Heroku vs DigitalOcean – Which is Best for Your Cloud Hosting Needs


Choosing the right cloud hosting service can be a daunting task. As you would expect, each vendor will scream how unique their products are. But relying entirely on their honesty to find the best cloud provider might not be the best choice. Clarity on what to watch out for will make the process easier.

We will compare Heroku vs. DigitalOcean to decide which is the best option. Both are solid platforms but can differ in ease of use, scalability, customization, etc.

Heroku and DigitalOcean

Ease of use

There are applicable benchmarks for determining the usability of cloud hosting services. These include:

  • Web Application Deployment Time
  • User interface complexity
  • The intuitiveness of the platform.

Heroku, which is a platform as a service (PaaS), emerges as the winner, and this is one of its most notable attributes. The user interface is simple and developers can focus on deploying code without getting into infrastructure management. Heroku streamlines workflow deployment by removing much of the infrastructural setup.

Also, the fact that it supports a wide range of programming languages ​​and frameworks makes it easy to deploy via a few commands. Developers simply push code changes to the platform, which triggers automatic builds and deployment.

Digital Ocean requires manual configuration, thus requiring a level of technical knowledge. Take, for example, the creation of Droplet, which involves the selection of different specifications such as region, server size, and operating systems. It is true that this offers some flexibility. But users should have a basic understanding of processes such as server setup.


In terms of scalability, Heroku and DigitalOcean offer this feature. But Heroku appeals to its ease of use to become the best option here. Based on application traffic, the cloud provider uses automatic and dynamic scaling. Thus, even in the event of significant traffic peaks, it will automatically provide the necessary resources.

Manual intervention is required when scaling up or down with DigitalOcean. Technical know-how is essential as users need to configure load balancing or new servers. The benefit is greater control over application scaling, which can lead to significant cost savings. But this is only possible if traffic patterns are predictable.


Digitalocean is a cheaper cloud hosting option than Heroku. The per-resource pricing model can be more user-friendly because it gives users more control. For example, subscribers can determine how much RAM, CPU, or storage space they need and pay only for that. When it is necessary to increase or decrease the price, it will be reflected in the price adjustment.

But such a pricing model will work well for small apps, as it would for startups. Adjustments will have to be made along the way based on business needs. And that brings a certain level of unpredictability in terms of budgeting.

The Heroku pricing model tends to be a bit more complex. Users must pay for a specific number of hours each month based on benchmark hours. There are also optional add-ons such as caching or databases which can add significantly to the price. But the subscription model is more predictable and users can budget better.

Personalization and control

Some users prefer to have a cloud hosting service that allows them to control the infrastructure, including server configurations. In such a case, the obvious choice would be infrastructure as a service (Iaas), DigitalOcean. Users have the freedom to:

  • Select different operating systems
  • Configure user accounts and groups
  • Install specific software
  • Configure firewall rules
  • Create virtual private servers
  • Configure servers as desired based on project requirements
  • Choose CPU, RAM, and storage as needed, etc.

As a PaaS, Heroku frees up user time by removing much of the infrastructure management. This in itself can be a benefit, as they can then focus on the application code rather than worrying about the underlying infrastructure. But the lack of infrastructure control leaves less flexibility when it comes to customizations. This may not work for projects requiring specialized setups or precise control.

What is the best option?

In the battle for Heroku vs. DigitalOcean supremacy, one thing is for sure. Both options are fantastic, with great features. Determining which is the best option is up to the user. DigitalOcean wins on price and user control, while Heroku gets points for ease of use and scalability.

Additionally, the existing ecosystem and the need for additional integrations are important. If needed, Heroku would work better because DigitalOcean has some basic features, but a tighter ecosystem. So there may be limitations on add-ons, third-party services and plugins.


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