Lately the benefits of static site generators and flat file CMS have been praised by many bloggers, designers and agencys, all of which are tired of hacked and exploited systems, constant security updates, bloated source code and performance problems. The reduced complexity, faster page loading speeds and greater security are very enticing so we have decided to give static sites a try as well and reduce the depency on WordPress.
Which hosting package is best for static sites?
Since static websites normally just consist of a few html or text files and images there is no need for a MySQL database or any other additional hosting features, so the most basic hosting package of any hosting provider out there usually will do the job. But since we have talked about speed and security before, these two factors should be done right by adding a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and SSL encryption for your domain right from the start. If you don’t want things to get too complicated again and adding these features manually afterwards in addition to your basic hosting, then it is very wise to choose a hosting provider that offers everything as a preconfigured package out of the box.
After a bit of googling around everything that is connected to static sites we stumbled across Netlify a lot. For example they run StaticGen.com, a leaderboard of the top open-source static site generators as well as headlesscms.org, an overview of the top Content Management tools for JAMstack sites.
With their newest features you can try many of the most popular static site generators right from StaticGen.com and automatically deploy them to Netlify. They even push your website to a global network of intelligent CDN nodes that also handle asset fingerprinting, automatic caching headers, and smart redirect & rewrite rules. HTTPS encryption can also be enabled with a few clicks of your mouse. The best of all: it is free for for prototypes & experiments complete with free custom & secure domains with continuous deployment.
Advanced features like pre-rendering, API proxying and built-in form submissions start from $9 USD per month.
We recommend Netlify both for beginners and for experts, since their system allows you to try out almost everything for free and very very easy, while the normal WordPress user probably has a spinning head after reading the Jekyll documentation.
Next on our list for beginners looking into Static Site Hosting is GitHub Pages since it is free as well and also can be tried with a few mouse clicks. While the system of course is different from the WordPress environment where basic users mostly are working with FTP or even automatic installations via Softaculous, it is not difficult to understand how the GitHub repositories work, how they can be cloned, etc. etc.
GitHub even has an Automatic Page Generator that turns boring text content into simple but quite beautiful websites. Of course you can also use your own custom domain for your GitHub Pages site. You just have to create a CNAME file and include your URL.
GitLab also has a hosting service which is called GitHost but it starts at $80/month. The free service for using static website generators like Jekyll, Middleman, Hexo, Hugo, Pelican, etc. is called GitLab Pages. GitLab Pages also supports custom domains and SSL certificates, making it easy to secure your site and give it a professional look. One of the key advantages of GitLab Pages is that it integrates with the rest of the GitLab platform, making it an all-in-one solution for developers.
As a web developer myself, my opinion of Cloudflare Pages is positive. It offers an efficient JAMstack solution for frontend developers, allowing for quick and easy deployment of websites with deeper Git integration. The ability to simply tell Cloudflare your build command and let them handle the rest, including logs, is a time-saver for developers.
Cloudflare Pages also facilitates collaboration with unlimited free seats for collaborators and Access integration for complete control over user access to previews. The platform takes care of infrastructure by providing website security, scalability, and speed, allowing developers to focus solely on design and content. The fact that it runs on Cloudflare’s fast edge network, supports HTTP/3, secure SSL, and various other technologies, makes it a great choice for website hosting.
The free plan provides 500 builds/month with unlimited bandwidth, sites, and requests, while paid plans start at $20/month for 5k builds/month and 5 concurrent builds. All in all, Cloudflare Pages seems like a good option for frontend developers looking to build fast websites with efficient collaboration and infrastructure support.
AWS Amplify is a comprehensive platform that offers a range of tools and services for building, deploying, and hosting web applications. Amplify supports static site hosting and provides a range of templates and themes to choose from. It’s perfect for those who want to build a scalable, secure, and fast website, and it’s ideal for businesses that require more advanced features.
Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform offers a secure and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes, from individual developers to big enterprises. It features Object Lifecycle Management (OLM), which allows you to manage and configure your data easily. The platform offers a growing list of global data centers, providing automatic redundancy options, and you can choose the location and way to store data for optimized website response time and disaster recovery.
Google Cloud offers flexible storage classes that you can use to determine pricing models and availability of stored data. It also includes object versioning, encryption, and access control options. The Cloud Key Management Service stores encryption keys, and you can use Bucket Lock to configure data retention policies. The platform also provides notifications, data access and activity logs, and integration with Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM). Additionally, it offers integrated repositories for machine learning and analytics.
Hosting a site on Google Cloud Storage is straightforward and easy to use.
Microsoft Azure Static Web Apps
Azure Static Web Apps is a great option for businesses who are already on the Microsoft stack, as it provides seamless integration with the existing ecosystem. The native Github CI/CD workflows streamline the development process, making it easier for developers to build, test and deploy their applications.
Additionally, Azure Static Web Apps provides global content geo-distribution, which means that your website will be distributed across multiple locations for fast and reliable delivery, no matter where your users are located. This is an important feature for businesses with a global audience, as it helps to ensure that the site is accessible from anywhere, at any time.
In terms of security, Azure takes a proactive approach to secure your data and applications. They use a combination of firewalls, network isolation, and encryption to secure your data and applications. Additionally, Azure provides a range of security features, including Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), advanced threat protection, and real-time monitoring.
Overall, Azure Static Web Apps is a reliable and scalable platform for hosting your static websites, and is particularly well suited to businesses who are already on the Microsoft stack and need a secure and fast hosting platform.
DigitalOcean App Platform
DigitalOcean App Platform is a cloud-based platform for hosting and deploying static websites. Its pricing plans are straightforward, and it offers a free starter plan for hosting up to 3 websites with 1 GB of outbound bandwidth and 100 builds per month. The basic plan starts at $5 per month and offers more resources, such as dynamic app deployment and metrics, while the professional plan starts at $12 per month and offers even more resources, including 100 GB of outbound transfer and 1,000 builds per month. The platform integrates with GitHub, making it easy to deploy websites straight from your repository.
Streamline your deployment process with Surge.sh, offering an effortless solution for developers. Enjoy hassle-free deployments with Grunt, NPM, and Gulp integration, allowing for seamless integration with your existing toolchain.
Every project is supported by custom domains, pushState functionality, SSL certification for Surge domains, custom 404 pages, and unrestricted CLI deployment, delivering top-notch functionality for your website.
Take advantage of Surge’s compatibility with various build tools, including Grunt plugins, Gulp plugins, npm scripts, Git hooks, Jekyll, Node.js, Static Site Generators, CI services, and other automatic deployment options. Invite your team to collaborate with ease, simply by entering one command to publish your content.
Render seems like another great option for hosting a static site. Its seamless integration with GitLab and GitHub, as well as its automatic and continuous deployment and proactive cache invalidation, make it an effortless choice for developers. Additionally, its ability to handle up to 100 GB bandwidth a month for free, with low cost per GB afterwards, is an attractive feature.
The Pull Request Pageviews, bandwidth graphs, and native support for HTTP/2 along with custom HTTP headers further enhance the user experience, while the Automatic Brotli Compression improves the performance of the site. The support for a wide range of site generators and the ability to add unlimited collaborators and teams, makes Render a flexible and scalable choice for your website.
Vercel is a promising all-in-one platform for both JAMStack and Static website deployment. Its simplicity and ease of use make it a great option for web developers, especially those who are looking for a hassle-free deployment process. With Vercel, you can quickly deploy your site and preview it with a URL that you can share with your team for collaboration.
Vercel’s performance is another standout feature, with fast and scalable deployments. The integration with Git providers like GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab makes it even more convenient for developers. Furthermore, Vercel supports a wide range of popular front-end frameworks such as Next.js, Vue.js, React, Angular, Gatsby, and many others.
Dynamic site re-building with deployable hooks is also a feature that sets Vercel apart from other platforms. This feature is particularly useful for those who work with a CMS. The ability to generate a single page without having to rebuild the entire site is a major time-saver for developers. Additionally, Vercel’s 99.99% uptime guarantee, thanks to its ultra-fast global CDNs located in 70 cities, ensures reliable and efficient site performance.
Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS)
Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS) is another great option for hosting static websites. Its industry-leading scalability, durability, and performance makes it suitable for storing and protecting large amounts of data, making it a great choice for various use cases such as backup and restore, content distribution, data lakes, mobile applications, data archive, and IoT devices.
The static website hosting feature is straightforward and allows you to host your static website in an OSS bucket and access it through the endpoint of the bucket. The HTTPS, CName, and CDN configuration options further add to the security and reliability of your website.
Overall, Alibaba Cloud OSS provides a reliable and secure solution for hosting static websites and it is definitely worth considering for those who are looking for a scalable and cost-effective solution.
Last but not least Tiiny Host seems like a good option for those looking for a straightforward, lightweight solution for hosting their static websites. They advertise that their hosting service is easier to use compared to popular hosting providers such as Wix, Squarespace, Google Cloud, Netlify, GitHub, and AWS S3, which could be beneficial for those who are new to website hosting or are looking for a more streamlined experience.
However, as with any hosting provider, it would be wise to do some research and compare the features and limitations of Tiiny Host to the other providers before making a decision. Additionally, it would be important to consider factors such as security, scalability, and customer support before choosing a hosting provider.
Final Thoughts on Static Hosting
In conclusion, there are many excellent static site hosting platforms available today, each offering its own set of features and benefits. The right platform for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. Whether you’re a developer, business owner, or just looking to build a simple, fast, and secure website, there’s a static site hosting platform that will meet your needs.