February 02, 2020
For a long time, we heavily relied on a stack of Gatsby sites deployed on Netlify, which seemed to offer a relatively straightforward way to develop and deploy applications. However, we recently found that we were running into performance issues resulting in our static Gatsby sites responding slowly and providing a poor experience for our users.
During our recent usage of Netlify's function platform, we encountered numerous performance issues, often having to find other avenues that disrupted our workflows. As a result of this, we started looking for alternatives, finding ZEIT Now to offer the same convenient method of deployment, but with superior performance and improved developer experience.
This post will show you the key areas we looked at when deciding why ZEIT was the right place to host our static sites.
When testing our previous Netlify deployment against our new ZEIT Now project, ZEIT Now represented a significant improvement in the benchmark tests run.
You can check the Latency test here.
One of the most important indicators of web performance is Google Chrome's Lighthouse test. We didn't expect to see a big difference here but were amazed to find a score for ZEIT Now of 82, whereas, with Netlify, it was only 47. There are some alarming differences here, with ZEIT having a Speed Index that is nearly 10 seconds faster than Netlify.
Although we use Nuweba's FaaS platform, we wanted to provide a comparison of Serverless Functions offered by both platforms. Both platforms provide a smooth integration to functions-as-a-service. However, ZEIT offers some additional robust integration, which might seem small at first, but caught us with its innovative approaches.
ZEIT is more application prawn rather than focused mainly on serving the static site. ZEIT lets developers create a global serverless deployment with zero configuration, supporting more runtimes, and giving us control over specific regions.
ZEIT lets developers deploy Serverless Functions, managing user authentication, forms and database queries, connection flows to our Slack channel, and so on. Also, ZEIT supports python and Go, which is still in beta in Netlify.
Although we use Nuweba's FaaS platform, we wanted to provide a comparison of Serverless Functions offered by both platforms. Both platforms provide a smooth integration to functions-as-as-service. However, ZEIT Now offers additional integrations and powerful features out of the box, with no configuration required.
Alongside the power, performance, and developer experience offered by ZEIT Now's Serverless Functions, they also provided first-class support for Go, which was in beta with Netlify at the time. The experience with both Node.js and Go was very positive, allowing us to test handling cases such as user authentication, database queries, and event piping to our Slack channels with ease.
As mentioned a few times already, ZEIT seems completely focused on the developer experience. They know how to tackle the common pain points of modern web development and offer a sleek Git-based workflow, allowing the team to share staging deployments and collaborate like never before, without having to change the way they work.
The ZEIT Dashboard is clear and easy to navigate, allowing great control over projects and deployments but with no learning curve at all.
All ZEIT deployments are immutable. The main benefit of this is that deployments can be reverted at any moment. This gives us peace of mind when deploying updates to production; we can iterate quickly and merge fearlessly. We've never moved at a faster pace.
We are big believers in ZEIT's team and mission to make cloud computing accessible to everyone. We were relatively content with our previous Netlify setup, but are incredibly glad we explored other options to improve this further. We are delighted with the improved performance and developer experience and are looking forward to seeing ZEIT Now improve even further in 2020.