What are some ballpark figures for the cost of running a fullstack website / app?

Hi all,

This is really just a general question about what it costs to go into business with a general fullstack app. I’m looking into building some new projects that will require a database and I’m really not sure how much it would or could cost if things took off.

For example, I see Firebase charges $25/m for their second tier plan and then you have others like mLab which charge around $15 per GB up to 8gb.

There are tons of other hosts out there, but could anyone give some basic figures of what a simple app might cost per month, and perhaps what an expensive app costs as well.


  • basic todo app with simple user authentication
  • a chat app
  • a pinterest clone
  • the next ‘airbnb’

and so on…

I look forward to chatting about this more :slight_smile:


Prices will vary a lot, depending on who you choose to host.

Thing is, if you’re starting up, or just throwing stuff out there as MVP to see which idea will gain traction and take off, you don’t need an expensive plan with CDN features, lots of memory or cpu power or dedicated hosting. Those things can be upgraded later if you need more capacity.

I launched a job search/listing site two months ago. Hosting + SQL database cost is $95 for 2 yrs hosting, and then I had to spend $40/yr for SSL certificate. This is a C# .Net hosting with MSSQL database.

I plan on reusing my code base for other types of search/listing sites or applications. So this should cost me about $100/yr per startup site/idea (incl SSL certs)

Google Pagespeed and Lighthouse testing gave it good scores so I know the connection, web server and database server speeds are fast — so it’s not bottomnof barrel specs or overcrowded with other customers on same server.

My $4/mo (2-yr plan) hosting includes:
3GB disk space
50GB bandwidth
500MB SQL disk space

If things take off, I can upgrade to $8/mo for unlimited space and bandwidth + 2GB SQL disk space.

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I generally use Heroku to host my projects. If a project of mine ever catches on I’ll probably migrate it to Google App Engine since Google App Engine has a lot of features that are useful for high traffic web applications but they come at a price. Heroku is mostly free some months I’ll go over and pay a little bit. It’s still way cheaper than a VPS.

Thanks thats an awesome help, I’d love to hear more examples.
It’s good to know as I just read a Medium article about how one startup got stung by Firebase with their rising costs from a basic plan to the next tier. It ended up be something like a 700% increase in costs!
I certainly would never want that to happen!

You can read it here: Firebase Costs Increased by 7,000%!

Awesome! thanks that’s cool. Sounds like a good deal :slight_smile:

Has anyone been stung by Firebase and their pricing plans? Or does it actually have to be a pretty big side project for that to happen?

Alternatively, when deploying with Heroku and using Mongo and mLab, and if things scale, does that mean you pay hosting for mLab (database) and Heroku (database/or just domain)?

I’ve been pretty much self-hosted on a digitalocean vm on $10 for 1GB ram, though i pulled up stakes to linode at $10 for 2GB ram, i say ram this was really the only factor i left given i tried npm install and some linux process was killing it with low memory.
btw that’s running pretty much all the backend projcets i did for fcc.

anyways for my self hosted, i’ve got

  1. ufw for port security and redirectying port 80/443 so i don’t run node with sudo
  2. mongod --fork daemon with custom config setup
  3. routerjon my own npm package i hacked/boshed togeather for https via letsencrypt, its http websocket proxy to internal ports you specify
  4. projects folder, where i do a git pull on my code run the build, scp any secret keys, and then start with forever. in fact i have script to startup all projects.

There are problems with my setup, i’m missing

  1. no email
  2. uptime downtime analytics dashboard?
  3. old npm packages, and linux box that needs updating
  4. potentially scaleabilty, i’m looking at apex.sh up which looks promising
  5. no automation to pull form master or deploy branch

Mongodb is great for separting data, i have a database per app pretty much.
You’ll be suprised how far a small vm can get you. The only way to find out is try, and you get to learn / or get angry with deployment issues, and linux issues.

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That’s an awesome help. Thanks for sharing so much :slight_smile: