Awesome & Free App Hosting Services of 2021

A brief list of some of the features and services provided by the best and most popular app hosting services of 2021.

Hosting apps has become insanely quick, easy and inexpensive. With the rise of SaSS you can host almost anything for free. Here are some of the worlds best and most popular app hosting services of 2021 that you will love. Best of all they are mostly all totally free to use.

Whats the catch? As a developer you get to prototype and develop your applications and sites for free. And you can even move the sites to a full production environment at no cost. The only time you would start paying money is if one of your applications is popular and receives a lot of traffic, but because they are apps they have a ridiculously small bandwidth requirement and can be hosted “serverless” this means that the app is so small it can be literally hosted on the CDN (Content Delivery Network) itself.

This is how companies are able to offer such services for free or little cost. The footprint is so small for most developing apps that instead of hosting them in the “cloud” we can host them on the “edge” networking. You could think of the edge network as the step up from the cloud. We can host anything from bare-bones concept script apps to, SPA’s (Single Page Apps), PWA (Progressive Web Apps) to full fledged React or Angular MPA’s (Multi Page Apps).

This list will give you an idea of what to expect from each service and i will list as much information as i have without going into too much details about the companies themselves more of a feature tour of what is available and some pros and cons.

In no particular order, some of the best application hosts in 2021.

Full Disclosure: Some of the links below will be referral links but not all. We are reviewing based on functionality not for making affiliate money. By using our links you help support the website because we get a small kickback for referring you. If you are not ok with this you can simply go direct to the website in the header.


netlify logo

Netlify.com

Some would consider this giant to be the worlds best application hosts. Netlify.com delivers an amazing service totally free and uploading a website is as simple as dragging and dropping a folder. They offer a service also that will build your application for you from a GitHub repository and there is a monthly allowance of 300 minutes which is 5 hours. Most applications only take a couple of minutes to build so there is plenty of allowance on the free tier. They allow 100GB of bandwith per month, across all apps.

netlify dashboard
Netlify Dashboard

Netlify.com also have a CDN and DNS system built into it so you can point your domains and every subdomain will be given a secure certificate. So the question is, do you need Cloudflare when using Netlify? In a short answer, no. As explained here Netlify use a global CDN and using Cloudflare is just adding more requests and latency for your application. So when they say use our DNS because its really good you should use it whenever possible. If you need more information feel free to visit this link where they explain the difference of using Cloudflare with Netllify.

  • Apex Domains βœ…
  • Subdomains βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • DNS System βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…
  • Custom CMS system βœ…
  • Edge Network βœ…

Click Here to go to Netlify.com no referrals


heroku logo

Heroku.com

Another service that is really at the top of the game as far as hosting applications. Heroku have been around since 2007. One of Heroku’s main features are its extensive documentation and lessons that bring the user directly into the workspace of the desired code. For example, if i follow their PHP tutorial, by the end i will have full knowledge on how to run services and PHP apps.

heroku dashboard
Heroku Docs Dashboard

Services use whats called dynos which are like a smaller than usual container and you can spin them up and add/remove them in seconds. Installing apps is still quite easy but not on Netlify’s level of ease. This could be debated though depending on what services you need to use.

Heroku offers a free tier which is plenty for a month.

Personal accounts are given a base of 550 free dyno hours each month. In addition to these base hours, accounts which verify with a credit card will receive an additional 450 hours added to the monthly free dyno quota. This means you can receive a total of 1000 free dyno hours per month, if you verify your account with a credit card.

https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/free-dyno-hours

So just by adding a credit card you get free hours and honestly Heroku is the best in the world for backend stuff right now.

  • Adding Domains βœ…
  • Great for backend βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Edge Network βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…
  • Basic Databases included βœ…

Click here to go to Heroku.com signup page no referral we just think there awesome.


railway logo

Railway.app

Railway has only been around for a short time but is already getting great recognition for it’s work. As well as application hosting they allow you to create a database with it. This gives you a lot of possibilities. They have premade templates for you to deploy and destroy to your hearts content.

One of the recent advances is the addition of the online OpenVSCode by GitPod which is VS Code IDE in your browser. This is big because GitPod have open sourced the technology they use to deploy VS Code in the browser and Railway are one of the first to allow users to install it, for free. This gives you a persistent server IDE that can be accessed wherever you have a web browser. You can spin up a cloud server by clicking the button below

Deploy on Railway

railway dashboard
Railway.com Dashboard
  • Adding Domains βœ…
  • Subdomains βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…
  • Edge Network βœ…
  • Great for Frontend βœ…
  • Databases included βœ…

Railway offers up to $5 worth of usage each month with the option to upgrade.

To visit Railway.app click here referral link


replit logo

Replit.com

Replit.com is a great educational resource that can be used by everyone but tailors to beginners very well. You can find a code playground with a showreel of users code that you can use or modify. You can showcase your own projects for others to use in their projects. The interface is easy to understand and you will find everything you need pretty easily. Just like the rest you can clone a GitHub URL or start from a template but the emphasis is on developing your own application in their browser IDE. Just like the others there is a monthly free limit but it is easily enough for doing prototypes and testing. You could even do production sites but i think there are other services that would be better for production deploys.

replit dashboard
Replit.com Dashboard

Some of Replit.com’s features include code sharing where you can ask the community to join and help you with your code. Think of it like streaming your screen and the invited users get to comment to you in realtime. You could share with just one friend or many. You can even request help directly from the IDE. Some great educational features and Replit makes it super easy to get into the space without much knowledge.

A fully fledged online IDE with great tutorials and documentation is why Replit.com makes it onto the list.

  • Adding Domains βœ…
  • Adding Subdomains βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…
  • Edge Network βœ…
  • Great for Prototyping βœ…

Click the button below to deploy a vscode server on Replit.com

Run on Repl.it

Click here to go to Replit.com no referral


ercel logo

Vercel.com

Vercel comes from the same creators of Next.js which gives users the ability to deploy complex JavaScript apps amongst other things. They offer a nice selection of base templates to try out and deploy. Unlike other applications that are deployed in the browser Vercel works the same as Railway, Netlify & Heroku when the system detects a change has been pushed to the git repository the image is built and deployed.

vercel deployment
Vercel Dashboard

Vercel is a great platform for JavaScript apps and SPA’s, and MPA’s. A good concept is to use VVvercel as a frontend and build a backend on Heroku

  • Apex Domains βœ…
  • Subdomains βœ…
  • DNS System βœ…
  • Edge Network βœ…
  • Primarily Frontend βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…

Click here to visit Vercel.com


gatsby cloud logo

Gatsbyjs.com

Gatsbyjs.com otherwise known as Gatsby Cloud is a serice provided by the creators of Gatsby. There is one word that comes into mind when gatsbyjs is mentioned and that is Gatsby sites are FAST ⚑. Sites built with Gatsby can be seen as some of the fastest sites on the planet and Gatsby is capable of building SPA’s or MPA’s easily.

Gatsby has taken their technology and added a cloud system which is not a ad thing at all. I haven’t personally used Gatsby for many projects because while Gatsby is a great tool to build and deploy your site the learning curve can be a little steep. That said experienced developers will have no problem in taking advantage of Gatsby’s amazing features.

Gatsby Cloud also allows users to build their site but deploy on another service. All the standard hosting providers are catered for

  • Subdomains βœ…
  • Cloud Network βœ…
  • Build Fast ⚑ Websites βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…

Click here to go to Gatsbyjs.com no referral


cloudflare pages logo

Cloudflare Pages

We have all heard about CloudFlare by now. They help us deliver our slow WordPress websites 🀣 but a lesser known feature is Cloudflare Pages. Cloudflare have implemented a system where they will deploy your git repo, all you have to do is provide a build command like npm build and they will do the rest. The feature list is actually quite good. With a free plan offering unlimited bandwidth, unlimited requests and unlimited sites.

cloudflare main page
Cloudflare
  • Subdomains βœ…
  • DNS System
  • Edge Network βœ…
  • Free SSL Certificates βœ…
  • Free Tier βœ…
  • Unlimited Bandwidth βœ…
  • Unlimited Sites βœ…
  • Unlimited Requests βœ…

Cloudflare offer a great service on top of their global CDN. They offer custom builds and guides for Gatsby, Vue, Hugo and React with plenty of usage available.

To go to CloudFlare.com click here no referral


Notable Mentions

Jamstackthemes.net – Awesome resource for themes and templates to be deployed

Stackbit.com – Deploy high quality templates

Deta.sh – A new contender. Aims to provide micro services. 100% free.

CodeSandbox.io – Sandbox for developing and protyotyping

CodePen.io – follows the same style as CodeSandbox. Mainly prototyping and testing code

p5.js – P5 is from a language called Programming. They built a web editor for sandbox JavaScript

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