Render vs Heroku
We’ve built Render to help developers and businesses avoid the cost and inflexibility traps of legacy Platform-as-a-Service solutions like Heroku. Our customers often tell us Render is what Heroku could have been. This page explains why so many Heroku customers migrate to Render every day.
Heroku is prohibitively expensive. Customers running production and staging workloads typically see cost reductions of over 50% after switching to Render, often saving thousands of dollars every month.
Here an example of how Render helps you reduce your cloud bill, especially as your applications scale.
Instance RAM Heroku Render Monthly Savings (%) 512 MB $25 $7 72% 1 GB $50 $15 70% 2.5 GB $250 $50 80%
All prices are per instance per month, and Heroku’s free and hobby instances aren’t included; free instances go to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity, while all Render instances are always on; hobby tier instances do not support horizontal scaling or zero downtime deploys, both standard Render features.
- Render does not offset free tier costs by overcharging paying customers. You pay for what you use, prorated to the second.
- Render Disks offer convenient block storage for data that needs to persist across deploys. You can also use them to run stateful applications like MySQL, Elasticsearch, Mongo, MinIO (S3-compatible object storage), and persistent Redis without depending on expensive third-party addons. Heroku does not offer the ability to store data across deploys.
- Render offers native support for static sites and scheduled/cron jobs which are both missing on Heroku.
- With Render’s built-in private networking and service discovery you can create Redis and Elasticsearch instances that are inaccessible over the Internet. Heroku only provides this feature in Private Spaces, an enterprise offering which costs several thousand dollars per month.
- With Render’s native environments, you get complete control over how your application is built: run anything from a single build command to a complex shell script. Heroku requires understanding and usage of buildpacks, which can often be hard to customize. In addition, like buildpacks, Render automatically suggests build and start commands for your app by inspecting the code in real time.
- Render’s managed PostgreSQL instances have built-in IP access control as an additional layer of security. It isn’t possible to limit public Internet access to Heroku PostgreSQL outside of the enterprise Private Spaces offering.
- Heroku is easy to use compared to AWS, but our customers tell us Render is even easier. You don’t need a CLI or constant invocations of
git push --force heroku. Simply connect your GitHub or GitLab repository on Render’s dashboard and watch every push automatically build and update your app.
- Render applications can use secret files and shared environment groups, making runtime configuration much more powerful compared to Heroku.
- Render offers native support for Docker with multi-stage layer caching; all you need is a
Dockerfilein your Git repository; Render automatically builds the Docker image and deploys it on every push.
- Render offers fully automated and completely free SSL for custom domains, including wildcard domains, an increasingly common feature still missing on Heroku.
- Heroku serves all content over HTTP/1.1. However, major browsers have supported HTTP/2 since 2015. Render serves all requests over HTTP/2, falling back to HTTP/1.1 for older clients. This minimizes simultaneous connections to your apps and reduces page load times for all your users.
- Render’s load balancers automatically compress HTTP responses from your apps using Brotli and gzip compression, making your apps significantly faster especially over mobile and low bandwidth connections.
- Services on Render never ‘go to sleep’ because of inactivity (or any other reason).
- Heroku applications are forcefully restarted every 24 hours, losing in-memory state (e.g. caches) and disrupting websocket connections. Application restarts can also create downtime, and avoiding them requires signing up for more expensive plans. In contrast, Render does not have scheduled (or unscheduled) restarts, and every application comes with zero downtime deploys.
- Applications hosted on Heroku have no way to self-heal; Render lets you define custom HTTP health check paths for your services and automatically restarts unresponsive apps.
- Render offers all its customers chat and email support staffed by the same world-class engineers who build the platform. In contrast, Heroku directs users to community support channels like Stack Overflow multiple times before they can file a ticket; they also need to pay an additional $1,000/month to chat with a Heroku support engineer.
- Render’s product roadmap is public. You can submit feature requests and get notified as soon as we start working on them. This keeps us accountable and helps us understand your needs better. Heroku’s public roadmap was last updated over ten years ago.