How Did We Choose the Best Hosts for Ruby on Rails?
From our list of hundreds of web hosts, we took the plans that offer both Ruby on Rails and the power to use it effectively. Then we sorted these plans using our extensive database of expert and customer reviews to find the top Ruby on Rails hosts.
What Is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails combines the simplicity and versatility of the object-oriented Ruby programming language with Rails, a framework designed to give programmers a quick and easy method for building and deploying online applications.
Ruby on Rails (or just “Rails”) is not a programming language, but a web application framework. Rails is written in Ruby, a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language, though Rails does extend Ruby with its own semantics.
Ruby was created in the mid-1990s to be a more streamlined, easy-to-use scripting language as an alternative to other languages like Perl or Python.
How To Choose a Ruby on Rails Host
Because of Ruby on Rails’ popularity, many general web hosting companies provide support for Ruby on Rails as part of their standard hosting packages. This means that you will not have to worry too much about compatibility when making a decision as to which host is the best fit for you.
There are several things you’ll need to consider when choosing a Ruby on Rails hosting provider, as follows:
Your database:MySQL (My structured query language) databases are the most commonly used databases with Ruby on Rails. Because many providers come standard with MySQL databases, you probably will not have to pay your web hosting provider extra for specialty databases. PostgreSQL, for example, is also used often with Ruby on Rails.
SSH (Secure Shell) tunnels: You might also consider looking for hosts that offer SSH tunnels for secure transfer of data when it comes to your Ruby on Rails app. This is especially important when your app receives data or notifications from a third party app or service.
Customer service/technical support: Because Ruby on Rails is so popular, there are a large number of resources devoted to this framework on the internet. You can likely find the answer to your question with just a simple web search. However, the availability and usefulness of dedicated tech support should not be overlooked, as many problems may not have simple solutions.
Shared or VPS: Rails is a resource-intensive framework. The downside of having a framework that does so much on your behalf is that you will need storage space for the necessary files, as well as larger bandwidth allocations for the file transfers that occur. If you are set on using a shared hosting plan, options that offer unlimited resource allocation would be beneficial.
Pricing: For hosts specializing in Ruby on Rails, pricing is consistent with traditional hosting, with basic hosting starting at $5 per month and high end packages coming in at around $20 per month. When Ruby on Rails is an included feature, it generally does not impact the price of service, but it’s still a good idea to check with your host for details.
Why it’s best: Flexible tools allow you to install and modify your setup easily at no additional charge.
HostGator is one of the largest providers of shared hosting services. The company’s entry-level plans are very affordable, include SSH access, and Rails is integrated by default.
The company has also invested heavily in Ruby on Rails support — you can see this explicitly in the cPanel they provide for the management of your website.
Pros and cons of Hostgator
Reliable uptime and fast response times
Affordable hosting plans
Generous 45-day money-back guarantee that gives customers peace of mind
An advanced cPanel that requires some getting used to
Weekly backups, which may slow service
What customers are saying about HostGator
HostGator is a good fit for beginners seeking a web host with various features. The customer service and prices are favorable but avoid paying for unnecessary extras. Note there are limitations to the SEO capabilities.
Why it’s best: Bluehost is an incredibly reliable hosting provider with strong customer service and uptime and offers great value for your money.
Another budget-friendly web hosting option that offers full-featured support for Ruby on Rails is Bluehost.
You may know this company for its close ties with WordPress, but Bluehost offers much more than WordPress-specific hosting.
In addition to supporting Ruby on Rails, Bluehost’s plans include features like SSH tunnels and generous server resource allocations, as well as bonuses such as marketing credits.
Pros and cons of Bluehost
Includes several security features, such as unique IPs (internet protocols), SSL (secure sockets layer), & SiteLock protection
No automated daily backup
Bluehost only offer servers in Linux; Windows hosting is not available
What customers are saying about Bluehost
Bluehost is a reputable provider offering shared and VPS hosting. The company is easy to use, affordable, and has great uptime. It is geared toward entrepreneurs and small online startups. Billing might be confusing, but they have solid customer service for any issues.
Why it’s best: Liquid Web has high bandwidth, great uptime, and a choice of three control panels.
If you are looking for a more advanced hosting option for your Ruby on Rails app, consider Liquid Web, which offers both cloud-based and traditional VPS hosting plans, as well as dedicated servers.
Pros and cons of Liquid Web
100% network/power uptime guarantee
Excellent support team
High entry-level price
No free ad credits are offered
What customers are saying about Liquid Web
Liquid Web is known as one of the best managed WordPress hosting companies that allows you to easily host many websites. The tech support is open every day of the year, but there are some billing and customer service issues.
Yes. Heinemeier Hansson extracted Rails and released it as an open-source framework in 2004 to allow website owners the ability to easily create applications optimized for e-commerce, social media, and more.
What operating systems does Ruby on Rails work on?
Ruby on Rails works well on most operating systems, including Mac OS (operating service) X, Linux, and Windows, but it’s best suited to deployment on Linux.
What web servers does Ruby on Rails support?
Phusion Passenger is the most popular. It can be used as a module added on to Apache or Nginx or as a standalone server. Ruby on Rails also includes its own built-in web server, WEBrick. WEBrick is for development use and is not recommended for production.
Can I run Ruby on Rails on a shared hosting plan?
Some hosts will allow you to do this, but it isn’t ideal. Ruby on Rails depends on the Ruby Gems system for dependency management, and your Rails application may need to download and install dozens of individual gems. You might not have permission to do this on a shared hosting account. It’s far easier to go for a VPS or dedicated server. As with any specialized requirement, ask your host what they recommend before you sign up.
What are the alternatives to Ruby on Rails?