’Shots not Fire’d

Congrats to the fine folks at Divshot

We’d like to send our best wishes to our peers at Divshot, who announced this week they are joining Google as part of the Firebase team.

The Surge and Divshot teams actually have some shared moments, beyond a shared interesting in publishing static sites and client-side apps— Brock Whitten and former Divshot team member Collin Miller both spoke at Merb Camp in 2008, and again at Future Ruby in Toronto. Rob Ellis, Jorge Pedret, and I all participated in the Divshot-organised Static Showdown, representing our own static site publishing and open source tools, which are used in Surge.

We’re better off considering anyone improving open web publishing as peers

The Divshot team, like us, contributed back to open source projects, and wanted to help more developers build static sites and client-side applications. That’s always something we’ve been able to get excited about, even when it’s coming from a team we’re probably supposed to view differently — as competition.

When I was relatively new to our team, Brock, the co-creator of Surge and Cordova, noted how much better off we’d be regarding those working on open web publishing as our peers, rather than our competition. It can be too easy to forget, but when we remember regard others working on the open web as fellow designers and developers with similar goals, we can accomplish more, and feel a lot better about it.

We’re happy for them in their new chapter, and glad to see they’re going to continue to work on making the web better for front-end developers as part of Firebase at Google.

With that said, there are many front-end developers that would prefer not to publish their sites on Google’s platform, or would like to continue to support the indie web. At Surge, we’ve never taken funding, which has allowed us to continue to operate independently. We’ve also been running Surge’s underlying infrastructure in production for over three years. Custom domains are also free to use with Surge.

One of the great things about static sites is that there’s little to no lock-in, since you are ultimately publishing HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. If you now need to migrate your Divshot projects, and would rather continue to use an independent service over Google’s Firebase, here’s how you can publish to Surge instead.

First, install Surge through the terminal using npm:

npm install --global surge

Next, run surge and pass in the directory of your compiled HTML, CSS, and JavaScript assets:

surge path/to/divshot-project/build

If you don’t already have an account, you’ll be able to register right from the command line and publish right away. You can also add a custom domain, for free.

Moving a project to Surge is a single command — you can even sign up right from the CLI.

Our Migration Guide covers this in more detail, including how to add custom routing support for client-side applications, custom redirects, and other features you might need to replace.

We’re excited to see what you publish on Surge! Mention us at @surge_sh or join our chat if you have any questions.