7+ Years using Heroku at Code School and on my own personal projects
April 15, 2016

7+ Years using Heroku at Code School and on my own personal projects

Adam Fortuna | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Heroku

We've used Heroku for a number of projects over the years -- probably more than 100 different sites and applications. It is undoubtably the easiest way for us to get started on a project. A number of sites are, or were at some point hosted on Heroku -- Code School, Try Ruby, Try Git and many more. Heroku enabled us to grow without a dedicated systems administrator, while not worrying about the reliability of our servers and instead focusing on the customer experience and product.
  • Easy to get started -- you just need some git experience.
  • Reliable - over the years our sites have rarely been down. When they are down due to our own code (memory limitations, bugs), they're restarted in a smart way that brings them back fast.
  • Database management using Postgres is made extremely easy. As someone who's not a sysop, I setup database replication, made and restored backups, connected from my local computer, and did many other things with surprising ease.
  • For personal sites and small sites, the price can be daunting. For the same price as a worker, and an addon or two, I could get a full out server.
  • Better reporting on how apps scale and whether I should add more dynos or less. At times our site was growing slower and slower and we upped our dynos. It wasn't until we lowered our dynos that the site sped up.
  • The "heroku" plans on the addons are sometimes confusing to understand how that works if I transition off Heroku.
  • Our ability to create new sites (mostly internal) and throw them up on a server has been amazing.
  • The architecture decisions around Heroku (designing around dynos and workers) set us up for success in moving to other larger architecture.
  • The difficulty getting some sites that aren't in the golden path out (that required unique build packs) meant that we could have spent that same time setting up a dedicated server for the site.
The other places we've looked at include Bluebox, Linode and AWS. For all of these, we were able to realize places where it made sense to move away from Heroku from a cost perspective. After moving, we also realized much faster performance on these sites (due to the higher memory/cpu availability). For smaller sites, and some one off sites this was less noticeable. Once we had 50+ dynos always running, things got a bit tougher to diagnose (this was probably in 2012).

Heroku to me is less suited for companies that have a dedicated sysop who can handle server architecture and maintenance. Once our site was large enough, we found we could save more than the cost of an entire hire by switching to dedicated servers. For these very large sites, I feel like heroku could do better from a pricing standpoint.

I feel it's better for smaller sites that might be in the under $1,000 range, or for companies that have the cash and want to move fast.

Heroku Platform Feature Ratings

Ease of building user interfaces
Platform management overhead
Workflow engine capability
Not Rated
Platform access control
Services-enabled integration
Development environment creation
Development environment replication
Issue monitoring and notification
Issue recovery
Upgrades and platform fixes