Fleek has created some amazing capabilities on the web that can change the way people deploy and host websites on IPFS. Using Fleek a user is able to connect a repository, add build settings, & deploy a site to IPFS.
Problems with hosting websites on IPFS
Previously it was almost impossible to host a website on IPFS due to problems with connecting IPFS hashes to a specific website file that was intended to be hosted. If changes were made within the code of the website, the user would need to upload the new website file to IPFS and change the domain to point to the new IPFS hash every time.
This previous approach was executed by a few people who were determined to figure out the easiest approach to hosting on IPFS. The main issue was not having automatic publications to pull straight from a GitHub repository and change the DNS settings to the new IPFS hash. This caused a big chunk of time in order to change these settings for each single change in a website file.
One of the main points here is that not a single product out there provided a simple process for hosting a website on IPFS, every product required the use of a CLI. This problem needed to be solved at a greater level than a side project because of the interest in decentralized file hosting.
In order to make this product work correctly, working with the development team was extremely important to make sure I fully understood how IPFS works in the use case we are solving.
Upon researching how people are struggling with hosting websites on IPFS, we found a decent amount of flaws with hosting sites on IPFS.
Steps to deploy
Having a simple 3 step process to add a site to Fleek was crucial. These steps included linking a GitHub account, selecting a repository, adding build options & deploying the site to IPFS.
Website build logs & info
Being able to analyze a website to find bugs or errors within the build of the website was important to make sure everything was working seamlessly. Adding information for the process of linking the website file to IPFS, such as the current IPFS hash, when it was updated, etc.
Allowing users to create teams and make use of automatic deploys from GitHub. If two or more users were working on the same website file and pushed the code to the repository linked to Fleek, these files would all work together to make one file push and update the IPFS hash with the new content.
Custom domains & HTTPS
Creating a flawless process to buy or connect an existing domain to the website hosted on IPFS. As some may know, domains & dns settings are sometimes a pain to work with. When hosting anything on IPFS the link is not user friendly its something like this (QmY9CwXtBXJ19WVaZP5g...) Using Fleek you can map this ugly link to a regular domain making it much more user friendly.
Fleek is currently in beta as of February 15th, 2020. So far, we have 2.5k+ user signups for the beta access. The users who have access to the beta platform have deployed over 150+ websites on IPFS. The feedback is very positive and word of mouth is spreading, currently I am preparing to run user interviews to receive feedback on the product.