After having a spring(?) clean of some old servers and services towards the end of 2016, I noticed I had a stale DigitalOcean droplet running — so I did some investigating. A short while later, I discovered its only purpose was to serve a single
index.html file for my personal website. This seemed like a waste of $5 each month, so I powered it down! R.I.P :’(
I now needed a place to host this lonely file, preferably without the need to manage another server. So, after a bit of reading around I decided to roll with GitHub Pages. It’s super simple: create a repo, push your code, let GitHub do the rest. There is literally no server management involved as your code is automatically deployed upon every push to a specified branch. In my opinion, this is hands down the best way to host a static website or files.
A few days earlier I bought a fancy new domain name (.io is cool, right?) and I wanted to use it. Thankfully, this is easy to configure through the use of a
CNAME in your DNS records. BUT, what if you want to use HTTPS? Well, you can, as GitHub provide you with an SSL certificate as long as you use their *.github.io subdomains.
However, in order to use a custom domain AND use GitHub pages, you’ll need to use a service like CloudFlare to act as a CDN for your site. They provide some great documentation to help set this up. The only downside is the inability to use a custom SSL certificate on their free tier — but this isn’t a deal breaker if you don’t plan on using the certificate to verify a business, etc., you’ll just have t0 use a shared cert.
All in all, this turned out to be a great decision and I’m now saving myself a bit of money and time which can hopefully be spent on more productive things!
Check it out for yourself: http://danbond.io