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Firebase vs GitHub Pages: What are the differences?

What is Firebase? The Realtime App Platform. Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.

What is GitHub Pages? Public webpages freely hosted and easily published. Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.

Firebase belongs to "Realtime Backend / API" category of the tech stack, while GitHub Pages can be primarily classified under "Static Web Hosting".

Some of the features offered by Firebase are:

  • Add the Firebase library to your app and get access to a shared data structure. Any changes made to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
  • Firebase apps can be written entirely with client-side code, update in real-time out-of-the-box, interoperate well with existing services, scale automatically, and provide strong data security.
  • Data Accessibility- Data is stored as JSON in Firebase. Every piece of data has its own URL which can be used in Firebase's client libraries and as a REST endpoint. These URLs can also be entered into a browser to view the data and watch it update in real-time.

On the other hand, GitHub Pages provides the following key features:

  • Blogging with Jekyll
  • Custom URLs
  • Automatic Page Generator

"Realtime backend made easy", "Fast and responsive" and "Easy setup" are the key factors why developers consider Firebase; whereas "Free", "Right out of github" and "Quick to set up" are the primary reasons why GitHub Pages is favored.

Instacart, 9GAG, and Twitch are some of the popular companies that use Firebase, whereas GitHub Pages is used by Lyft, CircleCI, and HubSpot. Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1215 company stacks & 4651 developers stacks; compared to GitHub Pages, which is listed in 775 company stacks and 4401 developer stacks.

Advice on Firebase and GitHub Pages
Needs advice
on
Socket.IOSocket.IOFirebaseFirebase
and
ApolloApollo

We are starting to work on a web-based platform aiming to connect artists (clients) and professional freelancers (service providers). In-app, timeline-based, real-time communication between users (& storing it), file transfers, and push notifications are essential core features. We are considering using Node.js, ExpressJS, React, MongoDB stack with Socket.IO & Apollo, or maybe using Real-Time Database and functionalities of Firebase.

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Replies (3)
Timothy Malstead
Junior Full Stack Developer at Freelance · | 7 upvotes · 269.8K views
Recommends
FirebaseFirebase

I would recommend looking hard into Firebase for this project, especially if you do not have dedicated full-stack or backend members on your team.

The real time database, as you mentioned, is a great option, but I would also look into Firestore. Similar to RTDB, it adds more functions and some cool methods as well. Also, another great thing about Firebase is you have easy access to storage and dead simple auth as well.

Node.js Express MongoDB Socket.IO and Apollo are great technologies as well, and may be the better option if you do not wish to cede as much control to third parties in your application.

Overall, I say if you wish to focus more time developing your React application instead of other parts of your stack, Firebase is a great way to do that.

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Recommends
AblyAbly

Hello Noam 👋,

I suggest taking a look at Ably, it has all the realtime features you need and the platform is designed to guarantee critical functionality at scale.

Here is an in depth comparison between Ably and Firebase

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Recommends
8base8base

Hey Noam,

I would recommend you to take a look into 8base. It has features you've requested, also relation database and GraphQL API which will help you to develop rapidly.

Thanks, Ilya

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Decisions about Firebase and GitHub Pages
Howie Zhao
Full Stack Engineer at yintrust · | 7 upvotes · 126.1K views

We use Netlify to host static websites.

The reasons for choosing Netlify over GitHub Pages are as follows:

  • Netfily can bind multiple domain names, while GitHub Pages can only bind one domain name
  • With Netfily, the original repository can be private, while GitHub Pages free tier requires the original repository to be public

In addition, in order to use CDN, we use Netlify DNS.

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Pros of Firebase
Pros of GitHub Pages
  • 363
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 267
    Fast and responsive
  • 236
    Easy setup
  • 211
    Real-time
  • 188
    JSON
  • 132
    Free
  • 124
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 66
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 29
    Great documentation
  • 24
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Chat
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 5
    Firebase hosting
  • 5
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    .net
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Free hosting
  • 1
    Cloud functions
  • 289
    Free
  • 217
    Right out of github
  • 185
    Quick to set up
  • 108
    Instant
  • 107
    Easy to learn
  • 58
    Great way of setting up your project's website
  • 47
    Widely used
  • 41
    Quick and easy
  • 37
    Great documentation
  • 4
    Super easy
  • 3
    Easy setup
  • 2
    Instant and fast Jekyll builds
  • 2
    Great customer support
  • 2
    Great integration

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Cons of Firebase
Cons of GitHub Pages
  • 29
    Can become expensive
  • 15
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 5
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 2
    No Relational Data
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync
  • 4
    Not possible to perform HTTP redirects
  • 3
    Supports only Jekyll
  • 3
    Limited Jekyll plugins
  • 1
    Jekyll is bloated

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What is Firebase?

Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.

What is GitHub Pages?

Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Firebase?
What companies use GitHub Pages?
See which teams inside your own company are using Firebase or GitHub Pages.
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What tools integrate with GitHub Pages?

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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to Firebase and GitHub Pages?
MongoDB
MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
Parse
With Parse, you can add a scalable and powerful backend in minutes and launch a full-featured app in record time without ever worrying about server management. We offer push notifications, social integration, data storage, and the ability to add rich custom logic to your app’s backend with Cloud Code.
Heroku
Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
Auth0
A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
Realm
The Realm Mobile Platform is a next-generation data layer for applications. Realm is reactive, concurrent, and lightweight, allowing you to work with live, native objects.
See all alternatives