Heroku is great, but is there any less pricey alternative?

Heroku is great, it improves productivity and almost all are good, but I feel a Linode's $5 server outperforms $25 server of Heroku, but for Linode I need to write Capistrano stuff, configure a lot initially. I also need to maintain server, say once in a month. Is there any other alternative that offers the features of Heroku, but is less pricey?

14 thoughts on “Heroku is great, but is there any less pricey alternative?”

  1. I love heroku and see myself sticking with them for a while. I pay $12/month for heroku on my small apps. One of those apps gets probably a thousand visits a month and has processed $100k in payments in the past two years.

    If I save even a half hour of devops time per month(I definitely save more than that), the extra $20 a month for heroku at the worst case is easily worth it.

  2. $25/mo is not pricey.

    If you wanna deploy at least half decent app you will need 2 fronted rails boxes and 2 database for master and slave.

    That is already 20 in linode terms. Next is time for setup and maintaining.

    If you will deploy your app all dB +rails on 1 x 5 dollar box you will get issues with performance fast.

    If you are processing payments etc. you will get into issues because 1 box without backups is prone to having some sort of issue at some point.

    If you are setting up your own blog. Go ahead do it on single vm. But if it is an application really consider more legitimate setup.

  3. As others have said, it is a trade off of maintenance on the server including provisioning, upgrading services, security patches, etc… You might be able to cobble something together for a cheaper cost, but it will probably cost you more in time. If you have a low traffic site, you might be able to get away with a cheap vps on linode, digital ocean, or vultr. The maintenance isn’t terrible, but you have to be aware of it.

  4. > but for Linode I need to write Capistrano stuff, configure a lot initially. I also need to maintain server, say once in a month

    Heroku has a $7 tier which is pretty decent. I always find once I account for the _cost of my time_ when maintaining servers, it’s worth it. Not to mention out of the box, Heroku does gives really good guidance on working sensibly in a cloud environment.

    Though if you are looking for an alternative:

    1. https://fly.io – I’ve not tried these folks yet, but I’ve seen them around.
    2. AWS Fargate or Lambda – More compex to setup, but you won’t have to maintain a server. Deploying is tricker.
    3. https://www.hatchbox.io – I’ve not tried this, but from what I gather you can put 3-4 projects on a single server.

  5. Scalingo is 100% compatible with Heroku (it use the same system as Heroku) and it’s cheaper (almost twice cheaper I think).

  6. Try https://Caprover.com – it’s like Dokku but you actually have an interface to work with. It took me a 2 days (without much Docker knowledge before) to migrate around 5 tools from Heroku to Caprover.

    Drawbacks: I had to figure out a backup system (did that, works great now)
    And you need to create Docker images, which was a bit tricky. But now it runs great.
    I am using a 20 USD machine from digital ocean.


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