With few exceptions, building, deploying, and scaling web and mobile apps is difficult and time-consuming. We’ll consider AWS Amplify vs. Vercel as platforms that offer a one-click or few-clicks build-deploy-scale cycle. Both platforms save time and reduce errors at a reasonable cost.
The advancements in low/no-code SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offer fast and friendly development environments. It only takes a push to your connected git repo to launch these services. Then they build and deploy to global content delivery networks (CDN).
Plus, they do much more.
Let’s take a look.
What is AWS Amplify?
AWS Amplify brings low-code, automated control of the entire AWS infrastructure platform. By visually building a backend, with the option of also visually building the frontend, you get complete control of your app and its environment. AWS Amplify helps you create full-stack web and mobile apps, static websites, and static web apps.
To make it easier, you can configure AWS Amplify to go serverless and eliminate the need for DevOps knowledge entirely. Just take care of the frontend, push to git, and Amplify will do the rest.
There is no one-click implementation of the AWS Amplify build cycle. However, the AWS Amplify console offers a visual, relatively simple, 5-step configuration:
1. Connect a repository. ...
2. Confirm build settings for the front end. ...
3. Confirm build settings for the backend. ...
4. Add environment variables (optional) ...
5. Save and deploy.
That’s it. The optional command-line interface (CLI) follows a similar process.
AWS Amplify disadvantages
Both build-deploy and hosting are available through AWS Amplify. They are billed separately on a pay-as-you-go basis. There are two sides to this arrangement.
1. You don’t pay for what you don’t use.
2. You may unintentionally run up big bills if you’re not careful, or you get a sudden surge in web traffic.
Watch out: AWS can get expensive quickly if you make configuration errors or don’t terminate unused processes.
What is Vercel?
Vercel is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for React frontend developers. By abstracting the backend, static sites and frontend frameworks can be deployed and scaled automatically with every git push. Vercel integrates with your headless CMS, database, or commerce app. Its emphasis is on high performance. Large enterprise sites such as eBay, the Washington Post, Uber, McDonalds, and Facebook use Vercel.
Vercel is also well-known for its development of Next.js, a React framework for fast and scalable web apps. Next.js is used by many large websites, such as Starbucks, Twitch, and Netflix.
Easily automate your workflow with built-in CI/CD. Vercel then gives you a build preview. One click instantly deploys your app to the Vercel Edge Network CDN. This CDN uses serverless AWS Lambda underneath to scale to its regions worldwide.
Vercel requires developers with certain skill sets. You may be such a developer, or possibly not, particularly if you want to use the Jamstack.
You will need a storage provider if you don’t use a headless CMS or database. Vercel does not store files natively.
Documentation is a work-in-progress.
AWS Amplify vs. Vercel: 50-feature Comparison
Choosing your platform
Both platforms are enterprise-ready, yet suitable for small sites (if your skills are up to it).
Both platforms offer automatic build-and-deploy from git.
Both platforms require skilled developers to make the most of them.
- want to completely abstract the backend
… then you should choose Vercel.
- want the ability to ignore or configure the backend yourself
- need the power of the AWS full-stack infrastructure
- want to store files and uploads natively
… you should choose AWS Amplify.