Where to Find Free Node.js Hosting

Where to Find Free Node.js Hosting

Do you love the Node.js JavaScript platform for building scalable applications on the Web? If so, you might have already learned how to install Node.js on your local box to test things out.

Your next step might be to try to find free Node.js hosting. Hosting your Node.js applications at a web host allows you to share them with the whole world!

If you’re just starting out, free is good. When your needs grow, you’ll have the knowledge of running Node.js at a web host. This allows you to find your exact needs when you decide to pony up the dough for a long-term host.

Top 5 Free Node.js Hosting Services & Breakdown of Features

We’ve scoured the Web to find the consensus on the best free Node.js hosting. We hope to steer you in the right direction, and with a big, fat price tag of $0, it should’t hurt to try them all.

Node.js HostLanguagesLimitsHighlight
RedHat OpenShiftNode.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Perl | Ruby | MoreHost 3 applicationsBuilt-in private database; completely free within limits
NodejitsuNode.js$20 credit for first monthAmazing support from developers like you over IRC
Microsoft AzureNode.js | Java | PHP | Python | .NET$200 credit for first monthProvision Windows and Linux Virtual Machines and applications in minutes
ModulusNode.js$15 credit for first monthBuilt-in auto-scaling capabilities so your application can scale to demand
HerokuNode.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Scala | Clojure1x CPU Share | Row limit 10KTechnologies you love with more than 100 services in the add-ons marketplace

If we’ve left out any Node.js hosts that you’ve had a great experience with, let us know!

1. RedHat OpenShift

Go check out RedHat OpenShift, or jump back to our top free Node.js hosts.

RedHat OpenShift Website Screen Grab

From the people who brought you Red Hat Linux and many other popular open-source projects, RedHat OpenShift seems to be the go-to recommendation for free Node.js web hosting.

OpenShift stands out among our other free Node.js hosts by offering a no-trial, truly free Node.js hosting platform; howeer, our #5 Node.js host, Heroku, also offers a “free forever” plan.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Perl | Ruby | More

Limits – Host 3 applications

Other stuff – Built-in private databases

Respond to Web Traffic – Automatically scale up or down as your application requires

Multiple Regions – Deploy apps closer to your users with less latency

Backed by Red Hat – The world’s leading provider of open-source solutions

Other Free Features:

  • System Administration by Red Hat
  • Application Auto-Scaling
  • Maximum Gears: 3
  • Application Idling: 24 Hours
  • Hosting Region: US
  • Included Free: 3 Small Gears
  • Storage Base (per gear): 1GB
  • Subdomains on rhcloud.com
  • Shared SSL on rhcloud.com
  • Custom Domains
  • Sharing Controls
  • Help Center
  • Documentation & Guides
  • Developer Commuity

2. Nodejitsu

Go check out Nodejitsu, or jump back to our top free Node.js hosts.

Nodejitsu Website Screen Grab

Another highly recommended host across the Web that offers free Node.js hosting is Nodejitsu. They’ve been a large contributor to the Node.js community since 2009 and know the tech industry inside and out.

You can get $20-worth of free usage, or if you’re hosting an open-source project, you can host one project completely free.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js

Limits – $20 free usage; plans start at $9/month

The Best Support in the Industry, Period. – Amazing support from developers like you over IRC

Single-Line Deployment with jitsu – Their CLI tool was designed to give you the most user-friendly deployment ever. Just run jitsu deploy.

Joyent’s Infastructure and the Peace of Mind that Comes with It – Their partner, Joyent, provides infrastructure for all individual plans on blazing-fast Joyent Smart Machines.

Continuous Deployment with Github and TravisCI – Free continuous deployment for public and private repos through GitHub Webhooks and Travis CI

Websocket Support – Nodejitsu was the first platform to support Websockets. In fact, almost every platform that currently supports Websockets does so by using Nodejitsu’s open-source node-http-proxy module.

Free Hosting for your Open-Source Apps – At Nodejitsu, open-source is part of their identity. To support the development of free software, they’ll host your open-source apps for free. Apply at opensource.nodejitsu.com.

Custom Domains – Free custom domains are available with every plan at dns.nodejitsu.com.

Easy Database Provisioning – Thanks to partner integrations, using MongoDB, CouchDB, or Redis on Nodejitsu is super easy.

3. Microsoft Azure

Go check out Microsoft Azure, or jump back to our top free Node.js hosts.

Microsoft Azure Website Screen Grab

Another strong competitor in the free Node.js hosting world is Microsoft’s Azure services. You can sign up for a free month and get $200 to spend on all Azure services.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js | Java | PHP | Python | .NET

Limits – Depending on what you spend, you can receive a $200 credit on the first month.

Build Infrastructure – Provision Windows and Linux Virtual Machines and applications in minutes. Use the same virtual machines and management tools in Azure that you use on premises.

Develop Modern Applications – Build and deploy a wide variety of modern applications for Android, iOS, and Windows that take full advantage of the Cloud, including web, mobile, media, and line-of-business solutions. Automatically scale up and down to meet any need.

Gain Insights from Data – Azure provides managed SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support for gaining insights from your data. Leverage the full power of SQL Server in the Cloud and use HDInsight to build Hadoop clusters to analyze data.

Manage Identity and Access – Manage user accounts, synchronize with existing on-premises directories, and get single sign-on access on Azure, Office 365, and hundreds of popular Software-as-a-Service applications, examples including Salesforce, DocuSign, Google Apps, Box, Dropbox, and more.

4. Modulus

Go check out Modulus, or jump back to our top free Node.js hosts.

Modulus Website Screen Grab

Yet another great free Node.js hosting service is Modulus. It’s is a premier Node.js hosting platform that provides a complete technology stack for application developers. This includes custom SSL, WebSockets, MongoDB, statistics, and more.

With Modulus, you can get $15 in starting credit to spend in your first 30 days of free service.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js

Limits – You receive a $15 credit on the first month

Simple Scalability – The flexible infrastructure ensures your Node.js business application has the resources it needs to handle any amount of demand. Instances of your application are run on mini-servers, called “Servos.” Servos can be dynamically added and removed from your application at any time and traffic is automatically load-balanced between them. You can decide to run these in any region Modulus has available in world (US and Europe, currently).

Auto-Scaling – Don’t worry about how your application is going to scale to meet demand. Just use the built-in auto-scaling capabilities. Auto-scaling automatically scales your project up or down to a number of Servos in a region based on custom-defined rules. Rules can be set up individually for each region your application is running in.

Persistent Storage – Node.js application projects running on Modulus have an unlimited amount of storage that is directly mounted to the file system and is instantly replicated to all instances of the application.

Powerful Statistics – Modulus has a motto of “track everything.” Every request that enters your Node.js application is stored and available in real time. Statistics are broken down by individual routes, so you can see which route is taking the longest to respond, which is transferring the most bandwidth, and which is the most active.

Other Free Features:

  • Websockets
  • Session Affinity
  • Multiple Node.js Versions
  • Servo Sizes
  • Integrated Mongo Database
  • CLI Deployment
  • Mobile Management
  • Custom Domains
  • Free Custom Domain SSL
  • Multiple Region Support
  • Notifications
  • No Tiers

5. Heroku

Go check out Heroku, or jump back to our top free Node.js hosts.

Heroku Website Screen Grab

Last but certainly not least, Heroku (her-OH-koo), which was founded in 2007, also boasts a completely free Node.js hosting plan for hobby use.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Scala | Clojure

Limits – 1X 512MB RAM | 1x CPU Share | Row limit of 10K | Four hours downtime/month

Add-Ons – Use technologies you love with more than 100 services in our add-ons marketplace. Add-ons are fully-managed services that are integrated into the Heroku platform. They can be provisioned and scaled in a single command and consumed by your application as loosely coupled components. Add-ons provide services for logging, caching, monitoring, and persistence.

Buildpacks – Buildpacks are collections of scripts for compiling apps on Heroku, specific to the frameworks and languages you use in your app. Heroku supports a set of default, open-source buildpacks, but you can also make your own or use one from the community.

Config – Heroku lets you manage environment-specific configurations (such as credentials for backing services) separately from your source code for greater safety and portability. In Heroku, this data can be managed with config vars, which are made available to your running application as simple environment variables.

heroku run – Sometimes you want to run one-off dynos on your app — run a script in your app’s environment, use your app’s console, et cetera. Using heroku run, you can quickly spin up a one-off instance of your app environment to run ad-hoc commands.

Deploy with Git – Use Git to deploy apps to Heroku in one command. Heroku will build and run the source application, handling compilation, dependencies, assets, and executables, so you can focus on code. Code pushed to the Heroku remote will be live and running on the platform quickly.

heroku fork – This command creates a duplicate instance of your application, running on Heroku immediately. It can be used to rapidly spin up new application environments, demonstrate feature branches on a running app, or migrate apps to Heroku Europe.

Releases – Whenever you deploy changes to your app, Heroku creates a new release of your app. They keep your app’s release history, and you can list all of your releases, who made them, and when. If something goes wrong in a release, use the rollback command to revert back to the latest release or a specific release until you can fix the problem.

Regions – Heroku has two geographic regions: US and Europe, so you can deploy apps closer to your users with less latency.

Conclusion

Hopefully this information is helpful to you in picking your first free Node.js host. If you have any personal experience with any other free Node.js hosting services and think they should be mentioned here, please comment below and let us know.

Have fun playing around with Node.js for free!

Questions or Comments? Ask Jacob!

Ask a question and Jacob will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.

  • Don’t be shy, feel free to let us know your experience with any of these Node.js hosts. Or if you have a better one in mind, please let us know!

  • Hi Jacob – what about DigitalOcean, Amazon, or Google App Engine? Those are some of the other services I’m exploring right now for a small Node.js app.

    • Hey Jesse, those are all great options for running a Node.js app as well. Although DigitalOcean isn’t free you typically can find a promo code for a couple free months, and both Amazon EC2 and Google App Engine have free tiers that allow you to use their services for free as well.

      These services didn’t make it into our top 5 hosts based off of our searching for free Node.js hosting services and the discussions around that on the web, but they definitely would each be viable options.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Then there is also amazon 1 year free plan but you will have to configure nodejs yourself on ec2

    • frankel0

      That’s true shash, and it’s definitely a great option if you are willing to install Node and haven’t already used your 1 free year =).

  • Guest

    Then there is also amazon 1 year free plan but you will have to configure nodejs yourself on ec2

  • Thomas Giles

    What is meant by a “row limit”?

    • frankel0

      On Heroku they also limit how large your database can be on each tier. The “row limit” refers to the maximum number of rows your database can have on the free plan.

      • Thomas Giles

        Ah, I see. Thanks for your help!

  • Robert Weiss

    I have shared hosting with hostforlife.eu. Can I run node.js on their hosting environment? Or I need to purchase dedicated server or VPS?

    Thank you

    • frankel0

      Robert,

      There is a good chance that you won’t be able to run NodeJS on shared hosting. You can ask your host for shell access and see. Most likely, you would need some sort of root (and shell) access to run nodejs.

      • Robert Weiss

        Hi franke,

        Thank you fro your response. I use their hosting and it is windows hosting, I dont think I have access to the server. Can node.js run on shared hosting?

        • frankel0

          In theory it could, in practice it is very unlikely that you would be able to configure it without command-line access at some level. There are some very good options though for cheap VPS solutions.

  • ZiLang

    OpenShift, Cloud9 are good choice except the storage are bit too small (1GB). The others are not free at all (maybe you can try for free)