When it comes to hosting for static sites like this one, that uses Hugo, there are a few options out there now. It used to be that the default answer was to use GitHub Pages and Jekyll to host your site. There weren’t many well publicized alternatives out there that allowed you to host it all for free. Add in CloudFlare in front of GitHub Pages, and you had a well protected site that would be able to weather most issues, and be performant for most users.

However, when transitioning away from Jekyll, it caused me to investigate the alternatives for hosting static sites. This marketplace has definitely changed from the last time I was attempting to figure out the best way to host the site. In the end, I chose Netlify as it has the worldwide CDN similar to what CloudFlare and GitHub Pages utilize, but it allows you to have a more familiar process to work with the site.

When you create a Pull Request on your GitHub repository, Netlify will deploy that Pull Request to a location that allows you to preview the site before it goes live globally. In addition, Netlify has add-ons that allow you to perform analytics on the site without resorting to Google Analytics as well as forms and authentication.

In addition, the Netlify CMS, will allow you to update your static site, commit the changes to your Git repo, and rebuild and deploy the changes to your site without ever having to directly visit GitHub. It’s the polish that Hugo and Jekyll and the other static site generators have needed to allow a non-technical user to write for the platforms.