Web Hosting for App Developers

The Secret Big Expense for App-makers

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When app developers first get started making apps, most of them don’t realize that one of their biggest expenses is going to be hosting.

Most apps and other web services use specialized hosting companies to handle all the data storage. When the user downloads an app from the app store, all that data isn’t hosted by Apple or Google: it’s the app developer. The same is true when you update an app: the information comes from servers paid for by the company.

For the first couple years of the ‘app-craze’, there was only one horse in town: Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon has a specialized hosting platform for web applications. And indeed even Apple’s iCloud service partially uses AWS (as well as Microsoft’s Azure).

But there’s a problem when you’re the only game in town: prices tend to be unfair. For the aspiring app engineer, the AWS costs can be prohibitive. Especially if you’re releasing a free app.

There’s been a few new app hosting companies to appear: webfaction and rackspace are a couple examples. But the easiest and cheapest one we’ve found is Digitalocean.

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Started as late as 2012, Digitalocean is as simple as their interface. You pay for the data used, instead of a monthly fee, and the prices are very reasonable. Deployment is pretty quick as well: our first ‘droplet’, as they call it, was deployed in three minutes after we signed up.

Their interface is clean, simple, and easy to use. We can’t recommend them enough. Oh, and make sure you use the promo code at the beginning of this post to save some more cash as well.