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Heroku Free Tier Alternatives for Node.js Projects


Heroku used to be the go-to free hosting service for many developers. But, unfortunately Heroku is no longer offering a free tier service.

Lucky for us, there are alternative services that offer free hosting. I’ve found 3 options that work similarly to Heroku, so they are just as easy to use.

And of course, these alternatives also don’t require you to set up a payment method.

Remember that free hosting is good for small projects and shouldn’t be used for business applications.

1. Render

The first alternative you should check out is Render. service homepage

They offer 750 hours of running time per month across all services used in your account. Similarly to Heroku, free plan services automatically shutdown after 15 minutes of inactivity. And they take up to 30 seconds to wake up again when a request is made.

For storage, Render offers PostgreSQL or Redis in their free tier.

Setup is similar to Heroku, you just have to:

  • Connect Render to your GitHub account
  • Give it permission to your project’s repository

Render will deploy your app from using main branch. Every commit to the main branch will trigger a new deployment.

2. Cyclic

Another option you can try is Cyclic. service homepage

What’s different about Cyclic is that your application won’t automatically shutdown due to inactivity.

And they offer a NoSQL database using DynamoDB in their free tier.

Setup is the same as with Render or Heroku. Just connect your repository to their service and it deploys automatically.

3. Railway

Last option should check out is Railway. service homepage

Unlike the other options, Railway gives you $5 credit or 500 hours of free use. So it’s not a free tier, but you can still get a lot of free use to test out your applications.

Railway has a vast choice of services available, so for storage you can pick MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and other options.