What are the basic things/features you expect from a cloud company in the free plan?

Imagine you are hearing about DigitalOcean for the first time today. What features do you expect from their free tier?

j's photo

That's a good question.

  1. I actually wouldn't expect anything besides that the contracts of the rates/services/plugins that were define at the signup aren't changed afterwards.

  2. I want to have a 'workable' solution in the free segment. Gliffy for example reduces the amount of saveable diagrams to 5 and disables the sharing. But still I can paint all the diagrams I need. Now I am a paying customer

  3. Nowadays I don't really use freemium besides tryouts for software. I even sponsor intellij/library plugin authors. So maybe I am not the best example for a 'free software user' anymore.

Show +1 replies
j's photo

Mark :D maybe ... but they had to be patient for quite a while ;D ....

Aditya M's photo

React, Node, Cloud

Haha - you made me search for a Gliffy vs Draw.io comparison (never knew Draw had competition other than the big guns like Visio) - and it was entertaining to see both companies have a dedicated page about how they're better than the other :D

Yashu Mittal's photo

If a cloud company start providing a free tier even with limited resources they might go bankrupt within a few days 馃槀 unless they make the application sleep after a few hours just like Heroku.

There is already a website which provides a free plan to host your WordPress website for free with limited resources.

As far DigitalOcean is concerned, they might launch a special free tier plan for developers (by doing some verification process), because developers are awesome 馃槑.

I always wanted to host the Ghost blog for free 馃構, if I could do that in a free plan, that would be great.


wachira_dev's photo

If it was my first time, then I expect a free tier to:

  • Allow me to create a free droplet minimal storage specs, maybe half the 5$ tier:
    • 0.25 TB transfer
    • 512mb memory
    • 5 GB SSD disk Also, the droplet should expire after a week or 2
Anuj Sharma's photo

1- Free small server ( 1 gb ). 2- Few website templates 3- Wordpress blog 4- free ssl 5- one year free support.

Arpit Mohan's photo

For a new-age cloud company, I'd expect the following in the free plan:

  1. Ability to setup a server quickly and for free. It can be a small server (512 MB).
  2. Ability to store some data in a S3-equivalent storage system. Again, I'd assume they would limit the data storage in the free plan.
  3. Ability to access and manage DNS. I would expect full control on the DNS even in the free plan.
  4. Be able to host a static website from the distributed storage directly. This would be a very smart move if available in the free plan. If they offer blog / site templates, that's killer.
  5. Git repository and direct hosting via GitOps. This is similar to the Heroku workflow and it's a great crowd puller. I'd assume they would put this in their free plan.

I understand that most providers already give this in their plans. Hence, this list may be a biased one.

Anuj Sharma's photo

Co-founder at Appther.com | NodeJs | AngularJs | NoSql | MySql | Ionic |Next Generation APIs Developer.

Arpit Mohan what about for free ssl ?

Emil Moe's photo

Since they have to provide something that costs them money every month, I wouldn't expect anything free. Only thing I could think of is 30 days free option like AWS has some free tier on the smallest options.

Other SaaS platforms I would expect something like 1 user and basic use that is aimed at people who don't really earn anything yet.

Amrit Pandey's photo
  1. key-value pair kind of database plus unlimited API usage for this service.
  2. Atleast 512mb memory.
  3. 5GB SSD of disk storage and 5GB bucket storage like AWS S3.
  4. Web Console
Gergely Polonkai's photo

Maybe to try every solution they provide for free for a short time.

Droplets are not necessarily the main products sold by DO (or any similar companies). They provide DNS hosting, managed database instances, and even Kubernetes clusters. Yes, there始s a droplet under most of their services. But if you only get a droplet, you have to configure everything for yourself.

Thus, if i始m about to evaluate DO for my company, I始d want to know if the software versions and configurations they provide are actually what we need. Maybe their Kubernetes is old as hell, or their MySQL instance doesn始t support InnoDB. Little things i can only find out if i pay.

Sure, most cloud companies expect you to pay for the resources you use. I can fire up a Kubernetes cluster with all my components, connect it to a SQL database and run tests, and for this 2 hours i始ll only pay the price of a coffee, or even less. But I始d better drink that coffee instead.

Disclaimer: i始m a paying customer of DO for years now. Also, i don始t drink coffee.