June 1, 2020

Reduced our server costs by $105/month!

Amy Sitwala @asitwala

Excited to share that we just finished migrating our backend servers from Heroku over to AWS and are now saving roughly $105/month!

Why did we decide to migrate?

We’ve been using Heroku for some time now because

  • it’s incredibly easy to get started
  • it has support for various add-ons (Postgres, a scheduler, etc.)

We recently revamped our Revenue Metrics page to allow for customizations and include a more comprehensive set of metrics. We’re also actively working on including historical data and various data exports.

What this means is that for certain periods of time, we’re doing a ton of in-memory analytics processing. With these recent changes, our Heroku servers were throwing periodic memory errors while processing data for larger accounts.

While we could have switched to higher memory servers on Heroku, we felt that the change would be too expensive (currently 3 $50/month dynos -> 1 $250/month dyno, a $100 increase). After doing some research, we realized it was time to migrate to AWS. We’d get higher memory servers at a fraction of the cost:

AWS t3.medium instance (1-year Convertible Reserved Instance): 4GB memory at $21.90/month
Heroku Performance M dyno: 2.5GB memory at $250/month

What was the result?

After spending a few days on this migration, we scrapped our 3 $50/month dynos ($150/month) and switched to 1 t3.medium instance with load balancing and auto scaling configured (roughly $45/month).

By saving $105/month, we realized we could finally invest a bit more in ProfitKit and purchase the following:

  • $29/month Hotjar Plus plan
  • $39/month Intercom Start plan

We’ve wanted the Hotjar Plus plan for a while since it’s been tedious to go in and manually delete recordings on the Free plan. Hotjar has been an invaluable tool for helping us improve our landing page and overall UI/UX.

This year we’re also trying to be more “in front” of our customers. We recently integrated Calendly so visitors/users could schedule a consultation, but we’ve also been eyeing Intercom for a while. It’d be a great way to

  • talk to visitors who have any questions or concerns
  • allow users to leave feedback in app with the Acute integration (built by fellow Indie Hacker + bootstrapper @perseaalexandra)

Overall, I feel a sense of relief knowing that our servers are more stable, we’re being more efficient with costs, and are finally able to invest in products that will help us grow. Always happy to share my experiences and help the IH community, so please let me know if you guys have any questions 😀

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