Netlify vs. AWS Amplify: 50-Feature Comparison

Netlify vs. AWS Amplify: 50-Feature Comparison
Photo by Tianyi Ma / Unsplash

First, in this Netlify vs. AWS Amplify 50-feature comparison, we’ll discuss some advantages and disadvantages of each service.

Then we’ll take a look at a 50-feature comparison table.

Finally, we’ll wrap up with a method to choose between the two if you haven’t made your mind up yet.

As a plus, we'll offer an alternative to both, which might make things even simpler.

Table of Contents

Advantages to Netlify

Disadvantages to Netlify

Advantages to AWS Amplify

Disadvantages to AWS Amplify

Netlify vs. AWS Amplify: 50-feature Comparison Table

How to Choose

Another Helpful Option

Advantages to Netlify

Netlify launched in 2015 to help developers solve the problem of AWS' complexity.

What if the following could happen? You simply push your git repo, then your static website or web app automatically builds, your files are optimized, deployed to a global CDN, and scaled to your specifications.

This is what Netlify offers: No DevOps needed and a fast, fully automated build-test-deploy-scale cycle with every git push. One-click CI/CD for busy developers. Cool.

Today, Netlify serves over 2,500,000+ developers and businesses worldwide. It solves all these problems for you so you can ship faster. That’s Netlify’s pitch. It works well.

Graphical user interface, application

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Disadvantages to Netlify

Netlify automates only the deployment of serverless static websites and static web apps. This limitation has pros and cons. Static sites are secure and fast to load into the browser. But static sites lack the real-time user interaction that many website users want.

To overcome this limitation (in part), Netlify offers a separate headless CMS. The Netlify CMS allows data editing. It stores its content in your git repo, making your data reproducible and automatically distributed with your builds. Some don’t like storing content in git, and GitHub has data size limitations.

BTW: The CMS can be used in conjunction with any static page generator (SPG), including the SPG included by Netlify.

Despite its ease of use, Netlify still has a bit of a learning curve, especially for non-DevOps users. Configuration can be confusing if you come from a traditional web server background. Serverless technology has many benefits but requires a new mindset.

Advantages to AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify was launched in 2018 as an answer to Netlify. AWS Amplify offers automated full-stack web and mobile app development and deployment in Netlify's one-click style. It also provides static web hosting separate from its build-and-deploy service.

AWS Amplify is geared towards front-end developers who wish to deploy full-stack apps on the AWS infrastructure. You create a backend through a drag-and-drop visual interface. Backend services include authentication, data, and storage.

Like Netlify, a push to your git (or AWS CodeDeploy) repo is followed quickly by full-scale deployment without the limitations of static websites and static web apps. Mobile apps are handled by AWS Amplify, too. You can add a one-click deploy button to your repo or to an HTML webpage.

A useful Amplify feature is access to all AWS services from your app, based on your needs. You get all the power and security of AWS, plus automated deployment to a global CDN.

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Disadvantages to AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify’s Build-and-deploy and static web hosting are billed as separate services. This can be useful but adds some complexity to keeping costs under control.

The cost of AWS Amplify is also higher than raw AWS configurations because Amplify is a managed service, offering a better developer experience than digging through the AWS console. Like Netlify, AWS charges you for this convenience.

Using load balancers to distribute traffic is not possible through AWS Amplify. This can be a showstopper in certain situations.

The AWS Amplify learning curve is steeper than Netlify, and configuration requires some coding.

Netlify vs. AWS Amplify: 50-feature Comparison Table

 

AWS Amplify

Netlify

Description of service

SaaS, Scalable, Full-stack Apps

SaaS, Global Static Websites

Development Environment

Amplify Studio

Netlify Build

Supported Frameworks

SPA Frameworks, Static site generators SSR

Jamstack, Static site generators, SSR

Automate Web Projects

Yes

Yes

Automatic Build

GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, AWS CodeCommit

GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Azure DevOps

Monorepo Support

Yes

Yes

Automatic Scaling

Yes

Yes

Build Version Rollback

Yes

Yes

Deploy Previews

Yes

Yes

Infrastructure

AWS

Multi-cloud

CDN

Yes

Yes

Cache Invalidation

Yes

Yes

Edge Handlers

AWS Cloudfront

Netlify Edge

File Optimization

CDN

Yes

Intended Users

Web and Mobile App Devs, Frontend Devs

Web and Web App Devs

DevOps Required

No

No

Static Web Apps

Yes

Yes

Mobile Apps

Yes

No

Jamstack

No

Yes

Lambda Functions

Yes

Yes

Microservices

Yes

Yes

Serverless

Yes

Yes

Backends

Serverless

Serverless

Headless CMS

Third-party

Yes

CLI

Yes

Yes

CI/CD

Yes

Yes

Database

Amazon Aurora MySQL

Third-party

Authentication

Amplify Auth

Netlify Identity

Automated SSL for HTTPS

AWS Certificate Manager

Free Let's Encrypt certificate

Global Availability

Yes

Yes

Hosting

Yes

Yes

APIs

graphQL, REST

graphQL, REST

Atomic Deploy

Yes

Yes

Global Build, Test, Deploy

Yes

Yes

High-performance Builds

Yes

Yes

Push to Git Deployment

Yes

Yes

Rollback Versions

Yes

Yes

Storage

S3

10 GB Free

Dependency Cache

Yes

Yes

Testing

Site Previews

Site Previews

Fixed IP Address

No

No

Forms Management

No

Yes

Password Protection

Yes

Pro Plan

Split Testing

Third-party

Yes

Add-ons

Yes

Yes

Team Permissions

Yes

Yes

Analytics

Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Kinesis 

Netlify Analytics

Security

AMS key encryption at rest

Encrypted TLS,  access tokens at rest

Free Trial

Free Tier

Starter Plan

Pricing

Free Tier, Pay-as-you-go

Free, $19/m, $99/m

How to Choose

In the Netlify vs. AWS Amplify comparison, both services offer good value to developers.

If you need a visual approach to developing a full-stack website or app, the clear choice is AWS Amplify. Also, Amplify supports mobile app deployment. Netlify doesn’t. You have full access to all AWS infrastructure services as needed in just a few clicks.

Netlify is a popular choice for static site and static app developers who value a quick and dependable one-click build-test-deploy cycle. No server, no DevOps, no hassle. The Netlify CMS provides data storage and user interaction.  Push to git, get deployed. Very fast.

Another Helpful Option

What if you combine the one-click features of Netlify with the full operating strength of the AWS infrastructure? Digger is the answer. Learn more here.