In this post I argue that you should use GitHub to host your website. (Unless if it’s used for work-related purposes.)
I want to bring some of its benefits to light, but before that, some disclaimers.
- You can’t sell products on a GitHub website, no matter if you have your own domain or not. I don’t mean it’s hard; I mean you legally can’t. It’s in the Terms of Service somewhere.
- You have 1 GB of repository information, period, and 1 GB of bandwidth every month. (You can google what “repository information” means, and I’m sure you know what bandwidth means, else you wouldn’t even be reading this post.) In my experience this has been enough for me, and I don’t think you’ll be running out of repository information soon. Even then, it’s a “recommendation,” not a hard stop, so I’m not entirely sure how that plays out. If your website is Fortnite, however, you’re going to need a little more bandwidth (read: a lot more), which GitHub does offer. At the point you reach that, GitHub is still a viable competitor, but it’s not as much the definitive answer as it was before.
Let’s look at the benefits now. (I won’t be going over them so deeply, as they are pretty well-known once you know that GitHub Pages exists.)
- Free hosting. This means that instead of using Wix or Squarespace and having to deal with either a domain that looks like https://garlic-icosahedron-garm.squarespace.com (this was my trial website for Squarespace) or shelling out ~$150 annually, you shell out ~10 annually for the domain. I bought geometryexplorer.xyz for $1.17. (Plus tax? I don’t know.) Disclaimer: .xyz domains are cheaper, and you get them for less in your first year.
- Free HTTPS encryption. It took me embarrassingly long to get rid of the “Insecure Site Warning” on my website. At least it’s fixed now. Anyway, most things actually have HTML (e.g. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc) so this really just keeps it in the running. It’s as if GitHub’s web hosting was competitive with paid web hosting… However, GoDaddy hosting doesn’t give you free SSL, so I guess there are a couple of examples floating around.
- It’s easy to learn and easy to use. Not once did I have to learn how to input code into GitHub. All you need is to set up the CNAME and URL redirect, which is very intuitive and simple.
If you want to use a website builder, be warned: there is no way to pack your stuff and leave. The website design stays with the host, not you, which is very scary. If you insist, use Google Sites; I believe they should provide free hosting + HTML + etc as well.