Heroku has announced today changes to their pricing models. These changes are not unreasonable nor egregious.

Surprisingly, Heroku has kept their free tier around. Heroku’s unit of measure for both execution and pricing is a “dyno”. To recap, here’s what a free dyno used to mean:

In the previous free tier, users had a number of hours per month of a production dyno, the exact amount of which varied based on dyno type. The behavior of an app, including when and how much it would sleep when not used, wasn’t a function of the type of dyno, but the number used. And graduating from a free app to one that was always running was a big jump in price.

This site, at the time of this writing, is running on one dyno, which is free. To add another dyno would have run me something around $25 each month. That’s a heck of a leap.

Going forward, things are different for free dynos:

With the new free services, you can build apps using both a web and worker dyno as well as scheduler, get more usage per app and never receive a surprise bill.

So far, so good. That’s more flexibility than today. The key change for me is here:

Another important change has to do with dyno sleeping, or ‘idling’. While non-paid apps have always slept after an activity timeout, some apps used automatic pinging services to prevent that behavior. free dynos are allowed 18 hours awake per 24 hour period, and over the next few weeks we will begin to notify users of apps that exceed that limit.

While I never bothered setting up any such service on my website, I’m lucky enough that I typically get enough traffic for the site to be active 24/7. Unfortunately, that means I will no longer be able to use the new free dyno.

That’s sad news.

Things aren’t all bad, though:

With the introduction of the hobby dyno ($7 per month), we are asking to either let your app sleep after time out, or upgrade to this new option.

Sounds like I’m going to have a new $7 bill each month. Well, either that, or we all agree not to look at my site for the same six hours, worldwide.

For a fleeting moment I thought about exploring a VPS, which may be a bit cheaper. However, Heroku has worked really well for me, and their ecosysem has some really great benefits. I’ll be sticking with Heroku for the foreseeable future.

To be honest, at this point, I owe Heroku at least that much.