Netlify vs Heroku | What are the differences?

Netlify vs Heroku | What are the differences?

This article will address the core differences between Netlify and Heroku. It will summarize each platform, core features, benefits, and pricing structure.

Platform as a service or PaaS is a widely used cloud computing service model relied upon by thousands of businesses globally. Using an agile and feature-rich platform to build custom applications is preferred for countless business owners.

Over the years, there has been a sharp increase in the variety of PaaS services available for consumers. Netlify and Heroku are two popular service providers with users across various industry verticals.

The Netlify vs Heroku debate rages on as both the solutions offer different features and supposedly various benefits. 

What’s Netlify?

Netlify specializes in cutting-edge web hosting and automation solutions for businesses. It enables users to set up websites instantly. Companies that have a Netlify account can begin hosting their website on the platform.

Netlify lets users host websites by dragging and dropping components from their computers onto its web application or directly importing their Git repositories.

Netlify users can specify branches to be referenced to host when using a git repository. They are also able to determine run commands if deemed necessary. Netlify makes a live website available to users without delay through a customizable domain and offers them a free-of-cost SSL.

The platform makes it easy for users to launch web projects without setup and maintenance concerns.

To know more about the best alternatives to Netlify, please read the article Top 5 Netlify Alternatives.

Netlify Pricing

  • Starter – The Starter Netlify package is free for individual use. It offers automated builds, deploy to a global edge network.
  • Pro – The Pro package costs $19/month. It is a team-oriented package allowing three concurrent builds, 1000 monthly build minutes, and several other features.
  • Business – The Business package is offered by Netlify for prices starting at $99 per month. It can run five concurrent builds and provide audit logs’ entire history.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise package provides 99.99% uptime SLA, premium support, and an enterprise-grade network. The price for this package is available under quotation.

Netlify Features 

  • Branch deployment – Netlify enables users to deploy in branches and facilitates branch feature building, real environment testing, and reviewing. You can create flexible branch-specific deployments with it. 
  • Contextual build commands – The Netlify PaaS service lets users use contextual build commands for development. Contextual commands greatly simplify the technical aspect of custom development. 
  • Free SSL – Netlify offers easy HTTPS setups for custom domains with options for custom SSL, managed SSL, and dedicated SSL. Users can easily set up free SSL provided by Let’s Encrypt, which automatically renews each year. 
  • More features – Additional features include Deploy Preview, Forms, Identity, Analytics, and Split Testing.

Netlify Advantages 

  • Ease of use and Simple pricing- Netlify is known for its remarkable ease of use. It saves a lot of time for users who require fast custom website hosting. This benefit can influence your decision when it comes to considering this platform.
  • Fast deployment – Netlify project deployments are pretty fast and convenient. The drag and drop functionality dramatically reduces deployment time. 
  • Optimized assets – Netlify lets users automatically optimize project assets with a range of advanced performance enhancement options. 
  • Continuous development – The continuous development feature is activated automatically for Git repository deployments. 

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a PaaS platform that offers support for several programming languages. It currently supports Node.js, PHP. Java, Python, Go, Scala, and Clojure. Heroku runs applications in virtual systems that can be customized based on the requirement of clients.

The virtual computer systems of Heroku are known as dynos. These can be modified anytime based on the changing needs of users. Heroku users can add more resources through horizontal or vertical scaling.

Heroku charges customers monthly depending on the number of virtual computers they use. This PaaS platform and all applications built on it are hosted on top of AWS.

It makes development more convenient and easier for developers. Users can efficiently utilize the platform’s intuitive dashboard to perform actions based on requirements.

To know more about the best alternatives to Heroku, please read the article Top 10 Heroku Competitors.

Heroku Pricing

  • Free and Hobby – Heroku offers a Free and Hobby plan that starts at $0. It is suitable for developers interested in deploying non-commercial applications, including MVPs, proof of concepts, and personal-type projects. 
  • Production – The Production plan starts from $25 per month, and the cost can go up based on additional requirements. This plan is suitable for organizations focused on creating business applications, including APIs and web apps. 
  • Advanced – Heroku offers an Advanced plan that starts at $250 for businesses with more sophisticated development and usability needs. It is well-suited for mission-specific applications with sophisticated feature sets and peak performance. 
  • Enterprise – Heroku also offers an Enterprise package for users looking for customized pricing for flexible requirements. This plan is best suited for large organizations with greater compliance, collaboration, and security demands. 

Heroku Features

  • Heroku DX – Heroku DX refers to an app-centric delivery approach that enables developers to gain better focus and freedom from distractions when creating and deploying applications. 
  • Heroku Runtime – Applications on the Heroku PaaS platform are run within containers called dynos. Users get a fully-managed runtime environment with support for code written in several programming languages. 
  • Heroku OpEx – OpEx is an important Heroku feature that enables troubleshooting and fixing common issues within applications. OpEx also allows users to modify operation flows intuitively. 
  • More Features – Additional features include team collaboration, data services, and HIPAA.

Heroku Advantages

  • Scalable – Heroku dyno containers are convenient as users can easily replicate them based on their resource requirements. Horizontal scaling is enabled by simply clicking a button, and users can create as many instances of their application as required. 
  • Simple – Heroku is preferred by users worldwide for its simplicity, which makes it an easy-to-use platform. It offers a simple interface and easy one-click deployments. Releasing new software versions is also quite convenient using Heroku. 
  • Secure – Heroku makes your applications secure at all times and reduces the need for repetitive security patching. It ensures complete security for your assets regardless of how complex your requirements are. 

Heroku vs Netlify | Comparison

Here are the core differences between Heroku and Netlify.

Netlify is a fit-to-purpose solution that will allow developers to accelerate website deployment and hosting. It provides continuous integration tools as well as a fully embedded CDN service. The service is focused towards frontend developers.

On the other hand, Heroku is a more generic platform that allows multiple types of deployment (including website deployment) under a significant set o programming languages (Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure, Python, PHP, and Go). The service is focused towards backend developers.

Deciding between Netlify and Heroku depends on several factors like:

  • Type of project under development
  • Levels of flexibility you need
  • Budget

Here is a table with each platform’s differences and help you decide the option that suits your project better.

Netlify Heroku
DescriptionDeploy modern website with one click.Build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud.
Start Date20142007
Parent CompanyIndependent SalesForce
Employees Qty153160
PriceFixed PricePay by the Usage
Ideal forModern web projects automationCreating entire applications (including database) on a cloud environment
Continuos Integration Out of the boxOption to turn it on
Developer FocusFrontendBackend
Type of ProjectWebMobile and Web
RemarksNo sleeping appsSleeping apps


This article provided an overview of Netlify and Heroku and explained the differences between these two cloud platforms.

Netlify is an automation platform for web projects focused on front-end developers. The main features include continuous integration out of the box, free SSL, and CDN. The platform is excellent for ease of use, fast deployment, and continuous integration.

Heroku helps developers build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud. It is focused toward backend development and allows web/mobile projects deployment. The main features include pre-configured containers called Dynos and a fully managed runtime environment. Advantages are scalability and security protocols.

The information provided above can help users get a clear idea about the prospect of Netlify vs Heroku for fulfilling their PaaS requirements. The ideal choice will depend on the project under development, budget, and levels of flexibility you are looking for.

If you were interested in reading this blog post, the articles Netlify vs. Firebase and Heroku vs. Firebase might interest you as well.

General FAQ

What is Netlify?

Netlify is a fit to purpose solution that will allow developers to accelerate website deployment and hosting. It provides continuous integration tools as well as a fully embedded CDN service. The service is focused towards frontend developers.

What is Heroku?

Heroku helps developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud. It is focused toward backend development and allows web/mobile projects deployment. The main features include pre configured containers called Dynos and a fully-managed runtime environment. Advantages are the scalability and security protocols.

What are the differences between Netlify and Heroku?

– Netlify is focused towards frontend development
– Heroku is focused towards backend developers
– Netfliy is ideal for web projects
– Heroku works with web and mobile apps
– Netlify provides continuous integration out of the box
– Heroku has the option to turn CI on

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