Last Updated on June 7, 2023
Heroku has been one of the most popular platforms for developers to deploy their applications for free. It allowed developers quick deployments of their application backend through git or Heroku CLI without the need to configure their own servers(serverless). Heroku also provided a free Postgres database and free dynos allowing for any application stack; be it PHP, node.js, ruby or even python application, making it a good platform for any user.
In their recent announcement, Heroku mentioned that they would drop their free tier in favour of the paid plans which has made developers look for alternatives where they can deploy their applications for free. Though free, Heroku did have a lot of limitations on the free tier such as No SSL certificates and only 5MB MySQL database options.
This did not deter us as developers from deploying to Heroku but recently, we might want to consider other hosting providers. Heroku favours the PostgreSQL database making it hard for developers who prefer MYSQL or any other databases.
Heroku dynos tend to “sleep” when they are not in use and this causes a short delay when a user tries to access your application when it is “asleep”. This can be a challenge at some point and this is why some people are looking for alternatives.
Railway is a cloud hosting platform that allows developers to deploy their applications with minimal effort. They offer a generous free tier making it a good candidate for the Heroku alternative
The free tier includes 512MB RAM, 1GB Storage,5$ credit, 100GB outbound network bandwidth Free SSLs with multiple custom domains among other benefits.
They provide a generous free tier allowing you to deploy your application free. With Free SSL certificates and background jobs, it makes it a good choice for a staging environment for your development needs.
Another alternative to Heroku is Fly.io. This is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to deploy their applications for free. Getting started with the platform is easy through their documentation. The only “downside” if I may is that you need to containerize your application using docker in order to deploy it to the platform.
Through their documentation though, you can get started pretty easily even without prior knowledge of Docker.
The other alternative is Porter. It is a managed platform as a service that helps developers deploy their application to any cloud provider such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon web services or Digital Ocean.
They offer a generous free tier that has free SSL certificates, unlimited applications and even built-in autoscaling making it easy for developers to start small and scale as demand arises. They also provide a Heroku migration service making it easy for anyone to migrate their stack from Heroku.
Northflank is another Heroku alternative available to developers. It also allows us to deploy our applications on any cloud service provider such as GCP, AWS or Azure.
They also provide a generous free tier with multiple custom domains and SSL certificates making it a good platform for any developer.
Qoddi is also another alternative to Heroku that provides managed App Hosting for any software stack.
Similar to other hosting platforms in this list, they also provide a generous free tier
It provides up to 3 free apps making it a good staging environment for hosting quick apps to show clients in the case of freelancing. The only downside is that they do not provide custom domains. This will require you to have a domain name in order to host your application. I personally purchase my domain names in Namecheap for as little as $0.99 making it easy to test apps without a lot of investment upfront.
Koyeb is another alternative to Heroku where we can host our applications for free.
This is the only platform I noticed that offers load balancing for free in the free tier making it stand out from the rest.
Though Heroku has a lot of flaws, it was the platform I used to deploy my first Application online. This is sure a bittersweet moment for most of us because we were used to having Heroku having our back if we ever needed to deploy any application online fast and free. Heroku will surely be missed. You can read more on other low-cost hosting providers here.
What other Heroku alternatives do you think I left out? Thanks for reading.