Top 10 Heroku Alternatives, Competitors and Similar Cloud Platform Providers 2019

Heroku step into the market when finding simple services that allow you to develop web-based projects is not easy. Heroku is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that offers greater flexibility as well as worthy hassle-free services to millions of developers. However, Heroku does not fit in every situation, and so there is also a significant amount of developers search for Heroku alternatives.

There could be many reasons to look for similar cloud platforms depending on the nature of your project like application size, budget spending, users, etc. So, it is quite impossible to say a specific product/company is the best-fit for kind of users.

Why Heroku Alternatives?

There are many reasons why people search for other platforms; however, here are some reasons that we found out.

  • The major reason is its pricing structure. When you are going to start up, it’s a really inexpensive option, but as your project grows up, and you want to scale up resources, it will become an expensive solution to stay on. As most of the applications now require more than one “dyno” (horizontal scaling) and vertical scaling (more RAM and CPU etc.) so cost rises which surely one of the major concern for most of the developers.
  • Unlike many other companies Heroku offer somewhat limited control to users when it comes to hardware and OS, etc.
  • Alongside paid plans, Heroku also offers a free tier so you can experience their services. The downside is that the server “go to sleep” after 30min of activity – the company turns off your app because of a certain period of inactivity to free up server resource. Your app will wake up when receiving a web request; however, the user faces around 20-sec initial response of app which is a long duration and not encouraged for serious developing purposes.

If you are looking for alternatives to Heroku cloud because of the above mentioned causes or has your own, you come to the very right place. Fortunately, there are lots of options available, and here in this guide, we picked out the best service providers which are useful to meet the variety of needs and stable services.

Best Heroku Alternatives, Competitors and Similar Cloud Platform Providers 2019

Vultr

Vultr will be your best bet regarding Heroku competitors, it combines with flexibility and affordability. Founded in 2014, Vultr aims to offer friendly services to developers. Compared to Heroku Vultr is a popular provider has around 100+ customers and deployed over 22m instances. Furthermore, Vultr has its giant infrastructure which spread over 14 cities around the world that means Vultr can provide you pretty low latency services from wherever your target audience belongs.

Vultr wide variety of plans, reasonable pricing structure and most importantly easy resource scaling make it a best Heroku alternative. After purchasing, Vultr makes your accounts ready in a matter of a few minutes. The good thing, especially for developers, is that Vultr offers full liberty of the server where you get control over the operating system, server rebooting and other crucial settings. Deploy from Windows, Debian, CentOS, FreeBSD and more or upload your ISO file.

The company offers basic to advance level products. You can grab cloud hosting, bare metal, block storage, and dedicated cloud services from them.  With Vultr you can launch a server as low as $2.50/mo. Each of their plans included with SSD storage which plays a significant role in speeding up the services. Vultr included with easy to use dashboard that allows you to keep an eye on the resource consumption as well as manage instances, SSH keys, IPs and snapshot and more.

For developers, flexibility is one of the critical aspects. Besides adding more resources easily and custom ISO facility Vultr allows easily to install tons of apps with 1-click installers such as Dock, GitLab, WordPress, LAMP, LEMP and many more.

Vultr provides support services chiefly via emails. In addition, there is also a large number of helpful documentation available on their site. So with 100% SLA guarantee, low pricing and flexible as well as scalable solutions, Vultr is a solid alternative to Heroku.

Back4App

Back4App is similar to Heroku service that assists developers and designers for easy development of web based projects. Back4app approach to simplicity enhance the user experience by allowing them to focus more on their application development instead of spending time in managing the infrastructure.

Back4App is a close Heroku alternative as they also offer free tier along with paid plans. For developers and hobbyist free plan is a good way to take a taste of their services that comprises with 5GB file storage and 0.5GB database storage. Unlike Heroku, Back4App offer more valuable services. The plans are categorized which make the developers easy to pick the right plan. Back4App makes the tedious processes like the migration of data to Back4app is extremely easy via a simple wizard.

Heroku is a well-established brand with stable services; however, in case of large projects, the performance is not as good as for smaller projects. On the other hand, Back4App offer feature rich plans with plenty of resources and using powerful infrastructure, so you don’t have to worry from the performance side. There is no deficiency of scalable solutions; however, if you want more control and optimized services for your heavy traffic app we suggest to have a view of their dedicated instances.

The features like LiveQuery, instant scalability, intuitive API and easy to manage the various Parse servers are well appreciated by most of the developers. On top of everything, Back4App is powered by Backend-as-a-Service which enable the developers to focus on the frontend of their applications instead of struggling with backend variety of backend processes.

In order to manage backend settings and access new features, you can use the Parse dashboard. Also on the dashboard, you can view analytics set push notification and schedules, etc. On the customer support side, you can seek help through submitting emails to their expert team. Furthermore, there is also a link to lots of guides, community, and FAQs. In the bottom line, Back4App offer faster services with little fuss and low cost.

OpenShift

OpenShift is another platform as a service (PaaS) and a great alternative to Heroku. Designed especially for developers Openshift is an open source platform and featured with flexibility as well as scalability. With a wide range of supported languages developer can write app codes in their preferred language like Java, Perl, Python, and Ruby, etc. Just like Heroku, Openshift also offers a free plan (subscription lasts for 60 days then resubscribe) which is good for learning and getting real experience of their services.

Openshift is well equipped with server-side technologies that make smooth application development possible. For example for developers who want to go for Python can start their developing using Pylons, Flask, Django and Zope, etc. Similar to this you can also build on the supported framework of various languages. Furthermore, developers can work with MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB freely.

OpenShift includes a powerful command line and an intuitive interface for application and features management. If you finish learning with the free account and ready for some serious app development their “PRO” plan starts from $50/mo. The plan allows you to build up to 10 projects, custom domains, scheduled jobs, and project collaboration. Besides, the plan is included with 2GB memory (up to 48GB available) and 2GB storage on public cloud (up to 150GB available). The additional memory costs $25/mo 1GB and storage $1/mo 1GB. You can contact their sales team for Enterprise level service powered by VPS and dedicated servers.

Although OpenShift offers a straightforward solution but you may need help at some point in time. So having a team of experts for your guidance is a plus point. You can contact them using emails or access their comprehensive knowledge base that is full of helpful guides. Further, they also maintain a community forum. Overall OpenShift provides well-managed services and enables you to hands on almost every app tool.

DigitalOcean (Dokku)

DigitalOcean is a popular cloud hosting particularly among developers because of its hassle free services and liberty to use numerous developer-friendly tools. Founded in June 2011 DigitalOcean is an American based cloud provider. The availability of plenty of datacenters and scalable hosting package make it an attractive choice over Heroku. You can deploy a server within no time from 12 different regions so your target audience will get fast repose time.

Developers can make use of CLI, API and team collaboration tools. Furthermore, you can deploy from there list of pre-installed distributions like CentOs, Debian, FreeBSD, CoreOs, Fedora and Ubuntu. However, you can also integrate your own ISO file. DigitalOcean monitoring tool is a great addition to keep an eye on server performance and any critical alerts.

DigitalOcean plans pricing start from $5/mo that include 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD storage and 1-core CPU. It’s the right way for hobbyist and when you want to do professional software developing you will face no problem in scaling up the resources. Furthermore, DigitalOcean protects its services via a pre-defined web firewall. In the case of handling heavy traffic and make your app work smoothly, DigitalOcean offer Load Balancers. Managing aspects like DNS, droplets, and backups, etc. DigitalOcean provides a simple dashboard.

On the mission to create a friendly environment for developers so they can focus on their coding, DigitalOcean offers facility like apps (Docker, GitLab, WordPress and LAMP, etc.) installation with just a few clicks. The user can get support from DigitalOcean expert team via email 24/7. There is a huge quantity of documentation and community where you can interact with other users. In bottom line, DigitalOcean is an ideal Heroku alternative, it features SLA 99.99% uptime, global availability of server and ability to use the developing tool of your choice, i.e. flexibility approach.

FireBase

Firebase is characterized by simplicity as well as scalability and provides an effortless way to operate even for rookies. FireBase adopts backend as a service (BaaS) approach that removes infrastructure complexities hence a fast service for both web and mobile application development. The good part of Firebase that it is built on Google infrastructure and so well implemented with security and speed technologies like SSL and CDN etc. with no additional cost.

FireBase ensures you will get everything that you might need in applications development. It offers an all-inclusive platform that contains tons of tools like Machine learning kit, global data storage, Real-time database, Test Lab, Performance monitoring, crash reporting and many more. FireBase enables fast development through CLI and supports a robust API. You can unlock further capabilities by integrating Google, Ads, slack, BigQuery, Google Marketing Platform and so on.

After the completion of signing in process, Firebase comes up with a friendly easy to use dashboard. This dashboard categorizes different functionalities in different tabs. Simply click on any tab (Authentication, Analytics, Stability, Develop and Grow), and each tab will explore a number of functionalities. Just like Heroku, Firebase offers a free plan which is comparatively pretty generous in features. Of course, pricing is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. Firebase pricing gives it a clear edge over the competition. The best part is through using a simple calculator you can get an estimated price of your desired resources.

There are multiple ways to get help when facing issues making it an excellent alternative for Heroku. There is a bulk of guides, FAQ’s, and helpful Notes. In addition, you can also access the platform like their Quora community and discussion forums. For direct support from the technical team, there is also email support and report bug options. All in all, Firebase has an upper head over Heroku whether it’s pricing or simplicity that take out the headache of server management.

Google App Engine

Everyone who has exposure to the online world knows about the name “Google”. Google is one of the largest company that own world biggest search engine (google.com) and offer a variety of products including smartphone, laptops, operating systems, hosting services, software solutions and many more.

Similar to Heroku, Google App Engine is backed by the platform as a service and a perfect substitute to Heroku. As GAE is backed by Google so enable you to make use of their globally available robust infrastructure. This means you won’t need to migrate anywhere else once your app enters into growing phase, i.e. getting a higher amount of audience. Google App engine cloud based platform provides a ready to code platform so allow you to focus on application coding.

Google App Engine is a smart choice in the way to Heroku alternative not just because it is supported by Google powerful infrastructure but also support various coding languages. So no matter in what language you got expertise, GAE support various programming language like Python, C#, Node.js, Java, and PHP, etc. Using GAE security firewall, access management rules and SSL certificate you can take care of security concerns. Compared to Heroku, GAE is fast, easy to operate and hold a reasonable pricing structure. You can make a start by free tier – great for beginners and can quickly scale up according to your required resources, hence paid for what you use.

Google features an intuitive interface to manage different perspectives related to the app. Another worth mentioning GAE feature is Stackdriver that monitor your application and provides performance stats. You can integrate several other Google products with no worry. When you need help especially individual developers, Google provides access to their massive knowledge base. Also, the company offer paid support services. So whether you want to build a web application or a mobile app GAE is like a comfort zone for developers without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Elastic Beanstalk (AWS)

Amazon web services have a large and well-reputed share in the web hosting industry. The company has many giant customers (like Prezi, BMW & Samsung, etc.) under their hood which is a sign of their reliability. With cutting edge infrastructure around the globe, fast server configurations, highly scalable solutions and incredible brand reputation Elastic Beanstalk by AWS is a perfect alternative of Heroku. Alongside app development services and tool Amazon is one of the favorite places for hosting blogs, get benefits of latest technologies, storage & security services and many more.

Elastic Beanstalk is one of the AWS product that assists developers for easy development of application and then scaling as per the needs. The company allows you to make use of servers (Apache, Passenger, IIS, and Nginx) and start your coding with any of your preferred coding languages. By considering various needs of developers Elastic Beanstalk support Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Python, Go and Docker.

Elastic Beanstalk facilitates the developers by including an automatic feature in their services where you just upload your codes and then the system automatically handles the deployment, scaling and monitor the health of the application. However, this does not mean that Elastic Beanstalk minimizes the control over server functions. The user has full access to acquired resources and can make changes anytime. For managing the application development work, Amazon includes EB command lines work, or you can go for the provided dashboard. In the perspective of cost, AWS if appropriately crafted won’t be costly for you like purchasing reversed instance.

Amazon offers paid support services which are costly especially for individual developers to afford. There is numerous documentation, tutorials, faqs, and discussion forums. Another benefit of EB that it enables you to easily integrate other services such as EC2, Load balancer, RD5 and more. By using EB, you will get benefit from not only their outstanding automation but also tons of integrations and exceptional security. In a nutshell, AWS is a good option when it comes to Heroku competitors as it also includes automatic security patches, scalability, and easy deployment.

Kubernetes

Kuberbetes is a container based platform that brings in a robust API for developers. Similar to Heroku, Kubernetes features easy deployment and managing of applications. But unlike Heroku, it is not limited to a specific vendor. Hence a nice flexible option for developers to prefer Kubernetes over Heroku. Another plus point is that it is backed by one of the largest high tech company Google.

Being backed by experienced tech company Kuberenets know how to take care of a variety of needs of developers. One of the major concern of developers is the availability of scalable options. Kubernetes has the expertise to deliver flexibility along with options to meet outgrowing needs. As it is an open source platform, so it provides the facility to take advantage of whether in-house data centers or public cloud services.

Kubernetes is outfitted with various packages that allow the user to avoid unfamiliar services. Kubernetes provides IP addresses, DNS names to each container. Furthermore, to meet storage needs, the system automatically mounts the storage service of your choice like AWS. The company offers a simple UI that enable the user to make changes in resources as well as app management aspects.

In order to be aware of the latest development, their blog is an excellent place. There are lots of documentation and community to explore something new and diagnose your issues. Kubernetes is an affordable Heroku alternative that allows you secure app development by utilizing flexibility (host anywhere), automatic scaling and health monitoring. Also, it is powered by a giant and well reputed organization “Google”.

NanoBox

NanoBox is built by keeping in mind the limitations that developers usually face while using Heroku. The major hurdle that NanoBox overcome for developers is vendor lock-in. It means that you can use Nanobox and can host your app in any reliable and trusted cloud provider like Vultr, AWS, and DigitalOcean, etc. Moreover, NanoBox is an ideal solution for growing applications as it is featured with automatic scaling. You can do scaling nearly without any downtime.

Nanobox aims to provide simplicity at its best. This allows you to focus on application development rather than infrastructure management. Another good thing that NanoBox deigned in a way to continuously monitor and report the health of server and app hence you can take timely actions. You will be provided with easy to use UI for scaling, monitoring and deployment purposes.

Dry-run is another attractive addition in Nanobox. By utilizing this, you can test your deployment locally, and if it works fine, it means there will be no problem to work remotely. For support services, there are multiple ways like email, guidelines, forum, and articles. You even contact them using a platform like slack. In order to experience their services, you can schedule a demo. For app development, you need to go for their paid plans; however local development cost no fee.

Nanobox is just like Heroku because of their adoption to simplicity and automation of processes. However, unlike Heroku, Nanobox offers you a local environment, more control & flexibility, and an economical pricing structure. The main reason behind their low pricing that NanoBox won’t host your app so you can host it anywhere.

PythonAnyWhere

Wish to do app development in a breeze Pythonanywhere could be your options as an alternative to Heroku. As the name signifies this service is particularly for python users. This Paas (platform as a service) enable you to start your work quickly by allowing coding right from your browser hence no additional installations. Whether you want to develop a python backed application, or a website PE will make it straightforward for you.

They offer both free and paid services. The free plan restricts you from using a custom domain. The least plan starts from $5 and allows you to use a custom domain as well as offer 100k Hit/day. PE offers various consoles like python, Bash, and MySQL. You will also get SSH access in every plan except the free one. The best part of Pythoneverywhere that as the company offers you access through a web browser so you can access it not just from your laptop but from tablet or smartphone.

On the server, Pythonanywhere won’t let you down as they are utilizing Amazon web services. If we talk about support services, you will feel you are in secure hands. You can post your issue in their forum that has a large number of developers. Furthermore, you can also submit an email to their expert team.

All in all, Pythoneverywhere designed in a way to make the process simple not just for developers but also for teachers and students. Unlike Heroku, you will get low pricing. In addition, there is no scarcity of scalable solution. So if you are searching for similar services to Heroku that provides a full python environment, then PE is a considerable choice.

Which Heroku Alternative Should You Choose?

Above is the list of best substitutes of Heroku along with necessary information that helps an individual to a team of developers to make the right decision. All these mentioned services are excellent performers in the industry. Just like Heroku, companies mentioned above provides a high productivity environment where developers focus coding rather than taking care of underlying infrastructure. However, these services offer more affordable plans compared to Heroku.

If you want full freedom and a high level of control, we suggest Vultr. It is a cloud provider with pocket-friendly plans and allows you to make use almost every developing language. Further, you can install applications like Docker, LAMP, and GitLab, etc. through the 1-click installer. Also, they offer 24/7 customer support.

Back4app is another powerful Heroku alternative that offers a free plan. Simple to use, Back4app maintain an environment where you don’t have to worry about server management.

So what’s your pick feel free to mention below.

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