For the last year or so, I have been running my blog from Cloudflare Pages -hosting.
It has been quite a positive experience overall, but after trying out Netlify for a few times, Netlify impressed me a little better than Cloudflare.
What made me try out Netlify in the first place was an event on Forestry.io’s end where they had forgotten to update their SSH host keys before Github’s brownout period which was a part of their security update agenda.
Basically, updating my blog using Forestry.io service, which is a headless CMS that commits changes to Github repository, was down.
It was down a few days and I started looking into some alternatives for Forestry.io and ended up setting up Netlify CMS for my blog.
While Netlify CMS doesn’t make it mandatory to have a project created in Netlify hosting, it was much easier to jump into the CMS by having a project created in their hosting service with Netlify Identity activated.
So naturally, having linked my blog with Netlify hosting and having Netlify Identity activated, I was already running all the Netlify services my blog needs.
After publishing my blog post that had been postponed due to Forestry.io downtime, I noticed that while Cloudflare Pages took almost 5 minutes to publish my post to my production version, meanwhile Netlify had done the same job in 10 seconds.
This got me quite interested in moving my blog completely to Netlify platform so, here are some of the reasons why I made the jump from Cloudflare to Netlify.
Netlify makes it very easy to work with Jamstack websites
As mentioned above, linking my Jamstack (Hugo) website with Netlify was pretty straight forward.
After signing up, I created a new project (or “New site”) which I have in Github and that is basically it.
This new Netlify project now listens to new commits and after each new commit it builds and deploys itself.
This couldn’t be any easier.
Oh, and of course it comes with full support for Hugo sites, which I am already using for quite some time.
This was basically the same as for Cloudflare Pages, except that the build and deploy times were much faster after new commits.
Cloudflare customer support
One other reason I didn’t mind leaving Cloudflare for Netlify was the lack of their customer support.
There were a few occasions where I would have liked to get some help.
Recently, I moved the domain of my blog to a local domain registrar and forgot about the Ultrafast Cloudflare Edge. I would have liked to manually purge the entire CDN before moving the domain because as it turned out, my ISP kept pointing my domain name to Cloudflare servers for around two days after transfering the domain, probably due to this Ultrafast edge.
It would have been nice to get someone to talk to about this but I couldn’t even find an email or any related documentation regarding my issue.
Of course, I don’t know if Netlify’s customer support is any better, but the way I see it, I don’t think it can be any worse at least.
Netlify Identity with Netlify CMS
Having switched to using Netlify CMS instead of Forestry.io for publishing my blog posts, I had already created a project to the Netlify platform which meant that I was already using their service.
I usually like to but all my eggs in one basket if I can find enough reasons to justify it.
Being tied to multiple services and service providers isn’t optimal for at least a very basic website like my blog is.
Equally good free plan
I haven’t looked into too much detail on how Cloudflare Pages and Netlify Free plan compare but from the first look I feel like there is just enough for me to be running my blog there for free.
Cloudflare Pages free tier has currently 500 builds per month and allow up to 10 custom domains.
All I really need is around 10 to maybe 20 build per month maximum which will be triggered when I publish a new post or save a draft on my CMS.
Netlify free tier on the other hand is measuring bandwidth usage and build minutes.
After another look, there is quite a lot more going on between the free tier and the paid tiers.
Will see after some time if and how I will meet some limits of the Netlify free tier, but I expect that not to be a case for anytime soon.
At least for bandwidth use there shouldn’t be too much trouble as I don’t have that many monthly visitors on my website and my website is as lightweight as it can be.