I'm not looking to spend more than say, $15/mo -- just want a place to build some small demo apps. Any suggestions?
I'm checking out Heroku, which seems appropriate for my level. Gracias though.
It's basically a full Linux server, except it's really a virtual machine running on something else. That's just an implementation detail, though.
Anyway, I use Slicehost and the service is great. Very easy to manage via their web interface, and the price is not bad. $10/month for daily and weekly full backups is also a plus. If I fuck up the server miserably, I just press a few buttons and I am back to last night's unfucked version.
The only downside is that they only accept credit card payments, but considering what they are offering it's not that big of a deal.
Heck, this very page is #3 on Google for "linux slice" which shows how little the term is used ;-)
Especially since you'd be supporting a YC startup and they are great for beginners because of their pretty powerful in-browser editor. You don't even need your own dev environnment if you don't want.
Also the service is free during beta. Not sure if the beta is still closed, but ping me if it is as I'm sure I have some invites available.
1. Learn to use a real editor. I don't care which. As long as it is either vim or emacs. And maybe TextMate.
2. Get to know your way around the command line. Really.
3. Use a VCS, may I propose: Git
Sure, Heroku got a nice in-browser editor, but that is not the main point, honestly, TextEdit provides more or less the same functionality.
The main point is easy as f*ck deployment. If you are using Git, a simple `git push` will be enough to deploy, run migrations and restart server. (http://blog.heroku.com/archives/2008/3/3/api_and_external_gi...)
Damn it, when is somebody creating a clone of that functionality? It is so pretty. git push, git push, git push.
I've been trying to suggest heroku to a friend of mine to use it to introduce ruby/rails to his students since the amount of time to setup an environment is really crazy and sometimes incomprehensible for new students trying to learn ruby/rails.
Edit: Already got the invite. Man they're good.
However, I've also got a virtual server from Slicehost where I deploy my own apps... it's noticeably faster than Dreamhost but you do have to deal with lots of sysadmin stuff which distracts you from the RoR learning/development.
My advice would be to start with a shared RoR host (a la Dreamhost) and then migrate to a virtual server host (e.g. Slicehost) once you've got something that's too running slow, getting too popular or is starting to earn revenue.
Slicehost has never done anything but offer consistent, professional service. I could not recommend them more highly.