AWS Amplify vs. Vercel: 50-feature Comparison

AWS Amplify vs. Vercel: 50-feature Comparison
Photo by Taylor Vick / Unsplash

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 disadvantages

Vercel requires developers with certain skill sets. You may be such a developer, or possibly not, particularly if you want to use the Jamstack.

With a JavaScript Everywhere motto, Vercel is a powerful but less flexible platform. Vercel is primarily focused on Next.js developments.

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

 

AWS Amplify

Vercel

Digger

Description of service

SaaS, Scalable, Full-stack Apps

SaaS, Global Static Websites

PaaS that generates IaaS

Development Environment

Amplify Studio

Vercel

Digger

Supported Frameworks

SPA Frameworks, Static site generators SSR

Jamstack, React, Next.js, JavaScript, Gatsby

Digger Supported Tech

Automate Web Projects

Yes

Yes

Yes

Automatic Build

GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, AWS CodeCommit

GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket

GitHub, AWS CodeDeploy

Monorepo Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Automatic Scaling

Yes

Yes

Yes

Build Version Rollback

Yes

Yes

Yes

Deploy Previews

Yes

Yes

Yes

Infrastructure

AWS

Multi-cloud

AWS

CDN

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cache Invalidation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Edge Handlers

AWS Cloudfront

Edge Functions

AWS Cloudfront

File Optimization

CDN

CDN

CDN

Intended Users

Web and Mobile App Devs, Frontend Devs

Front End Devs

Web and Mobile App Devs, Frontend Devs

DevOps Required

No

No

No

Static Web Apps

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile Apps

Yes

No

Yes

Jamstack

No

Yes

No

Lambda Functions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microservices

Yes

Yes

Yes

Serverless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Backends

Serverless

Serverless

Serverless

Headless CMS

Third-party

Third-party

Third-party

CLI

Yes

Yes

Yes

CI/CD

Yes

Yes

Yes

Database

Amazon Aurora MySQL

Third-party

SQL, NoSQL

Authentication

Amplify Auth

Third-party

GItHub

Automated SSL for HTTPS

AWS Certificate Manager

Free Let’s Encrypt certificate

AWS Certificate Manager

 

Global Availability

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hosting

Yes

Yes

Yes

APIs

graphQL, REST

graphQL, REST

graphQL, REST

Atomic Deploy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Global Build-Deploy-Scale

Yes

Yes

One-click, git push

High-performance Builds

Yes

Yes

Yes

Push to Git Deployment

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rollback Versions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Storage

S3

10 GB Free

S3

Dependency Cache

Yes

Yes

Yes

Test

Site Previews

Site Previews

Site Previews

Fixed IP Address

No

No

No

Forms Management

No

Third-party

No

Password Protection

Yes

Yes

Yes

Split Testing

Third-party

Yes

Third-party

Add-ons

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Permissions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Free Trial

Free Tier

Hobby Plan, 14-day Free Trial for Pro

Hobby Plan, 14-day Free Trial for Pro

Pricing

Free Tier, Pay-as-you-go

Free, $20/m

Free, $50/m

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.

If you…

  • are a JavaScript, React, or Jamstack specialist
  • want to completely abstract the backend
  • need a platform built for JavaScript Everywhere

… then you should choose Vercel.

If you…

  • 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.

Another powerful option

Digger combines the one-click ease of Vercel and AWS Amplify with full access to the entire AWS infrastructure. No DevOps required. Learn more here.