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140 Comments

How do you host your Saas?

Hello

A lot of info is shared here, but I find it hard to find technical info about how
Saas indie hackers host their applications.

A good example is this HN post from a few weeks ago :
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29816504

Can you share your product SaaS practices?

  1. 26

    Render.com - it's a Heroku built for 2022, yet cheaper and more capable. There's very little reason for something like kubernetes or other complicated setups for most bootstrapped applications.

    1. 9

      Another alternative in this price range is the DigitalOcean App Platform. Heroku for 1/5th the price basically.

      1. 5

        DigitalOcean is great, but the cheapest app platform offering is $5/month for 512GB of RAM. Whereas a DigitalOcean droplet is $5/month with 1GB of RAM.

        I use the droplet and have found it pretty trivial to maintain the server so if you're cheap like me you can go for that option. You can even extend the performance further by adding some swap space which effectively gives you more RAM.

      2. 2

        I'm a huge fan of digital ocean's app platform. I'm very surprised that when people talk about cloud offerings, they always mention the ultra-complicated massive beasts (AWS, GCP, Azure) and they leave out the obvious choice for small apps, Digital Ocean. I used to be a Rackspace user and I appreciated their ease of use, but for some reason they had no media coverage either.

        A lot of people say "I want kubernetes". What they're really saying is "I want something where deployments are easy and have no downtime". And they should be looking into DO Apps or a competitor. NOT Kubernetes.

      3. 2

        This is what I use. I use a Dokku droplet too, so the experience is more or less exactly like the experience you get with Heroku. Super simple and easy to manage

      4. 1

        DigitalOcean is powerful with lot of well and whistles, economical and easy to use.

      5. 1

        I've almost hosted my MVP on Digital Ocean but heroku is something I use often so I know how to manage everything. I really want to find time to get started with digital ocean, their offering looks very good and is easy to use (maybe even easier than heroku).

      6. 1

        +1 for Digital Ocean app platform, super easy to setup and manage.

      7. 1

        Digital Ocean Apps is a really good option

      8. 1

        Will try this for my next project, essentially a VPS with a bit of devops niceties.

    2. 3

      Agree , im working with k8s in my day job and its money eater , good only for enterprises as i see it .

  2. 14

    Everything on Render.com for Testkit. Makes everything so much easier and with Docker servers, you have all the flexibility you need.

    I found that a lot of complex stacks have way too many parts that have to be maintained and taken care of. This costs money and time long-term, so I'd rather pay more for my hosting and have everything automated for me than pay a full DevOps team and take away time from Devs and DevOps to fix broken parts.

  3. 8

    First of all, I agree with other comments here that it's best to use what you know.

    A lot of these HN posts however will talk about complicated setups and stacks with many moving parts: microservices, kubernetes, docker, CI/CD toolchains, dozens of AWS services you've never heard of, and the list goes on.

    Again, if those are what you're familiar with, go use that! But you can run your SaaS perfectly fine without any of this. You can get to $1M ARR and beyond with a single dedicated server for $150/month if you want to. On the other hand I've talked to some founders who had more servers (AWS instances) than customers!

    Especially as an indie dev, simplicity has a lot of advantages. You can move fast, and in my opinion it's easier to guarantee security of simpler systems. You don't have the scalability needs of Facebook, and even a single server is very powerful these days. Rather firewall everything off on one node than having dozens of services all potentially exposing some port because you haven't fully studied all the configuration possibilities. Anyway just my $0.02.

    For hosting, I'm pretty happy with https://www.hetzner.com/en/ at the moment

    1. 1

      i agree with that , but what about the other setups when you install your server on bare metal ? what about serving static files , what about hacking your server
      what about caching ? how do you handle that ?

      1. 2

        A dedicated server could also serve static files itself. Proxy it through CloudFlare for caching and you can handle plenty of traffic. Security is always a concern of course, but that's in the case of both metal and cloud (lots of security issues stem from misconfiguration, not just from some genius heap overflow exploit). What kind of traffic / static file requirements do you have? Are we talking 10s of terabytes of data, or something small like a terabyte which would fit on a single server?

        1. 1

          can't i host the static files on CloudFlare , and make then connect with API
          to the backend server ?
          without hosting the static files on the server ?

          1. 2

            That should work eventually as CloudFlare is working on R2 for storage (similar to AWS S3, which you could also use of course), but I haven't used it. My process so far has been to simply host files on a dedicated server and if it's static just cache it with a CDN such as CloudFlare.

      2. 1

        Such setups you can do easily with tools like Cipi or Moss or manually ofc.

      3. 1

        This comment was deleted 7 days ago.

  4. 6

    I host https://nextlessjs.com on Cloudflare Pages for FREE.

    • CI/CD with GitOps included
    • Unlimited requests
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Unlimited sites
    • CDN included with fast network
    • SSL included
    • Pull request preview, perfect for development
    1. 2

      Not gonna lie this a great project 10/10.

      1. 2

        Thank you for your message!

    2. 2

      You mean you host NextJS on Cloudflare Pages?

      1. 1

        Yes, I hosted Next Js on Cloudflare Pages.

        But, Next JS in SSG mode ;)

        1. 2

          what does it means ? SSG nodes ? how do you host server side on Cloudflare ? or is it static ?

          1. 1

            Currently, Cloudflare Pages only support in static mode for Next JS.

            But, Cloudflare Page supports SvelteKit and Remix for server side. I didn't try it myself but I have followed the news. More and more framework will be supported like Next JS.

    3. 1

      Also using Cloudflare for https://daydots.app. It's incredible how much you get for free. Previously DigitalOcean was my go-to.

      1. 1

        Yes, you get a lot of feature for FREE and with the best performance.

        I also forget to mention Cloudflare Pages provide password protected your website for FREE. It cost $150 on Vercel or start at $19 on Netlify.

  5. 6

    Focus on product not tools.

    Until you hand over to a big CTO paid for by your investors, then use whatever you're familiar with. Do not follow the trends just because everyone says "oh AWS is so last year, Azure is the place now,... etc, etc" and similar stuff.

    Venture Cards is built on a good old fashioned dedicated server (albeit in the cloud) at Linode. Nothing fancy but they are well priced and reliable - even if most people here may go "Linode who?".

    I won't win awards for having a super-cool stack - I just care whether lots of startup founders signup to my free product or not 😊

    1. 1

      can you share you setup ? is it on 1 big server ? do you use CF ?
      what is the architecture ?

  6. 4

    I'm still using Heroku but after reading this thread I'm going to try render.com

  7. 4

    I'm using fly.io for my Phoenix app currently.

    I would also like to try Render if/when they have regions a bit closer to me (Australia, they currently only support Oregon [USA] and Frankfurt [Germany]).

    1. 2

      Fly is releasing all kinds of new features for Elixir. Have you also looked at Gigalixir? It’s similar to Heroku but doesn’t have many of the restrictions that limit the use of Elixir’s features.

      1. 1

        I did try Gigalixir, it worked fine but felt pretty barebones. I didn't find it any easier to use than fly - so fly felt like a more sane choice as a potential long-term solution

  8. 4

    I host everything on Azure, as they provide everything you need at any stage of an app. Might not always be the cheapest option, but gives the flexibility I need.

    My MVPs (justvalidate.it and my personal website at the moment) are hosted using Azure Static Web Apps (free tier), also includes a serverless backend. For data storage I use Azure Tables (also free for the volume I need). Advantages: Available for almost every frontend framework, and 100% free.

    Bigger apps (www.siniq.io for instance) are hosted using Azure Web Apps, with separate containerized images for backend and frontend. For this we also use MongoDB. Hosting this app runs us about $40 per month. Advantage is that it's very easy to scale this infrastructure when needed.

    I agree with the statement of @jkbl, it's a mostly matter of personal preference and budget!

    1. 1

      What is Static Web Apps ? is it like Cloudflare ?
      you pay 40$ but for many page views ? bandwidth ?

  9. 3

    I would recommend Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and specifically Render since it simplifies things leaving you more time to add features.

    Here's a list of PaaS applications.

  10. 3

    I use a Digital Ocean droplet for $5 / month. 1GB of RAM and 25GB of disk has been totally adequate for starting out. I also pay $1 / month for weekly backups of the machine, just in case. I run both the app server and a SQLite database there which is really great for indie devs because it's so simple to deploy and can scale pretty high actually. And managing the server really hasn't been that hard.

    Looking at the DigitalOcean App Platform now, the cheapest plan is $5 / month but you only get 512MB of RAM. I guess you pay for the convenience.

    One thing I'm nervous about is services that charge for bandwidth. I had bots hitting my site trying to find vulnerabilities and they would just hammer the site every night at midnight. I was able to set up fail2ban pretty easily but that isn't something I'd be able to do if my app was deployed on a managed platform and I'm not sure that I wouldn't get charged for something like that.

    1. 1

      You know, the DigitalOcean App platform gives you pure 512MB RAM for your application. When you host your own server - the server resources eat a lot of memory and leave you only that much for your pure app logic. I'm just saying.

      1. 2

        Let's see how true that is!

        I just logged in to my server and checked and my total RAM usage for everything including my app is 311MB. My app is using about 10% memory (that would be around 100MB) so you're right, it looks like with nginx and everything running I lose around 200MB. Even so, I still have 700MB free, plus swap space (which allows you to go over the 1GB by using disk which is slower), so this server can go a lot further than app platform for the same price.

        App platforms are always going to charge you more for the convenience. Totally depends on your specific needs what you think is valuable.

        For me, I've done almost no server config and still get the cheapest solution that will scale the furtherest :) Plus, I can run my database off SQLite which means extremely simple/reliable deployment and I don't also have to pay for a managed db server (which are usually $15/month). You can't run SQLite in most app platforms.

        1. 1

          Good for you! Looks like, you do enjoy building and defending your castle:). And it is commendable. You said: "App platforms are always going to charge you more for convenience." Convenience or much more such as solid, highly specialized dev/ops and security work that requires skills, training, continuous education, vigilance... Even with something as simple as bread most people don't bake it at home. If you could convert somehow your extra maintenance work (above PaaS level) to $ would it still be so cost-effective? Also, what size is your app?

        2. 1

          You are totally right. I'm just pointing out that fact

  11. 3

    What I do:

    1. Supabase for user managment
    2. Hosting on linode $5 plan
    1. 1

      I've started switching a couple of projects from Heroku/Django to Supabase and have found them to be really great and solid! The only concern I have is the RLS as I'm far more comfortable with Python than I am with SQL!

  12. 3

    I switched from Herku to self-hosted Dokku a few years ago. That's running on a 16GB VPS from SSDnodes.

    About Dokku:

    • almost as easy to set up as Heroku
    • comes with ready to use common databases, inc. automated backups to something like S3
    • still not confidence inspiring then a Heroku/Render platform (e.g. viewing logs)

    About SSDnodes:

    • very cheap (USD83.30/year)
    • not too convinced about the performance - usually all good, but one of my fun projects I do download a few GB of media files and the download speed is highly variable

    Other tools I consider crucial:

    • Rollbar for error tracking
    • CND (I'm using bunny.net) to serve images/JS/CSS files
    • Gitlab for source code as well as CI/CD - running my test suite before automatically deploying to staging environment (one click gated deploy to production)
    1. 1

      cool , how come SSDnodes is so cheep ?

      1. 1

        Some say their reliability is not as great as Hetzner, OVH, AWS, DO etc. but I haven't had any major issues.

        Another point for sure is that they sell 1+ year plans (their cheapest prices are for 3 year plans) and being it VPS they can probably oversubscribe their hardware as some people stop using the service at some point. But they also need to deal a little less with high churn rate.

    1. 2

      So did I, does the cost bother you at all? Or do you have a relatively high value product that doesn't require a lot of compute

      1. 2

        I also use Heroku, and I thought the cost was ok. I do $30/mo for 2 hosted apps. Judging from these replies, people can do better though!

        I feel like I get a lot of value for my $30 in regards to ease of use, management, etc.

        1. 2

          Yea that's not bad at all! At that price point it's not worth your time. Some people spend easily hundreds though, then it might be worth switching.

      2. 1

        We have quite the high bill (2 regions, 2 DBs for HA, multiple apps and pipelines, etc.) but still love Heroku. It's just rock solid, works for us, support is acceptable.

        Other options, like render.com or DO, simply do not yet have the feature set that we require from a PaaS. Maybe they catch up in 2022? We'll see.

        1. 1

          What is Render missing that Heroku has?

          1. 2

            e.g. this: "Render does not currently support promoting a read replica to a primary, and we do not automatically fail over to your read replica on primary instance failure. We plan to introduce highly-available database options soon."
            Source: https://render.com/docs/databases

            But they are getting there.

            1. 2

              (Render founder) HA and Point-in-Time-Recovery for Postgres are top of mind for our next set of features. What else would you like to see before making the jump?

              1. 1

                Probably worth a separate call, but what we really like is that Heroku is so hands off, stable and simply established, i.e. not a startup. It's boring technology and we know exactly what we get (the good and the bad stuff), that's why we are willing to pay a premium.

                I also did not do any deep DD on render.com since the killer feature (HA postgres) is not available yet, so not sure what of these things you already support.

                My wish list would be:

                • VPC/private space per region and app
                • pipelines ala Heroku (I know Github could help here)
                • VPC peering
                • HA for regions (so that we can automatically failover)
                • HA for postgres (and affordable!)
                • CDN, Redis, Scheduler, CLI, ...

                A separate big one would be GDPR compliance and multiple EU regions.

                1. 1

                  This is great feedback, thanks. I'd love to continue the conversation over email; will reach out at the email in your IH profile.

            2. 2

              Oh, fair enough - I'm using AWS RDS for database as Render Postgres can't be configured for logical replication.

            3. 1

              Same concern for me, still on Heroku for my main app. For a side project, trying out Render.

  13. 2

    Netlify.com & Render.com are my best picks for starting any projects.

    • Netlify is perfect for web projects. Functions (similar to AWS Lambda) make up for the lack of support for "real" backend
    • Render is young but damn impressive in my eyes. For microservices it's an awesome PaaS in my opinion.
  14. 2

    I wrote a book on web application deployment called Deployment from Scratch and use the attached demo to run my side projects.

    It's a small Bash script to configure a single server for a git-push deployment. It's very maintainable since things like installing Ruby are separated task.

    I like that I don't have to worry about Ansible version upgrades and changes. Bash will survive a lot more years.

  15. 2

    I host https://retroteam.app/ on Firebase and it runs great and cost me only 10 cents a month. Albeit I only I have 400 users right now.

    The speed is great and it's easy to make changes. I have hosted on various platforms in the past but this comes out on top in terms of ease of use and development.

  16. 2

    Everything is on Azure for me; including bespoke projects I've done for clients and the Saas product I'm currently working on.

    Most of the bespoke projects I've got running on a shared Windows VM that I have full remote access to, although the SaaS project I'm going for a more modern structure as I want applications more isolated from each other from a security pov, plus it will be easier to set up pipelines, etc, as needed.

    For my SaaS product the landing page, and the web application itself, which are both done in React, are using the 'Static Web App' resource. The API/backend is using .NET Core running on a Linux container via an 'App Service' plan. Database is using 'Azure SQL database' service.

    If configured wrong the hosting bill can really blow out, make sure you're not paying for specs, etc, that you don't need. If you use Azure (or AWS for that matter) monitor your billing closely, and set up cost alerts/budgets.

    A small tip for some, If you have a registered company, you can become a Microsoft Partner, buy an Action Pack for $475 per year, and get $100 usd per month Azure credit as part of the pack, which for me helps enough to make the pricing reasonable as the net result is about $700 saving for the year, leaving me not too much of a balance to pay... without that credit I'd likely be looking at cheaper options though.

  17. 2

    Secret tip: Dokku on Digital Ocean. Enjoy the convenience of Heroku (Dokku is an open source clone) without the price tag.

  18. 2

    If you are an Elixir Phoenix dev, I wrote a blog post covering the best hosting options for Elixir comparing Gigalixir, Fly, Render, and Heroku.

  19. 2

    It depends on your requirements but I personally use Digital Ocean for most of my projects.

  20. 2

    For standard web applications I think AWS Elastic Beanstalk and GCP App Engine are ideal hosting and deployment options for most indie hackers that are also developers.

    Platforms like Heroku are needlessly expensive once you outgrow their free tier. With Elastic Beanstalk and App Engine you get a lot of out of box tooling at a reasonable cost. Elastic Beanstalk actually doesn't cost anything extra outside of the AWS resources being used underneath.

    I find working directly with cloud infrastructure like AWS EC2 or GCP Compute Engine has too much overhead for an indie hacker product. At my previous companies we would often build out in-house tooling to manage deployments, etc; but with a small team it doesn't make sense to manage it all on your own.

    Tools like Heroku and Firebase can be good fits for some projects, but others might run into limitations or cost-prohibitive use cases that make them sub-optimal.

  21. 2

    One thing that I found throughout my years of creating and deploying multiple services is that the database is usually the one thing that you really want to get right.

    Recreating a service running on Heroku, Linode, GCP, AWS, DigitalOcean or what not is fairly easy.

    Recovering from a dataloss is far more inconvenient.

    Traditionally my setup has been some sort of virtual server provided by the previously mentioned providers + a managed PostgreSQL database.
    This is working really well but the annoying thing is that the cost for the database is usually far greater than the cost for the rest of the setup.

    Recently I found Litestream.io which is now my preferred choice when spinning up something new that will handle up to moderate traffic.

    What is Litestream you might wonder?

    Litestream enables you to sync a SQLite3 database to any type of cloud storage (S3 bucket etc) and also gives you a really easy way to restore your database incase it gets corrupt.

    I put together a boilerplate Django project (dockerized) that you can read more about (and link to repo) here:
    👉 https://www.tigersandtacos.dev/posts/django-with-sqlite3-made-durable-with-litestream-and-caddy/

    I hope you will find Litestream as useful as I have!

    1. 1

      I'm totally with you on the SQLite / Litestream train. Extremely simple to deploy and actually quite performant. I run my app and database from a single DigitalOcean droplet for $5/month with SQLite/ Litestream and have had no problems.

      See the post Consider SQLite for a detailed analysis of SQLite in production.

      1. 1

        very cool concept , thanks!

  22. 2

    I’m building https://duffelapp.com using Vercel. If you’re working with Next.js, this option will accelerate development a lot! I set up deployment in like 1 hour and subsequent changes are deployed in a few minutes. Wrote a quick piece about it here

  23. 2

    For the SaaS I'm currently building everything is hosted on Railway.app. It's like Vercel but also for your backend and database.

    1. 1

      This looks interesting, I've never heard about it! But I found their pricing page rather confusing. Can you share how many visitors/resources/whatever you have and how much you pay? Thanks!

      1. 1

        So far I've only been using it to host a new product that hasn't launched yet. I host a Next.js frontend, TS backend and Postgres database.

        I currently pay nothing because the app is only used by me and one early tester.

  24. 2

    I host form-data.com and typefully.io on cloudflare pages/workers
    Base tier is free and super generous. Next tier is $5/month.
    It also includes key/value store, cdn, and serverless environment that runs on the edge so it's super fast.

    Before cf I also used google firebase for hosting, but I think cf is much faster and has a higher up time.
    I still use google Firestore as a database since cf doesn't provide one (yet?)

    1. 1

      How are you handling auth and longer term data storage? My understanding was workers KV was only good for super low write apps, but maybe i'm out of date.

      1. 1

        For auth I use firebase authentication.
        Cloudflare k/v is good for write once or write-slow and frequently-read data. There is no problem with long-term data. It is as sustainable as any other db. The main advantage is the very low latency it has for read ops, and its global availability. So it is great as a kind of cache layer. I use it when users publish their forms to store data that is needed to render the form.
        But when users edit their forms, i do it against firestore db.
        I also use it to store form-submissions when they just get to the worker. I later move them to firestore asynchronously. It gives me much faster response time, and higher availability.
        I would gladly use cf kv for that as well, but read-after-write can take up to 1 min to get the latest update, so it's not really feasible.

  25. 2

    We are big fans of Firebase for our SaaS API business. While some are concerned about costs, they are definitely manageable if your business is growing.

    Here is an overview of our Firebase tech stack: https://www.ayrshare.com/our-firebase-tech-stack/

    1. 1

      The two problem I see with firebase:

      1. vendor lock-in
      2. Non-relational database
      1. 1

        Vendor lock-in is difficult to avoid. Firebase certainly has more, but it also handles a lot of the dev ops for you. Even if you use AWS, you start falling into lock-in because they offer amazing tools/services that make things easier - Digital Ocean does this too with their managed services. If you truly want to avoid it, you'll need to spin up your own email server, machines at a data center, CRM, etc. One company I worked at went to the extreme of creating their own programming language so they had full control. If you have the money/time/people, sure, but you need to weigh the infamous "vendor lock-in" vs quickly building your business and getting to market.

        For relational vs no-sql, that isn't a negative, but a preference/business decision.

        1. 2

          I could move my entire stack over to another cloud in a day. Everything is either dockerized, a static site or Postgres. All standard open source and portable technologies. And for email, could swamp a config in my adaptable library and be on another provider in a few hours.

  26. 2

    I use AWS, I mostly use Lambda, DynamoDB and CloudFront

    1. 1

      this is what im think using , how many page views ? how much you pay ?

  27. 2

    I keep it simple, AWS EC2.
    And AWS gives free credits to startups, so be sure to get those.

    1. 3

      AWS as all for full web app is far from simple , so either your app is beta small
      or very few users ...

      1. 1

        I think you can handle millions of users with just one basic AWS EC2 instance that has Ubuntu and at least 8 GB of RAM.

        Some folks seem to worry about scalability and millions of users, before even having 1000 signups.

        But then again, I've seen people using overcomplicated frontend stacks just to build some basic landing pages.

        For me, if I would start a new SaaS, I would just go with a basic monolith architecture, until I see that it actually gains traction.

        I'll have plenty of time to split it into microservices after that.

        As for Endtest.io, we actually use AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Clloud and MacStadium., and a whole bunch of other systems.
        As mentioned in our Subprocessors section.

        We use so many cloud systems because we provide a cross-browser cloud with Windows and MacOS machines where users can run their automated tests.

  28. 2

    at Nolly.io i use Aws
    ec2 s3 elasticache rds ...

    1. 2

      How much do you pay for that? You likely use a couple of additional AWS services as well?

      1. 1

        Aws free tier can cover up a lot of costs for you especially if you are just starting

        check: https://aws.amazon.com/free/

        1. 1

          the problem with AWS ( i see it at work ) that once your app going to scale you are going to pay allot , pay attention ...

        2. 1

          Especially if your account is younger than 12 months. It is just that even if you have are enjoying the free tier on your Lambda, then you pay for the API Gateway or S3, database, DNS, notification service or some CI integration.

  29. 2

    I'm using a $5 machine on Vultr. It is my first time managing my own server, it can take a little time to set up, but it is cheap. I find it easier to manage than something like AWS where you can mess up quickly if you don't know what you are doing.

  30. 2

    For Raport we use Google Cloud.

    Other small apps I built, are hosted on VPS’s from different providers.

    Overall I think it is best to use the tech you know, that it’s easy to maintain and that you can afford.

  31. 1

    piku.github.io

    30+ web apps on a $10/month Digital Ocean box.

  32. 1

    I host my front end on vercel and github. Circle for my community, Google meet for live classes, repl as an online IDE.

    https://fulldiv.com/

  33. 1

    Digital Ocean + Dokku (open source Heroku). Simple and cost effective.

  34. 1

    When you are starting a business, time is everything and you want to deploy your app as quickly as possible to get your MVP out. The following platforms will help you do that. I use two platforms to host my Saas apps: PythonAnywhere for the backend and Vercel for the frontend. This is especially useful if you are using Django REST framework on the backend and NextJS (a type of react framework) on the frontend because it is extremely fast and easy to deploy. Furthermore, Django's motto is "the framework for perfectionists with deadlines". In summary, I use PythonAnywhere and Vercel to deploy my Django/React Saas apps. Let me know if you have any questions!

  35. 1

    I will be publishing my own saas soon. It was good. :)

  36. 1

    Its going to be Heroku, as a backend engineer I deploy my AAPIson heroku.

    Why?

    • Super easy to deploy Flask APIs
    • Simply connect Github to deploy with just a click
    • Heroku also supports one tap deployment
    • Heroku CLI is super powerful and helps me deploy and edit my resource files without the need to deploy it again.

    But lately I'm using Microsoft Azure which I got for free with student discount and surely can say Heroku is way simple!

  37. 1

    I host cronocloud.com on Heroku 👾 for the backend, and Firebase for the front 🔥.

  38. 1

    I've always used Vultr mainly because off how cheap it is. One thing I feel it's missing though is a managed database solution.

  39. 1

    I keep my setup quite simple. Hetzner server for 5€, Cloudflare for dns, Cloud66 to manage the server and database (with backups!) for 15$.

  40. 1

    My side projects are either on Heroku (I've got a decent free tier because it's an old account) or on a Digital Ocean droplet running dokku (OS Heroku variant).

    By using one simple setup, it reduces friction during setup. For instance since GitHub is linked, auto deploy & staging apps "just work".

    When cost outweight the benefits, like investing in self hosting setup, I do that.

    I've learned that in the begining it needs to be as low friction as possible to get the project running, for my own side projects but also client SaaS projects.

    These are Ruby on Rails projects.
    Nextjs frontends and "simple" static sites are hosted at Vercel

    1. 2

      I totally agree. Heroku's real value comes from it's integrations and ease of usage, not it's price point.

  41. 1

    Vercel, Vercel, oh… and Vercel.

    I find it awesome for deploying my web apps, websites, and APIs.

  42. 1

    Digital Ocean and Dokku with 4gb swap space. Performs like a champ

  43. 1

    For anything poised to grow - AWS.

  44. 1

    I use Netlify for pretty much everything (I am biased there because I used to work for them), and serverless functions are through them or Azure (depending on how much power I need).

  45. 1

    I host my app on Hetzner using a simple docker-compose file. My landing page is just a static site on Cloudflare Pages.

    It's quick and easy, and both Hetzner + Cloudflare run on green energy, which is important to me!

  46. 1

    I think indie hackers are focused on validating new ideas than tools. Once an idea is validated, then it will have enough revenue to scale up the servers.

    For LAMP stack developers out there, I personally use the cheapest server ($5) from Digital Ocean and ServerPilot for server management. ServerPilot is flexible and makes it effortless.

  47. 1

    I use pythonanywhere instead of what I was using (heroku) for price and configuration. You have a free tier for testing. Really good choice for beginners and also for more experienced developers. I've seen a lot of good tutorials out there, obviously only works with python backend programing like Django and Flask.

  48. 1

    For BudgetSheet I use:

    • Next.js + Serverless deployments for API endpoints
    • Vercel hosting ($20/mth plan for longer function runtimes + more resources)
    • Logflare for logs/error monitoring of my app (Vercel plugin)
    • AWS RDS PostgreSQL database (hosted in the same region)

    This setup allows:

    • Effortless and Instant Scalability
    • Highly performant and fast-loading website and API
    • High security (AWS Lambda/serverless sandboxed code + SOC & PCI compliance)
    • High availability + high uptime
    • Peace of mind for me! 😎

    I used to deploy things to VPSes and various servers here and there (and I still have a few projects running on some!), but this setup has been so much easier and worry free compared to my other projects. I highly recommend a serverless approach.

  49. 1

    Cloudflare for everything apart from a database.

  50. 1

    Mostly digitalicean, with Cloudflare for DNS.
    I use Cloudflare workers to fix some stuff on the fly and serve analytics for a everything is on the domain.

    I will switch to terraform on Digital Ocean soon... Just because I can spin more than one server it I need to and can have a test environment I can start and shutdown easily.

  51. 1

    Laravel Forge + $5 digital ocean droplet. As others have said, very little reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

  52. 1

    i find https://netlify.com useful & easy to host frontend of the SaaS while using AWS to host the backend with Mongodb in a VPC

  53. 1

    I'm using Vercel + MongoDB and for BunnyCDN for some other stuffs.

    1. 1

      So you have to pay for MongoDB if you're using a private VPC? How is it hosted?

      1. 1

        It's MongoDB Atlas free plan

        1. 1

          But in the free plan Mongodb allows inbound requests from anywhere with no VPC configuration right?

  54. 1

    For small projects i think Heroku or vercel is just fine but for bigger projects more complex platforms such as DigitalOcean and AWS are better in terms of maintainance and scalability. Hosting doesn't need to be complicated unless you are running several micro services which consume a lot of resources.

  55. 1

    Hi 👋
    For now, I just use a simple Heroku hosting and it works well enough.
    IMO, until you've proper needs for scaling it perfectly does the job to use PaaS such as Heroku or DigitalOcean.

  56. 1

    Heroku, AWS and DigitalOcean are good choices to host SaaS projects.

    1. 1

      What database do you use and where do you host it, @LisaMay?

  57. 1

    I wrote an article on this subject on our blog.
    TL;DR:

    • hosting: Hetzner Cloud
    • services: AWS S3 and SES, Hetzner VPN, load balancing, block storage, and managed SSL certificates, Stripe for payments
    • programming languages: Go (golang), TypeScript
    • software: Docker, HashiStack (Consul + Nomad + Vault) for container orchestration, Traefik for routing, GoLand and Visual Studio Code for development

    The HashiStack is self-hosted on three nodes. No need for a complex Kubernetes setup :)

  58. 1

    I'm building MakePoster.Art on vercel - for everything, both back-end and front-end. Next.js lets you build simple .api routes, which is enough for what I need to do right now (.pdf generation).

    I had previously built the foundations using react / express + hosting on heroku - but switched for the SEO benefits of a static site, and realised that you don't need a separate backend with next.js. Much simpler!

  59. 1

    So let's say, if I have a web app I'm planning to launch in a few months, right now I'm looking at Azure or AWS for host/storage, what do you think I should do? If any of you experienced guys can edify me with a step-wise comparison so it makes it easier and effective to understand? Thanks.

  60. 1

    I am currently working on my first real SaaS project, and until it takes off I will be hosting it on a Raspberry Pi 4, which resides in my attic 😃. The project itself runs inside a docker container, with mysql running on the same pi. I manage it myself, manually.

    This resonates with what I've read in other comments, choose what you are familiar with, so you can focus on what is really important.

  61. 1

    I host the frontend of olwi.xyz on Vercel, the backend is on a DigitalOcean server. A cloud database.

  62. 1

    I use AWS for the entire hosting & Cloudflare for the DNS

  63. 1

    For Pigmnts, I'm using Firebase Auth and Firebase Hosting for the webapp, and Cloudflare Workers for some backend code(which is quite limited in the product)

  64. 1

    Heroku for 90% of my projects, speed of setup/ deployment outweighs any future expensive pricing - (high cost is tomorrow's problem 😅).

  65. 1

    I am hosting a web app on AWS EC2 and using Cloudflare for DNS. Also, there is a Kubernetes cluster on backend to orchestrate user invoked pods.

    I agree with the idea of using tools that you know is the best way to get the job done.

  66. 1

    Tried Heroku, too pricey.

    Tried DigitalOcean, too complicated (actually, you have to set up everything manually and I found the process too long and complex, I'm not an admin).

    Currently, I use AWS - the first year it's free, then I use their credits for startups (~$1000), should be enough for several years.

    1. 1

      When do the credits expire?

  67. 1

    Digital ocean app platform, using a docker image. I have little reason to use anything else, unless you start to require a lot of RAM or CPU cores.

  68. 1

    Azure. It has everything at every price tier.

  69. 1

    for a simple site which is all I have public at the moment, I use https://www.linode.com ... its about $8 a month including backing it up and a restore option. Fast enough.

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