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5 Tips to Host Your Web Apps for Free

04 Sep 2019 Developer News
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Did you know there were more than 194 million apps were downloaded last year alone? App use is expected to increase to 6 billion mobile users by 2020. Google has transitioned to mobile first indexing. Even the smallest businesses are looking into creating apps to supplement their services and provide customers with a better experience. With stats like that, it's no wonder that everyone and their brother is looking into mobile app development.In order to do it right, you'll need funding, talented developers, lots of market research, and a viable app that fills a niche in some way. You also need a secure platform to host your app.


Hosting platforms for websites cover nearly every type of platform and budget. But, what about app hosting? You could search for hosting solutions, but that could be time-consuming, confusing, and fruitless.Have no fear. We've done the legwork for you.You can consider cheap web hosting providers like the ones on this list. Some of these companies offer pretty good quality server prices for their mid-tier packages.Now that you've invested all of that money into developing and marketing your app. Your budget may be stretched. Can you really get hosting for free? Here are some tips that might help make that a reality.


1. Use Github for Static Content

You can host your front-end code for free using GitHub Pages, and they'll even throw in a secure subdomain,, as part of the deal. The only drawbacks are lack of flexibility and little support for large projects unless you want to pay. However, if you have a smaller app that has no build system and needs only a few JavaScript, CSS, and image resources and a basic index.html file at the base, this might be a cost-effective and workable solution.


2. Go Serverless

This option allows you to take advantage of on-demand services from AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure by using them to run individual API functions instead of hosting them all on a single server. This eliminates the need to pay a set monthly fee for datacenter usage. Instead, you'll pay-as-you-go based on the number if app function calls. AWS Lambda and Azure Functions give you the first million calls each month for free; Google, which is also called Functions, will give you two million. After that level is reached, pricing goes to $0.20 per million for AWS and Azure Functions, and $0.40 for Google's version. There are also charges for CPU time that are rounded up to the nearest millisecond. All support an open, serverless framework and Node.js, Python, Java, and Scala functions.


3. Consider Cloudfare for Free DNS Management and SSL

This domain management system is supported by Google and Microsoft. It allows you to point your domain name and all subdomains toward your servers for a fee. But, it also offer free functions for app developers looking for hosting or running APIs that earn it a spot on this list.

These include:


  • Security via DDoS protection and firewalls


  • Speed via a content delivery network (CDN)

Cost savings

  • Cost savings due to reduced bandwidth and resource consumption


  • Free SSL certificates


4. Need Backend Hosting? Heroku Gives it to You for Free

This is a free-tier solution that gives you a lot in return. Namely, the ability to run up to 100 backend apps at a time with no cost to you. This platform is also developer-friendly and provides additional freebies like a server for your app vode and a range of plugins and features. If course, there is a price to pay. The free server will go into sleep mode if they're inactive 30 minutes, and it's a little difficult to wake them up again; lag time os 15 - 20 seconds. There are also limits on free app hours, which are kept to 1,000 per month. However, the sleep time doesn't count toward your app hours, so you might be able to find a workaround.


5. Investigate Free Tiers From Cloud Hosting Platforms

The Big Three cloud hosting services, Google Cloud, MS Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are in a race to achieve dominance in their sector. So much so, that they're willing to offer amazing incentives to claim more market share. You can take advantage of this competition by leveraging their services and incentives to get free hosting. The plans are pretty simple and straightforward. It's just a matter of preference. For example, if you use a Windows OS and products, Azure will work with what you've already got.Here's what they've put forth to tempt you.

Google Cloud Platform: As an incentive to join, you'll get a $300 credit and free f1-micro server to run indefinitely. You can check out additional free-tier features on their information page.

Microsoft Azure: Microsoft will also give you credit in the amount of $200 as a membership incentive, but it expires after 30 days. However, their App Service has a free tier. There are more limits on this service level than the other two, but it's worth checking out to see if it's a fit for your needs.

Amazon Web Services: This free service is very similar to the one offered by GCP, which includes one small compute instance on a t2-micro server per month.


Final Thoughts

When you spend the money to create an amazing app, you want a solid hosting service to ensure reliable delivery to your users. Good platforms don't have to cost a lot to bring you security and performance. You just need to know where to look.

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