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Madza
Madza

Posted on • Updated on

Where do you host server-side code?

A while ago I created a discussion on static sites and you gave some extended insights on options available ๐Ÿ‘

Often you need to expand the functionality of the site, and that's where you write some server-side code. Where do you host it?

I'm aware of options like Heroku, Vercel, AWS, Google Cloud and Digital Ocean. Which one do you prefer and why do you like it?

Top comments (42)

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frans profile image
Frans Allen

I just started hosting the core of statically.io on DigitalOcean. I like how easy it is to have everything in here, CPU, RAM, disk, network, firewall, it has proven to save my time.

For example, on the URL to Image service I run, I'm running a heavy Chrome browser there, and it works fast and fine. Well OK I can still run this software on Google Cloud or AWS, but I don't want to lose all this convenience.

You can try it yourself:

https://cdn.statically.io/screenshot/:url

Live: cdn.statically.io/screenshot/dev.to

Your website will be accessed from DigitalOcean IP addresses with the Statically-Screenshot user agent.

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louislow profile image
Louis Low • Edited

My only favorite is Digital Ocean. It's cheap and highly configurable to any of my expectations. Dismantle the configuration anytime to save money.

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madza profile image
Madza

What's the learning curve on it? ๐Ÿ‘€

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louislow profile image
Louis Low • Edited

Very few clicks, clean user interface, like adding or dismantle CPU, memory, or storage just a few clicks away. Unlike AWS or Azure, you have no idea what's going on the screen. Like you need to have certified to use their products.

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madza profile image
Madza

No wonder AWS and Azure is often skill requirements in job posts ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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louislow profile image
Louis Low • Edited

That's their usual monopoly strategy. They just make things look harder to use. It's pretty the same product as Digital Ocean.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

I still stuck in my eyes that DigitalOcean lowest tier is 5 USD / mo. But AWS LightSail starts at 3.5 USD / mo.

If it is only SSH into the remote VM, I bet any providers would be the same. Therefore, I currently use GCP's Compute Engine, because I have free credits for one year, to run Docker compose.

Yes, I also realize that DigitalOcean give access to varieties of prebuilt images, not just some Dockerized things as well.

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louislow profile image
Louis Low

5 USD still affordable and cheap to me. When I love a product, I'll stay with it for a very long time.

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littlephone profile image
littlephone • Edited

I host it in Vultr VPS. It is relatively stable and I didn't encounter any downtime. I tried using Namecheap and Google Cloud, but they are either more expensive or have additional, incurring charges, which they did not mention them when you open an account. For example: Google Cloud charges me some 3 dollars when I have to use their DNS service.

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madza profile image
Madza

For better night sleep, it's always a good practice to choose something in the lines of 'free forever' or guarantees static fee in some other way ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

I never had to pay for Google DNS, even before I had a new Google account.

And Google Cloud Run is a very-cheap-for-some-reasons pay-as-you-go. I know I am very small, though.

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n1try profile image
Ferdinand Mรผtsch

For people proficient enough to manage their own servers, my preferred choice is an own VPS. Mine is hosted at contabo.com, but there are tons of providers in that price range. I also set up monitoring and stuff. For quick-start projects I'd probably go with Vercel or nodechef.

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shaijut profile image
Shaiju T • Edited

I have used Godaddy windows hosting and Azure.

Some useful posts:

  • What are the least expensive cloud providers at various levels of use?

dev.to/ben/what-are-the-least-expe...

  • What are your favorite cloud services?

dev.to/ben/what-are-your-favorite-...

  • Deploy App Servers Close to Your Users.

I heard about fly.io in Hacker News.

Maybe its useful. :)

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jimaek profile image
Dmitriy A.

There is also appfleet, which is similar to fly but easier to use.

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madza profile image
Madza

Thanks for the additional resources ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

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yellow1912 profile image
yellow1912

Vultr, it has been quite stable (we don't have too many servers to know), widely available in many locations, cheap, simple UI, strong enough API.

If I have to choose an alternative then digital ocean seems like a good one with many ready to use services so I don't have to maintain my own.

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jefftriplett profile image
Jeff Triplett (he/him)

I am a fan of DigitalOcean because they are cheap, reliable, and flexible. Even with a cheap $5/month box, DO gives you an extra floating IP address, VPC, and an external firewall plus they have a nice snapshot and backup options. These features are optional, but they make it easier to focus on running your application securely, restoring a machine, or even scaling up to other web nodes about as easy as I can imagine.

Their community docs are useful even if you don't use DigitalOcean.

My preferred setup is to install Docker and run everything inside of Docker. Upgrading to a bigger box only takes a few minutes, and DO's snapshot/restore tools make it trivial to launch a new machine with virtually zero downtime.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

My favorite is GCP hosted fully-managed Docker platform -- Google Cloud Run. However, it allows only stateless Docker, that maybe connected to GCP's services.

But, when I need it stateful, I use Google Compute Engine. Though, I believe AWS Lightsail is amongst the cheapest, even cheaper than DigitalOcean. I used it to host Docker compose.

As long as I still have free credits for GCP (for one year), at least...

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hammertoe profile image
Matt Hamilton

I'm a developer advocate for IBM Cloud, so perhaps this is a biased view, but I've recently been developing stuff on top of IBM Cloud Functions and IBM Cloud Foundry. The nice thing is the are both based on Open Source systems (Apache Openwhisk, and Cloud Foundry respectively). If you want to have a play, you can sign up for free account, and there are free tiers for both of theses and many other IBM services.

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karandpr profile image
Karan Gandhi

I am bit of old school I guess.
For PHP stuff I do like the shared hosting thing or anything with WHM/cPanel. It's very convenient and I don't want to manage the server.

For non PHP I do run my own thing with linode/digital ocean + Debian or Ubuntu 18.04.
Personally I have my linode instance for tinkering(Running DnD/meme bots for discord) and am satisfied with it.

I did try Heroku & OpenShift but it was way back(2014 I guess ?) and I don't think I used them for a day.
Not really tried AWS or GC or Azure extensively so no comments on either of them.

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Gareth Brown

Yea I would recommend Firebase, so easy to use! You can run cloud functions out the box very easily or you can use Cloud Run along with Firebase hosting. I have not used the Cloud Run/Hosting option though so can't speak for it's ease of use.

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Giorgos Sarigiannidis

I had servers on Webfaction (managed shared hosting which is affordable and extremely developer-friendly) and Hetzner (VPS, good value for money) but at some point, I moved to Digital Ocean, for the reasons already mentioned by others. Apart from that, DO is like Ubuntu: being so popular results in being the first, or among the first, providers that a new tool will support.

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Adrian Emil Grigore

I'm not writing server side code at the moment but I would be hosting it along my nojs static site generator mkws.sh on an openbsd.amsterdam machine. It runs OpenBSD, my favorite operating system and I find it cheap at 60$ pe year. I don't need a control panel. I also run a tiny Void Linux VPS with tinykvm.com, also cheap at 15$ per year, kinda low on specs but it's enough for my problems (statically compiling a mkws(1) Linux version). If at some point I would prefer a more powerful Linux VPS, I'd go with cockbox.org/ also pretty cheap.

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MohAnghabo

For node.js, I use heroku, mainly for testing and staging, and AWS or Google cloud for production.

For PHP, I have a BlueHost VPS, never encountered any downtime, and their support is A+. Really like it.

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levimichael profile image
Levi Whalen

Iโ€™ve tried literally all of the ones you mention and some that others have mentioned (Vultr for example). I also have a couple of Raspberry Pis at home for projects.

We have run lots of things at work on AWS Lambda and GCP, and on EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk.

But i recently switched a side project to Vercel and let me tell youโ€” i was so impressed with the process. I merged two repos into one, so I have my front end Nuxt app and my Apollo GraphQL server in one root folder. Running โ€œvercel devโ€ locally spins up a dev server for both the front end and back end, and when I want to deploy itโ€™s as easy as pushing to my master branch and Vercel takes care of the rest. CDN delivered SPA and serverless backend. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Now, I will say this workflow doesnโ€™t work for long living backend processes. If you have to do some heavy machine learning work or processing, you probably need a beefy always-on machine. But for my use case building Saas, itโ€™s perfect.