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Introducing Fleek

Today, we’re excited to launch a new version of Fleek - the easiest way to build, deploy, and host websites & apps on IPFS. From local development to global deployment, Fleek provides one seamless workflow with everything you need to build fast, modern sites & web apps hosted on IPFS. All you have to do is link your github, and within a few clicks you will have your first site deployed to IPFS (and everytime after that it will happen automatically 😄)

Starting today, Fleek is in a closed beta. If you’re interested in getting early access to our new product and participating in the beta, request early access here and we will reach out when it’s your turn to schedule a demo and help you get started.

How We Got Here

When we started Fleek a little over a year ago, our mission was to build tools and products that made it easier for people to use decentralized technologies, with the overarching goal of helping make Web 3 and a ‘decentralized internet’ a reality. Our initial focus (Fleek V1) was on tools and products related to Ethereum smart contracts and dapps, as that’s what we had previous experience with. But after releasing a few tools and products for Ethereum dapps last year, we started to ask ourselves a deeper question - what even is a dapp?

What Even is a Dapp?

Decentralized applications or ‘dapps’ as people think about them today, are really just an app that interacts with a smart contract in some way. But the only thing decentralized about today’s dapps are the fact that they use a smart contract - everything else about the ‘dapp’ is still centralized.

We started to think about why that is, and what we quickly realized is that there is a ton more work to do in order to really build Web 3 across the stack. While we still believe Ethereum & smart contracts will play one of the most critical roles in Web 3, there are other important components like decentralized storage, databases, hosting, etc. that need to be built and adopted in order to make Web 3 a reality.

New Approach to Web 3 Adoption

We decided that we wanted to focus on helping the Ethereum community, Web 3 community, and the much larger Web 2 community start decentralizing core aspects of their sites & apps - but do so in a user friendly and use case specific way, with an incremental decentralization path, so that we can really start bringing the Web 2 community into Web 3.

Our thinking is that jumping from Web 2 directly to smart contracts might not be the easiest path, and every site might not necessarily need smart contracts. But we do know sites will always need things such as hosting, storage, etc. - so if we can start offering decentralized alternatives to these core pillars in a familiar way, and provide tangible benefits to using these decentralized alternatives such as cost, performance, security, decentralization, etc., it will be a much easier transition that will lead to broader and faster Web 3 adoption.

Fleek Roadmap

The mission for Fleek is still the same as it was when we started the company - to build tools and products that make it easier for people to use decentralized technologies. The only critical difference with Fleek is that now the tools and products we build can be used not just by the blockchain community, but by the entire web community.

To start, we decided to focus on IPFS hosting because we believe that

  • most of the infrastructure needed to start decentralizing the hosting aspect of a site or app is available today.
  • there is interest from the Ethereum & Web 3 community to host sites on IPFS.
  • the process to build, deploy, and host a site or web app on IPFS (especially one that is updated frequently) is time consuming and difficult
  • trends in web development like serverless, no code/low code, and the JAM Stack make IPFS hosting feasible and attractive to both Web 3 and Web 2 companies.

Our initial IPFS hosting product is not 100% decentralized, but it’s a big step in the right direction and provides a good balance of decentralization vs. performance/experience (and also it’s the extent of what’s possible to decentralize today). For example, DNS will be centralized until decentralized alternatives are realistic to use as a full replacement for DNS. And in order to make IPFS hosted sites as fast and performant as normal sites, we offer an optional enterprise-grade, global CDN you can use. The CDN itself is centralized, however if the CDN ever went down all sites are still fully accessible (they might just load a bit slower), so using it shouldn’t be a concern. We also have some cool plans to decentralize the CDN aspect of our stack in the future.

A lot of the inspiration for Fleek comes from the low code movement that companies like Netlify and Gatsby are pioneering, and part of our goal with Fleek is to help bring the benefits of low code to Web 3. So after our initial IPFS hosting product, our plan is to expand into other products that sites and apps commonly need such as Auth, Forms, CMS, etc. - but similar to our core IPFS hosting product, they will all be powered by decentralized technologies and infrastructure. Our plan is to work with projects in the Web 3 (and Web2) space who are building protocols and products in those various areas to launch these additional products over time and provide a seamless development experience to our users.

We’re super excited to embark on this new journey and to help bring the next million devs into the Web 3 space. We’d love to invite you all into our community to try out the new product and get your feedback. And if you feel there are opportunities to collaborate with us please reach out, we’d be happy to chat!

Check out Tech Docs

PS. This blog is hosted on IPFS using Fleek 😄

- Harrison