Where to host an app?
Apps cannot exist in a vacuum. Except for the game and most basic utility types of applications, mobile apps typically don’t work in standalone mode. They need network access to get different types of information. For instance, if it is a location-based deal app, the app would need some kind of server access to get the deals pertaining to a specific area.
Generally, such apps gather user location information and then access a web service to get the deals for that location. This means that as the owner of an app, you need to know where to host your app and also have to bear the hosting cost of the server throughout the app lifecycle.
What is a mobile app?
A mobile app is a type of application software that is designed and developed to run on a mobile device like a tablet computer or smartphone. Generally, apps are small, individual software units with limited function. Apple Inc. originally popularized the use of app software, and its App Store offers thousands of apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Apps are divided into 2 broad categories – web apps and native apps.
- Web apps – These are used in CSS or HTML5 and need minimum device memory as they are run through a browser. Users are redirected to a specific web page, and all the information is saved on a server-based database. To use web apps, users require a stable connection.
- Native apps – are built for a specific mobile operating system (OS), usually Android or iOS. These apps enjoy better performance and feature a more fine-tuned UI (user interface) and need to pass a strict quality and development assurance process before they’re released.
Some of the types of apps that are available today are gaming apps, entertainment and lifestyle apps, productivity apps, mobile commerce (M-commerce) apps, travel apps, and so on.
What is mobile hosting?
Mobile hosting refers to a type of hosting that utilizes multiple servers to balance the load and maximize uptime. Instead of using one server, your app can make use of a cluster that draws on the resources from a centralized pool. So, even if one server happens to fail, another is going to kick in instantaneously and ensure that everything is running.
You can visualize the cloud as a web of varied computers that are interconnected. More resources are added to the overall cloud when more machines are hooked up to the network.
With cloud hosting, you are getting a part of the cloud cluster, and this is opposed to conventional web hosting, where you are only getting a specific amount of space from one server.
What are the advantages of hosting an app on the cloud?
- Low maintenance – When apps are hosted, the hardware and software are the responsibility of the vendor, and the client only has to maintain the Internet access. There isn’t any software that needs to be downloaded, and this makes the app instantly available.
- Reduced costs – The cost is reduced a great deal because there’s no need to license software on a “’ per server,” “per concurrent user,” “peruse,” or “per site” basis. Some apps do charge “per user,” but most apps have decreased the costs so that customers do not have to evaluate how many licenses they might require or compensate for full licenses that only a few people might use.
- There is little to no risk – Since there is no long-term commitment from the customer, the risk is negligible. Typically, new customers can test a new hosted app via a pay-as-you-go model or a free trial mode. The customer can stop using the service if the app is not what they need.
- Easy access – Accessing the app is not a problem because the app software and data are stored on an Internet server. The data is available to users who are authorized after they have logged in. People can use the app remotely from anywhere.
- Ease of integration – Enterprises using legacy systems from different suppliers benefits from hosted apps because these apps offer an integrated solution to any system utilizing the typical Internet browser on a Mac, Windows PC, or Unix.
- Strong support – Customers benefit from hosted apps because of the support that is offered. Additionally, new updates tend to be centrally installed so that there is no need to track the version numbers. In many cases, the need for version numbers has been eliminated.
Top Best Providers to Host an App
Back4app is considered to be one of the most astounding open-source backends as a service provider. It helps developers in building scalable and extensible web and mobile apps at lightning speed. This fully managed backend as a service solution provides automatic scaling and provisioning of mobile apps.
Surprisingly, you can personalize and even optimize each of your apps differently with the help of this solution. This unique aspect of this solution makes Back4app one of the most sought-after and preferred options among app developers.
Back4app lets you start with a free account. Besides the free plan, Back4app offers dedicated and shared resources. Shared resources start from $5 per month, and the dedicated plans start from $250 per month.
- Relational database schema and queries enabling developers to enjoy low latency and high responsiveness with multi-region distribution architecture
- Cloud code functions
- Real-time data delivered directly to subscribed clients using Live Queries
- REST and GraphQL APIs
- Cross-platform SDKs
- Easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface
- Email and push notifications
- Media files can be delivered across the globe with the help of blazing-fast CDN
- Scalable hosting
Google’s Firebase is a platform that has been developed for creating web and mobile apps. Originally, it was an independent company that was created in 2011. Google acquired Firebase in 2014, and now it is their flagship offering for the development of apps.
Firebase frees app developers so that they can focus on creating amazing user experiences. There’s no need to manage servers or write APIs. The platform is your server, your datastore, and API. All of this is written generically so that you can personalize it to suit your specific needs.
However, you may have to use other bits of the Google Cloud if you are developing an advanced application. While Firebase cannot be everything to everybody, it is getting pretty close.
You can start using Firebase for free, but there is no free trial version.
- Real-time database
- File storage with its system of security
- Built-in email and password authentication system and also supports OAuth2 for Facebook, Google, GitHub, and Twitter
- Unlimited reporting
- Easy-to-use hosting service and serves as global CDN
- Fully-featured app platform
- Campaign segmentation
- Web notifications
Headquartered in New York City with data centers across the globe, DigitalOcean Inc. is an American cloud infrastructure provider. DigitalOcean offers developers cloud services that help in deploying and scaling apps that run simultaneously on more than one computer without compromising on performance.
You can try the platform with free credits. Their basic plan starts from $5/month.
- An aesthetic, functional, and no-fuss interface
- Minimalistic and simple APIs
- Remarkable performance since the cloud servers are on powerful Hex Core machines with dedicated RAID SSD storage and ECC Ram
- Professional documentation covering every aspect, from setting up a LAMP stack to deploying complicated Kubernetes cluster
- Active and helpful digital community
Heroku is a cloud PaaS or platform as a service that supports various programming languages. It is one of the first cloud platforms and has been in development since June 2017. At that time, it only supported the Ruby programming language.
Today, it supports Node.js, Java, Python, Clojure, Scala, Go, and PHP. It is why Heroku is known as the polyglot platform and has features for developers to develop, run, and scale apps in a similar manner across different languages.
There is a free Heroku version and the paid version starts from $7 per month.
- Heroku runs apps through Dynos and comes with a fully managed runtime environment that supports a range of popular programming languages
- Security and compliance includes authentication, SSL, and compliance for HIPAA, PCI, SOC, GDPR, and other standards
- Fully managed database services for Apache Kafka, Redis, and Postgres
- Heroku Enterprise offers developmental functionalities and provides governance and management features for large enterprises
- Enables peer-to-peer collaborations and integrated collaborations
AWS (Amazon Web Service) is an online platform that offers cost-effective and scalable cloud computing solutions. It is a broadly adopted cloud platform that provides various on-demand operations, such as database storage, computing power, content delivery, and so on, to assist corporate to grow and scale.
AWS is easy-to-use, comprehensive, and developed with a combination of IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), and SaaS (packaged software as a service) offerings.
A free tier account is also available for a year, and pricing works under the pay-as-you-go model.
- Mobile friendly access includes AWS mobile SDK (supports Android, iOS, React Native, Web, and Native) and AWS mobile hub
- Serverless cloud functions
- Databases (relational database, data warehouse, non-relational database, and in-memory data store)
- Flexible and economical storage
- Security and compliance
- AWS marketplace
Linode is a cloud hosting provider that aims to offer Linux-powered virtual machines to support an extensive range of apps. At the time of its launch in 2013, Linode was considered ahead of its time because it featured virtualization hosting. Today, it has grown into a multinational enterprise serving more than 800,000 customers from 196 countries.
Shared plans start from $5/month, and dedicated CPU plans start from $30/month with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- VPS and dedicated hosting
- Email hosting
- Bandwidth allowance and CMS support
- Storage limits and system tools
- Database and web framework support
- eCommerce and control panel integration
- File management
- Usage and performance tracking
Kinvey is a serverless app development platform that offers developers tools to build multi-channel, robust apps by making use of front-end SDKs and a cloud backend. It provides many solutions to app development problems like data integration, data store, file storage, and single sign-on integration.
With Kinvey, app developers can focus on developing what provides value for their application – the UX (user experience) and business logic of the app. This helps to enhance developer productivity and aims to enable higher quality applications by leveraging the pre-built components of Kinvey.
Kinvey offers yearly plans for organizations and professionals. However, its basic plan starts from $2,500/year.
- Code sharing
- Serverless backend
- Complete integration with full control
- Easier authentication
- Native and Angular Script
- Date pipeline
Kuzzle is an open-source solution that includes a multiprotocol API, scalable server, a set of plugins, and an administration console. It offers advanced functionalities like blazing fast search, real-time pub/sub, and geofencing.
Kuzzle can be used for free, or you can avail of its premium plans from $1,200/month.
- Real-time query subscription
- Security layer
- Search engine
Google App Engine is a cloud computing platform as a service for designing and hosting web apps in data centers managed by Google. Apps are sandboxed and run across various servers. For web apps, App Engine provides automatic scaling. While primarily it supports PHP, Go, Python, Java, .NET, Ruby, and Node.js apps, it can support other languages through custom runtimes.
You can use App Engine for free and then pay as you go.
- Test and deploy apps locally with SDK tools
- Supports Go, Python, and PHP programming languages
- Preview features
- Secure framework and quick marketing time
- Highly scalable and platform independence
Hopefully, the aforementioned list of the top 9 providers to host an app has helped you to find the best platform for your app. Compare each one of them and know which one is the best solution for your application.
What is app hosting?
Mobile hosting refers to a type of hosting that utilizes multiple servers to balance the load and maximize uptime.
Why to host an app on the cloud?
– Uptime Guarantee
– Low costs
Where to host a mobile app?
– App Engine
– Digital Ocean