Compare MongoDB Hosting
MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL document-based database. With this application, you’ll need both server control and flexibility as the database schema may evolve over time. So you need to pick the right host.
A host must meet specific technical requirements to run MongoDB. It is typically user-installed on a private environment like a VPS or dedicated server able to handle large datasets with a high write load.
There’s a detailed breakdown of our favorite hosts later in this post but here’s a sneak peek at the best 5 hosts for MongoDB:
- Bluehost — quick provisioning and dedicated IP address
- A2 Hosting — easy one-click installation with solid servers
- Liquid Web — unsurpassed infrastructure and support
- InterServer — incredible prices on solid VPS plans
- DreamHost — reasonable prices with SSDs and unlimited bandwidth
How Did We Pick the Best Hosts for MongoDB?
Out of over 1,500 hosting plans, we looked for VPS and dedicated server plans that come with a dedicated IP address and access to the specific ports required by MongoDB.
We prioritized the hosting providers that had outstanding uptime, all SSDs for storage, and superior technical support. And we scrubbed this list against our massive database of actual customer reviews to end up with the best MongoDB hosts.
MongoDB is a kind of NoSQL database, which means that the data is stored in documents. This makes it easier to use for simple projects.
In this article, we will explain more about MongoDB and help you to decide the kind of hosting that will best suit the projects you want to do with it.
How MongoDB Works
MongoDB is a database that works a bit differently than most other databases. It is a non-relational (or “NoSQL“), document-oriented database.
Much of the speed and scalability benefits are only achieved if the database is set up correctly, in an environment optimized to take advantage of its strengths.
MongoDB provides a lot of features that allow you to do more than simple database queries.
Spend some time looking at MongoDB’s features so you know what you can do with it.
The most common type of database is a relational database in the SQL (Structured Query Language) family.
Popular relational databases include:
- Microsoft SQL Server
Though they are implemented differently “under the hood,” they are very similar in how a developer or user interacts with them.
If you have worked with WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, you have used a relational, SQL, database.
Table Based Databases
Typical SQL-style databases store data in a series of tables, with each row of the table representing a single entry.
Entries in tables can be related to entries in other tables, allowing complex data structures to be designed (hence the term “relational”).
Relational databases are excellent tools for storing structured data about a large number of fairly similar things.
That’s especially true if you know ahead of time (when you are developing the application) what types of items you will be keeping records on.
It also helps if you know what information you will need to know about them.
NoSQL Databases Explained
Unfortunately, in real life, we do not always know ahead of time what information we might need to store, or even sometimes what sorts of things we may need to keep track of.
Also, some real-world domains simply aren’t structured enough to fit well into the way SQL databases organize data.
MongoDB is a document-based database, one of many new “NoSQL” or non-relational databases.
Rather than storing records in a series of inter-related table rows, where the information on a single item might be spread across multiple tables, MongoDB stores all the information about a particular item in a single document.
The database then allows for documents of various types to be group together and indexed.
This is a much looser, less structured way of organizing data, and there are both benefits and downsides.
When to Use MongoDB
Making the right choice for your database management solution is important.
But it is worth noting that you might not have any choice with what database to use.
If you are planning to use an existing content management system or blogging platform, those applications are built with a specific database already.
MongoDB is for Development
Generally, the question of what type of database to use is a question for developers of new applications.
MongoDB is often a better choice for very large datasets with a very high write load, in a situation where you will need to share the database.
It also is the right choice if your data model, or schema, is unstable and needs to evolve over time.
When Not to Use MongoDB
Do not use MongoDB if you are building an application which will require SQL joins or transactions, or where data normalization is needed.
What You Need to Host MongoDB
Shared hosting accounts and “discount” web hosting providers where your site or application shares an IP address with other accounts are totally unsuitable for hosting MongoDB.
You could get around this by purchasing a dedicated IP address for your website. But normally, you should host MongoDB on a Cloud, VPS, or dedicated server plan.
|Shared hosting||Cheap||Not a lot of choices|
|VPS||Dedicated resource allocation||More expensive|
|Dedicated server||Completely private||More complex|
Other Reasons to Go With Higher-End Hosting
On top of that, if you are building an application that requires the use of a NoSQL database like MongoDB, you probably have a lot of other needs.
These are probably not going to be adequately provided for in a low-cost shared-hosting environment.
Looking for a great deal on MongoDB hosting?
A2 Hosting consistently scores at the top of speed and performance tests. They provide one-click installs of MongoDB and shell access. Right now our readers can save up to 50% on their plans. Use this discount link to get the deal.
You Need a Dedicated IP Address
Beyond that, almost any serious web server would work fine, as long as you have a dedicated IP address and can gain access to Ports 27017 and 28017 (in many standard web hosts, you will have to request these ports be opened).
So if you can get a dedicated IP address, MongoDB can be deployed on most operating systems, and on most standard production-level hardware.
Type of Hosting
When you’re looking for a MongoDB host, make sure you go for a private hosting environment.
This can either be in the form of a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server.
VPS plans will be easier to manage than dedicated servers and provide a cloud environment for instant, on-demand provisioning.
Performance is always an issue with web hosting. A common solution to server speed issues is to use a CDN to deliver content from servers close to website visitors.
Because MongoDB creates dynamic content, CDNs offer relatively little help. As a result, it is best to get a hosting plan with a datacenter near your users. Lower-priced plans often offer no options regarding datacenters.
Look for a hosting provider that can provide you with an appropriate datacenter location.
What Platform Is Best for MongoDB
Just because you can run MongoDB on almost any web server doesn’t mean you should run MongoDB on any web server.
MongoDB can be a bit tricky to set up, especially for developers unfamiliar with all of its ins and outs.
Much of the speed and scalability benefits are only achieved if the database is set up correctly, in an environment optimized to take advantage of its strengths.
Setting up MongoDB includes:
- Setting up a local development environment
- Finding a suitable server
- Installing MongoDB
- Choosing a programming language
- Designing a database
- Deploying the database
- Building a web app.
Pick a Host That Specializes in MongoDB
For this reason, we recommend deploying your MongoDB database on a web host experienced with MongoDB.
The makers of MongoDB have a cloud-managed MongoDB solution that works in conjunction with “the cloud infrastructure of your choice,” and there a number of other Mongo-optimized web hosting providers available.
Popular MongoDB Hosts
Many of these MongoDB hosts use Amazon Web Services (AWS). Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are also popular.
Some of these providers that are dedicated to MongoDB hosting include mLab, Compose, and ScaleGrid.
These dedicated companies will offer the fullest breadth of features you need to fully host a MongoDB database.
But you’ll find that these MongoDB hosts will be more expensive than VPSs offered by traditional web hosting companies.
Other cheaper hosting companies like A2 Hosting have specialized MongoDB hosting plans you can check out.
Pros and Cons of MongoDB
Like all applications, there are good and bad points to MongoDB. Here are the major ones of each type to keep in mind when you are shopping around.
- Less upfront development time spent data designing
- Ability for a data-model to evolve over time
- Flexibility for exceptions, for bits of “oddball” data
- Faster writing to the database
- Infinitely scalable
- No cascading deletes.
- Data may be not be normalized (eg, multiple spellings)
- Less strict data modeling encourages lazy data design
- No checks for data consistency at the database layer.
Our Choices: The Top Three MongoDb Hosts
It can be especially hard to pick a host for MongoDB. So we’ll set you on your way with our own three favorite hosts. But remember there are others. See our comparison page for more ideas.
Our top pick for optimized MongoDB hosting option is A2 Hosting. They give you some of the most affordable VPS plans with plenty of resources available for smaller sites. And if you are technically knowledgeable, their unmanaged plans can’t be beat.
A2 has made it extremely easy for developers to set up a MongoDB database with just one click. You also get root access on the Unmanaged and Core plans, so you can edit any server files you want.
With their anytime money-back guarantee, there’s almost no reason not to try them out.
However, they don’t offer the same easy MongoDB set-up. Their knowledgebase explains how to do this, so you shouldn’t have any problems if you have any technical skill.
InterServer sells its VPS plans by the “slice.” A slice is 1 Core CPU, 1GB memory, and 25 GB disk space. If you purchase 4 slices or more, they provide managed support. For an extra fee, you can get any of cPanel, Plesk, or DirectAdmin control panels.
Liquid Web offers cloud VPS hosting on high-performance servers. Their plans tend to be more expensive than those of A2 Hosting and InterServer. But this price comes with some of the best infrastructure in the business — up with AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
Liquid Web includes a dedicated IP address, full root access, and 100% network uptime (our tests back this up). They also offer InterWorx, cPanel, and Plesk control panels.
Looking for serious MongoDB hosting?
Liquid Web provides high-performance MongoDB hosting, full root access, and 100% uptime. Our readers can currently get special pricing on Liquid Web plans by using this discount link.
MongoDB Frequently Asked Questions
What is MongoDB?
MongoDB is a non-relational (NoSQL), document-oriented database management system. It is controlled from application code by drivers written for different programming languages. It was first developed by 10gen (now MongoDB Inc) in 2007 as part of a PaaS product they were creating.
What is a non-relational database system?
Most database management systems are relational. This means that the data is stored in a number of related tables, according to a complex data scheme that has to be designed before the system is used. Any given query usually pulls from several tables, so the data has to be assembled when it’s accessed.
In a non-relational database, information concerning a single record is usually stored in a single place. MongoDB is a document-oriented database, which means that information about a specific record is stored in a single block of serialized data called a document.
What are the disadvantages of using non-relational databases?
A non-relational document model does not make it particularly good for highly normalized, structured data sets. Sometimes, updates can create inconsistencies. For example, if a collection of blog posts store the author’s name as an attribute, and a separate collection of authors’ names contains bio information, changing the name of the author will break the connection. This isn’t an issue with a relational database.
What data format does MongoDB use?
Why would I choose MongoDB for my project?
You don’t need to pre-determine your data model, so MongoDB is ideal for continuous development environments where the data model simply isn’t known at the beginning. Additionally, the document model aligns with the way we think about many data domains, and the way objects are used in applications. This similarity can make programming more intuitive.
Does MongoDB use tables?
No. A single record in MongoDB is stored in a document, rather than in a row of a table. Documents of a similar type are stored in collections. NoSQL databases use an entirely different paradigm for the way they handle data. It’s best not to attempt to reconcile one with the other.
What operating systems support MongoDB?
Like most database systems, MongoDB is platform-independent. Since its source code is available, it could theoretically be used on any system. Binary distributions are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and many flavors of Linux. There is even a community-supported version available for Solaris.
Can I use MongoDB on shared hosting?
MongoDB isn’t usually provided as a standard feature with shared hosting plans. You will need a dedicated IP address, SSH access, and specific ports opened. Additionally, some hosts find it to be resource-intensive, which could prevent you from using it. Finally, be aware that you may run into configuration problems that you won’t be able to deal with easily.
What programming languages can I use with MongoDB?
MongoDB supports a wide range of programming languages. Drivers are available for C, C++, C#, Go, Java, Node.js, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Scala, Switch, and more. There are community-supported drivers for many other languages. Additionally, MongoDB University offers specialized courses for Java, Node.JS, and Python.
What types of applications are a good fit for MongoDB?
MongoDB is a good choice for applications that have a large number of records that do not rely on relationships to other types of records. A library catalog is a good example. MongoDB is also a good choice for indeterminate projects where you aren’t sure where you are headed.
Does MongoDB conform to data normalization requirements?
No. MongoDB does not enforce a strict data schema either. In MongoDB, data normalization and the overall schema are enforced by the application layer, instead of the data layer. However, MongoDB isn’t designed to provide a high degree of formal data integrity. For that reason, it isn’t the best choice for things like payment systems.
What is sharding?
MongoDB provides scalability by being able to shard a database. This simply means that the data is broken up into pieces, and those pieces are stored on several computers. As a result of this, MongoDB is well hosted in a distributed environment like a cloud.
What are the most common alternatives to MongoDB?
Relational databases are alternatives to MongoDB. These include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. But most of the time, MongoDB would be best replaced with a document-oriented database. CouchDB is very popular and similar to MongoDB. Other non-document-oriented NoSQL databases include Cassandra and BigTable.
Can MongoDB handle multi-dimensional data?
Yes. Documents can be nested inside of other documents, creating data with the structure of multi-dimensional arrays. Don’t let the NoSQL label confuse you; MongoDB is very powerful. So it can do most things that you want. Where it might suffer is in relative performance when dealing with highly structured data.
Why can’t I do a JOIN in MongoDB?
The JOIN command combines tables in an SQL query. It is a way of organizing data from different locations. There’s no need to JOIN anything in MongoDB, because the data model doesn’t support the notion that information about a single object should be spread across multiple tables.
What types of applications are not a good fit for MongoDB?
MongoDB should not be used for all projects. Any type of application where data consistency is highly valued or required, or where a strict data model needs to be maintained, is a bad fit for it. Financial systems are a particularly bad use case.