GitHub Pages vs Netlify

At first glance, GitHub Pages and Netlify seem to have a lot in common. Both are excellent services, offering users to host their static websites through their custom build process.

If you already use Git as a software version control system, you may be tempted to continue your project onto GitHub Pages. However, Netlify offers some stiff competition with innovative pricing, intuitive deploy methods, and some additional features like 1-click rollbacks, custom rewrites, etc.

If you are looking for a site hosting service and are confused between the two, continue reading to know more about their features and advantages so that you can make an informed decision.

What is GitHub Pages? 

According to the official documentation, GitHub Pages is a static website hosting service that pulls the web dependencies directly from a repository on GitHub and then publishes it after an optional build process.

You can either use your own custom domain or use GitHub’s domain to host your site. Since there is no server processing time involved, you can host extremely fast and secure websites with GitHub Pages.

For every GitHub account, you get access to one User Page and unlimited Project Pages. The User Page either has the domain https://<username> or https://<username> Meanwhile, Project Pages are special repositories that contain all the project files and revision history and can be used to store and collaborate.

GitHub Pages Core Features 

  • Jekyll for blogging

Jekyll is a blog-aware static site generator based on the Markdown syntax. Using Jekyll, you can transform your plain texts into static websites without worrying about databases, content moderation, or server updates. Since Jekyll also powers GitHub Pages, you can extract the full benefits of both platforms, like custom domains, etc.

  • Monetizing on GitHub Pages

GitHub pages is not intended for or allowed to be used for commercial use, meaning you cannot use them to run an online business or e-commerce site providing commercial SaaS. However, you can monetize your projects, promote your source code, add donation buttons, etc., without exceeding the usage restrictions.

  • Extensive documentation

From creating custom 404 pages to using submodules for efficiency, you can find any information about GitHub Pages from their enthusiastic community that will help you out whenever you are stuck with a problem.           Just edit, push, and your changes are updated immediately.

GitHub Pages Advantages 

  • Great for static websites

GitHub Pages is a static service and does not support server-side scripts, usually written in Ruby, Python, PHP, etc. It integrates excellently with GitHub repositories, storing individual HTML files and their different versions. If you are looking to build a website to run a limited-time promo or design a project with only a few pages, Pages is a great starting point.

  • Free

Several GitHub Pages competitors, limit the build minutes on their platform. Especially great for first-time web developers, GitHub Pages is virtually free with few limitations on the build minutes. A free hosting platform allows developers to freely learn the trade and experiment with their code without paying extra.

  • Using git version control

If you are comfortable using Git and GitHub, you will be able to conduct version control on your website effortlessly. You can tinker around with your websites as much as you want and rollback using a simple reset. Essentially, Git provides a safe ground for developers to try new features, while GitHub repositories will save all the versions of your website for reference.

What is Netlify? 

Trusted by several popular websites over the world, Netlify is a serverless, continuous web development platform that helps in building, deploying, and scaling modern web projects. It is often positioned as a competitor to GitHub Pages as it brings several new features that the latter does not offer at all. Some of these include 1-click rollbacks, Jekyll plugins, and A/B testing, etc.

Netlify creates its unique repository that pushes codes to the user’s GitHub and Netlify’s microservices. It works by connecting to your GitHub repository to pull the source code and then runs a typical build process to pre-render the pages in static HTML. Then, it distributes and executes the content to deliver pre-built static websites.

Netlify Core Features 

  • Connect Jamstack ecosystem

Netlify allows many ways to integrate headless CMS options. To help you build apps quicker, you can connect the entire Jamstack ecosystem and use hosted API services to improve the functionality of the apps without worrying about managing new infrastructure.

  • Lambda functions

The platform also allows you to add server-site functions to your repo, which Netlify will deploy to AWS Lambda. This integration eliminates the hassles of worrying about CORS, service discovery, or handling the complex AWS Console.

Netlify Advantages 

  • More deploy methods

Netlify requests the build command and public directory of a project when a Git repo is connected to the platform, which allows it to work with static-type site generators and frontend JS frameworks.

It also automatically watches the repositories for any changes and rebuilds the branches as required. Moreover, it also supports drag and drop deploys when you are signed into the platform.

  • Developers can build with any integration

Netlify allows editors to create unlimited branches of your website whenever you make any changes to the source code of the website. Essentially, you can spin a unique URL and provide your editors with multiple ways to test the changes in different views, and easily preview any updates in your content in different environments.

GitHub Pages vs Netlify Comparison

Generally speaking, Netlify is a more sophisticated solution and has a broader range of features to host professional websites with modern tool kits. The list includes one-click rollbacks, continuous integration, deploy preview, more control over deployments, etc.

GitHub Pages is fully integrated with the GitHub repository, and it is always free to use. It is an excellent choice for simple and static websites. However, for more sophisticated deployment, it may not meet all the requirements for a project.

GitHub PagesNetlify
DescriptionWebsite hosting service from Github.Serverless backend for web and static apps.
Date Started2008 2014
Parent OrganizationMicrosoftIndependent
Featured CustomersAccording to Stackshare the following companies use GitHub Pages: Lyft, Accenture, TokopediaTwilio
PriceFree to startFree to start
Pricing PlansTeam – $4 per user
Enterprise – $21 per user
(prices from GitHub. GitHub Pages is free)
Pro – $19/mo
Business – $99/mo

For more information about this subject, please refer to the following articles:

Netlify vs Github Pages

Goodbye, GitHub Pages—Hello, Netlify


This article explored the differences and similarities between Netlify and Github Pages. The ideal choice will depend on your development requirements, and please make sure you evaluate both platforms thoroughly before taking the final decision.


What is Github Pages?

According to the official documentation, GitHub Pages is a static website hosting service that pulls the web dependencies directly from a repository on GitHub and then publishes it after an optional build process.

What is Netlify?

Netlify is a serverless, continuous web development platform that helps in building, deploying, and scaling modern web projects.

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