When you create a new project, Stackbit automatically deploys a live website based on the initial content of the project. Both this live website and the preview you work with in Stackbit look exactly the same. However, the live website is optimized for production, and its URL is public.
This public URL is auto-generated based on your project name, plus a random string to make this URL not easily guessable. This URL will not appear in any search index or be shared anywhere on its own. It is your choice when to start sharing this URL or link to it, or whether to do so at all.
Our managed hosting is based on Netlify. We do not offer features that are proprietary to the hosting vendor we work with.
For us to host your site, your code repository should include the needed Netlify configuration in the form of a
netlify.toml file (see docs). Our starters and code examples all provide this file (e.g. see here).
If you want to take your site public, you would probably want to first connect your own domain to it instead of sharing the auto-generated name.
Using the managed hosting is simple and convenient. You begin a new Stackbit project with a live website without additional configuration.
In addition, the Publish button in the visual editor will update its state to notify you when the publishing of new changes is complete, and if there are any issues you have access to the deployment logs within the UI.
Note that when using Stackbit's managed hosting, you do not have access to the hosting vendor's (Netlify) dashboard or value-added features. For example, you cannot set up environment variables that have a different value for the live website than those used in the visual editor environment.
You can opt out of managed hosting at any time. When doing this, note that the publish action will not trigger new builds for your site. Stackbit will also not be able to provide deployment logs or a custom domain.
Also note that Stackbit's form submission is the only back-end functionality that sites come with by default. If you use your own hosting solution and are also using Stackbit's form submission process, there is additional work required to ensure form submissions continue to work. See this guide for more information.