DigitalOcean vs Heroku: What are the differences?
Developers describe DigitalOcean as "Deploy an SSD cloud server in less than 55 seconds with a dedicated IP and root access". We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel. On the other hand, Heroku is detailed as "Build, deliver, monitor and scale web apps and APIs with a trail blazing developer experience". Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
DigitalOcean and Heroku are primarily classified as "Cloud Hosting" and "Platform as a Service" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by DigitalOcean are:
- We provide all of our users with high-performance SSD Hard Drives, flexible API, and the ability to select to nearest data center location.
- SSD Cloud Servers in 55 Seconds
- We provide a 99.99% uptime SLA around network, power and virtual server availability. If we fail to deliver, we’ll credit you based on the amount of time that service was unavailable.
On the other hand, Heroku provides the following key features:
- Agile deployment for Ruby, Node.js, Clojure, Java, Python, Go and Scala.
- Run and scale any type of app.
- Total visibility across your entire app.
"Great value for money", "Simple dashboard" and "Good pricing" are the key factors why developers consider DigitalOcean; whereas "Easy deployment", "Free for side projects" and "Huge time-saver" are the primary reasons why Heroku is favored.
According to the StackShare community, Heroku has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1504 company stacks & 961 developers stacks; compared to DigitalOcean, which is listed in 943 company stacks and 687 developer stacks.
What is DigitalOcean?
What is Heroku?
Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
I started using DigitalOcean back in January to host a Ghost blog. I was a little worried at first because I didn't have too much experience setting up servers. There was always the option of a full service company that does all the work for you, but the point was that I wanted more control for the purpose of learning. And, learning turned out to be really easy thanks to the great community at DigitalOcean. There are tutorials for just about anything. It has been an amazing learning experience, and now I'm looking forward to hosting more complex projects here. I already have a couple in the works for the near future. I highly recommend it.
I can't rate the Support great or bad, as I haven't really had a need to contact them yet. But everything else has been excellent so far.
I use Heroku, for almost any project of mine. Their free plan is awesome for testing, solo developers or your startup and its almost impossible to not cover you somehow. Adding an add on is a simple command away and I find it easy to use it both on my Windows PC or my Linux laptop. Their documentation, covers almost everything. In particular I have used Heroku for Spring, Django and AngularJS. I even find it easier to run my project on my local dev with foreman start, than ./manage.py runserver (for my django projects). There is no place like Heroku for the developer!
I am a freelancer and a researcher. I have had tried a lot of hosting services over the years. But DIgitalOcean stands out from the rest for its pricing. Its just five dollar a month for a basic node.
And the other reason for loving Digital Ocean is that they support Docker. It you buy a VPS machine, chances are that docker support wont be available as with PV or hypervisor, docker need some extra config.
So far I am loving DO :-)
Can't beat the simplicity of deploying and managing apps, the pricing is a bit high, but you are paying for those streamlined tools. However, after several experiences of tracing issues back to Heroku's stack, not having visibility into what they are doing has prompted moving two applications off of it and on to other more transparent cloud solutions. Heroku is amazing for what it is, hosting for early stage products.
I use DigitalOcean for testing or hosting my apps. You can set up an Ubuntu server in less than a minute. There are also one-click-install apps, so I don't have to install e.g. the LAMP stack myself. The dashboard has a really easy UI and is easy to use. The costs begin at 5 bucks per month. Also DigitalOcean has a great support and an adorable community. They have a great support page with hundreds of tutorials.
I've been using Heroku for 3 years now, they have grown super fast and each time they're improving their services. What I really like the most is how easily you can show to your client the advances on you project, it would take you maximum 15 minutes to configure two environments (Staging/Production). It is simply essential and fantastic!
I liked how easy this was to use and that I could create some proof of concepts without have to pay. The downside for NodeJS is remote debugging. Pretty much have to depend on logging where Azure allows remote debugging with Node Inspector.
Using Heroku takes away all the pains associated with managing compute and backing services. It may require a little extra optimisation and tweaks, but these constraints often make your app better anyway.
Not having to deal with servers is a huge win for us. There are certainly trade-offs (having to wait if the platform is down as opposed to being able to fix the issue), but we’re happy being on Heroku right now. Being able to focus 100% of our technical efforts on application code is immensely helpful.
Two dynos seems to be the sweet spot for our application. We can handle traffic spikes and get pretty consistent performance otherwise.
We have a total of four apps on Heroku: Legacy Leanstack, StackShare Prod, StackShare Staging, StackShare Dev. Protip: if you’re setting up multiple environments based on your prod environment, just run heroku fork app name. Super useful, it copies over your db, add-ons, and settings.
We have a develop branch on GitHub that we push to dev to test out, then if everything is cool we push it to staging and eventually prod. Hotfixes of course go straight to staging and then prod usually.
Heroku runs the web and background worker processes. Auto-deployments are triggered via GitHub commits and wait for the Buildkite test build to pass. Heroku pipelines with beta release phase execution (for automatically running database migrations) allowed for easy manual testing of big new releases. Web and worker logs are sent to Papertrail.
As much as I love AWS EC, I prefer Heroku for apps like this. Heroku has grown up around Rails and Ruby, massive set of add-ons that are usually one-click setup, and I once had to perform an emergency app scale-up a that I completed in seconds from my mobile phone whilst riding the Bangkok subway. Doesn't get much easier than that.
Used for proofs of concept and personal projects where I want to remain in a free tier (as opposed to a service like DigitalOcean), and application state must outlive an HTTP request/response cycle.
Heroku Postgres sometimes used as a free tier PostgreSQL managed database linked to non-Heroku apps, for example AWS Lambda.
DigitalOcean offers us everything we need to test out specific scenarios or we expect from small-servers like our monitoring-system. We also use digital-ocean in long-term and are very satisfied with their performance and scalability.
If not using managed hosting services like Heroku, AWS Lambda, or Google Cloud Functions, used to host programs because of ease of use and low cost.
Generally used less recently for these use cases than managed hosting services.
Because I like having more control of my deployment, I am currently hosting this on DigitalOcean. I don't need to worry about arbitrary row limits and I can be sure that the app is always running.
We use DigitalOcean to host our build tools (namely Drone.io) for a cheap CI and CD server.
We'll be using this to host the server application during alpha phase.