As a developer, we build both web and mobile applications. These applications have different stacks and are usually composed of two distinct parts, i.e., frontend and backend. The frontend also known as the client-side can be written in any framework, for instance, AngularJS or Vue.js or in libraries like React.js, etc. The backend deals with all the frontend requests and then sends it appropriate information.
These are full-stack applications and require a server to host them. These servers run 24/7 to keep the applications live and accessible for the visitors. Because of the resources, it takes to run a full-stack application, it can be a bit costly. Also, we have to manage the entire server. Up until 2014, this was a common way to host such applications.
In 2014, serverless computing was introduced with the launch of AWS Lambda. Serverless architecture does not eliminate the need for a server. It means that the developers can do their work without having to worry about servers at all. All the server space and infrastructure concerns are handled by the serverless hosting provider.
There is also one other thing that is quite different in applications that use serverless hosting. These applications are built using serverless functions. And each of these functions is autonomous. We compose our application with these functions and host them separately. These functions can be scaled accordingly.
There are loads of benefits of using serverless architecture and hosting them on serverless hosting. There is a great service for hosting these serverless applications. It’s a child company of Pagely and its name is NorthStack.
Today, we are going to discuss what kind of services NorthStack provides. We are also going to discuss all the other things related to it. So without any further ado, let’s get started!
⚡️ NorthStack Review – Care for Your Serverless Applications
NorthStack by Pagely was founded in 2018 by Joshua Strebel. NorthStack is an elastic, autoscaling, a serverless platform for hosting WordPress, Node, and static sites. It is a containerized hosting service that integrates serverless functions and serverless components including the AWS Aurora Serverless database service.
NorthStack offers all the same security and performance benefits of Virtual Private Servers (VPS) by allocating each customer with a unique container and then allowing these containers to grow and shrink in a real-time, nearly seamless way.
There are three small levels you go through with NorthStack. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
NorthStack provides a containerized environment for each customer. These containers are built on top of the docker. You can use these pre-packaged Docker containers to easily create and package your application.
🚀 Build & Deploy
Now you can build and deploy your application in this step. NorthStack then runs specific build scripts (web pack, grunt) and health checks before atomic deployment. Once they are done, it deploys your application.
Once your application is deployed, you can run it anytime. Since it will be a serverless application, it will not be running 24/7. As soon as someone visits it, it will be up and running in no time.
👨🏻💻 Types Of NorthStack Serverless Hosting
NorthStack provides five types of serverless hosting to its customers. Some of them are still in beta or alpha phase.
NorthStack’s parent company, Pagely, is an enterprise-level Managed WordPress hosting company. It takes care of your WordPress website and provides amazing features for its hosting.
Since NorthStack is a serverless hosting, it offers quite different features than what Pagely offers because of the whole different architecture model. You can also host your WordPress websites with NorthStack. 💯
There are a lot of benefits to choosing NorthStack to host your WordPress site. It has unlimited scalability. The memory, bandwidth and compute cycle can easily scale according to your need. The dynamic serverless hosting makes sure that your site is not just a static version but is dynamic and has interactive features.
🌐 Static Sites
With NorthStack, you can easily host your static JAMstack based websites. NorthStack provides you unlimited scalability and with this, you never have to worry about your site facing downtime when there is a spike in your traffic.
🎩 Headless WordPress
Before going into how NorthStack is providing Headless WordPress serverless hosting, let’s first discuss what it is Headless WordPress. To be put simply, it is a practice of using WordPress as a headless content management system. It works with WordPress REST API to separate its content from the frontend that displays it.
NorthStack allows you to easily run your Headless WordPress sites in a serverless environment. You can use NorthStack powerful developer tools and easily build, deploy, and run your Headless WordPress sites.
You can easily host your Node.js application on NorthStack serverless architecture. It provides you all the right tools you need to do that. You will also get powerful developer tools that will help you monitor your app’s performance.
NorthStack also supports Laravel application hosting on its serverless environment. You can easily follow the same build, run and deploy steps and your Laravale application will be up and running in no time.
NorthStack is full of amazing features. Let’s shed some light on some of them one by one and see how they are making NorthStack a top-notch serverless hosting.
📈 Elastic Autoscaling
This is a great feature of NorthStack serverless hosting and one of the most prominent in all of them. As your application grows, you need more resources to maintain it. Thus, needing more server storage, memory, CPU, etc.
With elastic autoscaling, NorthStack serverless hosting can scale unlimitedly without you needing to manage anything on the server. Since it is a serverless hosting you can scale individual functions without the need to worry about them that may overuse your current resources.
💰 Pay As You Go
When you host a website on a server, you often buy extra resources so that in case of a large spike in your website visitors, it does not crash. This plan is understandable and often works. But if you are paying extra for a couple of resources and your site is not using them then you are paying extra. This way hosting companies generate a lot of revenue and you end up paying extra.
If you are using serverless architecture for your application and using NorthStack to host it then you are in for a treat. They use actual meters to see how much resources your application is consuming, And then they charge you only for those resources. Thus, saving you from paying extra when you are hosting your application.
♻️ AWS Stack
NorthStack integrates AWS and with it, it uses AWS stacks. A stack is a collection of AWS resources that you can manage as a single unit. In simpler words, you can create, delete, and update a collection of resources by creating, updating, and deleting a stack.
💪🏻 SSL/Let’s Encrypt
NorthStack also gets you a free SSL certificate. It has integration with Let’s Encrypt that is a free, automated, and open certificate. So if you have hosted your serverless application on NorthStack then you don’t have to worry about its SSL certificate.
🎲 Automated S3 Backup
NorthStack uses AWS services to work. And by using its services, it also offers some of them to its customers. For instance, Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3). S3 is a service that allows you to store your data on a massive scale. This backup is automated so you don’t have to worry about any data loss in case of some unexpected error.
🚀 HTTP/2 + PHP 7.X + NODE 8.X
Staying up to date with the latest release is essential for the security of our applications. Every release usually patches a bug or adds some new features. With NorthStack, you get the latest release of everything. It runs PHP version 7 or above, Node version 8 or above, and provides you with HTTP/2 protocol. Thus making sure that your site is not vulnerable to any kind of error.
💥 WP CLI
You can host your WordPress sites on the NorthStack serverless environment. NorthStack also provides you with WP CLI. With it, you can easily perform common maintenance tasks, etc across all or your individual WordPress site.
🙌 Wrapping Up
NorthStack is one of the frontrunners in a serverless architecture. They changed our view of hosting an application. The serverless architecture is the future and NorthStack is the first company to introduce the concept of serverless hosting. With this, you can scale your application according to your need without worry about the cost.
Since NorthStack follows pay as you go approach, you pay only for the resources you consume without paying any extra. You get a lot of new features. You can host many different kinds of sites on this serverless architecture including WordPress, Headless WordPress, static, etc. With NorthStack function as a service (FaaS), you still get all the necessary security measurements, etc.
If you are building your application by writing small serverless functions and now need a hosting service to host it then look no further. Go to NorthStack hosting website, and sign up there.
Have you used the NorthStack or any similar hosting? Which hosting did you use and how was your experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
(NOTE: Our next article is about an all-new feature of NorthStack. It’s called the NorthStack Client. To learn more about read here.)
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