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sven Gaubert
sven Gaubert

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Seed your project in the freemium jungle🌴🌴

So many freemium services to help you launch your side project or startup!

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a complete project, from logo design to marketing and of course hosting. WITH ONLY FREE(MIUM) services !!


For those who are in a hurry, we will present the following products in this article:



Quick Notice

This choice is purely subjective, and there are many great services created every day, with a freemium offer. We tried to choose well-known services with an interesting free offer and no trial period.

Also, some of the provided links are sponsored 💸. No worries, we didn't choose those services because of their affiliation program, but because they are simply the best.

If you feel a must-have is missing, please feel free to contact us!

Logo Branding

Tailor Brands is a team of experts who are dedicated to streamlining the branding procedure for startups and small businesses. It makes it branding accessible for all regardless of their background in design, skill level, and budget size. Tailor Brands has created a platform where branding and logo design has been made so much easier and fun with its huge amount of designing and branding tools. For this reason, it has 14 million users who have created about 500 million unique designs on this platform.

You can design a logo for your company for free in a matter of minutes! There are six steps you need to follow for the design of your logo and by the end, you will be able to download the logo in the form of an EPS file or SVG.

Code Versioning on a private repo

It's a long time since you had to set up your own SVN server. ;-)

Now, simple choose a free service between Github (acquired by Microsoft in 2018) or Gitlab.

  • Unlimited private and public projects
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • Free minutes for Continuous Integration (CI) and Delivery (CD)
  • Project Issue Board

Also Bitbucket is a good alternative, but only 5 collaborators per repo.

Authentication with Google or Facebook account

OAuth protocol is used for authentication using Google or Facebook. Just register your client on Facebook Developpers or Google Console, then your client can call those services with the requested information (user profile, email, ...), the user will be redirected to the authentication service login page, and finally your server will receive the access token, with the requested information. And all this at no cost!

Double Authentication with Google Authenticator

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) It's a must-have if your service uses sensitive data and you want to add an extra layer of protection. 2 classical options: send an SMS to the user to double authenticate him/her, but you'll have to pay the SMS, or use Google Authenticator for free! There are plenty of tutorial available on internet to setup Google Authenticator, for example this one for PHP.

Database with MongoDB Atlas

MongoDB Atlas provides the easiest way to manage and host data in the cloud. Optimization and monitoring of database pain can be reduced by using extended set tools and features that are included in MongoDB Atlas.

Choose your favorite cloud providers (AWS, Google Cloud or Azure), then your region (be careful to choose the same region as the server hosting your site), and that's it! You have a mongodb database entirely on the Cloud, with a good 500MB of storage.

Another interesting alternative is FaunaDB, with a generous 5Gb of storage, (yes, 5Gb for free!) but the Fauna Query Language (FQL) can be a little confusing at first.

Storage with Cloudinary

Cloudinary is a media management platform that provides an end-to-end solution for all your video and image needs. Its key features are file storage and upload, cloud asset management, video, and image manipulation (thumbnails, resizing, etc...), fast deliver, optimization and presentation. There is a secure cloud system for the storage of videos and images.

Images and videos can be directly uploaded from the browser, or using Cloudinary's SDKs & upload API.

Also, you can upload some private assets, only accessible with a signed Urls.

And every month, you'll have 25 credits for free! For an example usage, 2GB of image storage (2 credits), 4GB of bandwidth (4 credits) and 4000 monthly transformations (4 credits) will need 10 credits.

Web Hosting & API with Netlify or Vercel

Forget about hosting your own servers, setting up kubernetes (arghh), and receiving the invoice at the end of the month! At least, at the beginning when launching your project (and even further).

Just choose between Netlify or Vercel (ex, ex, to host your website, your API (using serverless), and even with a micro service approach!

On both services, you can deploy your site manually from your local (and save minutes of build time), or deploy automatically from your Git repository when commits are added.

Once deployed, your service will benefit from a global CDN for your website, and your api from an auto-scalable serverless environment.

An interesting freemium alternative is Heroku, but it suffers a couple of convenient. First, the service is less handy to use than Netlify or Vercel. And once you've got traffic, the cost will increase significantly.

Also Firebase is a great option, but the interface is a bit complicated, and I found this technology a bit invasive (you have to install the Javascript SDK into your app), so it will be difficult to move your service to another provider if you are not satisfied.

Payment with Stripe or Paypal

Stripe is a payment gateway platform, which handles many countries, currencies and payment methods (Visa, mastercard, Alipay, Apple Pay, Giropay, iDEAL, SEPA, Wechat and many more).

No setup fees or monthly subscription, only a % on each transaction (e.g USA=2.9%+30¢, France 1.4%+€0.25, Singapore 3.4%+$0.50).

Stripe supports one-time payments or subscriptions, using direct API or checkout (a payment page hosted by Stripe). And it supports Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), aka 3D Secure.

⚠️Stripe also manage products, skus & inventory, but some apis have been deprecated (orders API), so I would strongly recommend to use the service as a payment gateway only.

Another good option is Paypal of course, a bit older so you can easily be lost in the documentation, but it works well.

Same same than Stripe, Paypal only takes a % on each transaction (e.g USA=2.9%+30¢, France 2.9%+€0.35, Singapore 4.4%+$0.30).

Emailing with Mailgun or Mailjet

I've used Mailgun for years, and this service is doing one thing really well: sending and receiving emails.

It provides a complete track record of your received and sent emails through applications and websites. SMPT or API are the two methods that can be used to interact with the service. You can also define some emails templates to use, which is great, but no visual editor year. And with the flex plan, you can send up to 5,000 emails / month for free.

Mailjet (acquired by... Mailgun (!) in 2019) is also a great service to send and receive emails, 6,000 emails per month, save unlimited contacts, with an API, SMTP Relay, & Webhooks, send newsletters, etc...

Also a key feature in Mailjet is the Visual Email template editor. So easy to update emails content, in Html or MJML to design responsive emails.

Newsletter with Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an amazing tool to send newsletter or automated emails (welcome email, order notifications, etc...), with multiple features.

The free plan comes with 10,000 emails per month, and 2000 contacts.

Mailjet is also a good option to send newsletter, but no automation in the free tiers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Ubersuggest is a really complete tool provided by Neil Patel, a famous SEO expert. This tool allows you to dig into searches and keywords to help you increase your page rank.

Neil's newsletter also provides high quality content to train you in SEO.

Performance Check

Google Lighthouse is an easy going tool to audit your website and measure performance, accessibility and SEO best practices.

You can launch Lighthouse directly from your chrome dev tools, or from the command line, or online from the Google PageSpeed Insights website.

WebpageTest is also an handy tool to measure the performance of your website, even if the design is soooo 80's 😝. The project is open-sourced by the way.

Analytics with Google Analytics

Google analytics is one of the most popular service to analyze the visitors on your website in detail, for free.

This service can provide you with valuable insights such as track your video, mobile applications and social networking sites.

Live chat with Hubspot or Freshchat

Finally, once your website is up and running, Hubspot and Freshchat will help you interacting with your customers with a live chat. You're not online ? Those services will notify you by email or on Slack, so you can

Too much services to integrate ? Don't worry 😉

At Fullstack Rocket, we want to help entrepreneurs get their idea off the ground. We have integrated most of these free services into easy-to-deploy solutions.

Our service is quite new, but we have already a few solutions that handle common features, like user registration and login, email template creation, asset storage, and much more.

We are also looking for talented developers who want to offer and sell their own solution. If you are interested in monetizing your project, contact us!


There are so many high quality freemium services, this article has presented some of them, and I'm sure you will have many in mind, so please share with us, and I will update this article accordingly.

Also, a couple of advices to conclude:

  • before developing a feature, check if it doesn't already exist in the cloud.
  • Keep in mind that conditions of use can change overnight,
  • Prefer well-known services to services that are too new.
  • Check carefully the different plans offered to avoid surprises if your service generates traffic.

And happy coding ! 🤓

Top comments (1)

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Alex Gower