Backendless applications

2014-11-18 2 min read

    I’ve been a fan of GitHub pages ever since I started using them to host my blog a couple of years ago and a thought that’s been constantly popping up is why there haven’t been any products or services that help small businesses host their sites on GitHub. GitHub’s terms of service forbid a third party from hosting pages on behalf of customers but it doesn’t seem as if there’s anything stopping someone from building a tool or documenting the set of steps to help someone create a simple site and have it hosted on GitHub. That way the business only has to pay a domain registration fee while still getting fast and robust hosting with a fairly solid CMS.

    Going further this site can be made significantly more dynamic by integrating third party services via client side JavaScript. Use Facebook to handle authentication, Google Analytics to provide analytics, Disqus to provide comments, and Firebase to provide a data layer. There’s no backend to maintain and you get to use a set of free and powerful tools. This isn’t going to work in every use case but over time we’ll see more and more applications built using this approach.

    The simplest code is the code that you don’t have to write and I think we’ll start seeing more and more of these third party services that provide specialized functionality via JavaScript snippets. Many of them will also be free when starting out since their marginal cost will be virtually zero for small projects and will encourage tons of people to create these pseudo static sites that provide dynamic functionality without a backend. I suspect that as these tools become more popular we’ll see them packaged together by other companies and services that will make web development accessible to a wider audience. One of these days I’ll see what kind of application I can build using free services and client side JavaScript.