Heroku vs AWS

Heroku vs AWS

Deciding between Heroku vs. AWS is often a dilemma for developers. Let's look at feature comparisons and the values you use to choose the best platform for your needs.

The AWS Advantage

At the beginning of Big Tech, there was AWS. And AWS grew to provide its services to 33% of the online world. That’s huge.

AWS now offers IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Anything you want to do for developing, deploying, scaling, and maintaining your apps can be fully automated. Configuring AWS services is done through the dashboard or a CLI.

And AWS has power. Raw computing power. It’s the definition of Enterprise-ready scalability.

The AWS Disadvantage

There is a downside to this power: complexity. We recommend a DevOps team to configure and maintain your AWS infrastructure. Although it takes less than five minutes to deploy your app, you can unintentionally generate computing costs ballooning into the tens of thousands of dollars if you misconfigure AWS. AWS infrastructure is not forgiving of errors. It is the domain of trained DevOps professionals.

The Heroku Advantage

AWS complexity opens a door for an alternative developer experience that is simpler and less prone to costly infrastructure errors. Heroku is PaaS that focuses on ease of use, quick deployment, and rapid but moderate scalability.

The service runs on a subset of AWS hardware and software. Heroku doesn’t command all the raw power of AWS, but it makes itself useful by completely automating a subset of AWS services. This subset is devoted to the rapid deployment of your app. Connect your GitHub repo to Heroku, do a small amount of configuring, and deploy your app in as little as 10 seconds. Easy.

The Heroku Disadvantage

Automating a specific subset of AWS has its limitations. You cannot have complete control over your deployment configurations. You use what Heroku provides. Being a value-added provider of AWS features means that Heroku is more expensive. Heroku must pay AWS for the use of its technology, and this cost is passed on to you.

There is no need for infrastructure maintenance, but there is a limit to how compute-intensive your app can be. Scaling, too, is limited to mid-range deployment. Heroku uses a subset of AWS geographical compute regions, so your worldwide reach is smaller.

In short, you pay for ease of use by limiting your options. That’s PaaS. That’s Heroku.

A Heroku vs. AWS Comparison

Here is a short comparison table of Heroku vs. AWS features.

Heroku vs AWS

Heroku vs. AWS: Valuing the Differences

Comparing two rival services is standard practice. Most comparisons focus on features, as we’ve done above. Now, our analysis is a little different. Let’s take a look at the value of Heroku vs. AWS.

How do you value the difference between two popular but distinct platforms? You decide. Choose the costs and benefits of each platform based on what fits your goals. Consider your situation now and in the long run. Circumstances can change. They often do throughout the lifetime of an app. You need to be aware of the Big Picture when deciding on a development and distribution platform.

What Values Do You Choose?

If you value…

  • Ease of use
  • A Developer-friendly interface
  • No DevOps team member required
  • A small and stable environment
  • Quick deployment

…then Heroku is your choice.

If you value…

  • High computing power
  • Total infrastructure control
  • Lower costs, especially for scaling
  • Use of a DevOps team member
  • Ability to grow to any size

…then you choose AWS.


Answering the Heroku vs. AWS challenge is a question of values. Both offer security (recently, Heroku has stumbled, but so has AWS). Both services provide a stable international platform.

  • These services are helpful for those who share the platform’s values
  • Each service offers critical features that developers want
  • Cost accountability is transparent, but the platforms are different

Each service has its place in the developer community. Choose your platform wisely based on your needs and values.

P.s. there is an alternative.

Digger allows you to build on AWS directly but with the simplicity of Heroku.