Where to Find Free Node.js Hosting — Top 8 Hosts

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.

Next, you’ll need Node-friendly hosting. If you’re just starting out, free probably sounds pretty good. Heck, who doesn’t love free? When your site or app’s needs grow, however, free plans probably won’t cut it. We’ve evaluated the web’s leading NodeJS hosting providers to give you the best options for free and almost-free hosting.

Top 3 Cheap Node.js Hosts – Best Value

Node.js hosting poses many advantages for JavaScript developers, and, as you might guess, finding a free service that doesn’t sacrifice quality can be tricky. We recommend opting for an affordable, high-powered server host with plans that specialize in, or at least are capable of facilitating, Node hosting. Having tested the top VPS and dedicated server plans on the market, we found A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, and SiteGround to bring the best value to the Node table.

VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Turbo VPS and Turbo Cache options for 20x faster page loads
  • Quadruple redundant network with 24/7 network security monitoring
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN, plus auto-installs with Softaculous available
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $5.00
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 20 GB - 50 GB
Domain Name $14.99
VPS Hosting Plans www.a2hosting.com/vps

Our Expert's A2 Hosting Review

While A2's Turbo platform serves as the perfect "training wheels," so to speak, before migrating from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, A2 Hosting also offers some stellar VPS options. "We still do... read more +

While A2's Turbo platform serves as the perfect "training wheels," so to speak, before migrating from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, A2 Hosting also offers some stellar VPS options. "We still do quite a bit of VPS, which is actually where we’ve seen the strongest area of growth," Bryan said.

VPS Hosting (Dynamic and Cloud)

A2's growth in the VPS hosting space didn't surprise us. They offer two packaged solutions: Dynamic VPS and Cloud VPS, which are both hosted on their SwiftServer platform, with SSDs for page loading speeds up to three times faster than average.

They offer 24/7/365 live chat support, a public phone number to speak to an actual human when you need help, and no additional fee for premium support. All VPS users get full root access, plus cPanel and their choice of operating system.

Featuring: Next-Generation Cloud VPS Hosting

A2’s Cloud VPS users receive the ultimate redundancy and reliability of a high-availability failover, absolutely free. Customers can create their own custom-fit server and only pay for the features they want. Then, users can control said resource consumption within cPanel, and resize their account as needed.

Performance, Page Loading, and A2-Optimized Solutions

When it comes to speed and performance, A2 Hosting pulls out all the stops. Their Turbo VPS speed-boosting option features their Turbo Servers, which, partnered with their exclusive Site Accelerator, produce page load speeds up to 20 times faster than average.

Turbo Cache

For caching, the Turbo platform is also equipped with A2’s Turbo Cache product, which works similarly to a Varnish cache. The Turbo Cache stores and serves HTML contents without running PHP, and unlike Varnish, Turbo Cache works with SSL. A2’s Turbo Servers are enabled with SPDY and HTTP/2 support, with ESI as well.

A2-Optimized Plugins

A2 has developed several plugins for cPanel, WordPress, PrestaShop, et cetera, to ensure easy setup and installation, while keeping the A2 environment in mind. Not only are many installations 1-click, but auto-optimizations are available as well. In the case of their WordPress plugin, “it’s got a nice, pre-configured environment that’s going to be good for most users,” Bryan explained, “and then if you want to configure it or customize it yourself, of course, you’re able to do that.” A2 also offers an auto-hardening plugin for WordPress users for protection against hacker attacks.

24/7 Support & Security

With their “Guru Crew” support team available round-the-clock, A2 also offers 24/7 network security monitoring and proactive protection measures. The “Perpetual Security” included features HackScan, A2’s hacker detection mechanism, KernelCare for daily, rebootless kernel auto-updates, as well as virus scanning and defense against brute-force attacks.

VPS Hosting with A2 in Conclusion

VPS hosting with A2 holds a breadth of opportunities for customization, cost control, and custom solutions built for their server network. With an emphasis on performance and a commitment to solving customer problems, you won't regret going "Turbo" with A2 Hosting's VPS packages.

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VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 50% off the first month with added discounts the first year
  • Real-time redundancy powered by a cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses with enterprise-grade CentOS
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
VPS Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

Our Expert's InMotion Review

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere. Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6,... read more +

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.

Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6, which is incredibly fast and secure. Each of their plans also come with an awesome amount of RAM for the server cost, so the speed-to-dollar ratio is high with this host.

InMotion’s VPS packages run on CentOS 6 Linux operating systems and all feature a license for cPanel. Each plan also comes with Web Hosting Management (WHM) software, making it super-easy to resell some unused server resources.

InMotion's reputation for uptime is second-to-none, with a solid track record as a large-scale VPS host and a large, friendly support team available at any time.

Lastly, InMotion has a 90-day money-back guarantee and offers a choice of datacenters, which are nice customer-centric features. Their support is top-notch and 24 hours. We highly recommend you check them out if you are looking for a VPS with great hardware and reseller options at a low price.

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VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • Fully managed cloud hosting with ultra-fast performance and scalability
  • 3 datacenters, FREE Cloudflare CDN, and daily backups
  • SuperCacher, Git integration, and 1-click install for popular CMSs
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $80.00
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 40 GB - 120 GB
Domain Name New or Transfer
VPS Hosting Plans www.siteground.com/cloud

Our Expert's SiteGround Review

When it comes to VPS hosting, SiteGround does things a little differently. Instead of managing a typical virtual private server network, they have their very own cloud platform that they built from the ground-up. It's... read more +

When it comes to VPS hosting, SiteGround does things a little differently. Instead of managing a typical virtual private server network, they have their very own cloud platform that they built from the ground-up. It's similar to VPS, with shell access included, but it's much more scalable, according to Tenko.

An Alternative to VPS: SiteGround Cloud Hosting

Their managed cloud hosting includes thousands of containers and is much faster than most products you'll find on the market. A single cloud instance can be provisioned, up, and running in seconds, according to Tenko. "Unlike most of the container cloud platforms out there, it's completely secure," he said.

Tenko also told us they've done around 70 kernel patches to ensure security for their cloud hosting innovation. “We’re really obsessed with performance and security," he said, "and we really obsess over doing everything ourselves, because we believe that’s the best way to do it.”

The Motivation Behind Building a Cloud Container Platform In-House

When asked about the motivation behind crafting an in-house cloud platform rather than using a container product off the shelf, Tenko said, "there are a lot of reasons, but the main one is flexibility." It may require more groundwork in the beginning, but being able to dictate changes to the technology means that SiteGround stands out, providing an enhanced, faster, more-scalable service. "People feel that they're getting something custom," he said.

SiteGround Prefers In-House to Off-the-Shelf

The container platform that their cloud hosting is built upon isn't the only in-house technology they've got up their hosting sleeve. Instead of using third-party software, the SiteGround team writes almost all of their software themselves.

In-House Software: From Server Isolation to Customer Service

Among SiteGround's many custom solutions is their unique server isolation system. The technology shields servers from falling victim to the vulnerability of single, corrupted accounts. SiteGround was the first in their field to develop such a mechanism.

SiteGround also created their own backup system, which runs daily backups in about an hour, a downtime prevention mechanism that has yielded stellar uptime rates, and their SuperCacher, which offers four caching options for optimum load times.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, SiteGround developed the software to build their very own chat system and ticketing system, which enable them to provide the ultimate customer support. Ivo told us, "customers come for the customer service, but they stay because of the technology."

Final Word on SiteGround's VPS Alternative (Cloud Hosting)

With each custom innovation SiteGround has engineered, customers have reported being pleasantly surprised by how much the technology simplifies their hosting experience. SiteGround's cloud hosting service is no different. They offer all the hit features they're known for, plus the added scalability and security that surpasses most VPS hosting providers. If you're ready to move beyond shared hosting, and want to do so with a king of customer service and tech solutions, look no further than SiteGround's cloud hosting.

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See more VPS hosts for Node.js »

Top 5 Free Node.js Hosting Services

We’ve scoured the web to find the consensus on the best Node.js hosting with a $0 price tag. Below we break down the feature sets and limitations of the most popular providers.

Node.js Host Languages Limits Highlight
RedHat OpenShift Node.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Perl | Ruby | More Host 3 applications Built-in private database; completely free within limits
Nodejitsu Node.js $20 credit for first month Amazing support from developers like you over IRC
Microsoft Azure Node.js | Java | PHP | Python | .NET $200 credit for first month Provision Windows and Linux Virtual Machines and applications in minutes
Modulus Node.js $15 credit for first month Built-in auto-scaling capabilities so your application can scale to demand
Heroku Node.js | Java | PHP | Ruby | Python | Scala | Clojure 1x CPU Share | Row limit 10K Technologies you love with more than 100 services in the add-ons marketplace

If we’ve left out any Node.js hosts you think are worthy of recommendation, let us know!

1. RedHat OpenShift

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

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 other free Node.js hosts by offering a no-trial, truly free Node hosting platform; however, the #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

Scalability – Automatically scale up or down as your application requires

Geographic Reach – Deploy apps closer to your users with less latency

Support – 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 Community

Hop over to this article to read more rave reviews of OpenShift and Red Hat.

2. Nodejitsu

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

Another highly recommended free Node hosting provider is Nodejitsu, a large contributor to the Node.js community since 2009. This team knows 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 of charge.

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js

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

Support – Amazing support from developers like you over IRC

Infrastructure – Infrastructure for all individual plans on blazing-fast Joyent Smart Machines

Deployment – Single-line deployment with CLI tool (run jitsu deploy); free continuous deployment for public and private repos through GitHub Webhooks and Travis CI

Websocket Support – First platform to support Websockets; Nodejitsu’s open-source node-http-proxy module is used for almost every platform that currently supports Websockets

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

Database Management – Easy database provisioning with MongoDB, CouchDB, or Redis

At Nodejitsu, open-source is part of the team identity. The company offers to host open-source apps for free in support of the free software movement. Apply here.

3. Microsoft Azure

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

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 – Receive a $200 credit your first month (depending on total spending)

Infrastructure – Instant provisioning for Windows and Linux VMs and applications

App Development – Build and deploy apps for Android, iOS, and Windows; auto-scaling

Data Insights – Managed SQL and NoSQL data services; cloud-based SQL server and HDInsight to build Hadoop clusters for data analysis

Get started with Azure and easily manage user accounts, synchronize with exisitng on-prem directories, and get single sign-on access on Azure, Office 365, and hundreds of other popular SaaS applications, including Salesforce, DocuSign, Google Apps, Box, and Dropbox.

4. Modulus

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

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

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

What You Get For Free:

Languages / Frameworks – Node.js

Limits – $15 credit the first month

Scalability – Flexible infrastructure; application instances run on mini-servers called Servos, which can be dynamically added or removed on the fly

Auto-Scaling – Built-in auto-scaling based on custom-defined rules (set up individually for each region in which your application is running)

Storage – Unlimited peristent storage directly mounted to the file system and instantly replicated to all application instances

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

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.

5. Heroku

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

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; 10K row limit; four hours of downtime per month

Add-Ons – 100s of fully managed services for logging, caching, monitoring, and persistence can be provisioned and scaled in a single command and consumed by your application as loosely coupled components

Buildpacks – Collections of scripts for compiling apps on Heroku, specific to the frameworks and languages you use in your app; create your own, use one from community, or use a default script

Deployment – 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.

Backups & Disaster Recovery – New release created with each deployed change; detailed release history logged automatically; rollbacks available for disaster recovery

Regions – US and Europe

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.

If you’d like 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, quickly spins up a one-off instance of your app environment to run ad-hoc commands. Using heroku fork, you can create a duplicate instance of your application running on Heroku immediately. This can be used to rapidly spin up new application environments, demonstrate feature branches on a running app, or migrate apps to Heroku Europe.

Conclusion

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

Find Other Node.js Hosting Services

Have fun playing around with Node.js for free or almost free!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandra Leslie

Alexandra Leslie serves as Tech Vertical Manager of Digital Brands Inc, spearheading the charge to deliver technical expertise and thought leadership to our rapidly growing audience of developers, engineers, and website owners here at HostingAdvice. You'll find her engaging with leaders in web hosting and tangentially related industries, enjoying honest discussions of their cutting-edge technologies. She loves getting her hands dirty with comprehensive reviews of popular hosting platforms and services, and she's a die-hard WordPress fan. Alexandra leads the HostingAdvice team with a passion for translating technical jargon into digestible action items anyone can use to build, monetize, and scale a web presence.