Do you know what's also free? Some of the Node.js hosting providers in this article.
Of course, there are always some hefty drawbacks to using a free hosting service you should know before climbing aboard.
How to Choose the Best Node.js Hosting on a Budget?
When looking to buy hosting for development purposes, you have to make sure it has enough hardware and features to support you in the long run. Here are some of the points to look for when choosing Node.js hosting:
RAM / CPU - If you know or at least can predict how much resources your applications will need, make sure the host can support that without costing a fortune.
Storage space - If you want to develop a media-heavy web application, look for a provider that has unlimited storage space plans. And make sure that this storage space would use fast SSD drives to increase performance.
Speed / Uptime - You want your host to be reliable and always online, look for a host with an uptime guarantee. Both speed optimizations and features can improve loading times for you and your clients.
If you're unsure about your hardware needs I suggest going with an easily scalable provider. That way your hosting will adapt to your growing needs and you can concentrate all your attention on your app development.
Best Cheap and Free Node.js Hosting
After all that lets now move on to the list of what I think are the best choices for beginners and advance users alike. Just know that most free plans have their limitations in one way or another.
And while they are perfectly fine for the start, soon you will find the need to scale up. For that reason, I included some of the more expensive choices that have everything included from the start.
Have a look - these are the best affordable and free Node.js hosting providers you can get :
- Hostinger (Cheap unmanaged VPS hosting for Node.js)
- HostGator (Powerful VPS Node.js server hosting)
- A2 Hosting (Cheap Node.js hosting with unlimited storage)
- RedHat OpenShift (Free Node.js hosting suitable for small businesses)
- Heroku (Free Node.js hosting with usage limits)
To make things a bit easier, I include a table of what plans start to support Node.js so you don't get confused:
|Plans that support Node.js|
|A2 Hosting||Shared Hosting|
|RedHat OpenShift||Free plan|
1. Hostinger - Unmanaged VPS Hosting On A Budget
Hostinger is best known as the best cheap hosting provider out there, and for a good reason. It gives proper security and performance even with the cheapest shared hosting plans.
But I won't talk about shared hosting, because at Hostinger you can only use Node.js with its VPS plans. While it is more expensive, it also means that you get more recourses for your web apps.
While not unlimited, the storage space you get here is all SSD, so it helps speed up your server and apps. You are also guaranteed a 100Mb/s network at all times which will ensure a stable loading time.
Every VPS plan comes with a dedicated 24/7 customer support, that will quickly help you solve any issues. Hostinger also includes full root access to the server for those wanting to do more by themselves.
Hostinger's VPS servers are more reliable than shared hosting competitors thanks to its great redundancy features. So, if your Node.js framework experiences a technical failure on its current node, it will be instantly transferred to another.
But if you don't like easily spending your money, you can rest assured that Hostinger has a 30-days money-back guarantee. If the services are not what you need you can always get your money back.
The cheapest option for VPS starts at $3.95 a month and includes 20GB of SSD storage space, 1GB of RAM, 1 vCPU, and 1TB of bandwidth. The storage space given will be more than enough for small projects but will need to be scaled for more media-heavy apps.
When you need something more powerful you can select the top tier Linux VPS for $29.95/mo. It will boost your resources to 8GB of RAM, 8 vCPU, 160GB of storage space, and 8TB of bandwidth.
You also get the option to buy Windows VPS servers but there are no cheap options available. The cheapest Windows option, with 50GB storage space and 2 GB of RAM, will cost you $26 a month.
Hostinger gives powerful and fast VPS plans that secure your web projects and won't destroy your wallet.
- Node.js compatible VPS servers
- Root access
- 30-days money-back guarantee
- No Node.js shared plans
- No unlimited storage space
2. HostGator - Powerful VPS With Node.js Capabilities
HostGator is a great hosting and domain name provider. But here you can't use Node.js with shared hosting plans, so you get to choose from VPS and dedicated servers.
HostGator offers 2 types of VPS - managed and semi-managed. The main difference will be whether or not cPanel is installed on your server. Not having a control panel reduces the monthly price of hosting by 10 dollars.
You get 24/7 customer support available through phone and live chat. And you can expect the support to be fast and actually helpful. Just remember that HostGator doesn't truly have an email support option.
As for security, HostGator offers weekly off-site backups to keep your data protected at all times. And every plan includes centralized DDoS protection and a secured VPS firewall.
HostGator gives excellent performance and reliable uptime, even the cheapest VPS plan gives 100% uptime throughout my test.
The bandwidth and storage space are all limited here, depending on your projects that might not be that much of a big deal. But what is a big deal is that it uses only HDD storage drives instead of faster SSD alternatives.
Using just HDD will decrease your speed and performance by quite a bit. HostGator balances that out by giving you an unlimited number of websites, emails, domains, and databases.
Hostgator offers only 3 VPS plans starting from $29.95 a month. The cheapest plan will give you 2GB of RAM, 120GB of storage space, and 2 CPU cores. It's a decent starting point for any web app project, but it does cost a bit more than other providers.
The most expensive plan costs $49.95 a month and increases the RAM to 8GB, storage space to 240GB, and CPU's to 4. Since most features stay the same throughout the plans you have to look at how much resources your projects will require.
Every plan has a Gigabit uplink with a guaranteed connection of 20Mbit, as well as a 45-days money-back guarantee to let you try out its plans safely.
- Unlimited databases and websites
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- Super reliable uptime
- Only HDD storage
- No Node.js option on shared plans
3. A2 Hosting - Affordable Node.js Hosting With Unlimited Storage Space
While some providers limit their support options, with A2 Hosting you can get access to an extremely dedicated customer service team even with the cheapest plan.
A2 support reps are available 24/7 through toll-free phone numbers, live chat, email, and tickets. And A2 offers a range of shared hosting plans compatible with Node.js applications, so you only need to pay for the level of resources you require.
Even the base 'lite' package gives you access to unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth though. That makes it suitable for manipulating data-heavy objects in your Node.js environment or sharing your Node.js based-sites with a large audience.
What's more, you'll be able to control your Node.js setup from a helpful cPanel control page. That's not something you can do with Node.js only hosts like RedHat or Heroku.
Having a cPanel page gives you the freedom to use your package to host a public-facing website while also working on Node.js applications.
If you need help, you can find Node.js tutorials available at the A2 Hosting knowledge base.
You can run up to 5 databases (and a single website) with the starter plan, but if you want the freedom to create an unlimited number of Node.js environments, you can upgrade to the 'Swift' package.
However, I don't recommend the top-of-the-line 'Turbo' plan, as the site-caching it offers won't be effective at improving Node.js response times.
A2 Hosting Pricing
When it comes to pricing A2 Hosting doesn't offer any free Node.js hosting plans. Instead, it offers 3 shared hosting plans that begin from $1.98 a month. While the Lite plan will be enough for single projects it will limit your scaling ability.
The Swift plan starting at $3.30/mo is the plan that A2 Hosting recommends using for work with Node.js. This plan will have nearly everything unlimited, including databases, and ups the physical memory to 1GB of RAM.
Turbo plan with A2 hosting's own Turbo boost option enabled starts from $6.27 a month. This includes everything in the previous plans, so it's useful for those who want to speed up their website to the max.
Overall, A2 Hosting offers secure and powerful shared hosting packages that will be great for both beginner and advanced programmers.
- Affordable Node.js paid plans
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Run around 5 Node.js apps at once
- Turbo plan won't add much to Node.js experience
4. RedHat OpenShift - Free Node.js Hosting For Small Business
While other providers limit you to a single Node.js process at a time, RedHat OpenShift allows three simultaneous processes with its free Node.js hosting plan, making it viable for small business operations.
This free package includes 2GB of memory, but storage is also limited to 2GB. So you'll be able to use your RedHat server for resource-demanding Node.js operations, but perhaps not to manipulate data-heavy multimedia objects.
Red Hat OpenShift also offers an interactive learning center, where you can learn by trying out different scenarios.
Your Node.js apps will be hosted on a rhcloud.com sub-domain and will receive a free shared SSL certificate – great for security-conscious users!
Sadly, RedHat slaps a 30-minute inactivity timer on free accounts and limits active usage to a maximum of 54 hours in any three-day window.
The pro plan frees you from all usage restrictions and gives you access to a phone in support team whereas free users are limited to community support.
If you upgrade to a paid membership, you can also have your pick of data center location, allowing you to choose one that minimizes latency for your target audience.
RedHat OpenShift Pricing
One of the best things when using the free Starter plan is that you don't need to give your credit card information, all you need to do is just register and start coding. This plan gives you more than enough storage and RAM as well as 4 vCPU.
This free plan subscription is valid for 60 days, after that it will automatically expire. But you can resubscribe as many times as you would like to.
The Pro plan is made for professionals that have more than one project on hand. It cost $50 a month and allows 10 projects as well as the ability to add additional resources that you need. You also get a 30-days money-back guarantee with the pro plan.
RedHat OpenShift offers a great free option for Node.js hosting, and you can scale up as you grow.
- 2GB of memory
- Shared SSL certificate included
- Three concurrent processes allowed
- Free plan has active usage limits
- No custom domain with a free plan
5. Heroku - Secure and Free Node.js Hosting With Limitations
Heroku is an excellent choice for totally free Node.js hosting. There are some significant restrictions on the resources available for free accounts, but they're still great options for personal or hobby use.
Free servers include a relatively generous 512MB of memory and a subdomain. You'll receive 550 hours of processing a month but your server use will be restricted by a 30-minute inactivity time-out window.
You'll also only get single-user access to your Node.js server. That more-or-less rules out Heroku's free plan for use in a business context.
The free package is still suited to writing short pieces of Node.js code. But if you need a long time for code compilation, due to that inactivity timer, a paid plan will be more suitable.
Heroku has a special developer package that's available for users enrolled in the GitHub student developer pack. It has all the free plan features but removes its limitations.
But whichever package you go for, if you are concerned about keeping your Node.js projects secure, Heroku is a good choice. WildCard technology comes with every plan to keep your connection encrypted.
While you have a completely free plan for simple users, you also get 3 premium plans for anyone that needs extra power. The biggest free plan limitations are of course the 30-minute inactivity timer and a single worker.
If you want to remove that inactivity period you can upgrade to the Hobby plan for $7 a month. This plan also gives you a free SSL certificate and application metrics for the past 24 hours.
The 2 other plans range from $25/mo to $500/mo and are optimized for large projects that require a lot of scalabilities. With these plans, you also get an unlimited number of processes you can start.
Heroku is great for both simple users and business giants, it offers moderate pricing options and useful features for Node.js usage.
- 512MB memory included
- WildCard encryption included
- Excellent customer support
- 30-minute inactivity timer
- Only a single process allowed
Some Extra Tools For Node.js Developers
Every provider listed here offers great services, whether it would be free or paid options. But I also found some tools, maybe you'll find them useful:
Zeit - all-in-one solution for static hosting & JAMstack deployment. You can use it completely free with no credit card required. And it has zero configuration needed, meaning that it will run with the framework of your website.
OpeNode.io - is a cloud application platform that offers you to deploy your website using a simple command-line interface (CLI). It also supports Python, Elixir, and Ruby. Cloud hosting plans start at $0 and go up to $16.52 a month, based on your needs.
Best Cheap and Free Node.js Hosting - Verdict
After I talked about the best cheap and free Node.js hosting providers, let's sum up what we have learned. There are a few free Node.js hosting providers that will save you a lot of money, but their restrictions can cause a lot of headaches.
And we have a few overall great hosting providers that allow you to use Node.js on their shared or VPS hosting plans. These can be more expensive, but at the same time, they have more security and performance features.
So it's up to you where you want to save money and what limitations your willing to live with. Just to reiterate :
- Hostinger has excellent scalability and VPS hosting plans on a budget
- HostGator's VPS servers are more powerful than shared alternatives
- A2 Hosting is the best for unlimited storage and bandwidth
- RedHat OpenShift offers free Node.js hosting powerful enough for business use
- Heroku is a great choice for free Node.js hosting
If you think I missed a brilliant Node.js host, tell us about it in the comments below!
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