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Does Netlify work in China?

With its ease of use and versatility, Netlify has become a go-to choice for developers worldwide. Explore how Netlify compares to other hosting and deployment platforms and find how Netlify performs in China, including its website loading times and optimization strategies. Discover the benefits and unique features of Chinafy for Netlify sites with updated data points.

In this article, we’ll answer:

Does Netlify work in China?

Does it help to use China CDN or hosting in China?

How does Chinafy work with Netlify websites in China?

What is Netlify?

Netlify is a cloud-based hosting and content delivery platform that allows developers to build, deploy and manage static websites and web applications. It provides a simple, yet powerful workflow that enables developers to easily deploy their websites and web applications directly from their Git repository.

What platforms is Netlify often compared with and what are some key differences?

Netlify is often compared to other hosting and deployment platforms such as GitHub Pages, Heroku, Firebase, and AWS Amplify.

GitHub Pages is a simple hosting solution for static websites that allows developers to host their projects for free. However, it lacks advanced features like form handling and identity management that Netlify provides.

Heroku is a popular platform for deploying web applications that offers a wide range of features and integrations. However, it requires more configuration and setup than Netlify and may not be as suitable for simple static websites.

Firebase is a cloud platform that provides features like hosting, database management, authentication, and analytics for mobile and web applications. However, it may not be as optimized for hosting static websites as Netlify.

AWS Amplify is a cloud platform that offers a variety of features for building and deploying web and mobile applications. However, it may be more complex and expensive than Netlify, particularly for simple static websites.

Overall, Netlify's simplicity, ease of use, and focus on static website hosting make it a popular choice for developers looking for a straightforward deployment solution.

Nike uses Netlify to build a website in 4 weeks (Source: Netlify)

How fast do Netlify websites load in China?

The speed of Netlify websites in China can vary depending on several factors, including the website's content, size, and complexity, as well as the user's location and network conditions.

However, in general, Netlify websites that haven’t been optimized for China (more on that below) generally take over 33+ seconds to load in China. Not to mention, the majority of them will encounter issues in terms of functionality.

The average Netlify site is 2.5x slower in China than elsewhere

The average Netlify site is loads 11% fewer of web files in China

Test websites and page loading time in China with Global Speed Test

Why don’t Netlify websites work well in China most of the time?

Generally speaking, websites face unique challenges in China due to infrastructural issues such as limited bandwidth as well as code-based incompatibilities.

Hosting websites in China involves setting up and configuring a Chinese-based hosting provider, getting the requisite licenses (such as the ICP license) and rebuilding a China-facing site from scratch. This can be complex and time-consuming, as well as often being costly. Additionally, this solution does not address code-level incompatibilities that can arise from using frameworks or popular libraries from outside of China.

Some others also explore adding on a content delivery network. This however, is only a partial solution as CDNs inherently do not address, resolve or even process third-party resources.

Using CDN is a partial solution as it does not optimize third-party files which make up the bulk of most sites. CDNs are also limited when it comes to dynamic content, meaning that many features such as interactive media or real-time services will still suffer from long loading times.

How Chinafy compares with China CDN such as Fastly, Akamai, Azure, Cloudflare and Alibaba Cloud

Can Chinafy help?

Chinafy is a service that addresses issues on both the infrastructural level and the code level to re-engineer a Netlify site that works in China. It uses CDN technologies to deliver static content faster while also enabling third-party components to be compatible with the China environment.

On average, the Netlify site that uses Chinafy achieves 15x acceleration in China compared to its performance without the service. This means webpages will load significantly faster in Chinese network conditions, ensuring a better user experience for visitors coming from within mainland China.

Do you have a Netlify website? 
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