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Get your Node.js app market faster : 3 free Node.js hosting services you should be using today

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Hosting Node.js applications is easy, but finding a completely free and reliable Node.js hosting service may not be easy. Following are three different services that will help you host your Node.js applications or API for free, yes for $0 a month! A note though, when you don’t pay anything, you will need to make some trade-offs. The best part is, all these three main services DO NOT ask for your credit card, even for backup purposes. Let’s dive straight in and get this clear.

Prerequisites

Before we get into All 3 of these services make sure :

  1. You have a GitHub account; know the basics, and know-how to fork repositories.
  2. Your application code is available on GitHub.
  3. You can add third-party applications to your GitHub account.

Let’s get started :

Qovery :

Qovery itself is “the simplest way to deploy your full-stack apps.” It acts as a CaaS for developers to deploy their applications on AWS, GCP, Azure, and Digital Ocean. You begin with dockerizing your Node.js app for it to get deployed to Qovery. The Qovery UI is intuitive and very useful as it provides free access to managed PostgreSQL and free SSL. Here’s a free tip: Qovery provides free hosting for individual developers. Proceed with registration, go to the login/ signup page, and click the Sign in with GitHub button. Once your app is running on Qovery, it will provide you with easy deployment, along with great features, like an environment and URL for each branch. 

Vercel :

Previously known as Zeit, Vercel offers a great place to deploy frontend apps. Vercel can run a variety of things with a stronger focus; it can also run some other languages that include Node.js in the list. Vercel enables developers to host websites and web services that deploy instantly- all without any configuration. Along with other features, Vercel offers a very handy feature where you get a unique URL for each pull request. They call this deploy preview. Widely trusted by the best teams to develop, preview, and ship their websites Vercel is a safe easy, and cost-free app that scales dynamically to millions of pages without breaking a sweat. 

Heroku :

Heroku is the pioneer in the platform-as-a-service market. It is a cloud application platform that offers a new way of building and deploying web apps. Started as a Ruby deployment service, Heroku has now expanded to support languages like Node.js, Python, and PHP. It’s a code repository where you can store code for better collaboration & contribution. What are you waiting for, sign in and continue to deploy our application to Heroku! The suggested tip is to turn on proceed to deploy our application. If considering using Heroku here’s a thing you need to know: this dyno sleeps after 30 minutes of inactivity. A workaround is to use Kaffeine to keep your apps awake even after 30 minutes of no requests hitting it.

Zeet :

Zeet outcomes as the easiest and the simplest way to deploy, it supports both, the Github and thepublic docker container. Zeet is popular because of its simplicity quotient, it doesn’t run serverless functions or sleep in 30 mins. It builds, scales, and monitors your app and comes up like a perfect fit and a promising option to host just one app for free. When considering pricing, Zeet earlier used to offer one project for free with limited and shared resources. But as per the updates of Mar 2021 Zeet has started to charge. Lately, Zeet has depreciated its free plan and started to charge $5 for the single shared VM.(it used to provide free earlier)

Below is the quick comparison table for Heroku, Vercel, and Zeet.

Feature/Service CPU Memory Sleeps on no activity ? Is FAAS/Serverless? No. of apps?
Heroku 1x 512 MB After 30 mins No 5
Vercel N/A 1 GB No Yes Unlimited
Zeet 1 Shared 1 GB Shared No No 1

Looking For Other Options :

Yes, there are other services where you can host your Node.js application free/almost free, but you need to enter your credit card details.

Here are some Options You Can Consider :

  1. Google Cloud Run – You can host your Node.js app on Google Cloud Run as serverless containers and get up to 2 million requests per month free! But it will involve setting up Google Cloud Registry and other tools, a part of which asks for a credit card on registration.
  2. Fly.io – It performs like CDN for the backend. The free plan has three shared-CPU-1x VMs with 256 MB of RAM. You can station your app servers close to your users and also run three small VMs for free!
  3. Openode.io – It is free for open-source projects. The cheapest plan with 50MB of memory is just $0.75 a month.
  4. Glitch – It can host one of your Node.js Apps for free. It is better used to code collaboratively than host a Node.js app or API.

Conclusion :

All the services mentioned above are free and use a Command Line Tool. Hence, if you are comfortable with CLI, you can definitely give it a try. Also, consider mapping custom domains to your apps where applicable. It will prove beneficial at deployment logs and application logs on the mentioned services.

Hosting a small project with Node.js is completely hassle-free. You should be able to do it easily with any of the above three services. Till then, happy developing!

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