5 Cheap Ways to Deploy Docker Containers


3 min read

5 Cheap Ways to Deploy Docker Containers

Hetzner, Sliplane, Render, Github, DigitalOcean - Picking a hosting provider for your next side project can be challenging, especially with all the awesome options available. Analysis Paralysis is real ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ. Who wins the race for the cheapest cloud provider?


1. Hetzner

Hetzner is a German Cloud Provider with Locations in Europe and North America, with a wide variety of compute options including ARM, dedicated, and shared servers. Hetzner is loved by developers, with 70% saying that they want to continue using them according to the latest Stackoverflow survey. Hetzner provides incredibly cheap but at the same time basic servers.

2. Sliplane

What if you could combine the awesome price of Hetzner with the ease of a PaaS like Heroku, Render, or Vercel? Sliplane is a PaaS on top of your own Hetzner VPS and gives you push-to-deploy, automatic SSL, a free domain, and more for your Docker apps. Connect your Hetzner and GitHub accounts and get started in less than 5 minutes for free. Sliplane lets you host an unlimited number of Docker Apps on your server, making it incredibly cheap if you have a large number of low-traffic apps.

3. GitHub Actions

This one is a bit unconventional, but hear me out! I'm building many projects that need to run on a schedule for a short time. For example, I have a scraper that summarizes news every morning at 7 AM and sends me an audio message that I then listen to. This scraper runs for ~5 minutes every day, and using a dedicated server for it would be wasteful. So instead, I simply created a GitHub Action that runs my code on a schedule. While this doesn't work for everything, and especially not for something that needs to be 100% reliable, sometimes it's worth it to think outside of the box to save some bucks ๐Ÿค‘.

4. Digital Ocean

DigitalOcean is another hosting provider that is loved by developers and has grown tremendously in the last few years. At this point, Digital Ocean provides simple computing services, as well as databases, serverless functions, object storage, and a basic PaaS solution. While it might not win in a 1:1 price comparison, DigitalOcean provides many different services with a better DX than AWS. You should check out their App Platform for a quick solution to your hosting needs :)

5. Render

Last but not least, another PaaS provider that I want to mention is Render. While Render might look expensive at first, the "Zero DevOps cloud" really makes up for it by being the simplest solution in this list while also providing generous free tiers for most services (including websites, APIs, and databases!). In the end, the price that your VPS costs is not everything, you also need to consider the time you are putting in to keep everything running! Sometimes a $20 database is cheaper than a $5 database if you need to work 10 hours less per month, just keep that in mind :)


I hope you learned something new, and always keep in mind to include the price of your sanity when checking out prices!

Also, I'd love to know where you are hosting your Docker apps. What features do you love, and which do you dislike? Let's discuss it!

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