The best free Heroku alternatives in 2023
Are you looking for Heroku alternatives? This tutorial will teach you about multiple Heroku alternatives and cover competitors like Back4App, Render, Railway, etc.
Heroku is Salesforce’s platform-as-a-service that lets developers quickly deploy, manage, and scale apps. Heroku offers powerful functionalities that include:
- Lightweight containers that run applications
- Managed database services
- Continuous delivery and integration
While Heroku delivers an increasingly sophisticated collection of services that covers various cloud hosting requirements, it’s not always the most straightforward, quickest, or most affordable choice.
- 1 Why should you look for Heroku alternatives?
- 2 The best Heroku alternatives in 2023
- 3 Back4app
- 4 Render
- 5 Digital Ocean App Platform
- 6 Railway
- 7 Platform.sh
- 8 Fly
- 9 Porter
- 10 Engine Yard
- 11 Open Shift
- 12 Google App Engine
- 13 Dokku
- 14 PythonAnywhere
- 15 ElasticBeanStalk
- 16 Netlify
- 17 Vercel
- 18 Firebase
- 19 CapRover
- 20 Azure App Service
- 21 Humalect
- 22 Flightcontrol
- 23 Heroku Competitors Comparison
- 24 Conclusion
- 25 FAQ
- 26 What are the best alternatives to Heroku?
Why should you look for Heroku alternatives?
Well, there are lots of reasons why you should look for Heroku alternatives, and some of them are as follows:
- Heroku no longer offers a free tier
Since November 28, 2022, Heroku no longer offers its users a free tier or free Dynos; many users are looking for Heroku like free services.
The company announced this information in this blog post on August 25, 2022, and this article will support you in finding Heroku free tier alternatives.
- The pricing structure is expensive
Heroku’s pricing structure is costly compared to services like Back4app, Render, or AWS.
For example, a Standard Plan with 1GB of RAM on Heroku will cost $50/month. A similar plan will cost $15/month on Back4app.
Please read the article Heroku Pricing Explained to learn more about Heroku’s pricing structure.
- Limited regions may cause latency issues
Heroku uses AWS as an infrastructure provider but runs its services only in the USA and Europe.
So, if an app needs a global scale or has end-users from Asia, Australia, and South America, latency may be an issue using Heroku.
If a user needs to deploy your app in other regions, upgrading to a Private Space is required. This offering is available in Dublin, Frankfurt, Oregon, Sydney, Tokyo, and Virginia.
Unfortunately, the price is unavailable on the website, and the user needs to contact sales for further information.
- Stagnating and not innovating
Nowadays, technology changes as fast as ever. So, it forces cloud providers to innovate quickly and adopt the latest technologies.
According to this thread on Hacker News, some developers say Heroku is not innovating as fast as possible and lacks product offerings like global and multi-cloud deployment.
The best Heroku alternatives in 2023
The comprehensive cloud services list below will cover some of the best alternatives to Heroku and its core functionalities, pricing models, key customers, and public reviews.
Back4app is a cloud hosting provider that has operated since 2015, its key customers include Accenture, Rappi, and El Pais, and some developers say it’s the best alternative to Heroku.
The platform offers two main products: a fully managed container and backend platforms supporting web apps and mobile applications.
It offers simple cloud hosting for many products, including APIs, workers, cron jobs, backends, etc. The core functionalities include GitHub integration, seamless deployment via Docker, and real-time monitoring.
Back4app has a generous free tier to start that offers a free deployment server like Heroku and has a predictable and affordable plans. Paid plans are available at $5 per month, and dedicated environments for $50 per month.
Per G2, the platform enjoys a commendable 4.8 out of 5 stars rating, and users appreciate it for its user-friendliness, straightforward setup, and superior support.
Continue reading to learn more free Heroku alternatives.
Render is a Heroku alternative that has operated since 2018, its key customers include Indie Hackers, 99Designs and some customers say it’s the best Heroku alternative.
Render platform is a fast way to host web apps, APIs, static sites, CRON jobs, and containers. It offers autoscaling, managed services, preview environments, APIs, etc.
Render pricing structure works with two key variables – number of team members and computing resources. The platform provides a free tier, and the entry-level paid package starts at $19 monthly.
When writing this article, according to G2’s data, the platform holds a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and is widely acclaimed for simplifying website deployments.
Digital Ocean App Platform
Digital Ocean is known for being a reliable cloud hosting provider and has operated since 2011. The company has over 600k customers and supports brands like Snipitz, Jiji, and Squarebird.
This cloud provider offers various products, including virtual machines, managed databases, an application development platform, and some users say it’s better than Heroku.
Digital Ocean App Platform offers a fully managed infrastructure for customers looking to build, deploy, and scale applications. The use cases include web applications, APIs, and websites.
This tool helps developers to be more productive, supports many programming languages like Python, Go, and PHP, and has built-in security.
The App Platform is a free Heroku alternative, the entry-level plan is free of charge, and paid plans start at $5 monthly. High availability clusters begin at $12 monthly and are available under the Professional Plan.
Digital Ocean has more than 450 reviews on G2 and a 4.6 out 5 stars. Customers praise the platform for friendly support, affordable pricing, and simple-to-use user experience.
Railway is a cloud provider that has operated since 2020, and its key customers include Atmos, Zora, and Fion Tech.
The platform works for small and large projects and supports multiple programming languages. It offers automatic builds, team collaboration, and various environments.
This Heroku competitor offers a free service trial, and paid plans start at $5 monthly. All plans include GitHub deploys, persistent storage, and real-time logs.
According to Product Hunt, Railway has 41 reviews and 4.9 out of 5 stars. Users like Railway because of its clean and user-friendly interface, responsive team members, and GitHub auto-deploy.
Platform.sh is a platform as a service provider that allows customers to deliver applications faster and at scale. It has operated since 2015, and its key customers include Johnson & Johnson, Unity, and Pinterest.
It’s a solution to develop, deploy, and host websites and web applications. The platform supports frameworks like Drupal, WordPress, and Magento.
The company centers its offering around enterprise customers and offers a 30-day free trial. The entry-level production environment costs $27 monthly and offers 0.65 vCPU/0.65GB RAM.
As of the creation date of this article, according to information from G2, the platform boasts a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating and is widely acclaimed for its efficacy in tackling hosting project challenges.
Fly is a cloud provider that allows customers to launch applications near end-users. It has operated since 2017, and its key customers include Glitch, Glide, and Fanatics.
Using Fly, users can transform containers into micro-virtual machines and deploy them across 30+ zones globally.
The platform supports multiple programming languages and frameworks, such as Elixir, Ruby on Rails, Laravel, and many more.
Pricing-wise, Fly offers a free tier with up to 3 CPUs of 256MB and 3GB persistent volume storage. Above the free level, users pay according to their computing usage.
Product Hunt users rate the company at 5 of 5 stars and praise the company for having a high-speed infrastructure, low latency, and simple monitoring.
Porter allows users to deploy applications into their own cloud accounts in just a few clicks. It has been running since 2014 and supports customers like Writesonic, CareRev, and Getaround.
The company offers a new platform-as-service concept, allowing users to connect and deploy code directly to their cloud accounts. The platform supports integrations with AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.
Using Porter is quite simple, and users need to integrate their GitHub repositories into the platform to allow Porter to access their cloud accounts. And Porter will handle the infrastructure, from building your application to autoscaling it.
The company offers a 14-day free trial, and the cost model works under a pay-as-you-go structure, and it’s a function of the underlying resources running on the cloud accounts.
Porter has 5 of 5 stars on its 20 Product Hunt reviews, and users say that the platform simplifies the deployment process, streamlines design, and has an excellent drag-and-drop user experience.
Engine Yard is a PaaS – Platform as a Service leader in Ruby DevOps and has been running since 2006. Featured customers include Freshdesk, OXON, and 3PlayMedia.
The platform provides a fully managed service that includes horizontal and vertical scaling, constant security updates, and copying of the environment for testing.
The core functionality includes multi-zone AWS code deployment, autoscaling, automated backend, and application monitoring.
The support runs 24/07, and pricing starts at $25 per month. Engine Yard is similar to Heroku in many aspects, and it’s an excellent choice for Ruby on Rails deployment.
Based on G2 and at the time of writing, the platform carries an admirable 3.8 out of 5 stars rating. It’s broadly acknowledged for its strong capabilities in cloud hosting management.
RedHat has been in business since 1993, and it’s known for providing open-source products to enterprise customers. Featured clients include Siemens, Zoom, and Verizon.
Open-Shift is part of RedHat’s offerings and allows customers to build, deploy, and scale applications quickly. The service is available on AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM Cloud.
This Kubernetes-based Paas platform is a quick way for Enterprises and developers to streamline workflows, get in production faster, and modernize applications.
The product has cloud and self-hosting editions. The pricing for the cloud edition starts at $0.076 hourly, offers 4 vCPUs, and requires a 3-year contract.
As per G2 and when creating this document, the platform holds a notable 4.5 out of 5 stars rating. It is widely acknowledged as a comprehensive PaaS solution.
Google App Engine
App Engine is Google’s platform-as-service designed to accelerate web application development and hosting.
The platform has been running since 2008, and according to StackShare, it supports customers like Delivery Hero, Snapchat, and the New York Times.
The platform is fully managed, supports popular programming languages like Node.js, Python, PHP, etc, and offers powerful monitoring tools.
This Heroku replacement option has two distinct pricing models. The first one is the standard environment. This option has a free tier, and usage above the threshold incurs charges.
The second pricing option is the flexible environment. This option has no free tier, and pricing works under a pay-as-you-go model based on the resources used.
Per G2 and as of the date of writing, the platform enjoys a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating and is widely appreciated for being a reliable and simple-to-use cloud platform.
Dokku is one of the best open-source platforms to use as a free alternative to Heroku.
Docker powers this solution, and developers can use Dokku to build and manage applications’ lifecycles without hassles.
This Heroku free alternative is available on GitHub for download. The pro-version of Dokku costs only $849 and provides free updates for life and support. Digital Ocean offers one-click hosting for this project under its developer tools marketplace.
According to G2 and as of the date of writing, the platform enjoys a commendable 4.2 out of 5 stars rating. Users appreciate it for being straightforward, open-source, and being like a mini-Heroku.
Keep reading to learn more Heroku free alternatives.
PythonAnywhere is a platform that lets developers, students, and teachers host Python in the cloud.
It has been running since 2011, has more than 30M consoles served, and it’s a great Heroku option for Python-related projects.
It provides a fully managed environment to deploy, run, and scale Python-related applications. It supports multiple Python frameworks like Django, Flask, web2py, etc.
The platform offers a free tier, and the Hacker plan costs only $5 monthly. More sophisticated options are also available for $12 and $99 monthly.
According to G2 and as of the date of writing, PythonAnyWhere has a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating and is known for being a create cloud platform to build and run Python applications.
AWS could not be out of this list and offers Elastic Beanstalk as a great alternative to Heroku. This product is an orchestration service for AWS products and lets users deploy and scale web applications.
The use cases include creating backend APIs, quickly launching web applications, and health monitoring. The tool supports many programming languages, such as Java, .NET, Ruby, etc, and complies with certifications like PCI and SOC.
Elastic Beanstalk is free to use, and customers only pay for the underlying resources provisioned, such as EC2 instances, S3 buckets, load balancers, etc.
At the date of writing, G2’s data reveals that the platform maintains a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating and is highly commended for its simplicity in deployment.
Netlify is a scalable solution to deploy and run web applications. The company has been in business since 2014 and supports customers like Peloton, Google, and Twilio.
It’s a fully managed solution, allowing you to run apps without managing the infrastructure and DevOps engineers and under a scalable environment.
Entry-level pricing is quite affordable, and the company offers a free plan for personal projects. The paid tier starts at $19 monthly and allows team collaboration.
According to G2 and at the time of crafting this piece, the platform boasts a praiseworthy 4.5 out of 5 stars rating and is appreciated for its seamless deployment services.
Vercel is a frontend cloud provider that lets developers build web applications faster. It offers features like edge functions, storage, and analytics.
The company has been running since 2015 and was previously known as ZEIT. Featured customers include Okta, eBay, and Zapier.
It’s a great option to deploy web projects using Next.js, React, Vue, Angular, etc. The platform is frontend and developer-focused, and it’s the company behind Next.js.
Vercel offers a free plan for side projects, a Pro plan for $20 monthly, and a customizable Enterprise plan.
According to G2 and as of the date of writing, Vercel has a respectable 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and is recognized as one of the best platforms for frontend developers.
Firebase is another Google-backed product and provides developers with a comprehensive app development platform to accelerate development.
Firebase delivers a fully managed infrastructure that includes databases (Firestore and RTDB), cloud functions, storage, analytics, etc.
Although it does not offer the same flexibility levels as Heroku, the platform is an excellent choice for developers looking for a fully managed hosting environment.
Firebase has two pricing plans. The first is a free tier ideal for development and testing. The paid tier works under a pay-as-you-go model and charges users based on the consumed cloud resources.
As per G2 and at the time of writing, the platform holds a respectable 4.5 out of 5 stars rating. Developers recognize Firebase as a practical resource for initiating mobile MVP development.
CapRover is an open-source framework that lets you build your PaaS service in a few minutes.
The solution works for several programming languages like Ruby, NodeJS, PHP, etc., offering a web graphical user interface and a CLI.
This tool is free to download; you only need to pay for the underlying infrastructure resources to run it.
This tool has over 10k stars on GitHub and released its first version in 2017. More than 50 contributors support the project, and 12 repositories are available on GitHub.
Azure App Service
Microsoft’s App Service is a platform to build, deploy, and scale APIs and web applications.
It delivers a scalable and fully managed environment, has built-in security, and supports several programming languages such as Node.js, .NET, Python, Java, etc.
Azure App Services offers users a free plan to start their projects and charges additional usage via a pay-as-you-go model.
According to G2 and as of the date of writing, Azure App Services has a sound 4.6 out of 5 stars rating and is recognized for simplifying cloud deployment and scalability.
Humalect is a self-service portal for developers that allows Kubernetes deployments in minutes. The company has been running since 2021 and has customers like Ancora, HYVE, and Mathongo.
It allows developers to deploy applications using their own cloud, tools to monitor the environment, and no lock-in. The core features include multi-cloud deployments, automated SSL, and multiple integrations like Grafana and DataDog.
Humalect offers a free plan to start, a $59 monthly plan for SMBs, and a customizable Enterprise plan.
At the date of writing, according to Product Hunt, this tool has a 5 out of 5 score and 14 reviews. Users praise the platform for streamlining the deployment process and allowing them to deploy Kubernetes quickly.
Flightcontrol is a YC-backed company that provides an infrastructure layer on top of AWS. It offers the best of two worlds, allowing developers to have a fantastic developer experience combined with the scalability of AWS.
The platform lets developers self-manage their AWS infrastructure and supports web servers, databases, workers, static sites, etc.
Flightcontrol has a free tier for individuals, a team plan at $12/month per service, and Enterprise plans under quotation
At the date of writing, according to Product Hunt, this platform has seven reviews and a 5 out of 5 score. The critical benefits highlighted are the fantastic support, simple user interface, and letting users deploy directly on AWS.
Heroku Competitors Comparison
The table below compares Heroku vs multiple cloud providers and delivers a summary with some free alternatives to Heroku. Here are the core Heroku like services you should know about.
|Heroku Alternatives||Description||Core Features||Pricing||Reviews|
|Back4app||Low-code backend to build modern apps||Container platform|
|4.8 out of 5 on G2|
|Render||Fastest way to host applications||DDoS|
Infrastructure as a code
Team plan at $19/mo
Computing costs starts at $7/mo
|4.7 out of 5 on G2|
|Digital Ocean App Platform||PaaS to Build, Deploy, Manage, and Scale Apps||Fully managed|
|4.6 out of 5 on G2|
|Railway||Cloud to remove the complexity of shipping software||Automatic builds|
|4.9 out of 5 on Product Hunt|
|Platform.sh||PaaS for websites and web applications||Auto-scaling|
|4.6 out of 5 on G2|
|Fly||Platform to deploy application close to end users||Edge deployment|
Metrics and Alerting
|5 out of 5 on Product Hunt|
|Porter||PaaS reimagined||Automatic builds|
One click deploy
|5 out of 5 on Product Hunt|
|Engine Yard||Easy application deployment to AWS||Code deployment|
|Starts at $25/month||3.5 out of 5 on G2|
|Open Shift||Enterprise container service||Docker containers|
Code and Push
|Starts at $0.076/hour.||4.5 out of 5 on G2|
|Google App Engine||Fully managed serverless platform to build scalable apps||Open and flexible|
Popular programming languages
Pay as you go model
|4.2 out of 5 on G2|
|Dokku||Mini-Heroku PaaS solution||Open-Source|
Powered by Docker
Easy Git Deploys
|Free to download|
Pro version at $849
|4.2 out of 5 on G2|
|PythonAnywhere||Platform to develop and host Python applications.||Development Hosting|
Paid plans start a $5/month
|4.4 out of 5 on G2|
|Elastic Beanstalk||AWS service to deploy and scale web apps||Multiple programming languages|
Application health Logging
|Free of charge|
Only pay for the other AWS resources used (EC2, S3, etc)
|4.3 out of 5 on G2|
|Netlify||Modern web development platform||Build and Deploy|
Starts at $19/month
|4.5 out of 5 on G2|
|Vercel||Solution to deploy frontend apps||Infrastructure|
Starts at $20/month
|4.7 out of 5 on G2|
|Firebase||Googles app development solution||Realtime database|
Pay as you go
|4.5 out of 5 on G2|
|CapRover||Deployment & web server manager||CLI|
|Free on GitHub||10k stars on GitHub|
|Azure App Service||Microsoft’s platform to build, deploy, and scale APIs and web applications.||Fully managed|
Pay as you go
|4.6 out of 5 on G2|
|Humalect||Platform to deploy Kubernetes||Multi cloud deployment|
Paid plans start at $59
|5 out of 5 on Product Hunt|
|Flightcontrol||Developer-first AWS Infrastructure||Use AWS account|
Paid plans start at $12 per month
|5 out of 5 on Product Hunt|
Heroku is a powerful platform-as-a-service solution from Salesforce, supports multiple programming languages, and helps users develop an application quickly.
Although it offers incredible benefits, its drawbacks include vendor lock-in, a closed-source platform, and the lack of a free tier for development after Nov 28, 2022.
This article explored many Heroku replacements and delivered an overview of each platform and its core features, pricing structure, and benefits.
What are the best alternatives to Heroku?
Below are some sites like Heroku:
3. Digital Ocean App Platform
8. Engine Yard
9. Open Shift
10. Google App Engine
18. Azure App Service