Seriously, don’t overlook this combo. Auth just works. Hosting built in, no backend or database server to maintain. No API, just subscribe to a collection right from the view. It just works (and is easily swapped for the real deal if you need it).
I made a guide/boilerplate to show you how (includes auth, CRUD, full text search, stripe subscriptions):
Full pricing: https://firebase.google.com/pricing/
For me, time I’m writing unnecessary code or learning libraries I don’t already know is time I’m not spending thinking about the product. I’m a designer who just wants to ship.
I am open to suggestions though. What would you recommend for, say, auth instead? I’ve tried rails, Django, node/mongo, etc; even hosting a small db on compose.io comes with a chunky base fee, and I still have to do way too much work for user accounts/search/APIs/ORM. There’s a reason Firebase is popular with the yoof.
Change my mind though!
- huge community supporting a codebase initially private
- open source now so you can host it anywhere
- 3rd party online instances to quickly start 
Sure, but which one? :)
Maybe I am biased because I develop most of my applications in React. But if you don't want to bother with any backend application and just want to get out quickly, build your React application with Firebase. That's how I do it and that's why I also covered my whole boilerplate process in a comprehensive tutorial .
-  https://www.robinwieruch.de/complete-firebase-authentication...
Now that React is supported, it's even easier for throwing together web apps.
.. what's going to be neat to see is how that "essentially the same thing" changes over time.
deepstreamhub.com is another neat SaaS that's worth looking into for some cases that Firebase might not handle as well ... there are probably yet other SaaS products that cover other specifics and will be still more in the future..
.. obvious mention re. SaaS products is that they could evaporate at any time. warranty void where prohibited. all states except ... idk, AK, for some reason.
>> " Now let's connect our databases to our app by adding their "keys" to our app's environment ("env") files. You should generally keep connection keys like this secret, so first we'll rename our environment files to keep them from getting committed into git (the new filenames are listed in .gitignore). "
Thanks for trying it out!
Came here to recommend this myself.
I built an SPA with React + Firebase (auth, db, hosting, and all) to help my wife and I track our kids allowance and spending in just over a day: https://parentbank.actridge.com/ (did I mention Firebase hosting allows HTTPS on custom domains?)
It's an awesome combo that is seriously under-utilized.