integrations with git, allowing web developers who wish to leverage a modern frontend framework with continuous delivery and revision control.

Modernization

Traditionally, I’ve run a LAMP stack on bare metal, and some sort of php framework or system. I worked through using web software like gallery, piwigo, wordpress, and coppermine to eventually writing my own using MVC frameworks like CakePHP and Symfony. It has always been a hassle to get the infrastructure in place, setting up the backend, figuring out a back scheme (and worse doing recoveries after a loss), and figuring how to maintain revision control. It always felt like revision control and the framework itself were at odds; I’d spend more time building .gitignore files (or svn:ignore) to avoid the cache directories, config files, and the like. For a while I tinkered with the notion of trying to build a kind of Infrastructure as Code approach by putting all of my content and some bootstrapping scripts all in a repo, and running a single script to clone and deploy containers and content on the fly (no more backups!) I was a bit intrigued when I came across Netlify, as it seems to do all this for me… And for free, no less! They make their money by offering collaboration and scalability options, as well as turning on more advanced features like analytics and other features that may require server-side function that isn’t static.

gatsby

This blog is hosted by Netlify, uses React/Gatsby to help serve up a simple markdown file:

---
title: Netlify!
date: "2020-05-15"
featuredImage: './netlify.jpg'
---

I love learning about new stuff.  I'm not...

Deployment

Deployment was pretty straight forward. A webhook in gitlab lets the build system know there is a change, it grabs the latest merged content from gitlab, and its live. That’s it.

Final Thoughts

This won’t work for a lot of situations, for sure. I suspect, however, that it could be coupled with some low cost options for backend storage (they have a faunaDB option) and do quite a bit with it though.

I look forward to learning a little more about it, and playing with it more. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting and take a spin yourself.

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