Free Alternatives to Google App Engine

Google App Engine is one of the most popular platforms for creating, deploying and maintaining apps among developers. The many features of the platform allow developers to handle tasks with less hassles.

However, Google App Engine has certain drawbacks that make its users seek alternatives.  If you are considering switching to another platform, the Google App Engine alternatives listed below are viable options. You should take the time to check them out. 

The Best Free Google App Engine Substitutes

Here are the best four platforms you can use instead of Google App Engine

1. Back4app

Back4app is arguably the most popular open-source-based Backend as a Service platform at this time. Developers love Back4apps for its usability, affordable price points and seamless scaling of apps.

The features of the platform cover development, app hosting, and continued management.  It works excellently for creating web, mobile and IoT apps. 

The features of Back4apps include:

  • A blazing fast database or developing apps and updating user data. The database also synchronizes data.
  • Offers GraphQL and REST APIs to users.
  • The Live Query feature allows the creation of apps that store and sync data in real-time. 
  • The scalability feature allows for seamless scaling of apps to enhance their performance. 

The Cost

  • Free Plan: The resources within the free plan include one-gigabyte storage and data transfer, 250-megabyte database storage, and 10,000 database requests. 
  • Shared Plan:  Features include autoscaling, 24.7 monitoring, multi-region availability, daily backup and recovery, and many more. Costs range from $5 to $100 per month. 
  • Dedicated Plan: This plan is available in Silver and Gold options that cost $250 and $400, respectively.  It offers dedicated virtual machines with enhanced security, multiple clouds, 24/7 monitoring, and many more. 

2. Heroku 

Heroku offers a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that makes it easy to deploy, manage and scale apps.  It supports a wide array of virtual app containers and programming languages out of the box.  

A few of the programming technologies Heroku support include Java, Mode.js, PHP, Python, Java, Scala, and Ruby.  The platform offers virtual containers called Dynos for running apps. 


The Heroku BX is purpose-built to enhance app development and hosting assignments. 

Heroku OpEx offers valuable tools for troubleshooting app development challenges. 

The Costs 

  • Free/Hobby Plan – This plan offers a single dyno for developing personal and non-commercial apps.
  • Production Plan – The base price for the production plan is $25/mo. This cost may increase based on the unique requirement of the developer. 
  • Enterprise – This $250/mo plan places emphasis on compliance and security. It is an excellent option for enterprise customers. 

3. Digital Ocean App Platform 

The Digital Ocean App Platform is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) designed to bring value to developers who prefer to use Digital Ocean servers for app hosting and development.  The platform takes the hassles off infrastructure management so the developer can focus on building apps.  

It offers valuable features such as automatic code analysis and enables importing codes from GitHub and other repositories.  Digital Ocean App Platform supports cloud and container-based app publishing.


Builds on the Cloud: One of the unique features of this platform is building codes on the cloud from repositories. The Digital Ocean App platform downloads all the frameworks and utilities needed and execute the build automatically. 

Seamless Scaling: Scaling apps on this platform is automated and straightforward. It handles horizontal scaling by adding more app instances and also manages vertical scaling by increasing memory and CPU resources of running instances on-demand. 

Extra Features: App Platform offers several other features such as SSL/TS, Team Support, DDoS, Automated Patching, App Metrics, and many more. 


The three pricing plans offered by this platform are:

  • Starter Plan:  This feature is excellent for a user who wants to evaluate the platform features and deploy a static website. The service costs $3/mo for each site deployment.
  • Basic Plan:  The Basic tier is great for prototyping, and the service starts at $5/mo. per container. 
  • Professional plan: This plan is best for production apps and costs $12/container/month.

4. Dokku

Dokku is one of the top alternatives for Heroku. It is simple, user-friendly, and offers hassle-free techniques for developing and deploying apps.  App deployment in Dokku is simpler than Heroku. Perhaps, the best part is that Heroku provides a high level of freedom with performance parallel to Heroku. 

The Costs

Dokku hosting on Digital Ocean servers starts at $5/mo.


  • Offers Multi-Cloud deployment.
  • Can deploy apps from Git.
  • Provides various plugins.
  • It is backed by Docker. 


We have reviewed the top alternatives for Google App Engine. You can try out any of the options listed; they will serve your app development, deployment, and management objectives.


What is App Engine?

Platform as a service from Google.

Is Google App Engine free?

Google App Engine offers a free tier under the Standard environment.

What are the best free alternatives to Google App Engine?

– Back4app
– Heroku
– Digital Ocean App Platform
– Dokku

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