The best 10 Heroku alternatives

George Batschinski
6 min readJul 15, 2022

Many developers are researching Heroku alternatives in 2022. This article presents a quick review of the top 10 Heroku alternatives.

You will learn about excellent platforms like Back4apps, Engine Yard, Firebase, Elastic Beanstalk, and many more.

Why Choose a Heroku Alternatives?

Here are some of the reasons why developers are researching alternatives to hosting their app on Heroku.

Costs

The cost of using the Heroku platform is a vital reason why developers are looking for alternatives. Maintaining an app on Heroku has become expensive nowadays, many developers do not find the pricing structure affordable.

The resources available in Heroku plans get maxed out quickly, sometimes before completing a project. Therefore, developers are seeking cost-efficient services that work well like Heroku.

Sleeping Apps Challenges

The concept of sleeping apps is another issue of concern among developers. Despite the many features of Heroku that enhance app performance and reliability, the Sleeping app is a shortfall many developers cannot tolerate.

Heroku apps that have a single dyno and without traffic within an hour “sleep” or becomes unavailable. However, when there is traffic to the app, the dyno administrator “wakes up” the app and runs the required web processes.

This action causes a lag in responding to the first request, but other requests respond normally. Since sleeping apps impair the app’s optimal performance, developers are searching for alternative platforms to host their apps.

Latency

The service of Heroku relies on the AWS infrastructure that is available globally, but Heroku only supports USA and Europe regions.

The consequence is that users accessing a Heroku app from Asia, Australia or other parts of the world would experience high latency.

Heroku demands users who intend to deploy apps to other regions upgrade to Private Space. The cost for this plan is quoted on request by contacting the sales team.

Top 10 Alternatives of Heroku

Today, multiple platforms exist that are viable alternatives to Heroku. Below are the top 10 in the list.

Back4app

Back4app is one of the top Heroku replacement options. Better still, it has several other features not present in Heroku.

If you have a web or mobile app, Back4apps works perfectly for you. It offers API and SDKs that enhance app development and also hosts your web apps.

The cost of maintaining an app on Back4spp is lower and the platform also offers a free plan packed with generous resources. You can’t go wrong with Back4app’s backend service.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Premium plans at $25/mo

Main Features

  • Scale automatically
  • Authentication
  • Push and Email Notifications
  • Cloud Code
  • APIs
  • Other features: cloud computing, custom domains, and real-time query.

Elastic Beanstalk

Elastic Beanstalk (EB), also known as AWS is an excellent cloud solution that is reliable as Heroku.

EB has several features not present in Heroku and is widely used by developers globally.

This platform is designed to provide reliable and scalable service to developers. With Elastic Beanstalk, you can bid goodbye to the limitations of Heroku.

Pricing

  • It’s free, but you will pay for resources like EC2 and S3

Core Features

  • Multiple programming language support
  • Application health, monitoring, and logging
  • Scale apps seamlessly
  • Multiple deployment options

Google App Engine

Google App Engine is another viable Heroku alternative platform. This Google-owned platform offers the resources developers need to build launch and scale apps on the cloud. It has all the services you need to develop and launch a modern app.

Pricing

  • Free quota available
  • Based on server resource usage.

Core Features

  • Fully managed service
  • Supports the top programming languages
  • Open and flexible

Dokku

Dokku is a Platform as a Service that you can host on your server. It works efficiently for app development as a Heroku alternative.

This platform offers a straightforward way to develop apps. Its functions are less complicated compared to Heroku. Moreover, you are not limited by the restrictions imposed on Heroku developers.

So, you can consider this platform as a viable alternative for app development.

Pricing

  • Starts from $5/mo with Digital Ocean

Core Features

  • Multiple plugins
  • Easy Git Deployment
  • Multi-cloud options
  • Built on Docker

Firebase

Firebase is one of the leading cloud solution providers in the world and a good alternative to Heroku.

Developers on this platform can access many powerful features that make development easy and efficient. Many developers prefer Firebase to Heroku due to the many benefit it offers.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Premium plans charge based on server resource usage

Core Features

  • Realtime database
  • Messaging functions
  • Analytics
  • Storage
  • Seamless scaling

Engine Yard

This is one of the top Platforms as a Service that supports Ruby DevOPs. Over here, you can scale apps vertically and horizontally, enjoy top-notch security and clone an environment for app testing.

Engine Yarn support is around the clock with service starting at $35/month. This platform offers parallel features to Heroku and would be great for Ruby on Rails developers.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Pay-as-you-go paid plan

Core Features

  • Multiple AWS zone deployment
  • App monitoring
  • Automatic data backups
  • Automatic scaling
  • Code deployment

Kubernetes

This is one of the top options for container orchestration. It works excellently for deploying, scaling, and managing apps.

Google created this platform to enhance automation such as app deployment and scaling.

This powerful platform can handle automation tasks on multiple hosts concurrently. Kubernetes works perfectly with various container management tools and supports Docker initially.

You can buy PaaS and IaaS plans that support Kubernetes from most cloud service providers. Several technology companies also offer Kubernetes-based services.

Netlify

Netlify is a purpose-built platform for website deployment and ongoing management.

It empowers developers to maintain apps and scale them automatically without the hassles of managing infrastructure or DevOps teams.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Paid plans start from $19/mo per user.

Core Features

  • Edge
  • Workflow
  • Functions
  • Build

Docker

Docker aggregates multiple PaaS that use operating system-based virtualization technology for creating software packages and containers.

Each container is a separate entity containing, software, libraries, and config files. Therefore, containers can use pre-existing channels to communicate with one another.

All the containers in a server can be powered with a single OS kernel. In essence, the deployment of Docker-based containers is more resource-efficient than a Virtual Machine.

Docker has a free and premium version. The platform consists of the Docker Engine and the software for hosting containers.

Vercel

Vercel presents developers with an excellent platform for deploying Angular Vue, Next.Js, and React. This platform is focused on frontend development and it’s managed by the same corporation behind Next.Js.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • The premium plan costs $20 per member

Core Features

  • Edge Network
  • Serverless Functions
  • Build

Conclusion

The platforms described above are viable alternatives to Heroku for your next app development project. If you are fed up with the shortfalls of Heroku, you can select any of the platforms in this article.

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