Testing Shiny app and deploy to shinyapps.io


Notes on how to set up the free shinyapp.io to deploy a demo shiny app.


Chi Zhang


February 25, 2023

Useful references:

Deploy a shiny app


A few ways to do it: Shiny Server (free), shinyapps.io (free and premium), and professional Rstudio Connect (paid).

I choose to test out the second option, since it allows more possibilities compared to the free open-source Shiny Server.

The free option should allow me to create 5 apps, which is more than enough for personal use. It also allows 25 active hours per month; a note on that at the end.


Sign up with GitHub account; or something else. It is possible to change account name afterwards.

In Rstudio,

  • first install.packages('rsconnect')
  • then, configure the account. It can be done with rsconnect::setAccountInfo() with information provided in your own shinyapps.io page.

Before the last step, it is necessary to have an app to deploy!

Create my first shiny project

Here I use my usual workflow of creating a new R project:

  • Create a new repo on GitHub;
  • Clone the repo locally, by opening a new R project with version control.

Now copy the two R scripts from the demo example:

  • server.R
  • ui.R

Test locally by running shiny::runApp(). This should render the app.

Deploy to shinyapps.io

rsconnect::deployApp() will deploy the app, with an automatically generated url that links to your account.

The demo app is deployed here.

Note on active hours

After deployment, the site seems to be active until you shut it down manually; or timeout. The default timeout is 15 minutes, which can be reduced to 5 minutes.

25 hours per month suggests that I can open the site for 300 times (without manually shuting it down). It might be necessary to start using the paid options, if I have more than one site, or multiple users want to access it …