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Getting Started

Netlify can be used both from our web UI and by using our command line tools.

To start with the web UI, head to and sign in.

Continuous Deployment

For anything larger than a one-page landing, you really should be using a static site generator or a frontend build tool like grunt or gulp.

If you’re using any of those, Netlify can make the process of collaborating and deploying much smoother.

Netlify lets you link a GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket repository to a site. Each time you push to your Git provider, Netlify runs a build with your tool of choice and deploys the result to our powerful CDN.

Helpful Hints

If you are creating a new site on Netlify, or just moving a pre-existing site onto the platform, it’s good to keep the following things in mind:

NodeJS (including React)

If the static site generator you are using is built with NodeJS:

Make sure your package.json contains the name of your tool. Do so by running the following command in your terminal:

npm install TOOLNAME --save

If your project directory has the same name as your tool, the above command will fail. So make sure your project name is something different.

You also need a .nvmrc file at the base of your project to tell Netlify which version of NodeJS to use. To create this file, enter this command in the terminal:

node -v  > .nvmrc

The version of node you use is dynamically fetched using nvm and then cached to speed up builds. If you don’t specify a version, we default to the version that is preinstalled on your site’s selected build image.


If you are using a static site generator built with Ruby:

You need a Gemfile and a Gemfile.lock to tell Netlify which versions of your preferred tools to use. If these are missing, run the following command from the base directory of your project in the terminal:

bundle init

Open the resulting Gemfile in your favorite text editor. Replace the following line:

# gem "ruby"

with this line:


Make sure you delete the #, then save.

Now run this command:

bundle install

This will install the gem for the tool you’ve chosen and create a file called Gemfile.lock. This file will ensure that Netlify always uses the same version of your tool that you used to build your site, thus avoiding any nasty surprises.

We also recommend specifying a version of Ruby that matches your build environment. You can set a Ruby version via a /.ruby-version file. You must choose from among rvm’s supported versions. For faster builds, you can choose one of the Ruby versions preinstalled in your site’s selected build image.


If your static site generator is built with Python:

It’s usually a good idea (but not necessary) to set up a virtual environment for Python projects. If you don’t know how to do so, follow these directions.

You want to make sure that Netlify knows exactly which versions of various Python plugins you are using. Do this by creating a file called requirements.txt in your project’s base directory:

pip freeze > requirements.txt

You can tell Netlify which version of Python to use to build your site by placing a runtime.txt file in your project’s base directory. The list of supported versions depends on your site’s selected build image.

Notice something is incorrect or outdated?

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