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Top 3 Heroku Alternatives FREE Hosting

Heroku Alternatives FREE: Hey there, developers! If you’re like me, you’ve probably been relying on Heroku for hosting your applications or APIs. However, the recent changes to Heroku’s free tier have left many of us searching for viable alternatives.

Heroku Alternatives FREE
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3 Best Heroku Alternatives FREE

Feature1. Render2. Railway3. Cyclic
Supported StacksNode.js, Python, Docker, GraphQL, Rust, GolangVarious stacks with one-click templatesFull-stack JavaScript (Node.js)
Free Tier OfferingsWeb services, full-stack apps, PostgreSQL, RedisResource-based pricing, 500 hours usageFull-stack JavaScript, free forever
Free Tier Resources512 MB RAM, 750 hours/month512 MB RAM, 500 hours usage, 1 GB disk1 GB runtime memory, 512 MB storage
GitHub IntegrationYesYesYes
Ease of DeploymentUser-friendly interfaceOne-click templates for quick setupQuick and straightforward deployment

Here, I’ll introduce you to three excellent Heroku alternatives that offer free hosting for your full stack applications or back-end APIs. The best part? No need to enter credit card information!

Why Look for Alternatives to Heroku’s Free Tier?

Heroku has been a popular platform as a service (PaaS) solution for hosting applications and APIs built with various modern stacks and languages. While it’s a fantastic service, the recent changes to its free tier have left some developers seeking alternatives. The free tier, which is ideal for testing, small projects, or showcasing your work, has been a go-to for many. However, with Heroku’s adjustments, it’s time to explore other options that provide similar ease of use and functionality.

Options Beyond Cloud Hosting

While cloud hosting platforms like DigitalOcean or Linode are excellent choices, they are not direct alternatives to Heroku due to differences in ease of setup. Heroku allows developers to push their apps without worrying about configuring servers, firewalls, or other infrastructure components. In this article, we’ll focus on three services that offer similar simplicity and are more direct alternatives.

1. Render – Cloud Application Hosting for Developers

  • Stack Support: Node.js, Python, Docker, GraphQL, Rust, Golang.
  • Free Tier Resources: 512MB RAM, 750 hours of running time per month.
  • Services: Web services, full-stack applications, PostgreSQL databases, Redis cache.
  • Ease of Use: GitHub integration for seamless deployment.
  • Limitations: Spin-down after 15 minutes of inactivity, up to 30 seconds to spin back up.

A Powerful Platform for Modern Stacks Render (render.com) supports a wide range of modern stacks, including Node.js, Python, Docker, GraphQL, Rust, and Golang. Unlike before, Render now offers free hosting for web services, full-stack applications, PostgreSQL databases, and Redis cache services. The free tier provides 512 megabytes of RAM and 750 hours of running time per month. While there’s a spin-down after 15 minutes of inactivity, it’s a generous free tier comparable to Heroku.

2. Railway – railway.app

  • Stack Support: Various stacks with one-click templates, including Django, Express with MongoDB, Kotlin, Laravel, etc.
  • Free Tier Resources: 512MB RAM, 500 hours of usage, 1GB disk space.
  • Services: Simplified deployment with templates, option to provision databases like PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB.
  • Ease of Use: GitHub integration for easy deployment, straightforward interface.
  • Limitations: Charges based on resource consumption beyond the free tier.

Simple Deployment with Templates Railway (railway.app) simplifies deployment with one-click templates for various stacks, such as Django, Express with MongoDB, Kotlin, Laravel, and more. The platform charges users based on resource consumption, starting from 512 megabytes of RAM. The free tier includes 500 hours of usage and 1 gigabyte of disk space. Railway is a straightforward and user-friendly alternative that doesn’t require a credit card for sign-up.

3. Cyclic – Fullstack Javascript Apps – Deploy and Host

  • Stack Support: Full-stack JavaScript, specifically Node.js.
  • Free Tier Resources: 100,000 API requests, 1GB runtime memory, 512MB temporary storage.
  • Services: Tailored for full-stack JavaScript applications.
  • Ease of Use: GitHub integration for seamless deployment.
  • Limitations: No spin-down issues, generous free forever plan, ideal for Node.js applications.

Tailored for Full-Stack JavaScript Cyclic (cyclic.sh) focuses exclusively on full-stack JavaScript applications using Node.js. It directly compares itself to Heroku, offering a generous free forever plan with 100,000 API requests, 1 gigabyte of runtime memory, and 512 megabytes of temporary storage. Cyclic doesn’t have spin-down issues like some other platforms, making it a hassle-free choice for free hosting.

Deploying a Node.js API on Each Platform

To demonstrate how easy it is to deploy your application on these platforms, the article walks you through deploying a simple vanilla Node.js REST API. Each service allows seamless GitHub integration, making the deployment process quick and easy.

FAQ

Why are developers looking for alternatives to Heroku’s free tier?

Heroku recently made changes to its free tier, leading to the discontinuation of certain services. This has prompted developers to explore alternative hosting options that offer similar features without the limitations.

What makes Render a compelling alternative to Heroku?

Render supports a broad range of modern stacks, including Node.js, Python, Docker, GraphQL, Rust, and Golang. It now offers free hosting for web services, full-stack applications, and even databases like PostgreSQL and Redis. Render’s free tier provides 512 megabytes of RAM and 750 hours of running time per month, making it a generous and comparable alternative.

How does Railway simplify the deployment process for developers?

Railway streamlines deployment with one-click templates for various stacks, such as Django, Express with MongoDB, Kotlin, Laravel, and more. The platform charges based on resource consumption and offers a free tier with 500 hours of usage and 1 gigabyte of disk space. Railway’s simplicity and template-based approach make it an excellent choice for hassle-free deployments.

Why might developers consider Cyclic as an alternative to Heroku?

Cyclic focuses exclusively on full-stack JavaScript applications using Node.js. It positions itself as a direct competitor to Heroku, offering a free forever plan with generous resources, including 100,000 API requests, 1 gigabyte of runtime memory, and 512 megabytes of temporary storage. Cyclic eliminates spin-down issues, providing a straightforward and reliable solution for free hosting.

How do these alternatives simplify the deployment of a Node.js API?

All three alternatives—Render, Railway, and Cyclic—offer seamless GitHub integration. Developers can easily deploy their Node.js APIs by connecting their GitHub repositories, selecting the project, configuring basic settings, and initiating the deployment. This user-friendly process eliminates the need for complex setup, making it accessible for developers of all levels.

Can these alternatives be used for more than just testing or hobby projects?

While the free tiers of these alternatives are ideal for testing, small projects, or showcasing work, they also provide paid plans for more substantial applications and businesses. For projects intended for production or with higher resource requirements, upgrading to a paid plan is recommended to unlock additional features and resources.

Conclusion

Heroku alternatives are abundant, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs. Render, Railway, and Cyclic are three excellent options that provide free hosting for full-stack applications or back-end APIs. Whether you’re showcasing a project, testing an idea, or working on a hobby, these platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and generous free tiers to suit your needs. Explore these alternatives and find the one that best fits your workflow and requirements.

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