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Firebase Hosting vs Heroku: What are the differences?

## Introduction

Firebase Hosting and Heroku are two popular platforms for hosting web applications. While they both provide hosting services, there are key differences between the two that make each suitable for different use cases.

1. **Deployment Process**: Firebase Hosting offers a simpler deployment process, where you can deploy your static content or cloud functions directly from the Firebase CLI with a single command. On the other hand, Heroku requires you to create a Git repository and push your code to it to deploy your application.

2. **Scalability**: Heroku allows for horizontal scaling by adding more dynos (containers) to handle increased load, making it suitable for applications that require dynamic scaling. In contrast, Firebase Hosting is more limited in terms of scalability and may not be as suitable for applications with rapidly changing traffic patterns.

3. **Database Integration**: Heroku allows you to easily integrate with a wide range of databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MongoDB. Firebase Hosting, on the other hand, is tightly integrated with Firebase Realtime Database and Firestore, making it easier to build real-time applications with these databases.

4. **Cost Structure**: Firebase Hosting has a simpler and more predictable pricing structure, where you pay only for the resources you use. Heroku, on the other hand, can be more expensive for larger applications due to its usage-based pricing model and the cost of dynos and add-ons.

5. **Programming Languages**: Heroku supports a wide range of programming languages, including Node.js, Ruby, Python, and Java, allowing you to choose the language that best suits your application. Firebase Hosting, on the other hand, is more focused on JavaScript and integrates seamlessly with other Firebase services.

6. **Server Management**: With Heroku, you have more control over the server environment and can install additional libraries and dependencies as needed. Firebase Hosting abstracts server management away, making it easier to deploy and manage your application without worrying about server configurations.

In Summary, Firebase Hosting is more suitable for simple deployments and real-time applications with Firebase databases, while Heroku offers more flexibility in terms of scaling, database integration, and server management for larger and more complex applications.
Decisions about Firebase Hosting and Heroku
Amr Sharaf
Computer Science student at University of Toronto · | 2 upvotes · 15.4K views

React: 1. Constantly being developed. 2. One of the top 3 commonly used front-end frameworks. 3. Fits the team’s skills.

Python: 1. Very common for ML/Data Science work. 2. Can easily build a web server and a ML pipeline in the same application. 3. One of the most commonly used languages, will be great for recruiting developers in the future.

Heroku: Firebase Hosting is static, and thereby does not allow Python jobs to run. Since these are batch jobs that run more infrequently and do not directly face the user, Heroku is a great fit considering the free tier offers all the features we need.

Flask: 1. Easy to set up, does not have too much boilerplate code. 2. Our API will be very simple so we chose Flask over Django, which has MVC features that we don’t need.

Firebase Hosting: 1. We will use Firebase Hosting for our React client's server since it needs to be up all the time as opposed to hibernating (e.g. like in Heroku) 2. It includes a CDN for free, out of the box, so it would help with performance.

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Pros of Firebase Hosting
Pros of Heroku
  • 4
    Integration with firebase
  • 1
    Custom domain setup
  • 1
    Free SSL Support
  • 1
    Multi-site hosting support
  • 1
  • 1
    Super simple deploys
  • 1
    Easy deployment
  • 703
    Easy deployment
  • 459
    Free for side projects
  • 374
    Huge time-saver
  • 348
    Simple scaling
  • 261
    Low devops skills required
  • 190
    Easy setup
  • 174
    Add-ons for almost everything
  • 153
    Beginner friendly
  • 150
    Better for startups
  • 133
    Low learning curve
  • 48
    Postgres hosting
  • 41
    Easy to add collaborators
  • 30
    Faster development
  • 24
    Awesome documentation
  • 19
    Simple rollback
  • 19
    Focus on product, not deployment
  • 15
    Natural companion for rails development
  • 15
    Easy integration
  • 12
    Great customer support
  • 8
    GitHub integration
  • 6
    Painless & well documented
  • 6
  • 4
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 4
  • 3
    Great UI
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 1
  • 1
    Able to host stuff good like Discord Bot
  • 0

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Cons of Firebase Hosting
Cons of Heroku
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 27
      Super expensive
    • 9
      Not a whole lot of flexibility
    • 7
      No usable MySQL option
    • 7
    • 5
      Low performance on free tier
    • 2
      24/7 support is $1,000 per month

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Firebase Hosting?

    It is production-grade web content hosting for developers. With a single command, you can quickly deploy web apps and serve both static and dynamic content to a global CDN (content delivery network). You can also pair it with Cloud Functions or Cloud Run to build and host microservices.

    What is Heroku?

    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.

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    What tools integrate with Firebase Hosting?
    What tools integrate with Heroku?

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    Blog Posts

    Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


    PythonSlackG Suite+17
    Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

    What are some alternatives to Firebase Hosting and Heroku?
    Netlify is smart enough to process your site and make sure all assets gets optimized and served with perfect caching-headers from a cookie-less domain. We make sure your HTML is served straight from our CDN edge nodes without any round-trip to our backend servers and are the only ones to give you instant cache invalidation when you push a new deploy. Netlify is also the only static hosting service with integrated continuous deployment.
    Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
    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.
    GitHub Pages
    Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.
    Google Cloud Storage
    Google Cloud Storage allows world-wide storing and retrieval of any amount of data and at any time. It provides a simple programming interface which enables developers to take advantage of Google's own reliable and fast networking infrastructure to perform data operations in a secure and cost effective manner. If expansion needs arise, developers can benefit from the scalability provided by Google's infrastructure.
    See all alternatives