What is a Hosting Service?
Hosting is a space where companies and individuals can make their websites accessible to everyone. They have high-speed network infrastructure, server space, storage, and additional resources. The goal is to guarantee data security, reliability, and full-time availability. In other words, once you've built your app using MERN, a hosting provider will help you deploy it so you can share it with the world. On top of that, hosting providers help with reliability, security, and scalability. That's why choosing the right hosting provider is crucial to success. Let's dive a bit deeper into that.
Why is Hosting Important?
Choosing the right hosting provider plays a major role in your app's performance. It isn't only about selecting the right tools and following the best coding practices. Hosting providers aim to reduce latency as much as possible, giving visitors a pleasant user experience. For pages that take up to three seconds to load, 40% of users abandon the website. Therefore, aiming to reduce latency is critical. That's one of the many reasons speed and loading times are part of Google's Core Web Vitals. In this manner, your hosting also affects conversion rates to a large degree.
Main Considerations About the MERN Stack
Let's dive into how the technologies that form the greatest stack of the moment for web development work. As you may well know, the MERN Stack consists of four main components, MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. Let's shortly explain how each of them work:
1. MongoDB. The ultimate non-relational (NoSQL) database that everyone loves, MongoDB is a flexible database management system that allows horizontal scaling that stores data in a JSON-like format. Plus, it makes it easier for developers to work with massive amounts of unstructured data. Pay attention to high scalability, customer support, and performance. You should also view high availability and support for data replication.
2. Express. A minimal, flexible, server-side framework designed for Node.js. It provides developers with rugged features for building web apps. That includes routing, middleware support, and template engines. It simplifies setup and is perfect for making complex APIs. For Express.js, you should consider support for Node.js environments and deployment tools to run it easily. Moreover, pay attention to scalable infrastructure, load balancing, and CDN integration.
5 Best Hosting Providers For MERN Apps
1. Heroku + Netlify Hosting
Using Heroku and Netlify is affordable for small projects or junior developers looking to build portfolios. Although Heroku is no longer free, it's still a low-cost Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that takes tons of server management complexities off of your plate. It's great for MERN applications because it supports Node.js, and developers can easily integrate it with MongoDB. You just need to set your Atlas cluster's connection string to Heroku.
On the other hand, Netlify is the perfect match to host your MERN app because it's still a free option for deploying your app's front end. In other words, it'll take care of the React.js part of your app, boosting performance with CDN to make your site load at the speed of light by serving your static files from the server closest to your user.
2. Render Hosting
Some people already discuss Render as the best free alternative for Heroku, especially for MERN projects. It offers a free SSL certificate and high flexibility with native runtimes and support for static files, also with CDN. In other words, it goes well with React.js. It also has a service called Disks that makes it easy to deploy stateful apps, which means it's perfect for MongoDB. Moreover, it supports long-running services and continuous deployment using Git.
3. AWS Hosting
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud service is highly popular, with a market share of around 33%. It provides seamless hosting and deployment solutions such as storage, database, networking, security, monitoring, and analytics. It comes with custom solutions to deploy and host MERN applications. AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) is perfect for hosting Express APIs as it comes with automatic scaling, load balancing, and integration.
In combination with Fargate, ECS simplifies managing server infrastructure to a large degree, also allowing for seamless Continuous integration and Continuos Delivery integrations. On the other hand, Amazon Web Services has a wide range of solutions to host the front end of your MERN app, such as Amplify and S3. It's worth noting that if you need more control over your app, you may want to try EC2 instead of ESC. However, you will have to spend some extra time setting it up. Plus, AWS distributes its services globally. Having over 450 points of presence in 31 regions, AWS excels at security, reliability, and data recovery.
4. Azure Hosting
Microsoft Azure takes second place among the most popular cloud infrastructure vendors with a 23% market share. Azure supports continuous integration and deployment with tools like Bitbucket, GitHub, and Azure DevOps. Similarly, it offers seamless integrations with other Microsoft products like Visual Studio Code. Its globally distributed, multi-model database service, Cosmos DB, offers strong compatibility with MongoDB.
As for the front end, it'll enable you to serve static websites directly from the storage container without a separate server file. As you may have guessed, it will allow you to add CDN to boost performance. Plus, Azure provides a scalable and secure environment to manage and analyze APIs, making it ideal for Express.js.
5. Google Cloud Platform Hosting
Finally, let's talk about the third most popular cloud infrastructure vendor. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) performs exceptionally well in flexibility and scalability. It has one of the world's largest and most advanced network infrastructures, which provides reliable performance for any full-stack application. GCP stands out because of its robust AI and machine learning tools like AutoML and BigQuery ML. On top of that, GCP seamlessly integrates with MongoDB using Atlas, giving you world-class multi-cloud capabilities.
GCP lets you easily store React.js files with a GCP bucket, handling massive traffic levels easily. On top of that, it's a cost-effective and highly scalable solution. On the other hand, Google App Engine offers strong support for Node.js, allowing you to scale your app instances based on demand. Lastly, Cloud Endpoints provide a wide range of features to help you deploy and manage large APIs on a large scale.
Since MERN is perhaps the most popular and powerful stack to build best-in-class digital products, many more suitable hosting options for your MERN apps. I've included in this post, my favorite hosting providers! Yet, you may want to choose the one that fits the best to your projects.