Github Pages vs Heroku – Which is the best?

This article will compare Github Pages vs Heroku according to their features and pricing structure.

Businesses around the world have started using cloud computing models to create and host their websites and web apps.

This model is agile and each platform offers a unique set of features that are suited for different kinds of workloads.

GitHub Pages and Heroku stand out from their competitors and have garnered die-hard users that can vouch for the various benefits each of them offer. However, they are suited for completely different functions and offer unique benefits.

In the following post, we take an objective look at GitHub Pages and Heroku and compare the features and pricing of each platform so that you can make an informed decision when selecting one for your projects.

What is GitHub Pages?

If you already use Git for version control, you might have come across one or more pages hosted on Github Pages.

GitHub Pages is a free website hosting service from GitHub that allows users to publish a static website by pulling web dependencies (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files) directly from their GitHub repositories.

It is not intended for use as a free website hosting service to run a commercial website; instead, you can use GitHub Pages to upload your own or your organization’s code repositories, portfolios, pages, etc.

For every GitHub account on Pages, you get one User Page and unlimited project pages. GitHub Pages recently added custom URLs to their service, meaning you can create a file named CNAME and include your URL there to use a custom domain for your website.

Pages also now has official Jekyll integration where users can blog using Markdown syntax.

GitHub Pages Features

  • Extensive documentation: Being a repository service, GitHub maintains extensive documentation on how to use Pages for various use cases. From using submodules for customizing efficiency to creating 404 pages for SEO, you will find detailed documentation on the website. It is backed by an enthusiastic community that will help you in case you run into any issues anywhere. 
  • Jekyll for blogging: GitHub has been used for blogging for some time now and Pages takes it a step further. Pages is powered by Jekyll, a blog-aware static site generator. With this integration, developers can create blogs for their website using Markdown Syntax without worrying about databases, server updates, and content moderation.
  • Monetizing projects: As stated earlier, GitHub Pages cannot be used as a free hosting service for commercial websites. However, GitHub supports monetizing projects using donation buttons, source code promotion, advertisements, etc., as long as you do not exceed the usage restrictions.

GitHub Pages Pricing

GitHub Pages is free for everyone with a GitHub account. You can create and host pages even if you are on a free GitHub account. However, if you want to host your own web apps on GitHub, you will need to purchase a separate server.

The repository website GitHub has three pricing tiers – Free, Teams ($48 per year), and Enterprise ($252 per user per year).

What is Heroku?

Launched in 2007, Heroku is today among the most popular cloud computing PaaS implementations based on the container model.

It offers a fully managed runtime environment in isolated Linux containers called “dynos” for building and hosting modern web applications.

It supports a variety of input programming languages, including Ruby, Python, PHP, Node, Closure, Go, Java, etc. Heroku also offers custom buildpacks for deploying apps in other languages.

Consequently, it is also referred to as a polyglot platform, meaning the end result is consistent irrespective of the input programming language.

Heroku servers are hosted off of AWS EC2. The platform allows developers to quickly scale their applications by either adding more dynos to the dyno grid or modifying the type of dyno on which their application is hosted.

Since it is owned by Salesforce, Heroku also offers direct and easy integration with other Salesforce deployments at scale.

Sign Up Github pages vs Heroku

Heroku Features

  • Command Line Interface: The Heroku CLI is one of the most important aspects of the platform and allows developers to accomplish every task right from the terminal. The CLI can be used to create and launch apps, modify dyno configs, take backups, etc.
  • OpEx: Heroku offers a set of dedicated tools and services to track negative trends in the app and notify the users when a metric falls below a pre-determined threshold. Developers get notified in real-time so that they can troubleshoot their deployments before a major downtime. Heroku also automatically scales dynos if response times cross a certain threshold.
  • Customization: Developers on Heroku can customize the final application with the help of over 200 official add-ons and buildpacks listed on Heroku Ecosystem, the official marketplace for add-ons. You can add custom functionality to your apps, including performance mods, authentication, storage, security, etc.

Heroku Pricing

Heroku offers comprehensive pricing tiers to suit all use cases. For non-commercial apps and APIs, it offers a free tier with up to 1000 dynos per user per month. The paid tiers are discussed in brief below.

  • Standard: This tier is mainly for building lightweight apps that can boot with 512MB RAM and above, starting at $25 per dyno per month.
  • Performance: For building high-performance apps that can handle high traffic influx, the Performance tier starts at $250 per month and offers several advanced features like dedicated resources, predictable performance, etc.
  • Custom: If your team needs custom resources to build apps that meet the control and compliance requirements of your organization, Heroku offers a custom plan with custom pricing.

Github Pages vs Heroku

Github PagesHeroku
OverviewStatic pages hosting serviceApp development platform
Ideal forStatic page hostingBuild, deploy, and run applications.
Parent companyMicrosoftSalesforce
Free TierYesYes
Paid PlansPaid plans available for Github service and start at $48/year.Paid plans start at $7/month for the Hobby plan and $25/month for the Standard plan.


GitHub Pages and Heroku are intended for completely different use cases, i.e., Heroku is suited more for backend work, while Pages is better for frontend work.

If you want to host a static website for you or your organization, like a portfolio or product description, GitHub Pages is an amazing free service to get started.

However, if you want to host dynamic websites and web apps with dedicated servers, Heroku is one of the most popular PaaS implementations available in the market.

Sign Up Github pages vs Heroku

What is Github Pages?

Static pages hosting service.

What is Heroku?

App development platform.

What are the differences between Github Pages and Heroku?

GitHub Pages and Heroku are intended for completely different use cases, i.e., Heroku is suited more for backend work, while Pages is better for frontend work.

Heroku is a development suite and supports a complete development cycle. Github Pages is designed to host static pages.

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