Vercel: Developer-focused, powerful & cost-effective


*this post is the 3rd of a 4 part series of posts exploring Supabase, Vercel & Svelte. This post goes deeper into Vercel

Part 1: Intro
Part 2: Supabase
Part 3: Vercel
Part 4: Svelte

In a previous post, I outlined why Supabase, Vercel & Svelte make up my current ideal technology stack. This post delves deeper into Vercel and why it has helped me fall in love with full-stack development again.

Productivity as a Priority

As a “seasoned” software engineer, I’ve battle-tested numerous deployment & hosting platforms.

I am always on a quest for a more streamlined, developer-friendly approach. The goal is always to give developers space to focus on the things that really matter.

That search has led me, again and again, to Vercel in the past few years.

Here’s my personal take on why Vercel has become an indispensable tool in my development stack.

Discovering Vercel: Weekend project to production apps

My journey with Vercel began during a weekend project launching a web app for a local charity.

The goal was to deploy an easy-to-use and maintained web application. The app should be created with minimal fuss and minimal cost to the charity.

Over the course of the weekend, I was able to create a web app & CICD pipeline at Zero ongoing cost to the charity.

Since then I’ve used Vercel on a number of other production projects.

Seamless integration with developer workflows

The biggest selling point of Vercel is its seamless integration with developer workflows.

An estimated +100m developers incorporate GitHub somewhere in their workflow, I am one of those 100m.

Vercel hooks easily into your GitHub repo. After linking to GitHub, vercel automatically recognises what type of project you’ve got going on. Vercel then automatically builds and deploys your web-based and/or node project every time a branch is pushed.

It may sound like a simple thing, but it saves a huge amount of time, complexity, and expense for a significant number of web & node developers.

This single feature, coupled with a host of other performance and developer-focused features, makes Vercel highly persuasive for web and node developers.

Develop App & API together

A big game changer for me was the ability to develop & deploy my [web] apps and APIs at the same time.

API and APP in the same repo

If you include an “API” folder in your repo, Vercel “automagically” spins up a serverless function to serve the endpoints.

Being able to develop an App and API in the same codebase is a big win for smaller startup teams where the code is changing rapidly.

There is no disconnect between the two; if a new feature or API route is deployed, they are deployed with the front-end changes and not out of sync.

Even better, if you are developing with Node for your API, and a JavaScript framework for the front end, the same developer can understand and update both aspects.

Performance as someone else’s problem

Vercel doesn’t just deploy your application; it helps optimize and scale it.

Leveraging global content delivery networks (CDNs) and smart caching strategies helps your application load fast, regardless of where your users are.

Whether your webpage or API experiences a handful of users or a sudden surge in traffic, performance remains consistent.

This peace of mind, knowing that scalability and optimization aren’t something I have to actively manage, allows me to focus on other, client-centric, tasks.

Vercel Pricing (March 2024)

The Cost

The pricing tiers underline the feeling that Vercel was built for developers, by developers.

For smaller teams, being able to quickly try out ideas at no cost, allows them to iterate at speed.

Not having to raise a purchase order or ask engineering for some server resources, just to create a proof of concept, is perfect for startups and small teams.

Even when you get past the proof of concept stage, the pricing is extremely persuasive for small and large teams alike.

Embracing the Future with Vercel

My experiences with Vercel have made it a staple in my development workflow.

The ease of use, performance optimizations, and scalability it offers are fantastic for the types of projects I regularly work on (small team start-ups).

For any development team, in a similar situation, looking to streamline their development & deployment processes, I can’t recommend Vercel highly enough.

*this post is the 3rd of a 4 part series of posts exploring Supabase, Vercel & Svelte.

Part 1: Intro
Part 2: Supabase
Part 3: Vercel
Part 4: Svelte