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Where do you host server-side code?

madza profile image Madza ・1 min read

A while ago I created a discussion on static sites and you gave some extended insights on options available 👍

Often you need to expand the functionality of the site, and that's where you write some server-side code. Where do you host it?

I'm aware of options like Heroku, Vercel, AWS, Google Cloud and Digital Ocean. Which one do you prefer and why do you like it?


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My only favorite is Digital Ocean. It's cheap and highly configurable to any of my expectations. Dismantle the configuration anytime to save money.


What's the learning curve on it? 👀


Very few clicks, clean user interface, like adding or dismantle CPU, memory, or storage just a few clicks away. Unlike AWS or Azure, you have no idea what's going on the screen. Like you need to have certified to use their products.

No wonder AWS and Azure is often skill requirements in job posts 😃😃

That's their usual monopoly strategy. They just make things look harder to use. It's pretty the same product as Digital Ocean.

I still stuck in my eyes that DigitalOcean lowest tier is 5 USD / mo. But AWS LightSail starts at 3.5 USD / mo.

If it is only SSH into the remote VM, I bet any providers would be the same. Therefore, I currently use GCP's Compute Engine, because I have free credits for one year, to run Docker compose.

Yes, I also realize that DigitalOcean give access to varieties of prebuilt images, not just some Dockerized things as well.


I just started hosting the core of statically.io on DigitalOcean. I like how easy it is to have everything in here, CPU, RAM, disk, network, firewall, it has proven to save my time.

For example, on the URL to Image service I run, I'm running a heavy Chrome browser there, and it works fast and fine. Well OK I can still run this software on Google Cloud or AWS, but I don't want to lose all this convenience.

You can try it yourself:


Live: cdn.statically.io/screenshot/dev.to

Your website will be accessed from DigitalOcean IP addresses with the Statically-Screenshot user agent.


I host it in Vultr VPS. It is relatively stable and I didn't encounter any downtime. I tried using Namecheap and Google Cloud, but they are either more expensive or have additional, incurring charges, which they did not mention them when you open an account. For example: Google Cloud charges me some 3 dollars when I have to use their DNS service.


I never had to pay for Google DNS, even before I had a new Google account.

And Google Cloud Run is a very-cheap-for-some-reasons pay-as-you-go. I know I am very small, though.


For better night sleep, it's always a good practice to choose something in the lines of 'free forever' or guarantees static fee in some other way 😃😃


For people proficient enough to manage their own servers, my preferred choice is an own VPS. Mine is hosted at contabo.com, but there are tons of providers in that price range. I also set up monitoring and stuff. For quick-start projects I'd probably go with Vercel or nodechef.


My favorite is GCP hosted fully-managed Docker platform -- Google Cloud Run. However, it allows only stateless Docker, that maybe connected to GCP's services.

But, when I need it stateful, I use Google Compute Engine. Though, I believe AWS Lightsail is amongst the cheapest, even cheaper than DigitalOcean. I used it to host Docker compose.

As long as I still have free credits for GCP (for one year), at least...


Vultr, it has been quite stable (we don't have too many servers to know), widely available in many locations, cheap, simple UI, strong enough API.

If I have to choose an alternative then digital ocean seems like a good one with many ready to use services so I don't have to maintain my own.


I'm not writing server side code at the moment but I would be hosting it along my nojs static site generator mkws.sh on an openbsd.amsterdam machine. It runs OpenBSD, my favorite operating system and I find it cheap at 60$ pe year. I don't need a control panel. I also run a tiny Void Linux VPS with tinykvm.com, also cheap at 15$ per year, kinda low on specs but it's enough for my problems (statically compiling a mkws(1) Linux version). If at some point I would prefer a more powerful Linux VPS, I'd go with cockbox.org/ also pretty cheap.


I have used Godaddy windows hosting and Azure.

Some useful posts:

  • What are the least expensive cloud providers at various levels of use?


  • What are your favorite cloud services?


  • Deploy App Servers Close to Your Users.

I heard about fly.io in Hacker News.

Maybe its useful. :)


Thanks for the additional resources 😉👍


I host my own VPS servers on bare metal from ovh.com - good service, good price, no issues.

At Localazy, we use AWS - more services ranging from EC2 to SES.

I found AWS Lightsail to be decent solution when you don't need extra services and just need a server/VPS.


I'm a developer advocate for IBM Cloud, so perhaps this is a biased view, but I've recently been developing stuff on top of IBM Cloud Functions and IBM Cloud Foundry. The nice thing is the are both based on Open Source systems (Apache Openwhisk, and Cloud Foundry respectively). If you want to have a play, you can sign up for free account, and there are free tiers for both of theses and many other IBM services.


I am a fan of DigitalOcean because they are cheap, reliable, and flexible. Even with a cheap $5/month box, DO gives you an extra floating IP address, VPC, and an external firewall plus they have a nice snapshot and backup options. These features are optional, but they make it easier to focus on running your application securely, restoring a machine, or even scaling up to other web nodes about as easy as I can imagine.

Their community docs are useful even if you don't use DigitalOcean.

My preferred setup is to install Docker and run everything inside of Docker. Upgrading to a bigger box only takes a few minutes, and DO's snapshot/restore tools make it trivial to launch a new machine with virtually zero downtime.


I’ve tried literally all of the ones you mention and some that others have mentioned (Vultr for example). I also have a couple of Raspberry Pis at home for projects.

We have run lots of things at work on AWS Lambda and GCP, and on EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk.

But i recently switched a side project to Vercel and let me tell you— i was so impressed with the process. I merged two repos into one, so I have my front end Nuxt app and my Apollo GraphQL server in one root folder. Running “vercel dev” locally spins up a dev server for both the front end and back end, and when I want to deploy it’s as easy as pushing to my master branch and Vercel takes care of the rest. CDN delivered SPA and serverless backend. 🔥

Now, I will say this workflow doesn’t work for long living backend processes. If you have to do some heavy machine learning work or processing, you probably need a beefy always-on machine. But for my use case building Saas, it’s perfect.


For node.js, I use heroku, mainly for testing and staging, and AWS or Google cloud for production.

For PHP, I have a BlueHost VPS, never encountered any downtime, and their support is A+. Really like it.


I am bit of old school I guess.
For PHP stuff I do like the shared hosting thing or anything with WHM/cPanel. It's very convenient and I don't want to manage the server.

For non PHP I do run my own thing with linode/digital ocean + Debian or Ubuntu 18.04.
Personally I have my linode instance for tinkering(Running DnD/meme bots for discord) and am satisfied with it.

I did try Heroku & OpenShift but it was way back(2014 I guess ?) and I don't think I used them for a day.
Not really tried AWS or GC or Azure extensively so no comments on either of them.


I use DigitalOcean mostly because it's cheap and their infrastructure is pretty stable. Also, they create lots of content (articles and tutorials) which I use often so I figured I'd support them :)


Haha Mazda

^ high quality comment


I prefer Vercel. Just connect to your git repo and it's done. I just love it.


I mostly write in Python, and prefer PythonAnywhere.com


On a server. 🥁

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waiter.


Currently, I'm using Linode. Their services are cheap, fast enough & the UI quite easy to start.


Most Economic Way: A2Hosting
Otherwise AWS Elastic Beanstalk is best.


The amount of AWS products is mind-blowing. 🌌


AWS mostly serves everything you would need to serve. If it's a serious side project you'll probably end up paying but if not, it's still easy for hosting demos. Heroku is really easy and free too!


My favorite above everything is OVH... super cheap, profesional...


I've tried Heroku and Firebase and liked them both. I can't believe how easy it is to have your server running in a couple of minutes.


Currently I'm mostly using Heroku too 😉
Planning to look more into Vercel and Firebase 👍


Last week I've migrated from a custom server to Netlify Functions, I only needed to apply little tweaks and it was ready to go.