Heroku, Now.sh, Netlify. What are you using and why?

crumb1e profile image Daniel Crewdson ・1 min read

I've been playing around with these platforms for a few months, hosting small node projects on each, but this is getting a little tiring going back and forth from each one.

Thought it would be worth getting DEVs thoughts on these platforms and which ones are being used more in the DEV community.

So, do you use any of these to host your js/node projects?

If yes, which one and why? 👨‍💻👩‍💻

Happy coding!


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I have used all ZEIT Now, Heroku, Netlify and Google Firebase. All have features which are unique to their platform, and no one is going to stop making the developer experience better anytime soon, which is extremely good for us all.

I have stuck with ZEIT Now as their developer experience outshines the competitors in more than many use cases. Here are some outshiners:

  • Support for many languages and that even in the same repo
  • Ability to make deployments from command line without adding any configuration for most use cases
  • Just hit ‘now’ from command-line without any required configuration, and boom, deployment is ready
  • Generous free tier along with super pocket friendly paid plan
  • Auto scaling deployments
  • Best performance - Best time waking up from cold boot; and further less time for subsequent requests
  • Every pull request creates a new deployment on Github; super easy to review changes iteratively, and ability to test deployement of codebase at any point in time as all check-ins create a new url

and if that is already not enough, here is the best one:

  • super talented, down to earth team, who works closely with community on their Slack education channel

I know ZEIT since 2017, I have seen its products evolve, documentation etc. I can give a totally honest opinion of ZEIT : )

2017 & 2018 (until the middle of the year) a container-based approach


  • Really everything was through a single command


  • the documentation was not so clear
  • you pay much more
  • not so scalable
  • waiting times were long

2018 (October) - It's time Serverless <3


  • the application can scale automatically
  • pay on-deman
  • the documentation improved a lot 😎
  • the guides created by the community are being promoted
  • integration GitHub and GitLab
  • access to your app without any waiting time (thank to builder of ▲now)
  • a community in spectrum
  • excellent customer support


  • now.json, It is necessary to define it when you want to implement an application of node but very soon it will not be necessary to define now.json. You will only have to execute the now command and that's it 😍

I hope I have helped 🙏


Netlify for a couple sites and then a raspberry pi 3b+ for light node projects


Nifty! Thinking about grabbing a pi 4 to toy around with, they look like a lot of fun 😀


They are pretty great.. Once the project is production ready it moves off the pi but it helps to be able to deploy and show to whoever outside my network. Plus the non existent latency makes it feel faster then free heroku / digital ocean 5 dollar account


We use Zeit for CSSBattle for our web app deployment. Super easy. Super fast. And amazing features like aliases. We also did a case study with Zeit -> zeit.co/case-studies/cssbattle


Finally tried heroku for a node server the other day. I was blown away how easy it was. I setup the server on my local machine. Signed up, installed the heroku cli, and ran 2 commands. 1 minute later and I had a url to my node server in the cloud. I waited so long to try it because I thought it would be complicated, but it was super easy


I love Heroku and Netlify. For Now.sh, their Web UI is kind of messy. Finding your way through navigation is really hard. And another thing is that you have to entirely move your nameservers to Zeit's if you want to use custom domain for function endpoints.


I host my personal blog on Netlify cause I don't need to spend tons of time in deploying and it's really pain-free for me whenever I complete an article.

It takes advantage of CI/CD to help me deploy my newly created articles.


I use both Heroku and Netlify.

Heroku for microservices with Node.js/Express.

Netlify to host my static website built with Jekyll.


That seems like a logical split between the two platforms, I've been really enjoying how easy Heruko makes getting an express server up and running 🚀


Yes, that's the reason I chose Heroku over spinning up a DO droplet and setting everything up for such a small service.

Since deployments to Heroku happen through Git, I don't need to set up and maintain tons of CD pipelines for my microservices. 😁


I used Heroku a little, back in 2015-16. Then I had my own VPS. A now I'm using Now.sh with Next.js for uncss-online.com and it's smooth AF.
Best developer experience yet and super cheap.


Netlify for front-end, because it's so easy to set up. It's also easy to proxy any backend needs elsewhere via redirects.

I use Serverless Framework and AWS for backend because of its low cost while having flexibility to add more (also low cost) services (e.g DynamoDB).


Use Netlify with their CMS to deploy Gatsby blog


Neetlify, yet to try Heroku and Now.sh in any big project.


Why heroku/now for larger projects? Databases?


I'm currently using Netlify to deploy/host my site. The documentation in Netlify is super helpful and very user friendly.


Netlify for static sites. Absolutely love how easy it is. And deploy straight from git is just 🤩. I wish there was a solution like this for some of our php sites 😢.


@seb True that. All ZEIT Now, Netlify and Heroku shine with their github integrations.

ZEIT now shines with your use case. The good news is ZEIT Now does supports Php 🙂


I'm using Now.sh and Heroku, but I used Netlify once for a school project. I use Now and Heroku (mainly heroku) for node projects, but I'm hoping to move that all to Now.


Tried Zeit now for my micro servers node/express/nextjs apps, after a lot of headaches, moved back to heroku,


I would be curious to hear a bit more about those headaches.