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Vercel as a hosting platform: When It's the best choice and when to look elsewhere

In this article, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of Vercel hosting services. The main goal is to help you determine when Vercel is the optimal choice for them and when it is not.

Vercel as a hosting platform: When It's the best choice and when to look elsewhere

Introduction

Vercel has become a prominent player in the cloud hosting landscape, especially for front-end deployments. It's crucial for developers and organizations to understand when it is the best fit for their projects and when they might need to consider alternatives. This article delves into the technical aspects, pros, and cons of Vercel, offering a comprehensive guide to make informed decisions.

Pros of Vercel Hosting

  1. The native Next.js platform. In this point, there's nothing to add; it's an excellent choice for Next.js applications.

The native Next.js platform

  1. Rapid Deployment. Vercel excels in deploying sites swiftly, supported by a range of pre-built templates that facilitate quick setup without the complexities of server deployment. This capability is further enhanced by their support for a universal format that allows for the easy deployment of various JavaScript frameworks. As a result, you can deploy for example Astro as quickly as Next.js.

Rapid Deployment

  1. Integration and Collaboration. Vercel seamlessly integrates with a wide array of tools, databases, logging, and notification systems (e.g., Slack), enhancing team collaboration. Its seamless integration with popular version control systems like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket simplifies project management and setup. Integration and Collaboration

Version control systems

  1. Global CDN and HTTPS. Vercel provides a global Content Delivery Network and automatic HTTPS, ensuring fast and secure delivery of web content.

  2. Free Plan and Cost-Effectiveness. Vercel offers a generous Hobby (free) plan, making it an attractive option for small projects and personal use.

Vercel pricing

  1. Developer-Friendly Features. Features like instant live preview sharing, simplified build processes, CI/CD pipelines, cron jobs and support for serverless functions are appreciated by developers.

  2. Awesome UI and API. A very user-friendly and understandable interface that highlights the latest features of Next.js, as well as simplifies the simultaneous work with multiple projects, and also a rich and well-documented API that allows doing almost everything that the UI does.

  3. Performance. High-speed responses from servers, low data consumption, and efficient power usage are highlighted benefits.

Cons and Limitations of Vercel Hosting

  1. Limited Backend Support. Vercel's focus on the frontend means it may not suit complex or advanced backend needs, with limitations in language support and scalability for heavy backend processing.
  2. Pricing Concerns. While Vercel offers a Free Plan, scaling up or accessing certain features can become expensive. (The annual Enterprise plan may start from 30-35k USD per year)

What to choose?

Vercel is ideal for:

  • Next.js applications.
  • For projects that do not want to support infrastructure or have devops.
  • Hosting static sites, SPAs, fullstack, serverless and JAMstack architectures.
  • Projects that require rapid deployment and efficient scaling.
  • Frontend applications where backend needs are minimal or can be addressed with simple serverless functions.

When to Consider Alternatives

  • Projects with complex backend requirements, needing more robust backend infrastructure.
  • Situations where budget constraints make the scaling cost-prohibitive.

Conclusion

Vercel offers a developer-friendly platform for applications hosting, with a focus on speed, ease of use, and seamless integration with development tools. However, it may not be the best fit for projects with advanced backend requirements.

Understanding these pros and cons can help in making an informed decision about whether Vercel is the right choice for your project's specific needs.

Connect with us - Vercel's Official Integration Partners for tailored advice and solutions that maximize your project's potential.

WRITTEN BY

Artur Nikitsin

Artur Nikitsin

Senior Engineer at FocusReactive