Going Beyond with NetlifyExplore even more features that Netlify offers beyond deployment.
This article presumes knowledge of Netlify and continuous deployment. Follow the steps in “Getting Started with Netlify” and “Deploying a Static Site with Netlify” to prepare for this article or get a refresher.
In this article, you will explore and discover some other key Netlify features that can take your sites to the next level! Although the free account comes with many great perks, Netlify has so much more to offer.
Custom domains and HTTPS
Netlify generates a default URL for each site, which is great for deploying minimum viable products and proofs of concept. However, you can take your site one step further by adding a custom domain and configuring HTTPS.
To do so, navigate to your site’s dashboard and click Set up a custom domain:
You’ll then be asked to enter your custom domain, but first, note the following:
- If you purchase a domain from Netlify, your site’s DNS will automatically be configured.
- If you purchase a domain from any other source (e.g., NameCheap) and don’t want to use Netlify DNS, you’ll need to configure your external DNS provider to point your domain to Netlify.
Click Verify, and if successful, you’ll be asked if you’re the owner of the domain.
After adding your domain, you’ll be directed to the “Custom domains” panel in the Site settings tab:
Here you can configure your site’s various domains and even add multiple custom domains.
Next, click the HTTPS tab on the left. If you correctly configured your site’s DNS, it should automatically be secured with a Let’s Encrypt certificate, like so:
Notice that the panel says “Your site has HTTPS enabled”.
If you run into any problems with setting up your site’s DNS or HTTPS, check out Netlify’s troubleshooting documentation for more guidance.
Netlify’s Build Plugins enable you to add powerful capabilities to your site builds through a directory of community plugins or by creating your own.
To access these plugins, go to the Plugins tab of your site’s dashboard:
Here you can view a list of plugins created by developers at Netlify and community members. You can install a plugin by clicking the Install button next to the specific plugin that you want to install. Note that the Options dropdown next to each plugin contains a link to its documentation, npm package profile, and issue tracker.
If you wish, you can even create your own plugins!
Using Netlify’s Identity service, you can easily manage signups, logins, password recovery, and more without implementing your own authentication functionality.
Head over to the Identity tab of your site’s dashboard:
To get started, click Enable Identity and then you’ll see an Identity dashboard for your site:
You can access the various Identity settings for your site by clicking Settings and usage. There are a lot of interesting and useful features like the Netlify Identity widget, which enables users to register for your site. You can even invite users to register!
With the paid Netlify plans, you can unlock even more capabilities like:
- A team audit log that keeps track of actions made by team members, so you know what changes were made, when, and by whom.
- The ability to prioritize time-sensitive builds, which enables you to build and deploy your site as soon as possible.
- Increased bandwidth and build minutes so that you can scale up your site.
- Netlify Analytics, a service that provides data captured by Netlify servers (e.g., pageviews) through convenient charts so that you can easily analyze your site’s trends.
- Password protection to hide all or part of your site behind a password that you control.
While we’ve shown you how to deploy a static site with Netlify, there are so many other ways to do this — Netlify just makes this process much easier.
For your inspiration, check out these case studies on how Netlify has enabled numerous companies to get a site up and running in no time.
Now it’s your turn to build a site of your own and share it with the world through Netlify. We can’t wait to see what you make!