5 Best Ruby on Rails Web Hosting Providers
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is an open source web application framework that is usually defined as a combination between Ruby, which is a concise, yet versatile programming language, and Rails, a framework that allows programmers to significantly expedite the process of building web applications. Ruby on Rails is very popular among web startups, given that it’s an efficient solution for building more robust websites or web applications that access a database. Ruby on Rails can be used for the creation of various applications from ecommerce optimized ones to social media or project management applications. In fact, RoR is used by several big name companies such as Twitter, Groupon, and AirBnB precisely for its speed, high flexibility and efficient framework.
Ruby on Rails is one of the more resource intensive frameworks that we’ve come across, so a shared hosting environment is not ideal for RoR. If your shared hosting plan includes decent amounts of server resources, you may get away with running a few Rails applications that are not as resource intensive, but the hosting on which Rails development truly thrives on is a Virtual Private Server. VPS is the functional equivalent of a dedicated server, giving you full root access to your virtual server and providing you the flexibility and power needed for Rails deployments.
The popularity of RoR is also reflected by the fact that many hosting providers include Ruby on Rails support with their general hosting plans.
How to choose a web hosting for Ruby on Rails web applications?
Knowing which type of hosting to choose for your Ruby on Rails developments is not enough, you also need to select a hosting provider that has the right server hardware in place and the right hosting environment to properly support your RoR deployments. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a Ruby on Rails hosting:
- Version of Ruby installed on the server – Ruby language version 1.8.7 is the very minimum that should be pre-installed on the server, however, higher versions are always more preferable;
- Updates – As new Ruby on Rails versions roll out, it’s important that the hosting provider updates to the newest versions and allows you to install Rails and Gems as needed;
- cPanel control panel – Since RoR is focusing on rapid development in Agile methodology, the type of control panel offered by the hosting company will also determine the ease of deploying the latest websites. cPanel also allows you to see what RubyGems are already installed and to add or install further gems.
- Database engines – look for hosts that support MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases. More databases supported means more flexibility for your hosted websites.
- Support – Ruby on Rails hosts should be able to offer specialized support when needed and should continuously update to the latest version.
Next in our article we are going to review 5 hosting companies that support Ruby on Rails, and can be a good choice for your next RoR project.
Best Ruby on Rails Hosting
The following hosting companies were vetted by us with respect to their Ruby on Rails friendliness. We’ve taken into account the Ruby language version, database engines, Ruby Gems packaging system, the usability of the control panel, and other features of their hosting environment. We’ve focused solely on VPS plans, since these are the recommended hosting plans for Ruby on Rails websites.
BlueHost has been featured as a top-tier hosting company with hosting plans to match most web hosting needs including that of Ruby on Rails users. BlueHost’s VPS hosting environment is powered by 16-Core AMD Opteron processors and VPS plans come with powerful server resources including plenty of RAM, storage and bandwidth configurations to choose from.
BlueHost offers four VPS plans that include up to 4 CPU cores, 240 GB SAN storage, 8 GB RAM, 4 TB bandwidth, up to 2 IP addresses, and a free domain included with all plans. Other features included with all plans are improved cPanel interface, OpenStack, KVM, full root access to CentOS, multi-server management, SSH access, SiteLock, DomainPrivacy, etc. Server resources can be increased dynamically, and users can add extra storage to their server without assistance from the support team. Monthly prices for BlueHost VPS plans currently range from $14.99 to $59.99.
Support at BlueHost is available 24/7 and all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. BlueHost’s VPS plans measure up to the task of hosting your Ruby on Rails websites or web applications.
HostGator is one of the largest shared hosting providers, however, their VPS plans are also worth noting by Ruby on Rails users as HostGator’s VPS plans are some of the most affordable and feature-rich plans.
HostGator offer three VPS plans with up to 8 GB RAM, 4 cores CPU, 240 GB disk space, and 3 TB bandwidth. All VPS plans are powered by state-of-the-art hardware (AMD Opteron 6000, Fault Tolerant RAID Disk Arrays, and DDR3 ECC RAM) and include cPanel and WHM, unlimited MySQL databases, CentOS Linux with Full Root Access, private name servers, Ruby on Rails support, free IP Tables Firewall, free website and domain transfer, multiple security layers, SSH Access, multiple bandwidth providers, fully redundant network, etc. Monthly prices for VPS plans currently range between $19.95/month and $39.95/month.
HostGator’s customized cPanel allows users to control the gems they install and the Rails applications they want to run. With HostGator’s VPS plans you’ll be able to take advantage of the dedicated functionality of dedicated hosting, but at a much more affordable price.
As far as VPS plan variety goes, A Small Orange tops all other hosting providers featured in this article with 8 different VPS plans to choose from. ASO offers cloud-VPS servers that are powered by dual Intel Xeon Hex (6) Core processors and utilize an enterprise-grade Storage Area Network (SAN) for redundant data protection across multiple hard drives.
ASO’s annual VPS plans include a free domain name and 2 months for free. Level II and higher VPS plans include cPanel and WHM for free. All VPS plans have the following features in common: free backups, free migration assistance, automatic failover protection, KVM virtualization technology, state-of-the-art firewalls, full root access, SSD caching technology, multiple bandwidth providers, 24/7 network monitoring, configurable hosting environment and the option to add resources whenever needed, near 100% uptime and availability.
In terms of pricing, ASO’s VPS plans range from $20/month (1 core CPU, 30 GB storage, 1024 MB RAM, 500 GB bandwidth) to $150/month (8 core CPU, 250 GB storage, 10240 MB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth). A Small Orange has an extremely secure and flexible hosting environment that will meet the resource needs of your Ruby on Rails projects.
InMotion Hosting is one of the most reputable hosting providers with hosting plans that are characterized by variety, stability and high-performance. InMotion is slightly more business-oriented that its counterparts, appealing to the web hosting needs of all types of businesses. InMotion’s managed SSD VPS hosting plans are powered by the cloud and are built for power and performance.
InMotion’s three VPS plans include up to 8 GB RAM, 200 GB storage, 4 TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses. Monthly prices range from $29.99/month to $74.99/month. All plans offer free server management, cPanel, reseller access with WHM, resources monitoring dashboard, CentOS and LAMP stack, free SSD, real-time redundancy, free backups, free cPanel account transfers, 90-day money-back guarantee, unlocked CPU cores, eCommerce optimization, free domain name included with 6 and 12 month plans, SSH access, optional full root access, etc.
InMotion’s shared hosting plans have Ruby installed by default, however, Ruby on Rails can be added to InMotion’s VPS or dedicated hosting plans. A one-time installation fee may apply.
GreenGeeks is a special kind of hosting in that they are a 300% renewable energy hosting provider with an environmentally friendly approach to web hosting since 2008. GreenGeeks offer all types of hosting including Ruby on Rails compatible VPS hosting plans. GreenGeeks shared hosting plans have only limited RoR support, for full RoR support you should opt for VPS and dedicated plans.
They offer 5 VPS plans in different configurations with monthly prices ranging from $39.95 (1 GB RAM, 25 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage, 1,000 GB bandwidth, 4 cores) to $159.95 (8 GB RAM, 125 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage, 3,000 GB bandwidth, 4 cores).
VPS plans are fully managed, include cPanel/WHM license, free quick provision, VPS provisioned on blacklist free IPs, free nightly backups, free eNom domain reseller account, free migration service, full root access, proprietary VPS management portal, 99.9% service uptime, 30-day money-back guarantee, etc. With 5 different VPS plans, GreenGeeks offers plenty of options to choose the VPS plan that meets the server resource requirements of your RoR web development.
Although the web hosting providers reviewed in our article aren’t specialized solely on providing Ruby on Rails hosting, they have the dedicated server resources and flexibility required by Ruby on Rails. We focused specifically on VPS plans as these are the best hosting for RoR, however, some of the hosting providers we discussed also support Ruby or Ruby on Rails on their shared hosting plans. However, for all-around flexibility and scalability a VPS hosting plan is an absolute must for Ruby on Rails developers.