I was recently clicking through Netlify's API docs while trying to debug a build issue when I noticed two fields on Netlify's getDeploy endpoint, permalink and screenshot_url. In the past I have made good use of their branch deploy and deploy preview features where your site gets a permalink that lets you visit your site at that exact snapshot. What I didn't realize was that it is the case for pretty much every deployment job you run on Netlify.

This got me thinking, can I fetch all my deployments then generate some kind of timeline of versions of this site through the years? I sure can! You can do the same by using the listSiteDeploys operation like so:

curl -H "User-Agent: MyApp (YOUR_NAME@EXAMPLE.COM)" \
     -H "Authorization: Bearer YOUR_OAUTH2_ACCESS_TOKEN" \

Check out Netlify's getting started guide and the API reference docs for how to set up your access token. A fun side-note, it seems Netlify is running partly Firebase, as their log_access_attributes contain netlify.firebaseio.com URLs...

~170 deploys in four years

After fetching the deployment information for every one of my ~170 builds on Netlify, and combining it all into one JSON file, I started clicking through the deployment permalinks and screenshots for a bit of nostalgia.

The best place to start is often the beginning, so here is my first automated Netlify deploy from Jan 21, 2019 at exactly 2019-01-21T22:30:33.942Z around the time I landed in Canada before I got my first role at Points. Back my site was built on Hugo, way before I switched to Gatsby:


Screenshots are all well and good but what makes this more interesting for me, is the fact I can visit the site at that point using the permalink and can explore the woeful state of my portfolio site back then!


I completed a bulk download of all the images and then for the few deploys that are missing a screenshot_url for whatever reason I tasked Cypress to visit them and download a few screenshots, but it is fair to say I've never been one for high quality web design:

screenshot 2021 05 13 00 16 23 0000

Let me leave you with some personal highlights I've found so far:

DateSnapshot link
2019-01-21Very first automated deploy
2020-02-20Full circle, a lighter theme which looks very familiar
2020-12-11One of the first designs I incorporated GoodReads into
2021-04-06James tries to be super modern with some angled hero design