Ask DN: How do you deploy and host websites today?

over 7 years ago from , Co-Founder of Aerobatic

For personal projects, seems that gh-pages is often the default option. If not gh-pages, what else are you using? Also, if you're an agency, are you typically hosting clients sites too or more commonly handing off the assets for the client to host themselves? If you host for clients, how are you currently doing that and what works well / you wish was better?


  • Ghaida ZahranGhaida Zahran, over 7 years ago

    gh-pages + static/jekyll site depending on how frequently the site is updated. gh-pages is so simple that it makes no sense to use anything else unless the site requires a database.

    I used to do client work and have been on both sides of the hosting fence, and there is little to no return on investment to hosting a client's site.

    15 points
  • Jordan KoscheiJordan Koschei, over 7 years ago

    Digital Ocean for hosting, Git for deployment.

    The actual site could be anything — Wordpress, Jekyll, static HTML, you name it. (Well, not Drupal. And not Joomla.)

    10 points
    • Matt Anderson, over 7 years ago

      Similar to the setup I use!

      You had any luck compiling SCSS on the server (on deploy) by any chance?

      0 points
      • Jordan KoscheiJordan Koschei, over 7 years ago

        I do all my processing locally, using Gulp or Grunt. Haven't even tried deploy-time processing.

        1 point
        • Matt Anderson, over 7 years ago

          Ahh damn, that's currently what I do too though I'm getting sick of conflicting css files from the build process…

          0 points
          • Titouan MathisTitouan Mathis, over 7 years ago

            You can add a .gitattributes file, to mark your CSS files as binary and avoid conflicts, with this line:

            *.css -text -diff
            1 point
          • Alex ChanAlex Chan, over 7 years ago

            You can add a hook to your server side deployment to run whatever command you want (e.g. gulp build:dist) when something is pushed.

            2 points
  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 7 years ago

    DigitalOcean :)

    8 points
  • Jonathan SimcoeJonathan Simcoe, over 7 years ago

    I've used Surge recently for hosted projects for clients and our work at Circle with Disney and I have to say that it is an amazing static hosting platform. Suits my needs VERY well.

    6 points
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, over 7 years ago

    I use Jekyll, DigitalOcean, and Capistrano. You can see my process here: https://dsgn.io/thoughts/post/jekyll-deployment-with-digitalocean

    4 points
  • Daniel ArcherDaniel Archer, over 7 years ago

    Until recently, Divshot... But now using Firebase Hosting. Also check out surge.sh - awesome devops tool for deploying static sites.

    4 points
    • , over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

      Cheers Daniel for the reply. I'm familiar with those services - all good options. I should have added the disclaimer that I'm one of the founders of Aerobatic, a static hosting service. Apologies for any perceived opacity - unintended.

      2 points
  • Todd MoreyTodd Morey, over 7 years ago

    Netlify is really good for static content. Easily integrates into your workflow, and can build your site (Jekyll, metalsmith, etc) automatically.

    2 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    Heroku + Github

    2 points
  • Ronan Flynn-CurranRonan Flynn-Curran, over 7 years ago

    Usually some JS-based site on Heroku or Gthub Pages. More recently, been using Hugo and AWS S3.

    2 points
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    For static sites (building with Metalsmith atm), Surge or gh-pages for hosting. Otherwise, A Small Orange or Dreamhost depending on the size of the project/client.

    2 points
  • James McGill, over 7 years ago

    I've been hosting with A Small Orange for about 2 months now. It's super cheap, but ended up running out of bandwidth the first month when I posted a site I made on DN hah. I get 50gb for $5/month. Before A Small Orange I used hostgator. And I use Coda2 to write, manage and deploy. It has all sorts of plugins and converts SCSS to CSS.

    1 point
  • Ix TechauIx Techau, over 7 years ago

    I do everything in Rails so it's Heroku for me. Easiest option.

    1 point
  • A. M. ­DouglasA. M. ­Douglas, over 7 years ago

    DigitalOcean (FreeBSD, simple ipv6 support) + git & nginx-latest (http2) for live, dynamic projects

    GH Pages for prototyping and static sites.

    I use DNSimple and am baking in AMP-HTML support where appropriate.

    1 point
  • Raghuvir Kasturi, over 7 years ago

    Ghost + PM2 + DigitalOcean

    1 point
    • Joe Blau, over 7 years ago

      How is Ghost going? I remember being so excited about the platform but waiting for it killed my excitement. I've ended up using svbtle which has been awesome for me.

      2 points
    • n keylen keyle, over 7 years ago

      Same question, is Ghost any good?

      0 points
  • Samantha ZhangSamantha Zhang, over 7 years ago

    GitHub Pages + Parse.js for dynamic web pages / apps See my tutorial here: http://code.tutsplus.com/series/building-your-blog-with-parsejs--cms-651

    1 point
  • Danny Brown, over 7 years ago

    Digital Ocean + Docker + GitHub + https://www.deployhq.com == good stuff!

    1 point
  • Pahaz X, 6 years ago

    It there is just a static site, I use static-site-paas If there is a site with some dynamic logic I use Dokku

    0 points
  • Muneef HameedMuneef Hameed, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I use Dokku for static and small sites, implemented at digitalocean - they provide dokku image when creating droplets.

    0 points
  • Tait BrownTait Brown, over 7 years ago
    • Git + DeployBot + Heroku (for Node/Express)
    • ghpages or s3 (for static)
    0 points
  • Benjamin LundquistBenjamin Lundquist, over 7 years ago

    Digital Ocean boxes provisioned and deployed with Forge


    0 points
  • Nick TassoneNick Tassone, over 7 years ago


    Usually with node.

    0 points
  • , over 7 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Quite illuminating to see the breadth of approaches. Was expecting to see a fairly homogenous set of options, but that doesn't appear to be the case, although Digital Ocean looks like the predominant hosting option, with shoutouts for gh-pages, Surge, Divshot / Firebase, Netlify, Heroku, and a number of others.

    I wonder for those rolling their own with DO, do you also go to the extent of enabling CDN, SSL, etc. (features that are usually part of a dedicated static hosting service, like Aerobatic, for example)?

    0 points
  • Mirem Fazul, over 7 years ago


    0 points
  • Jesse DobbelaereJesse Dobbelaere, over 7 years ago

    I deploy my php CMS websites with Capistrano to plain shared hosting with SSH access. Capistrano basically git clones the project to a new release folder and pulls the composer vendors and executes some other scripts like symlinking uploads folder. The advantage is that you can easily do a "cap rollback" to an earlier version.

    0 points
  • Kyle MitchellKyle Mitchell, over 7 years ago

    I use fantastico deluxe to install a cms on a server from 1and1 then upload changes via ftp .

    0 points
  • Jonathan SuhJonathan Suh, over 7 years ago

    Personally: I host my site on DigitalOcean. My site is built on Jekyll. Although I do development with Gulp, I use Grunt to build my production-ready site locally pre-deployment (need my tasks to run linearlly b/c my production build is a bit more complex than usual), and use Capistrano to deploy to my DigitalOcean server. Here’s my Gruntfile.js for reference: https://github.com/jonsuh/jonsuh.com/blob/github/Gruntfile.js#L470

    Clients: We host our sites on Amazon Web Services—EC2 for servers, RDS for databases, Route53 for DNS, S3 for storage. We host our repos on Beanstalk and use that for deployment. Beanstalk allows you to have multiple deployment environments and run post-deployment shell commands on the deployment server. Since just about all of our sites rely on Grunt/Gulp, we run production-specific post-deployment build commands (gulp production). You just need to make sure you have the dependencies installed on the server that you would on your machine for development (i.e. Gulp, Grunt, Node, etc.).

    0 points
  • Toby ShorinToby Shorin, over 7 years ago

    Has anyone found a replacement for Cactus now that it no longer seems to be maintained?

    0 points
  • Jeff L, over 7 years ago


    0 points
  • Frank LämmerFrank Lämmer, over 7 years ago

    shameless plug (i am co-founder): fortrabbit is of course the best place to deploy and host PHP driven sites.

    0 points
  • Christopher Luna, over 7 years ago

    neocities is nice for static sites. Their free accounts have no ads or anything like that, and they allow to use your own domain or a free subdomain.

    0 points
  • Bryce York, over 7 years ago
    • Heroku + DeployBot + BitBucket (for 2x django apps I work on, one startup one enterprise) - will likely switch to DeployBot to CodeShip for automated testing feature

    • Bitbucket + Firebase (for a react app I'm working on)

    0 points
  • Adam MooreAdam Moore, over 7 years ago

    Custom gulp scripts for static site generation, media crushing, preprocessing etc. S3 for deployment.

    0 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 7 years ago

    Some kind of hosting (I have BlueHost and MediaTemple) with deployhq + Git.

    0 points
  • pjotr .pjotr ., over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    Git + Codeship with hosting on DO. Smooth like butter.

    0 points
  • David BarkerDavid Barker, over 7 years ago

    PagodaBox and (usually) GitHub.

    0 points