Parse on DigitalOcean

If you’re reading this article you most likely don’t need the we’ve-all-been-hit-by-the-parse-shutdown-news type of introduction.

Here’s a brief about the solutions we came across. We divided them into 3 categories: Fully-managed, semi-managed and self-managed.

Fully Managed

Fully managed Parse hosting providers give you the same experience of using There’s no setup required, nor is there a need to understand how Parse Server works. Just create a new app (or migrate one) and you’re good to go.

Examples of such providers are Back4app, NodeChef and ParseGround. All of which are quite decent options with reasonable pricing and good features.

Semi Managed

The term describes services like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Heroku and Microsoft Azure, where you get some sort of automation, but — unlike Fully Managed — still need to configure and monitor certain parts yourself.

Some of these can be deployed through one-click buttons, others have detailed tutorials and how-tos, which can be found here.

The drawback of both these approaches is having no full control over your machine/environment. In case of a new Parse-Server or Dashboard release, you would have to wait for your provider to adopt these changes, which I believe Fully Managed providers will handle much faster than Semi Managed ones.

If the Parse-Server/Dashboard version currently supported by your Fully/Semi Managed provider of choice already has all the features you need, then this shouldn’t cause any issues for you.

Self Managed

If you want full control over your Parse environment, and you can handle the hassle of managing it, then go for it!

Having a self managed environment means you have full control over your Parse environment updates and full access to your machine. Which in all honesty is a double edged sword, since most of the users were mainly in it for the ease and simplicity. None of them would be enthusiastic to manage their own server. But in some cases it’s the best solution. Unfortunately.


Soon after the Parse shutdown announcement DigitalOcean released 2 tutorials (10 or so, really, if you consider all the mentioned pre-requisite tutorials) on how to install and migrate your Parse apps using DigitalOcean.

Based on these tutorials we created the script found here, which runs all commands from the 2 tutorials + pre-requisites. Basically, you create a droplet on DigitalOcean, pull the repo into your droplet, fill in the needed params in the config.json and run the script.

This installs a Parse Server with Dashboard and the base for your backgrounds jobs (which are still unsupported by Parse Server) using Agenda on your fresh DO droplet. And it works. Sometimes.

Since we’re not shell-script Jedi Masters, we expect this script to have a couple of n00b mistakes. So, feel free to share with us your thoughts and trials regarding the script.