Custom domains using the AppFog free plan

I talked about AppFog in a previous post listing a number of advantages compared to Heroku. At the end of March 2013 AppFog removed support for custom domains on the free plan. Supported domains are limited to *.af.cm. This is a huge problem if you are using AppFog to host small websites who rely on the free plan. People aren’t happy.

Their solution is to use the “small” plan for 20$/month!! Many housing provider offer a SSD VPS for 20$/month. 240$/year for a little website is too much. I planned to host a small blog on AppFog and when I faced the problem I was very sad.

After some hours spent on Google I found this: https://github.com/yukinoraru/heroku-http-reverse-proxy. Is a scaffold to use Rack Reverse Proxy on Heroku.

You can use an Heroku app as entry point and route all requests to AppFog application. Performances are not so bad as you can think and everything seems works fine.

heroku-appfog-proxy

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  • Matt Leonard

    Is there a price point that would be more compelling for you to have custom domains perhaps with lower resources ? Interested to hear your thoughts… Please outline your ideal service plan.

    • If you use AppFog as test environment, free plan is enough for almost every cases.
      I planned to use it for a blog which get 10 visits per day and free plan is enough at all.

      I want to pay ONLY for custom domain because a want to show to my visitors my name, not my provider’s name.

      Probably .50$ or 1$ per custom domain per month is a price people would pay for it.

      • Matt Leonard

        Thanks for your input Andrea. I was thinking along the same lines.

  • David Mallonee

    I use AppFog for a lot of freely hosted WordPress sites currently. As I see it, I could go with a free blog at WordPress.com and be bound by their themes and sub-domains, or I could use AppFog and be bound by their sub-domains but use any theme/plugin out there, including my own.

    As it stands, AppFog’s worked very well for myself and if any of the hosted sites start generating serious traffic, I’ll gladly move up to a paid plan.

    • I agree with you: AppFog works very well and I’m glad to use it for medium traffic websites.
      Anyway step from free service (0$/year) to base plan (240$/year) seems too much to me if all I want is a custom domain for my little blog.

      • I understand and it’s a very good point. I currently just use redirects from Namecheap domains. It’s not optimal, but it works if or until the sites pick up traffic.

  • neychang

    please tell me how to config rack-reverse-proxy,my appfog is builted by wordpress, through rack-reverse-proxy,i just see the sites’s header content..

  • yesvee

    Can we use something like nginx for this? Is there anything special that needs to be done in this case as I am seeing some problems while implementing this?

    • Yes, sure, you can use nginx or apache or another webserver that supports reverse proxy functionalities but they require a dedicated server. And usually servers aren’t free. If you use Heroku you can run it for free.

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