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Deploy static assets with Zeit’s Now

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Use Zeit’s now to quickly and easily share static files by making them accessible to anyone with the URL.

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Use Zeit’s now to quickly and easily share static files by making them accessible to anyone with the URL.

We know we can use now to deploy behavior to the cloud stuff that runs on the server either by deploying a Node application, in which case you have a valid package.json file, or anything else, in which case it has to be in a Docker container, but now can also allow us to serve static content with no additional difficulties.

This makes it a direct competitor to something like Serge, for instance. That works as easily as anything else. If you're in a directory with a bunch of static content, let's say it does not have a package.json file, it does not have a Docker file, and you type now, it's going to go ahead and serve that directory.

Directory Served

Here, we've got index.html, app.js, and clock.png. All we're doing, it's the same example we've been doing elsewhere. We have Hello Universe!, Current Time:, and then we've got a span with an id. Here we added an image of a clock.


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Static Clock</title>
    <h1>Hello, universe!</h1>
    <h2>Current Time: <span id='time'></span></h2>
    <img src="clock.png" width="120" height="120" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src='app.js'></script>

Then we go to our JavaScript app.js. All this is doing is getting our reference to that span with the ID time, and then it's setting the inner text to be a new date.


var timespan = document.getElementById('time');
timespan.innerText = new Date().toISOString();

Here's our clock.png, which I just downloaded for free from The Noun Project which is a great place to go for images of stuff.

We deployed that. We typed now. It gives us our URL. Let's go over to Chrome. Let's paste that URL. We see Hello, universe! Here's the current time. Here's our clock image. If we go over here and do our dev tools, refresh this, we see that this is all getting loaded in. It's loading. It's pulling down app.js, pulling down clock.png.

Dev Tools

That's a static site hosted via now. All the same rules apply. If we type now again, it's going to give us the same URL because it's an immutable deployment. If we change something, if we decide, "Oh, universe should be capitalized," we'll type now. It's going to give us a different URL.


All of these URLs are just going to be up all the time. Here, if we go to the new one that we just spun up, you can see we now have the U in universe capitalized. Again, these are immutable deployments. We refresh this old one. This one's also still live. It's just a different URL.

Capital U

Now, we can also force now to deploy something statically. If we go over here back to our node example and we type now --static, let's see what it does. We've got our URL. https://node-iunilqjcoo.now.sh It's pushing all the stuff up. Let's go ahead and paste that in there. You can see it just gave us our index.js.


You can force now to deploy things statically. It looks like it stripped out the package.json. It just didn't actually send it up, but the only other thing in there was index.js. If you have a folder that has a package.json in it, but you want to for whatever reason share the contents of that folder via now. I'm not saying it's a good idea, I'm just saying that you can do it.

You do that by typing now --static.
now can be used to serve node projects. It can be used to serve Docker containers. It can be used to serve directories containing static data.

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