It's one of my favorite platforms because of its simplicity.
One Netlify feature I like is that if you host a domain with them, you can deploy branches to subdomains via git naming. This is good way to set up dev/test/prod environments with very little hassle.
Something I see in a lot of threads like this is "What's so special about that? I can do all that stuff myself while self-hosting!" Yeah, but should you? Setting all this stuff up is a bunch of schlep that has no productive value, and I'm quite happy to outsource it to someone who makes it easy and obvious.
There’s no such limitation with Netlify.
But Dropbox is something for laymen and casual consumers, it had a massive convenience quotient — Dokku and Netlify (and surge.sh and Heroku, etc) are for developers specifically, and git pushing to website generator is more or less the same experience with all of those services. There isn’t a gulf of difference between using Netlify and creating a Dokku droplet on DigitalOcean...
Edit: comment below helped me too, CDN, SSL, pretty URLs. All good value with Netlify. Thanks.
There absolutely is.
There might be one click deployment for tools as DO droplets, but if you're the target user for that kind of thing, you're probably taking on more responsibility than you're even understanding. It might even be that the one click setup has good security defaults and automatic updates set up. It might continue to work without any issue and any intervention for a long time, but by luck/coincidence. On netlify it will continue to work because someone is taking care of the things that need to be taken care of, not because of luck/coincidence.
Another perspective: You're a JS/HTML/CSS developer. Heartbleed happens. On netlify, you don't even need to pay attention. On DO you at the very least need to understand how to check that all your servers are updated.
Another perspective: I've managed linux servers before. I know how to do it. I don't enjoy it.
Netlify is definitely on my todo/reading list... I just tore down my personal website and blog, with the intent of getting it running elsewhere. For my blog, I exported all the details into markdown files with front matter, but hadn't done anything to get it re-published anywhere. So, who knows.
I have a genuine interest in exploring a lot of this, but motivation + time have been limiting factors for me.
"But wait...there's more". If you're a new to development or operations, you might be tempted to use something like netlify. If your project has a high probability(>75%) of generating real income, then DEFINITELY use netlify. Anything that stands between you and deployment is costing you money. But... if your project is a hobby or non-serious-revenue-generating endeavor: please please please do it yourself. Learn apache syntax, learn nginx syntax, explore why `setenforce 0` is for hacky amateurs. You'll learn marketable skills, that will help you in your future career endeavors.
Netflify creates a skilled "user of netlify". Doing it yourself creates an "engineer". Which of those two would you rather be?
Given the number of help threads and spotty documentation I had to look through to deploy a simple Wordpress site, I'd say it was more of a hassle than anything else. Unless you plan on doing this several more times, at which point you'd likely have worked the kinks out, stick with deepening your knowledge in an existing area of proficiency.
On DO, I learned that you have to set up everything yourself, like SSH, Apache, MySQL, PHP, SFTP. I haven't found good documentation on how to set up a Git workflow from my local dev environment, so that's the next step. I have a non-database PHP site I plan to use for that.
One of the many hats I wear is to do a lot of those things. I setup nginx inside a docker container to act as a reverse proxy for an http api living in another container, and now that's done but it's time to put on another hat and train users on the new core platform we're using, but now it's time for the legacy maintenance hat, but this hat is on fire, and...
If I'm working on a project for fun, I want to have as few barriers as possible, because I'm already facing an uphill motivational battle after a long day at work, or on a weekend where I just want to relax.
I did have to lookup `setenforce`, because I've never had reason to disable SELinux.
It almost worked for me with s3 buckets and then I hit a wall with SSL, and Netlify setup was quick, painless and lets-encrypt compatible :)