Where Can I Host My App?

Creating The App Is Just The Beginning

The Internet has had a hugely democratizing effect on learning and education. Literary anyone with a connection to the web and a PC can teach themselves programming for free now. This means that only with an idea and the willingness to learn a new skill you could create an application that thousands of people would want to use and who knows, maybe you could be the creator of the next Snapchat.

However challenging it may be, creating that app is the easy part. How do you get your app to the people? How do you promote it? These are all important questions but before you start your marketing efforts the most important part is to ensure your application is ready for prime time.

After all, what good will it be if it goes down with the first surge in traffic after launch. Unfortunately no two apps are created equal so there isn’t a definitive answer to where you should host it. There are some general rules of thumb however and you should consider the following points before choosing the place for your app.

Ask Yourself Some Questions To Avoid Unnecessary Trouble

It’s all relative to your specific project so what works for some people won’t work for you if for example you need Node.js support. If that’s the case start from there and compare some hosts.
Let’s say you’ve built an awesome PHP-based app. Grab a notepad and write down the answers to these questions for later reference.

- Is going to do Image processing ( if yes, how heavy will it be, will you need GD extension, or maybe ImageMagick)?

- What type of content is the app going to display (only images or text, or multimedia)?

- What is the app built on (i.e. MongoDB or something else)?

- Are you expecting a lot of people to be using your app from day one or is it a more niche product? This is important to consider because with some apps you could get away with cheaper, less powerful hosting.

- What version of PHP do you need?

- Is server location important to you? For example if you’re targeting a certain country or region it’s wise to choose a hosting company with servers located there.

Shared Isn’t Going To Cut It

Of course everybody wants the highest quality service possible at the lowest price but sometimes you get what you paid for. Shared hosting is fine for websites but it just doesn’t do the job for apps so don’t even look at shared plans.

If you know the traffic is going to be pretty low at first you can mess around with something like free micro instance from Amazon EC2. The disadvantage is that they charge more for bandwidth and excess CPU cycles.

However if you don’t want to take any risks and you can afford a monthly budget of around $30-50 you can get a VPS that’s going to be a huge upgrade and is an all-round more flexible solution. A big plus is that it’s a fixed price for bandwidth, CPU, etc. and it can be easily upgraded if needed.