Top 3 Best Hosting For MERN Stack in 2023

Are you looking for the best hosting options for your MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js) stack applications?

In this article, we will unveil the top three hosting solutions for MERN stack projects, analyzing their features, pricing, and user satisfaction to help you make an educated decision for your MERN stack hosting.

For best MERN Stack hosting consider using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Digital Ocean or Heroku & Netlify. These hosting solutions will give you outstanding support, compatibility, performance, and security for your MERN stack projects.

What is MERN Stack?

MERN stands for MongoDB, Express, React, and Node; the four key technologies that make up the stack.

MERN Stack is a full stack, following the traditional three-tier architectural pattern, with the frontend display tier (React.js), the application tier (Express.js and Node.js), and lastly the database tier (MongoDB).

Each of these four remarkable technologies provides an end-to-end framework for the developers to work to develop software applications.

MERN Stack components and how they operate

Best Hosting For MERN Stack

React.js is the top tier of the MERN Stack, which is the client side of your application. Express.js and Node.js make up the next (middle) tier, they are for your server side, and MongoDB is for your database; it’s the bottom tier of the MERN Stack.

JSON documents, created in the React.js frontend are sent to the Express.js server, where they are processed and stored directly in MongoDB for later retrieval.

In a nutshell, a user interacts with the ReactJS UI components on the frontend of the application in the browser, the frontend is served by the application’s backend in a server through ExpressJS running on top of NodeJS.

If there’s any data change request from a user, it is sent to the NodeJS-based Express server, which captures data from the MongoDB database, and returns that data to the frontend of the application, which is then presented to the user.

Let’s look at the components in more detail below:

#1. MongoDB 

Best Hosting For MERN Stack

MongoDB is a highly scalable and flexible document database for querying and indexing. It stores data in flexible, JSON-like documents, with fields that can vary from document to document and changeable data structure.

MongoDB is free and easy to use. It provides built-in horizontal scaling and geographic distribution. It also has Ad hoc queries, indexing, and real-time aggregation which enable you to access and analyze your data.

How MongoDB works in MERN Stack?

If your application stores any data, for instance, content, comments, user profiles, uploads, events, etc., then you’ll definitely need MongoDB because it is easy to work with and works well will React, Express and Node.

#2. Express & Node JS

These two, the middle level of the MERN Stack work hand in hand; that is, the Express.js framework runs inside a Node.js server.

Express.js or simply Express is a server-side web framework designed for building web applications and APIs with Node.js.

With Express, developers do not need to worry about building a backend from scratch for any application in Node.js.

It allows developers the freedom to structure their code how they choose instead of forcing a particular code structure

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime library and environment used to run web applications outside the client’s browser.

It is used by developers to create server-side web applications, and it is perfect for data-intensive applications because it uses an asynchronous, event-driven model.

How they work in MERN Stack

When you make XML HTTP Requests (XHRs) or GETs or POSTs from your React.js (your frontend), you can connect to Express.js functions which power your application.

These functions then use MongoDB’s Node.js drivers, either via callbacks or by using promises, to access and update data in your MongoDB database.

#3. React

Best Hosting For MERN Stack

React.js is the top tier of the MERN stack, and it works on the frontend of your application. React.js is a declarative JavaScript framework for creating dynamic client-side applications in HTML. 

It enables you to build complex interfaces through simple components, connect them to data on your backend server, and render them as HTML.

React handles stateful, data-driven interfaces with minimal code and minimal pain, and it has great support for forms, error handling, events, lists, and more.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of MERN Stack and how it works, let’s look at the best hosting to use with it.

Also read: Cheapest Kubernetes Hosting Platforms and Engines

Best Hosting Platforms for MERN Stack

So, you’ve built an amazing application with MERN Stack and now you are ready to share it with the world!

Primarily, you need to put it behind a simple URL and make it accessible to everyone over the internet. To achieve this, you need to choose the best hosting platform to use for your app.

To ensure that your customized solution operates as intended, choose your hosting service carefully and learn some fundamental server programming.

Because your MERN stack needs a Node.js runtime and MongoDB, it would be a good idea to use a cloud server like AWS EC2 instance or DigitalOcean droplet to achieve the best Node js MongoDB hosting, especially if you are working on a small or medium-sized project. 

1. AWS EC2 Best Hosting for Mern Stack

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a comprehensive and vastly used cloud platform which offers over 200 fully featured services from data centres globally.

It is used by startup companies, large enterprises, and leading government agencies alike to lower costs, become more agile and innovate faster.

The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) works in the AWS cloud to provide scalable computing capacity.

Using Amazon EC2 eliminates the need for you to invest in hardware, meaning you can develop and deploy applications faster.

You can use Amazon EC2 to launch as many virtual servers as you need, configure security and networking, and manage storage. 

Amazon EC2 also reduces the need for traffic forecasting by allowing you to scale up or down to address changes in requirements or surges in popularity.

How to deploy MERN Stack application on AWS EC2:

  1. Create a new Ubuntu Server on AWS EC2
  2. Connect local Terminal to Ubuntu EC2 instance via SSH
  3. Setup and install Nodejs, MongoDB, PM2, NGINX
  4. Deploy backend  API
  5. Deploy a frontend API using React
  6. Configure NGINX to server APIS; the Node.JS API and React frontend
  7. Test MERN Stack App in a browser.

2. DigitalOcean Hosting for Mern Stack

Best Hosting For MERN Stack

DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting provider that offers developers cloud computing services and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Developers can deploy their projects on DigitalOcean in seconds with favourable pricing and scalability.

DigitalOcean is popular with open-source developers, and it simplifies cloud computing so that builders can spend more time creating their software.

To deploy DigitalOcean’s IaaS environment, a developer must launch a private virtual machine (VM) instance, which the company calls a droplet.

DigitalOcean Droplets are comparable to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or Azure instances, but they do not support Microsoft Windows instances.

  1. Create a new DigitalOcean droplet and log in via SSH
  2. Install NodeJS and npm
  3. Create a folder for the project on the Droplet
  4. Clone your GitHub repository
  5. Install dependencies and test the app
  6. Setup PM2 process manager to keep your app running
  7. Setup UFW Firewall
  8. Install and configure NGINX
  9. Expose your app to the outside world using NGINX as a reverse proxy

Tip: If you are to choose between DigitalOcean and AWS EC2 for your hosting platform, please take note of the following:

DigitalOcean is more suitable for organizations with smaller applications whereas AWS is better suited for large applications. 

DigitalOcean only supports Linux, it does not have native Windows OS support. Therefore, if an organization needs a cloud platform for Windows, AWS would be the better choice. 

Because DigitalOcean is an IaaS, a user has to manage the service on their own. With AWS on the other hand, the provider manages everything but the application and data. 

DigitalOcean offers physical security in its data centers, AWS on the other hand, offers security tools that enable users to detect threats and monitor unusual APIs and any other activity. 

DigitalOcean is cheaper than AWS. DigistalOcean plans start at $0.007 per hour, whereas with AWS, the cheapest on-demand EC2 instance (EC2 t2.micro) costs $0.0116 per hour.

If DigitalOcean and AWS EC2 are not going to work for you, here are a couple of other platforms you can use to deploy your MERN Stack project or application.

Also read: Create Instant WordPress Staging Sites with InstaWP

3. Heroku & Netlify Hosting for Mern Stack

Best Hosting For MERN Stack

Heroku is a flexible, elegant and easy-to-use container-based cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) used by developers to deploy, manage, and scale modern apps. 

Heroku is a fully managed platform which gives developers the freedom to focus on their core product without the diversion of maintaining servers, hardware, or infrastructure. 

Heroku is a good option for you to use to host your MERN Stack project because it offers developers a quick way to release their applications onto the market.

Additionally, Heroku’s services, tools, workflows, and support for several languages are all intended to increase the developer’s productivity.

Netlify is a remote-first cloud computing company that offers developers a platform for building, deploying, scaling and serverless backend services for web applications and dynamic websites.

Netlify is built on open web standards which make it possible to integrate build tools, web frameworks, APIs, and various web technologies into a unified developer workflow to unlock new capabilities and use cases for web projects. 

Netlify Functions are used by developers to build dynamic websites with interactive features.

Before you attempt this, please note the following:

  1. Be sure to create Heroku, MongoDB, and Netlify accounts
  2. Make sure you have Heroku CLI downloaded and installed 
  3. Ensure that you have a git repo for this project, create one if you don’t

With these ready, you can get started on deploying your MERN Stack application using Netlify and Heroku.

Also read: Cheap Django Hosting for Your Website

MERN Stack Hosting FAQ

Which server is used in MERN Stack?

Node.js is the server-side platform for MERN Stack. It enables developers to handle server-related tasks, create APIs, and perform server-side operations for their MERN stack applications.

How much does it cost to host a MERN app?

The cost of hosting a MERN app may vary depending on the hosting provider you choose, the type of hosting plan, the size and complexity of your application, and the amount of traffic it receives.

For a basic AWS EC2 setup for a small to medium-sized instance and minimal storage needs, you can expect the starting cost to be around $10 to $20 per month.

DigitalOcean droplet plans start from as low as $5 per month for the basic plan; with a small amount of memory, storage, and data transfer. They also have higher-tier plans from $10 per month plans, offering more resources and performance.

Heroku and Netlify offer a free tier that allows you to host a MERN app at no cost. However, for more functionality and additional resources, you may consider their paid plans starting at $7 and $19 per month respectively.

Can I host a MERN stack app for free?

Yes, providers like Heroku and Netlify offer free tiers for specific usage limits, such as limited dyno hours or static site hosting.

However, free tiers may not be suitable for resource-intensive and high-traffic applications.

Can I use shared hosting for a MERN stack app?

Shared hosting environments are generally designed for simpler websites and may not provide the necessary resources or support for running all the components of the MERN stack.

Compared to hosting providers that specialize in supporting MERN stack applications, shared hosting generally has limited flexibility, performance, and scalability.

You would do well to instead choose a hosting provider that exclusively supports MERN stack technologies and requirements to ensure optimal performance and functionality.

What factors should I consider when choosing a hosting provider for my MERN stack app?

When selecting a hosting provider for your MERN stack application, consider the following factors:

-Performance and scalability
-Ease of deployment for your MERN stack app
-Availability of tools like continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines
-Pricing and cost
-Support for Node.js and MongoDB
-Developer experience
-Security and reliability

Concluding the Best Hosting For MERN Stack

With any of the top three hosting solutions presented in this article, you can confidently set up and operate your MERN stack apps with the proper hosting company, guaranteeing a flawless user experience while maximizing the potential of your development efforts.

Keep in mind that the best speed, scalability, and security for your MERN stack apps depend on the hosting provider you choose.

Before making your final decision about your MERN hosting provider, you should assess the requirements of your project and take into account elements like resource allocation, server environment, and customer support.

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