free hosting ends March 25, 2016

Over the past three years, maintaining the free hosting service for 10,000s of apps has taken a big toll on our ability to move fast on other products. Now that reliable, pay-as-you-go Meteor hosting is available for everyone via Galaxy, we’re confident that Galaxy is a better home for your apps and will give everyone the chance to try it for free. As a result, we will retire the legacy free hosting service on March 25, 2016.

We know many of you have enjoyed the free hosting service. In a perfect world with infinite resources, we’d invest to keep this separate legacy infrastructure up and running. Unfortunately, delivering free Meteor app hosting has become extremely expensive and technically unsustainable. If there is a cost effective way to deliver free Meteor app hosting in the future, we may explore it but it’s not on our roadmap. For now, we’re 100% focused on making Galaxy the best deployment option for professional Meteor developers.

How do I migrate my app to another hosting service?

Before March 25, 2016 12pm PDT, please migrate your app from the free hosting service to another app hosting platform to ensure continued availability of your app. You will also have until April 15, 2016 12pm PDT to retrieve data from your app’s Mongo database. Here are specific instructions on how to migrate your Meteor app as well as access your data from the free hosting service.

If you want stable, pay-as-you-go hosting for your Meteor app, we recommend using Galaxy (pricing starts at USD $0.035 per container hour). If you signup for a new Galaxy account and migrate your app by March 25, you’ll receive a $25 credit (use promo code MARCH25). This credit will provide a new home for your app at * and let you experience proven features that help developers build better Meteor apps.

If you’re only looking for free hosting, we recommend using a combination of free services from Heroku and MongoLab. Here are links to some community articles to help you get started:

You can also consult the Meteor Guide for other DIY deployment options.

Thanks for using Meteor and best of luck on your future projects.

-Meteor Development Group


Well, I’m not using the free hosting, but I think that MDG were saying that it’s here to stay. Even though I can understand the decision, being reliable should be the top priority. If you gave users (half) a year or some months to migrate it might be okay, but just two weeks (!) is kinda bold… Should paying customers expect to be treated equally?


We will keep the application database data for over a month (till April 15th), to allows users to retrieve their application data over the course of that time period.

We will be turning off the app hosting capability on Mar 25th.

What? Only 2 weeks to migrate? Are you serious? Even Google does not deprecate their services on so short notice.

Will you provide free redirects from * to elsewhere?


Just for the record, I don’t think we ever said that.

:sigh: This could have maybe been framed better. A few points:

  • Communicating that no new * deploys are going to be accepted as of March 25th is a much less stressful message to receive than “we’re turning everything off”.

  • This should be framed as the migration go-live for Galaxy; not the ending of the free tier.

  • People aren’t going to make the distinction between * and * without leading them through it.

  • If the application database data were kept around for a few months (I’d recommend 3 mo), that would reduce a lot of stress. Not everybody is going to have the time over the next 2 weeks to export their data. Because life.

  • Some people may not even hear about this deprecation until after March 25th.

  • This shouldn’t be too big of a surprise for anybody who’s been paying attention; what with the containers being shutdown automatically and it’s instability of late.

  • If people need to know what applications they’re running, they should use meteor list-sites.

  • Here’s the Database Management page from the Meteor Cookbook with a lot of utilities and recipes for managing mongodumps, mongoexports, re-importing, etc.


solid analysis and suggestions for improving the message’s framing. 8.8/10


OK, understood, it must have been a nightmare keeping Meteor and Mongo spinning for so long. Respect!

I’ve found that the free hosting is exceptionally useful in workshops, talks, and hackathons where I spend a lot of my time teaching newbies Meteor. I don’t have a problem with paying a couple of dollars/euros on their behalf in return for the pleasure of being able to teach them, but I fear forcing them through the friction of the Galaxy signup process and credit card input forms will severely inhibit the ease with which I’ve been doing this for the past few years (and consequently, the conversion rate of newbies becoming committed developers when they see how seamless and easy it is to share stuff with friends).

Are there any convenient options you guys are thinking of that may help address this? For instance, can I easily set up a fresh group Galaxy account in preparation of a talk or workshop, tell everyone to meteor login <group>; meteor deploy <site_name> and then just move on to the talks, demos, etc? And then either tear it down after or provide a mechanism so they can take ownership of the apps they made?


What about all of the free apps that are used to demo meteor packages? IMO this was the best thing about the free hosting, as many meteor packages had a running example that was only a click away. I think that’s the biggest loss when moving away from free hosting.


yeah, one of the cool things for showing other devs was…Boom here’s a web app! WOW… Boom, look, it’s reactive across browers! WHOA… BOOM: Now look, its on the web! REALLY??? … BOOM: now its an APP! NO WAY.


I’m sure you (MDG) have thought of this, but would it be possible to retain the ability to spin up a free app, but give it say a max 48 hour life span in which it can then be migrated or otherwise it will get deleted. That way of hackathons and demos we could deploy sites with seed data, keep them around long enough for the demo/event and then they’d be scrubbed. I’d be surprised if there were then ever more than say a couple of hundred apps running? That would keep a lot of the use cases above operative without being an unlimited cost drain.


Hey Rahul,

An easy way to do this is to have everyone set up a Meteor Developer Account, then set up a Galaxy account under a Meteor Developer Organization (instead of a single user) that includes everyone you’d like to give access to. Every member will be able to deploy and access Galaxy. When the workshop is over, you can remove their apps and remove them from your org.

Organization accounts are now supported in the second step of the signup process.


I am pretty sure there still isn’t a way to change your card or cancel your account.

1 Like

Hey @joshowens - we do support both account cancellations and credit card changes.


I like the end bit

Thanks for using Meteor and best of luck on your future projects.

-Meteor Development Group

sounds like a recruitment rejection letter… Thanks for applying and good luck in your job hunt :slight_smile:


OK, I’ll try this next time and let you know how it works out. Not super-thrilled about having to deal with the overhead of who owns apps on which account, but we’ll be fine given that having Galaxy available at all is still a bazillion times better than “here’s your node.js app. have fun learning about docker and heroku, bye!”


If you have to go to the records, then I think you’re fighting a losing battle.

I had similar impressions of Meteor last year that has slowly been eroded over the last few major announcements.

Whilst I think you guys are doing some exciting things with Apollo and native NPM and cordova integration, it just feels like it’s not the same awesome meteor that made this place great.

Mixed feelings.


For every one impacted by this announcement and looking at alternatives, I want to introduce you to NodeChef. We have many Meteor developers actively using the platform to deploy their apps. For a starting price of only $9 per month we provide you with both app and database containers to host your app. And it’s free till the end of the month so definitely time to try it if you haven’t already.

Other benefits to using NodeChef includes SSL under both NodeChef subdomain and Free Lets encrypt certificate if you have custom subdomain. Since your app and database sits in the same data center, there is no latency. More on features can be found here.


I think the free hosting has been in the crosshairs for a while but I still feel the free hosting has some major benefits for MDG and Meteor overall.

  • Demos, Conferences etc - It is hilariously nice and simply to Meteor Deploy an app and I really think it perfectly communicated MDGs philosophy of making everything simple for developers.
  • It felt like a community visiting a * site, especially for packages with instantly accessible live examples
  • New developers - many of the people using Meteor wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for how simple it is to get started and I think hosting an app can be a daunting task for first timer hosts(even with Galaxy) - The free hosting was the perfect onboarding for dev ops.

Abuse is obviously a serious concern and I think too many people have viewed the free Meteor hosting as an actual hosting platform when in my eyes it has always been a testing ground. I would be extremely happy with a severely limited free hosting; only deploys for a handful of hours, destroys itself afterwards, limited number of total hours before must be paid for, limited size of app etc etc.

The main selling point for Meteor was as a show off and its fantastic tool for pulling people into the eco system. Its almost like Free 2 Play for Hosting =P

I’ll be moving over to the paid hosting anyway so its no real skin off my teeth. But on the 24th I’m giving a demonstration of Meteor at a meet up and would of much preferred to use the free meteor hosting just for its sheer simplicity. Yes you can do the same with a paid account but its a little bit more verbose.


The use case that doesn’t get solved by most hosting solutions, including Galaxy is… creating 20 or so web sites on an ad hoc basis For the most, are just experiments… and mostly will have no use, but may occasionally be gone back to.

I don’t want to pay $180 a month for that. I think maybe < $15 a month would be a good target for that, with the ability to promote any of those apps to independently hosted

With DO and mupx you can nearly do it (just requires some manual steps at the moment), a $5 or $10 droplet… mupx and nginx. Only thing missing is auto configuring of nginx, though there was some talk about it on the mupx github.