Heroku Alternatives for Cloud Hosting
Technology

Top 10+ Heroku Alternatives in 2024

Top 10+ Heroku Alternatives for Cloud Hosting in 2024
Ankush Madaan

Introduction

Before PaaS solutions like Heroku, AWS, and alternatives became popular, developers had to manage physical servers or dedicated hosting services to host their websites and applications. These physical servers and dedicated hosting services often require a significant amount of maintenance, expertise, and upfront investment in hardware. Today, attention is shifting to PaaS like Heroku and its alternatives. Through this article, you can see how the top 10  Heroku alternatives are transforming the hosting industry by providing cloud-based infrastructure and platform services.

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a container-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment where applications run inside smart containers called dynos. Heroku manages all the infrastructure requirements for these containers, including logging, security, failover, and orchestration. Containers can be scaled horizontally or vertically, and application metrics are available for monitoring application response times.

From a developer's perspective, some of the most compelling features of Heroku include GitHub integration and the ability to roll back code and data. Overall, Heroku is a cloud platform that empowers developers to create, deliver, monitor, and scale applications with ease. Its key strengths include simple deployment, scalability, and support for various programming languages and frameworks, making it a popular choice among developers. However, Heroku came with some restrictions including flexibility, language restrictions, cost, security, and other notable features a developer might need to build or deploy scalable applications.

Top 10 Heroku Alternatives to Consider

As developers seek more flexible and cost-effective solutions for deploying and managing applications, alternative platforms to Heroku have emerged. These platforms offer a range of features and benefits that cater to different needs and preferences. In this section, we'll explore the top 10 Heroku alternatives, highlighting their key features, pricing models, and use cases.

DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean 

DigitalOcean is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider that also offers a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution called App Platform. Unlike traditional PaaS providers, DigitalOcean gives users access to the underlying virtual machines, allowing for more customization of disk space, memory, networking, and operating system settings.

Key Features:

  • Offers virtual machines, managed databases, and an application development platform.
  • DigitalOcean App Platform provides a fully managed infrastructure for building, deploying, and scaling applications.
  • Supports third-party integrations for log analysis, monitoring, and rollback.
  • Helps developers be more productive, supporting multiple programming languages like Python, Go, and PHP.
  • Built-in security features.

Pricing Model:

  • DigitalOcean App Platform offers a free entry-level plan, with paid plans starting at $5 per month.
  • High-availability clusters are available under the Professional Plan, starting at $12 per month.

Use Cases:

  • DigitalOcean is suitable for developers looking for a reliable cloud hosting provider with a user-friendly experience.
  • It is particularly well-suited for web applications, APIs, and websites.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • DigitalOcean's App Platform is considered a free alternative to Heroku, offering similar features with potentially better reliability.
  • DigitalOcean offers more customization options and direct access to virtual machines compared to Heroku's more managed approach.
  • DigitalOcean's App Platform is built on Kubernetes, providing a more flexible and scalable PaaS offering compared to Heroku's traditional PaaS model.

Atmosly

Atmosly 

Atmosly is a cloud engineering platform that specializes in seamless infrastructure management and deployment across major cloud providers like AWS, GCP & Azure. It simplifies the deployment process of containerized applications for developers, allowing them to focus more on developing their applications rather than managing infrastructure.

Here's why Atmosly stands out:

  • Multi-cloud Deployments: Atmosly allows you the flexibility of deploying across various cloud platforms like AWS, GCP & Azure.
  • Best Practices in Infrastructure Management: Atmosly takes care of the heavy lifting by ensuring optimal performance for your applications.
  • Easy Application Deployment and Cloning: Atmosly allows you to effortlessly deploy, clone environments, and set up automatic scaling for efficient application management.
  • Comprehensive Marketplace: Atmosly provides a wide range of applications from the marketplace, saving you time and resources. That means you can deploy without boundaries as the platform provides several choices of DevOps and software tools.
  • Built In CI/CD Workflows: Using Atmosly’s Custom CI/CD workflow integration, you can get your applications to market faster to build better DevSecOps pipelines.
  • Advanced Security Features: Atmosly integrates security scans across your cloud and environments, deployed to better understand the security posture.
  • Self-service Developer Portal: Atmosly's self-service developer portal, allows you to manage infrastructure and deployments with greater autonomy.
  • Visibility Across Entire Infrastructure: Atmosly seamless platform provides a unified Dashboard to visualize the entire Infrastructure across deployments, Cost, and Security aspects.

Pricing Models and Comparison with Heroku:

  • Atmosly offers competitive pricing plans compared to Heroku, with flexible options based on usage and requirements.
  • Currently, under Beta Version, all features can be explored for free of cost 

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Atmosly offers similar features to Heroku but focuses more on seamless deployment and infrastructure management.
  • Atmosly's pricing will be more competitive and transparent compared to Heroku, making it a cost-effective choice for many developers and businesses.
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Top 6 use cases of Atmosly Platform

It is best for the following; 

  • Automated Deployment: Atmosly automates the deployment process, reducing the likelihood of human error and streamlining the deployment workflow. It ensures that applications are deployed consistently and efficiently across different environments.
  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Atmosly supports CI/CD pipelines, allowing developers to automatically build, test, and deploy their applications. This ensures that code changes are quickly and safely deployed to production, improving the overall development workflow.
  • Environment Management: Atmosly provides tools for managing different deployment environments, such as development, staging, and production. It allows developers to easily switch between environments and ensures that each environment is configured correctly for the application.
  • Infrastructure & Application Monitoring: Atmosly provides inbuilt functionality to deploy Prometheus & LGTM stack (Loki, Grafana, Tempo & Mimir) along with integration of paid tools like Datadog and New Relic. This data-driven approach provides unparalleled transparency and insights into your software applications. 
  • Scalability: Atmosly helps manage the scalability of applications by providing tools for scaling resources up or down based on demand. This ensures that applications can handle increased traffic without downtime or performance issues.
  • Security: Atmosly includes security features that help protect applications from security threats. It ensures that applications are deployed securely and comply with industry standards and regulations.
Vercel

Vercel

Vercel, previously known as ZEIT is a frontend cloud provider that enables developers to build web applications quickly.

Key Features:

  • Enables faster development of web applications.
  • Offers edge functions, storage, and analytics for enhanced functionality.
  • Frontend and developer-focused, particularly suitable for projects using Next.js, React, Vue, Angular, etc.
  • Instant deployment, global CDN, and seamless integration with popular frameworks like Next.js.

Pricing Model:

  • Vercel offers a free plan for side projects.
  • The Pro plan is available for $20 per month.
  • Enterprise plans are customizable based on specific requirements.

Use Cases:

  • Ideal for developers looking to build and deploy web projects quickly, especially those using Next.js and other frontend frameworks.
  • Suitable for projects requiring edge functions, storage, and analytics.
  • Vercel is ideal for hosting static websites, blogs, and single-page applications (SPAs).

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Vercel is more focused on frontend development and offers specialized features for frontend projects.
  • While Heroku is a more general-purpose platform, Vercel is tailored specifically for front-end developers.
  • Vercel has a strong reputation among front-end developers, with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2, highlighting its popularity and effectiveness for front-end projects.
Netlify

Netlify

Netlify is a cloud platform for building and hosting static and dynamic web applications. It supports modern web development tools and frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, and Gatsby. It offers features such as HTTPS, custom domains, redirects, forms, and serverless functions.

Key Features:

  • Supports modern web development tools and frameworks.
  • Integrates with GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket for automatic deployment.
  • Offers features like HTTPS, custom domains, redirects, forms, and serverless functions.
  • Continuous deployment, serverless functions, and form handling.
  • Provides a web interface, command-line tool, and API for managing sites and settings.

Pricing Model:

  • Netlify offers a free plan for personal projects.
  • Paid plans start at $19 per month and include features like team collaboration.
  • Netlify Connect and Netlify Create are available only for Enterprise customers.

Use Cases:

  • Ideal for building and hosting static and dynamic web applications.
  • Suitable for developers looking for seamless deployment services and modern web development workflows.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Netlify focuses on front-end development and offers specialized features for static and dynamic web applications.
  • While Heroku is more general-purpose, Netlify is tailored specifically for web developers and offers a more streamlined deployment process.
  • Netlify's pricing model is based on bandwidth, whereas Heroku's pricing is based on dynos and additional charges for add-ons and data transfer.
Railway

Railway

Railway is a platform for deploying and managing Node.js, Python, and Docker applications. It caters to both small and large projects and supports multiple programming languages.

Key Features:

  • Supports multiple programming languages.
  • Offers automatic builds and team collaboration.
  • Has built-in CI/CD, auto-scaling, and database management.
  • Provides various environments for development and deployment.

Pricing Model:

  • Railway offers a free service trial.
  • Paid plans start at $5 per month and include features like GitHub deploys, persistent storage, and real-time logs.

Use Cases:

  • Suitable for small and large projects.
  • Ideal for developers looking for a flexible and user-friendly cloud platform.
  • Railway is suitable for hosting web applications, APIs, and microservices.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Railway competes with Heroku by offering similar features such as automatic builds and team collaboration.
  • Railway's pricing is more affordable, starting at $5 per month, compared to Heroku's pricing.
  • Railway has a newer interface and is highly responsive to user feedback, which has contributed to its positive reviews.
Aptible

Aptible

Aptible is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) designed for streamlined deployment, monitoring, and scalability features, allowing developers to deploy code quickly and efficiently.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Simplified app deployment process for quick code deployment.
  • Seamless integration with CI/CD tools for automated workflows.
  • Performance monitoring tools and integration options with existing monitoring tools.
  • Wide range of apps, databases, and frameworks supported for easy project setup and scaling.
  • Flexibility in interfaces, including CLI, dashboard, and Terraform provider.

Pricing Models and Comparison with Heroku:

  • Aptible offers a free service trial and paid plans starting at $5 per month.
  • Pricing includes features like GitHub deploys, persistent storage, and real-time logs.
  • Compared to Heroku, Aptible emphasizes scalability, reliability, and security & compliance.

Use Cases and Examples:

  • Aptible is suitable for small and large projects.
  • It is ideal for developers looking for a flexible and user-friendly cloud platform.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Aptible offers similar features to Heroku but stands out for its reliability, security, and compliance features.
  • Aptible's pricing is more affordable, starting at $5 per month, compared to Heroku's pricing.
  • Aptible provides a more modern and user-friendly interface, contributing to its positive reviews.

Port

Port

Port is a no-code platform designed for building internal developer portals, empowering organizations to create software catalogs, import data models, and set up workflows. It enables developers to access resources through a self-service catalog without needing extensive knowledge of complex applications like Kubernetes.

Key Features:

  • Software Catalog: Central metadata repository organizing software, environments, and resources for efficient access.
  • Self-Service Actions: Streamlines tasks like service scaffolding or cloud resource provisioning, promoting developer independence.
  • Scorecards: Applies predefined rules to rate Port entities, tracking key metrics and promoting standards.
  • Workflow Automation: Integrates with the portal's API to streamline DevOps workflows, reducing manual overhead and errors.
  • Dynamic Inventorying: Supports CI/CD flows, clusters, dev environments, pipelines, and deployments.
  • Security: Offers role-based access control and advanced search and query functionality.

Pricing Model:

Port's pricing has three pricing models; free, pro, and enterprise at $0, $25, and custom respectively which offer various services.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Port focuses on platform engineering and infrastructure management, offering more customization options compared to Heroku. It provides a comprehensive internal developer portal, enabling self-service infrastructure for developers and maintaining the platform by DevOps and platform teams.

Use Cases:

  • Service Catalog: Enhances collaboration, promotes reuse, and streamlines consumption of services and APIs.
  • Platform Orchestration: Automates deployment and management tasks, ensuring scalability, reliability, and efficiency.
  • Platform as a Product: Considers the platform itself as a product, delivering value to its users.
  • Internal Developer Portal (IDP): Acts as a central resource for developers to discover and utilize internal APIs, tools, documentation, and resources.
  • GitOps Workflow Automation: Implements automation into the GitOps workflow for quicker, more reliable deployments.
  • Container Visualization: Provides a graphical depiction of the cluster and its resources, aiding in understanding and managing complex container environments.
Qovery

Qovery

Qovery provides a multi cloud that allows developers deploy applications directly on multiple cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and GCP by providing an abstraction layer that streamlines application deployment. It is similar to Atmosly, but with varying features as shown on the “key features” below.

Key Features:

  • Quick setup on your cloud account in 15 minutes
  • Environment provisioning for different stages of the development process.
  • User-friendly interface and modern UI
  • Easy application deployment using Git
  • Various features like cronjobs, workers, custom domain, TLS, auto-scaling, environment variables, secrets management, and rollback
  • Preview environments and cloning environments in one click
  • Advanced security features such as RBAC, audit logs, and SOC2/HIPAA compliance
  • Extensibility and integrations
  • Zero maintenance, with Qovery handling all infrastructure upgrades

Pricing Models and Comparison with Heroku:

  • Qovery offers a free tier limited to 25 users, making it accessible for small teams and individual developers.
  • The Team plan, which is limited to 100 users, provides additional features and scalability options at an affordable price starting at $29 per month.
  • Qovery's pricing is competitive compared to Heroku, offering similar features and benefits at a lower cost.

Use Cases and Examples:

  • Qovery is suitable for developers and teams looking for a flexible and easy-to-use platform for deploying applications on various cloud providers.
  • It is ideal for a wide range of use cases, including web applications, APIs, and microservices.

Comparison with Heroku:

  • Qovery provides similar features to Heroku but offers more flexibility in terms of cloud provider choice.
  • Qovery's pricing is more affordable compared to Heroku, making it a cost-effective alternative for many developers and teams.

Pricing:

  • Free plan: Includes 100 deployments, 1 production cluster, 5 environments, and community support.
  • Team plan ($29 per developer/month): Offers 1000 deployments, 50 environments, and 24/5 support.
  • Enterprise plan: Custom deployments, role-based access, extended security, with custom pricing upon request.
Platform.sh

Platform.sh

Platform.sh is a platform as a service provider that enables customers to develop, deploy, and host websites and web applications. It supports over 100 frameworks and 14 programming languages, offering a comprehensive solution for application development and deployment. Its key customers include Johnson & Johnson, Unity, and Pinterest.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): Platform.sh offers a built-in CI/CD pipeline that automates testing and code deployment, streamlining the development process.
  • Containerization: Applications are packaged and deployed using containers, ensuring scalability and consistent performance across environments.
  • Security: The platform provides robust security features, including firewalls, intrusion detection, and DDoS protection, ensuring the security of applications and data.
  • Scalability: Platform.sh offers a scalable environment, allowing applications to scale seamlessly based on demand.

Pricing Models and Comparison with Heroku:

  • Pricing: Platform.sh offers a variety of pricing plans, starting at $7 per month for hobbyist projects and $99 per month for professional developers and teams. While Platform.sh is more expensive than Heroku, it offers a more feature-rich platform.

Comparison with Heroku: 

  • Platform.sh is primarily focused on professional developers, agencies, and teams, offering features such as built-in CI/CD, containerization, and advanced security features. In contrast, Heroku is designed for a wider range of users, including students and hobbyists, and may not offer the same level of features and scalability.

Use Cases and Examples:

  • Development Teams: Platform.sh is suitable for projects requiring frequent deployments and scaling.
  • Professional Developers: Professional developers can benefit from Platform.sh's advanced features, such as built-in CI/CD and containerization, to streamline their development process.
  • Agencies: Agencies can use Platform.sh to develop and deploy client projects, leveraging its scalability and security features to deliver high-quality solutions.
Humanitec

Humanitec

Humanitec is an internal developer platform that focuses on enabling self-service infrastructure for developers. It provides a unified dashboard for managing applications, environments, and configurations across different stages of the development lifecycle. With Humanitec, developers can easily define and deploy their infrastructure, reducing dependencies on operations teams.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Humanitec offers deployment automation, allowing developers to easily deploy their applications without manual intervention.
  • The platform provides tools for managing environments, making it easy to create, modify, and delete environments as needed.
  • Humanitec includes scalability monitoring features, helping developers ensure that their applications can handle the increased load.

Pricing:

Humanitec offers team and enterprise pricing models at $999 and custom for up to 25 users and 50+ users respectively.

Comparison with Heroku:

Humanitec focuses on platform engineering and infrastructure management, offering more customization options compared to Heroku. While Heroku is a more general-purpose platform as a service (PaaS), Humanitec is designed for organizations with specific needs around deployment and infrastructure management.

Use Cases/Examples:

Humanitec is suitable for teams needing advanced deployment and infrastructure management capabilities. It helps organizations build their internal developer platforms and achieve golden paths for developers.

Factors to Consider Before Switching from Heroku to an Alternative Platform

Here are some key considerations before going for any of the top 10 Heroku alternatives:

Cost Implications: Different platforms have varying pricing models, and it's essential to understand how these compare to Heroku. Consider factors such as base pricing, additional features, and potential cost savings.

Features and Functionality: Evaluate the features and functionality offered by both Heroku and alternative platforms. Some platforms may offer features that better suit your application's needs, such as support for specific programming languages or frameworks, scalability, performance, and integration options.

Vendor Lock-in: Vendor lock-in refers to the dependency on a particular vendor's technology or services. It is best to look for platforms that offer flexibility and support for open standards to minimize vendor lock-in in case you want to switch to an alternative platform, which may impact your ability to migrate back to Heroku or to another platform in the future.

Migration Complexity: Migrating from Heroku to an alternative platform can be complex and time-consuming. Potential challenges involved, such as data migration, configuration changes, and application compatibility may occur. Hence, evaluate the tools and resources available to help streamline the migration process.

Support and Community: The availability of support and the size of the community around each platform matters. A large and active community can provide valuable resources, documentation, and troubleshooting assistance.

Testing and Validation: Before making the switch, it's essential to thoroughly test the alternative platform to ensure it meets your application's requirements and to identify any potential issues or compatibility issues before migrating your production environment.

Conclusion

Each of the top 10 Heroku alternatives mentioned in this article provides unique features and benefits, catering to diverse needs in the development and deployment of applications. Whether you prioritize flexibility, scalability, security, or cost-effectiveness, there is a platform that suits your requirements. Ultimately, the choice of platforms such as From Port, Atmosly, Netlify, Vercel, Digital Ocean, Qovery, Railway, or Aptible among others, depends on your specific use case, budget, and preferences, so exploring these alternatives can lead to finding the perfect fit for your project in 2024 and beyond. While finding these top Heroku alternatives, do well to consider seamless platform engineering solutions such as Atmosly to facilitate your deployment and product lifecycle.

What is Heroku and why look for alternatives?

Heroku is a PaaS that runs apps in dynos, but alternatives may offer more flexibility, better pricing, or different features.

What are the benefits of DigitalOcean over Heroku?

DigitalOcean provides more control over VMs and is often more affordable with a focus on simplicity and developer experience.

How does Vercel differ from Heroku for frontend projects?

Vercel is specifically tailored for frontend projects, with features that cater to static sites and JAMstack applications.

Is Netlify a suitable Heroku alternative for static sites?

Yes, Netlify is designed for static and dynamic web apps, offering features like global CDN and serverless functions.

Can Railway be a cost-effective alternative to Heroku?

Railway offers a starting plan at $5/month, emphasizing user-friendly deployment and management for various app types.

What makes Aptible stand out as a Heroku alternative?

Aptible focuses on security and compliance, along with streamlined app deployment, especially for healthcare applications.

How does Atmosly enhance cloud hosting compared to Heroku?

Atmosly specializes in multi-cloud deployments, with tools for optimal performance and easy app cloning.

What is Port, and how does it compare to Heroku?

Port is a no-code platform for internal developer portals, emphasizing self-service infrastructure and platform engineering.

Why choose Qovery as a Heroku alternative?

Qovery simplifies multi-cloud deployments, offering a layer of abstraction for easy app deployment with cloud provider flexibility.

How does Platform.sh's offering differ from Heroku's?

Platform.sh provides robust CI/CD, containerization, and advanced security features, aiming at professional development needs.

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