Wow. Heroku has had a rough few months.
In May 2022, Heroku users reported receiving a “Heroku security notification” from Salesforce informing them of a security breach affecting the database that stores pipeline-level config variables for Review Apps. At the time, users were reporting that the Heroku GitHub integrations were temporarily disabled, blocking them from using the Review app functionality and leaving them to look for alternatives.
Then, on August 25th, Heroku GM and Salesforce EVP Bob Wise announced that Heroku will be shutting down its free tier in the coming months. As Wise wrote in his blog post announcement:
Starting October 26, 2022, we will begin deleting inactive accounts and associated storage for accounts that have been inactive for over a year. Starting November 28, 2022, we plan to stop offering free product plans and plan to start shutting down free dynos and data services. We will be sending out a series of email communications to affected users.
And with all the recent activity, it’s easy to forget the whispers in the industry just over a year ago over how Heroku has lost its steam.
The net effect of these headlines has been folks looking for other alternatives. Some people are looking for free alternatives to replace their current Heroku arrangement. While others are willing to consider a paid setup and are leaving Heroku due to security concerns or other issues and limitations.
So it’s no surprise that some “Heroku Alternatives” lists have been popping up here and there. But as far as we can tell, these lists haven’t been extensive.
As a company that operates in this space (we add a contextual collaboration layer to your preview environments), we’ve been keeping an eye on the preview environment/deployment space for a while, and we’ve put together a solid list of Heroku alternatives (I'm sure that by the time you'll read this post a few more will launch similar offerings). Some of these are household names that are well known. And some are smaller companies that are just getting started.
We thought it would be helpful if we collected our notes in one place and shared them so that you can make an informed decision to use the platform that works best for you.
We’re listing the options below in alphabetical order. We are not endorsing any specific solution, we’re just trying to be helpful. And we’ve added some notes wherever relevant.
Did we miss anything? Let us know! We’ll be updating this list as we go.
A simple application deployment framework for Kubernetes - One artifact across dev, test, and production Simple CLI and powerful API, Secure by design, Open source
The easiest way to deploy your (Node.js, AppFeathers.js, APIExpress, Prisma, AppNode.js, Feathers.js) Full-stack App. Just connect your GitHub repository and let Adaptable handle the rest.
- Free tier with the following features: Scalable Containerized App Deployment, Managed Database Included (MongoDB, PostgreSQL), Continuous Deployment From GitHub, Free SSL/TLS, Shared App Build Pool, 1 container instance per app1 vCPU256MB RAM, 1GB Database Storage
Deploy Django in 5 minutes. Deploy unlimited applications to AWS and Digital Ocean.
- Free tier with the following features: 1 Server, 1 App, Unlimited Deployments, Community Support
- The maker of Appliku wrote about the backstory in creating the platform here.
AWS Amplify is a set of purpose-built tools and features that lets frontend web and mobile developers quickly and easily build full-stack applications on AWS, with the flexibility to leverage the breadth of AWS services as your use cases evolve. With Amplify, you can configure a web or mobile app backend, connect your app in minutes, visually build a web frontend UI, and easily manage app content outside the AWS console. Ship faster and scale effortlessly—with no cloud expertise needed.
Previously Known as CaptainDuckDuck - Free and Open Source PaaS! CapRover is an extremely easy to use app/database deployment & web server manager for your NodeJS, Python, PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, MySQL, MongoDB, Postgres, WordPress (and etc...) applications!
Build fast sites. In record time. Cloudflare Pages is a JAMstack platform for frontend developers to collaborate and deploy websites.
- Lots of free options - You can use pages for free (unlimited hosting) with Cloudflare Workers (free plan for serverless functions).
Made self-hosting simple. An open-source & self-hostable alternative (and even more).
Help Developers love their Operations. Measurably improve operations by upgrading from one size fits all CI/CD tools to a Developer Control Plane which enables an intuitive and measurable developer experience for every single developer.
Deploy your apps on Kubernetes easily. Cuber is a free automation tool that can build and deploy your apps on Kubernetes. Using Cuber instead of Heroku and other PaaS you can save up to 80% on server costs.
The Low-Ops Platform for Building Platforms.
Cycle is the all-in-one platform built to be the bridge between your infrastructure and your code. Connect your servers, import your containers, and scale.
Full stack apps - Connect your GitHub repo. We will build, deploy and manage the hosting. Authorize our GitHub app and you will have a fully featured software pipeline. See how quick and easy hosting can be.
- Free Forever plan includes the following features: 3 apps, 100,000 API requests, 1GB runtime memory, 512MB /tmp storage, 1GB Object Storage (AWS S3), 1GB Database Storage (AWS DynamoDB), Unlimited blazing fast builds, Public GitHub repositories, Hosted close to you, 3 Cron tasks per app, 7 day log retention, Community support
Open source Software delivery workflow for kubernetes.
An open source PAAS alternative to Heroku. Dokku helps you build and manage the lifecycle of applications from building to scaling.
Firebase Hosting provides fast and secure hosting for your web app, static and dynamic content, and microservices. Firebase Hosting is production-grade web content hosting for developers. With a single command, you can quickly deploy web apps and serve both static and dynamic content to a global CDN (content delivery network). You can also pair Firebase Hosting with Cloud Functions or Cloud Run to build and host microservices on Firebase.
Build on the New Internet. Fleek makes it easy to build websites and apps on the new open web: permissionless, trustless, censorship resistant, and free of centralized gatekeepers.
Deploy App Servers Close to Your Users. Run your full stack apps (and databases!) all over the world. No ops required.
- Free tier includes the following features - Up to 3 shared-cpu-1x 256mb VMs. 3GB persistent volume storage (total). 160GB outbound data transfer
Hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.
- Free option. Good for static sites
Build and deploy scalable containerized apps using your favorite language (Go, Python, Java, Node.js, .NET) on a fully managed serverless platform.
Enable developer self-service. The Platform Orchestrator lets engineering teams remove bottlenecks by letting them build code-based golden paths for developers.
- Free tier includes the following features - Free forever. Up to 5 users. Community support
The fastest way to deploy applications globally. Koyeb is a developer-friendly serverless platform to deploy apps globally. No-ops, servers, or infrastructure management.
- Free tier with the following features: Run Web Apps, APIs, and workers. Continuous deployment with Git. Global load-balancing with HTTP/2 and full SSL. Containers, Node, Python, Go, Rust, Ruby, Elixir, and more. Up to 2GB of RAM per service, charged by the second. $5 free credit every month. Infrastructure autohealing. Built-in autoscaling. High-Performance Edge Network. Service Mesh & Discovery. Automatic OS patching. Pay-per-use by the second.
- And here is a writeup from a friendly developer on how to migrate your Heroku apps to Koyeb
Get code reviewed instantly with visual comments in context, on top of ephemeral preview environments.
- Free for up to 5 active team members. Free for open source projects forever, unlimited members
- Livecycle connects to any existing preview environment pipeline to add the contextual collaboration layer to environments that are created. So it actually works together with these platforms to create a more collaborative review workflow. In addition, there is a self-serve version of the offering that will generate the actual ephemeral preview environment for every PR (not just the collaboration and annotation layer).
Build in the cloud with an Azure free account. Create, deploy, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge
Your apps. Deployed on AWS.In minutes. Production-ready infrastructure and application templates to build solutions on AWS without ever opening the console.
- Free tier with the following features: 1 Environment (shared Kubernetes Cluster). 2 Kubernetes Services. 100 build minutes per month. 20 deployments per month
Instantly build and deploy your sites to our global network from Git. Custom domains, HTTPS, deploy previews, rollbacks, and much more.
- Check out this article where one of Northflank’s senior developers talks about developer experience.
Deploy your application in 60 seconds. An easy-to-use cloud platform to deploy static sites, web apps, databases, containers & more
The cloud PaaS to secure, develop and deploy websites and web apps
Deploy your code now, forget about Bandwidth, infrastructure, Updates, Networks & Security. Get rid of AWS and Kubernetes: Qoddi is a fully managed App Hosting Platform running on a tier 1 network at 10% of the cost of similar solutions.
Test and Release Features 4x Faster with On-demand Environments. Qovery is a Platform to Deploy Production-like Environments in your AWS account in Seconds; Helping Developers To Test and Release Features Faster
- Free tier with the following features: Free Forever. No CC required, Deploy on your AWS account, Unlimited Developers, Up to 1 cluster, Up to 5 Environments, Preview Environment in one-click, Community support (forum), Up to 100 deployments / month
Bring your code,we'll handle the rest. Made for any language, for projects big and small. Railway is the cloud that takes the complexity out of shipping software.
- Check out this tweet in which the maker of Railway offers to help people migrate from Heroku to their platform.
Environments as a Service. On-demand environments for development, staging and production
The fastest way to host all your web apps.
Managed Ephemeral Environments. Build faster with On-Demand environments for Developers, Product, and QA teams on every Pull Request.
Tsuru is an open source Platform as a Service software, focused in Developer productivity.
Develop. Preview. Ship. Vercel combines the best developer experience with an obsessive focus on end-user performance.Our platform enables frontend teams to do their best work.
- Vercel has long been one of the industry leaders in this space as a company that champions developer experience across the board
The bottom line is... that there really is no bottom line. This space has been growing rapidly with lots of alternatives to support pretty much any tech stack, use case, and company profile. By knowing what's out there, you and your team can make an informed decision that will allow you to focus on building your great products and services.