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Use Neon Postgres with Render

Connect a Neon Postgres database to your Node application deployed with Render

Render is a comprehensive cloud service that provides hosting for web applications and static sites, with PR previews, zero-downtime deployments, and more. Render supports full-stack applications, offering both web services and background workers.

This guide shows how to deploy a simple Node.js application connected to a Neon Postgres database on Render.


To follow along with this guide, you will need:

  • A Neon account. If you do not have one, sign up at Neon. Your Neon project comes with a ready-to-use Postgres database named neondb. We'll use this database in the following examples.
  • A Render account. If you do not have one, sign up at Render to get started.
  • A GitHub account. Render integrates with public Github providers for continuous deployment. So, you'd need a GitHub account to upload your application code.
  • Node.js and npm installed on your local machine. We'll use Node.js to build and test the application locally.

Setting up your Neon database

Initialize a new project

Log in to the Neon Console and navigate to the Projects section.

  • Click the New Project button to create a new project.

  • From your project dashboard, navigate to the SQL Editor from the sidebar, and run the following SQL command to create a new table in your database:

    CREATE TABLE books_to_read (
        title TEXT,
        author TEXT

    Next, we insert some sample data into the books_to_read table, so we can query it later:

    INSERT INTO books_to_read (title, author)
        ('The Way of Kings', 'Brandon Sanderson'),
        ('The Name of the Wind', 'Patrick Rothfuss'),
        ('Coders at Work', 'Peter Seibel'),
        ('1984', 'George Orwell');

Retrieve your Neon database connection string

Log in to the Neon Console and navigate to the Connection Details section to find your database connection string. It should look similar to this:


Keep your connection string handy for later use.

Implementing the Node.js application

We'll create a simple Express application that connects to our Neon database and retrieve the sample data from the books_to_read table. Run the following commands in a terminal to set it up.

mkdir neon-render-example && cd neon-render-example
npm init -y && npm pkg set type="module"
npm install express pg
touch .env

We use the npm pkg set type="module" command to enable ES6 module support in our project. We also create a new .env file to store the DATABASE_URL environment variable, which we'll use to connect to our Neon database. Lastly, we install the pg library which is the Postgres driver we use to connect to our database.

# .env 

Now, create a new file named index.js and add the following code:

import express from "express";
import pkg from "pg";

const app = express();
const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;

// Parse JSON bodies for this app

// Create a new pool using your Neon database connection string
const { Pool } = pkg;
const pool = new Pool({ connectionString: process.env.DATABASE_URL });

app.get("/", async (req, res) => {
  try {
    // Fetch books from your database using the postgres connection
    const { rows } = await pool.query("SELECT * FROM books_to_read;");
  } catch (error) {
    console.error("Failed to fetch books", error);
    res.status(500).json({ error: "Internal Server Error" });

// Start the server
app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Server running on http://localhost:${port}`);

This code sets up an Express server that listens for requests on port 3000. When a request is made to the URL, the server queries the books_to_read table in your Neon database and returns the results as JSON.

We can test this application locally by running:

node --env-file=.env index.js

Now, navigate to http://localhost:3000/ in your browser to check that it returns the sample data from the books_to_read table.

Push Your application to GitHub

To deploy your application to Render, you need to push your code to a GitHub repository. Create a new repository on GitHub by navigating to GitHub - New Repo. You can then push your code to the new repository using the following commands:

echo "node_modules/" > .gitignore && echo ".env" >> .gitignore
echo "# neon-render-example" >>
git init && git add . && git commit -m "Initial commit"
git branch -M main
git remote add origin YOUR_GITHUB_REPO_URL
git push -u origin main

You can visit the GitHub repository to verify that your code has been pushed successfully.

Deploying to Render

Create a New Web Service on Render

Log in to your Render account and navigate to the dashboard. Click on the New + button and select "Web Service". Pick the option to build and deploy from a Git repository.

Next, choose the GitHub repository hosting the Node.js application we created above. Configure your web service as follows:

  • Environment: Select "Node".
  • Build Command: Enter npm install.
  • Start Command: Enter node index.js.
  • Environment Variables: Add your Neon database connection string from earlier as an environment variable:
    • Name: DATABASE_URL

Click "Create Web Service" to finish. Render will automatically deploy your application and redirect you to the service dashboard, showing the deployment progress and the logs.

Verify Deployment

Once the deployment completes, Render provides a public URL for accessing the web service. Visit the provided URL to verify that your application is running and can connect to your Neon database.

Whenever you update your code and push it to your GitHub repository, Render will automatically build and deploy the changes to your web service.

Removing Your Application and Neon Project

To remove your application from Render, navigate to the dashboard, select Settings for the deployed application, and scroll down to find the "Delete Web Service" option.

To delete your Neon project, follow the steps outlined in the Neon documentation under Delete a project.


Need help?

Join our Discord Server to ask questions or see what others are doing with Neon. Users on paid plans can open a support ticket from the console. For more detail, see Getting Support.

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