There are many ways to deploy Payload to a production environment. When evaluating how you will deploy Payload, you need to consider these main aspects:
In order for Payload to run, it requires both the server code and the built admin panel. These will be the
build directories by default. If you've used
create-payload-app to create your project, executing the
build npm script will build both and output these directories.
Payload features a suite of security features that you can rely on to strengthen your application's security. When deploying to Production, it's a good idea to double-check that you are making proper use of each of them.
When you initialize Payload, you provide it with a
secret property. This property should be impossible to guess and extremely difficult for brute-force attacks to crack. Make sure your Production
secret is a long, complex string. It's often best practice to store it in an
env file which is not checked into your Git repository, using
dotenv to supply it to your
Because you are in complete control of who can do what with your data, you should double and triple-check that you wield that power responsibly before deploying to Production.
Before running in Production, you need to have built a production-ready copy of the Payload Admin panel. To do this, Payload provides the
build NPM script. You can use it by adding a
script to your
package.json file like this:
Then, to build Payload, you would run
npm run build in your project folder. A production-ready Admin bundle will be created in the
Make sure you set the environment variable
production. Based on this variable, many Node packages automatically optimize themselves. In production, Payload automatically disables the GraphQL Playground, serves a production-ready version of the Admin panel, and other changes.
You should be using an SSL certificate for production Payload instances, which means you can enable secure cookies in your Authentication-enabled Collection configs.
Payload comes with a robust set of built-in anti-abuse measures, such as locking out users after X amount of failed login attempts, request rate limiting, GraphQL query complexity limits, max
depth settings, and more. Click here to learn more.
Payload can be used with any MongoDB compatible database including AWS DocumentDB or Azure Cosmos DB.
If you are using a persistent filesystem-based cloud host such as a DigitalOcean Droplet or an Amazon EC2 server, you might opt to install MongoDB directly on that server itself so that Node can communicate with it locally. With this approach, you can benefit from faster response times, but scaling can become more involved as your app's user base grows.
Alternatively, you can rely on a third-party MongoDB host such as MongoDB Atlas. With Atlas or a similar cloud provider, you can trust them to take care of your database's availability, security, redundancy, and backups.
When using AWS DocumentDB, you will need to configure connection options for authentication in the
mongoOptions passed to
payload.init. You also need to set
false to disable use of the unsupported
When using Azure Cosmos DB, an index is needed for any field you may want to sort on. To add the sort index for all fields that may be sorted in the admin UI use the indexSortableFields configuration option.
If you are using Payload to manage file uploads, you need to consider where your uploaded files will be permanently stored. If you do not use Payload for file uploads, then this section does not impact your app whatsoever.
Some cloud app hosts such as Heroku use
ephemeral file systems, which means that any files uploaded to your server only last until the server restarts or shuts down. Heroku and similar providers schedule restarts and shutdowns without your control, meaning your uploads will accidentally disappear without any way to get them back.
Alternatively, persistent filesystems will never delete your files and can be trusted to reliably host uploads perpetually.
Popular cloud providers with ephemeral filesystems:
Popular cloud providers with persistent filesystems:
If you don't use Payload's
upload functionality, you can go ahead and use Heroku or similar platform easily. Everything will work exactly as you want it to.
But, if you do, and you still want to use an ephemeral filesystem provider, you can write a hook-based solution to copy the files your users upload to a more permanent storage solution like Amazon S3 or DigitalOcean Spaces.
To automatically send uploaded files to S3 or similar, you could:
beforeChangehook for all Collections that support Uploads, which takes any uploaded
filefrom the Express
reqand sends it to an S3 bucket
afterReadhook to save a
s3URLfield that automatically takes the
filenamestored and formats a full S3 URL
afterDeletehook that automatically deletes files from the S3 bucket
With the above configuration, deploying to Heroku or similar becomes no problem.
DigitalOcean provides extremely helpful documentation that can walk you through the entire process of creating a production-ready Droplet to host your Payload app:
This is an example of a multi-stage docker build of Payload for production. Ensure you are setting your environment variables on deployment, like
MONGODB_URI if needed.
Here is an example of a docker-compose.yml file that can be used for development