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Ask HN: Ruby on Rails Hosting
12 points by matt1 on Aug 9, 2008 | hide | past | favorite | 33 comments
I've decided to take the plunge and learn RoR (go me!). I currently have hosting at GoDaddy, which I've read has poor RoR support.

I'm not looking to spend more than say, $15/mo -- just want a place to build some small demo apps. Any suggestions?

If you're comfortable administering a Linux slice, consider Slicehost ($20/month). If you're just learning, Heroku might be a great option.

I don't even know what a Linux slice is ;)

I'm checking out Heroku, which seems appropriate for my level. Gracias though.

I don't even know what a Linux slice is ;)

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.

I haven't used them yet, but they look like exactly what I'm looking for in a host.

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.

Don't worry. You don't need to know what a "Linux slice" is because it's a term barely used by anyone except Slicehost customers. You'll more commonly see such systems referred to as "virtual private servers" or VPSes.

Heck, this very page is #3 on Google for "linux slice" which shows how little the term is used ;-)

If you go with Slicehost and are iffy with your sysadmin skills, take a look at deprec/capistrano, tools that let someone smarter than you handle your sysadmin stuff (at the cost of keeping you ignorant).

This is a good point. You might want to use passenger if you lack sysadmin skills. The big pain of Rails is keeping your thin/mongrel/etc processes running, etc. I imagine a slicehost $20/month slice would run passenger mod_rails just fine and would be fine for your hobby project or something small.

To be clear, it is important to learn how to install Ruby on Rails (or really any package) on a Linux system. deprec and friends are great... until you want some crazy extension that they can't provide for you.

But most definitely look at Webmin and Virtualmin; they might be installed already for you on slicehost.

Heroku FTW. (http://heroku.com/)

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.

But don't miss out on some kind of 'real' development environment. The usual kind of stuff. Basically it goes down to:

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.

Hmm, didn't realize they allowed you to use local development tools. Question for people who are using Heroku: Is it fair to call it a tool for beginning Rails developers or does it have benefits for "advanced" Rails devs? This blog post is definitely making me take a second look at the service.

I guess it depends on the need, i was able to hack in 2 proof of concept app some 2 months ago with it. which later end up as production apps.

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.

It's dirt nice and easy for putting online smallish stuff. And word is that support for Sinatra is soon to come. Now, that is kick ass.

Ah, cool. Hopefully they're adding support for all Rack-based apps and not just Sinatra. That'd be sweet.

I'm checking it out now. Looks very cool. I added myself to their waiting list, but it says the average wait time is less than a day. Thanks for the pointer.

Edit: Already got the invite. Man they're good.

I may get flamed for saying so but Dreamhost support RoR apps, lots of bandwidth/disk space and all for $11/month. It's shared hosting but they support mod_rails / Phusion Passenger which is working out great for me so far (I'm running a Redmine bug tracker on Dreamhost, along with lots of other PHP stuff).

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.

they are pretty anal about bandwidth though, I had a file hosted and it hit some popular forums, and they shut my account down after like 50 GB of bandwidth was used up

Linode.com is a better choice than Slicehost. Better customer service and more bang for the buck. But you do have to learn a bit about sysadmin.

Linode deleted my VM when my credit card expired and didn't respond to my emails about it. I didn't have any important data on it and they're cheap, so I still use them for trivial things, but I wouldn't base an actual business on them.

I've been happy with hostingrails.com. The support has been very good and accounts start at less than $4 USD per month.

Seconded about the support, but you must pay a year in advance. Their 30 day back guarantee is very nice, though.

I like Slicehost. I have tried Joyent and it's good but you have to learn a bunch of Solaris skills and many gems don't work quite right on Solaris, and I've tried Engineyard but nobody will return my emails to set up an account.

Slicehost has never done anything but offer consistent, professional service. I could not recommend them more highly.

the benefit of engineyard is that you don't have to administer the server. Engineyard is not cheap though.

I know the benefits, they just don't seem to be accepting new business now or over the past few months.

Hmm, that's odd. We got three slices in early May and it took them 4 days to get us up and running. I have nothing but fantastic things to say about EngineYard. Worth every penny.

Everyone says the service is great, but I have filled out the web form twice and no response.

my experience with them hasn't been great. They caused our site downtime on numerous occasions due to oversights on their part.

A VPS provider(i recommend SuperBytes.net) is probably the cheapest route. You would just have to install RoR yourself.

We have had good experience with speedyrails(www.speedyrails.com). They are cheap and their service is great.

SpeedyRails shared hosting's 60MB per mongrel isn't a whole lot of headroom.


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