Here are several popular web hosting services supporting (or exclusively for) Ruby on Rails. Although I do review each one personally (based on technical specs), I’m not able to actually try these services for obvious reasons (i.e. not having an account there).
DreamHost – Status monitoring site
Very cheap hosting: Starts at $6-$11/mo (depending prepayment) for 500 GB space, 5 TB bandwidth. All standard stuff are there, even Subversion. Does not currently support PostgreSQL though. I’m a happy DreamHost customer!
In my opinion, they are a very strong DreamHost competitor, also very cheap: for $5/mo (two years prepaid), you get 750 GB space, 7,500 GB bandwidth, unlimited websites. Features include Rails, PHP 5, MySQL 4+.
Lunarpages – Lunartics Blog
Note: I’m a Lunarpages customer.
Get $6.95/mo for 1,500 GB space / 15,000 GB bandwidth (Basic Plan), $21.95/mo for unlimited storage. Free lifetime domain name(s). Lots of built-in apps, like e-commerce, blog, forum, photo gallery, wiki, etc. are available, making it very easy for you to set up a working site in minutes, without any programming experience. MySQL 5 & PHP 5 available. No shell access and Subversion, which may be required by advanced users. Their VPS is quite a bargain starting for $39.95/mo. By the way, they also have excellent support; quick, personalized response. Tiara Rea personally answered my inquiries.
600 GB space and 6 TB bandwidth (oversold) starting from $7.95/mo. Doesn’t seem to provide Subversion and WebDAV?
They offer “managed VPS” hosting, which in my opinion is somewhat a middle-line between shared and ‘true’ VPS. With just under $7/mo, they provide you with 2 GB space, 40 GB bandwidth, “unlimited” RAM. That particular (Starter) package currently doesn’t include Ruby/Rails. On cheaper plans, the number of websites and subdomains is hard-limited, so check this first. WestHost is generally a shared hosting, but have VPS-like features. You don’t have root access so if you want it, get a real VPS.
Shared hosting plan from Joyent, starts at $15/month plus setup fee. They also have the more advanced (and significantly more expensive) Accelerator plans.
Basic shared hosting starts at $8.95 monthly with 300 GB space and 3 TB bandwidth. They also have PostgreSQL on request so it’s pretty nice. Rails 2.0 is available upon request.
GoDaddy.com Hosting Plans (plain link)
GoDaddy Deluxe Plan Shared Hosting (starts from $6.99) supports Ruby on Rails. Gives you 100 GB space and 1 TB bandwidth. They also provide affordable (read: cheap) VPS and dedicated servers.
RailsPlayground – Status monitoring site
The basic (Guru) plan starts at $5/month with 3 GB space and 30 GB bandwidth. You’ll get all standard features, Ruby on Rails (always latest release), PHP 5, MySQL 5, PostgreSQL 8, Subversion, Trac, Bugzilla, unlimited parked and add-on domains. Really hard to beat this offer. Advanced plans are available, still within your pocket. Even though I haven’t tried it yet, to say that they have excellent customer support is underestimating… Their support personnel answered my specific questions very promptly, no templated responses, and when I finally asked “is there a detail page for all my questions?” he then pointed me to the RailsPlayground wiki site, which actually may have answered some of my previous questions. They respect even pre-customers by not directing my questions to the wiki before I actually asked for it. That’s why I also respect them highly. Very professional.
Note: I’m also a HostingRails customer.
Brian (brian007 [at] yahoo.co.uk, though the e-mail doesn’t seem to be valid) is a happy customer at HostingRails. He says it “offers free Rails hosting as well advanced plans with all the stuff that RailsPlayground has plus mongrel_clusters & mod_proxy_balancer. ‘Thought it worth mentioning cause it doesn’t seem like many hosts are offering that stack yet…. I’m hosting a site with them and it’s going quite well; no complaints thus far.”
Their Beginner plan starts at $3.59/mo with 20 GB space and 50 GB bandwidth, it’s a great offer. MySQL and PostgreSQL comes default. Subversion and Trac are also options. Apache2+FastCGI is default, and you can choose Mongrel cluster or LightTPD+FastCGI if you want.
Plans start from $2.95/month, Small Biz package is worth a lot: for $7.95/month, you get 4 GB space, 40 GB bandwidth. In addition to typical features, you get Rails, PostgreSQL 8, MySQL 5, Subversion, Mongrel clustering, etc. Maybe it’s worth mentioning that one of their customers is 43Folders.
Special offer! Save 10% off all A2 Hosting packages with the coupon code tenoffa2. Expires 6/30/2008.
Slice-based VPS (using Xen) hosting, starting at $20/mo for 256 MB RAM, 10 GB space, 100 GB bandwidth. You choose your own Linux distro. They’ll help you set things up, but you still have total control of your slices. One of the best things about them is that you’re allowed to install anything you want, including IRC servers and X Windows System. This is much more liberious than most other VPS providers. I’m a happy SliceHost customer!
Shared & dedicated hosting with Mongrel clusters and load balancer. Shared plans include 60 MB RAM per Mongrel instance, Apache 2.2, Subversion 1.4, MySQL 4. Customer support is excellent, speedy response which means more time to generate your profits rather than hacking your servers.
Lead by Robby Russell, their service is “the exclusive resort of the shared hosting world.” Their shared plans start at $11.25/mo for 500 MB space / 15 GB bandwidth. While it may seem relatively costly than other services, they offer advanced features such as Mongrel, Pound, Nginx, Subversion, the latest PostgreSQL, among others. These guys are hardcore Rails hackers themselves so they really know their stuff.
You can have 4 GB storage / 600 GB bandwidth site with them for as little as $9.50 monthly. Shell access (SSH), Subversion, Trac, MySQL, PostgreSQL, are supported. Rails 2.0 is a specifically supported environment, along with PHP, Python, Perl, Java.
I heard about them from Jeremy McAnally they have the cheapest dedicated servers as far as I know. Starting from just under $30/mo for AMD 2000+, 256 MB, 40 GB space, 200 GB traffic. Some people would think that the low price justifies its quality, so testimonials are welcome. This one seem to be out of business. Seems to be back online again. I didn’t lie, once I saw it displays search engine ads that you see with abandoned domains. Probably having problems with their domain registrar?? Before ServerPronto gives more explanation I’d advise to be (somewhat) careful. In addition, the e-mail address given by the ServerPronto commenter below doesn’t work… not exactly making me favor them I guess.
Their cheapest (Link-1) VPS package offers 2 GB space, 100 GB traffic, 64 MB RAM, 1 dedicated IP address for around $8/mo. Choice of OS includes CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Debian, openSUSE, and Slackware. They offer a comprehensive control panel, quite rare for a VPS/non-shared package. In case you wonder, you cannot host an IRC server here.
Starting at $19.95/mo (+$10 setup) for 360 RAM, 10 GB space, 200 GB bandwidth, and dedicated IP. Features:
- Deploy multiple Linux distributions
- Create Configuration Profiles which associate disk images and device nodes
- Boot between configuration profiles
- Share disk images between configuration profiles
- Resize disk images
- Network and CPU usage graphs
- Multiple IP address support
- Managed/hosted DNS service with slave support
- Custom reverse DNS (rdns)
- Access Out of band console access using Lish
- Lish menu system to issue jobs to your Linode
- Lish access via SSH keys
- Support for booting into single user mode, init=/bin/bash
- Support for booting with a custom “root=” kernel parameter
- Support for booting with an initrd
- Bootable recovery distribution (Finnix)
- Add and remove extra resources to and from your Linode
- Shutdown Watchdog will automatically reboot your Linode in case of a crash
- Clone a Linode to another
- Move IPs from one Linode to another
- IP address fail over support for high availability setups
Managed VPS starting at $49/month.
OpenSolaris-based VPS, starts at $45/month.
Virtual servers starting from $35/month.
128 MB VPS starting at $9.99/mo.
Starts at $249/month per slice. A slice includes 125 GB bandwidth, 15 GB space, 5 mongrel instances.
IMPORTANT: Mention “ADARUBY” when you sign up on EngineYard, you’ll get $100 off!
Starts at $20/month for 100 GB space, 1 TB bandwidth. As of this writing, though, it still uses MySQL 4.1 and PostgreSQL 7.4, which is rather (very) outdated.
Regarding MediaTemple, Jordan Arentsen argues that their starter plan “may be good enough for most people, but if you want to host clients you are going to have to probably upgrade and that can be costly.” This is a snippet of his conversation with MediaTemple:
Yes, the 64MB’s that is initially provided in the (gs) Grid-Server hosting solution is usually enough to run one or two applications. However, if too many applications are running for the memory that is available or you have too many users accessing those applications then Ruby will close off one of the applications. Additionally, the applications in the container, while just idling, use approximately 20MB’s.
If you require additional memory in your container then you can add 256MB’s for an additional $25 / 256MB per month or 1GB is $75 extra per month.
As you know, the (gs) Grid-Server hosting plan is now the only available hosting solution we offer as the (ss) Shared Linux Server hosting solutions have been retired. We do still offer our (dv) Dedicated Virtual server hosting solutions and our true (dp) Dedicated-Physical Linux or Windows Server solutions.
My personal take: Even though the standard $20 package from MediaTemple may be somewhat limited, additional $75/month (for a total of $95/month) for 1 GB dedicated RAM is, I think, very reasonable. Try to ask that much to your VPS provider (and you won’t even get “The Grid”). My advice is, if you’re actually actually planning so that your site is very scalable (i.e. you do expect millions of visitors, GBs of bandwidth, every day), then you’re prepared with money, of course. Do contact each hosting’s support staff that you’re interested in to make sure their plan is the right one for you.
Testified to be very capable. The cheapest VPS starts at $19.95/mo with 96 MB RAM, 30 GB bandwidth, 4 GB space. Offers RimuHosting’s own RHEL-based distro, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora Core. Check out this topfunky’s post for more info.
Exclusively VPS hosting. Starts at $75/month + $30 setup for 256 MB RAM, 10 GB space, 100 GB bandwidth. Clusters are very scalable.
My buddy Ben Kittrell, a Rails Machine’s satisfied customer, says “This has to be the best part of the whole deal. It continues to impress me how fast everything is running. They have come up with the perfect configuration for running Ruby on Rails applications… I’m not sure what kind of pipe they’re on, but it’s fast enough that I don’t have to.” Read his full review for details.
As an added bonus, topfunky is also very satisfied with RailsMachine’s service:
RailsMachine is the best Rails-specific host that I’ve used. The railsmachine gem does all the setup in a few easy commands. It took me a total of one hour from the time I got my SSH login info to the time that I loaded the first page of my fully-functional site. Even better, I know that everything is setup properly with startup scripts, svn, and room for more Rails apps.
Knowing that my site is running on a RAID 10 storage system helps me sleep better at night. Support staff are very quick to respond and have intimate knowledge of Rails. The founder wrote the mongrel_cluster gem.
RailsMachine has been super reliable. You can find lower prices elsewhere, but the quality is definitely worth the price, in my opinion. If you have a site with any kind of revenue, I would recommend hosting it at a high-quality, reliable host like RailsMachine.
Dedicated servers from a reputable name.
A service from LayeredTech, VPS grids from $49/mo (256 MB RAM).
These guys are pretty insane in their prices. As of this writing, their hottest dedicated server deal is a $69/mo Celeron 1.6 GHz with 1 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive! Man, that’s even cheaper than a 1 GB VPS! Use this promo code: DS1-607.
Their name may seem strange, but they have unbelievably affordable dedicated server prices and very quick setup too!
Note: AdaRuby.com is currently hosted on CFH Developing’s server.
Regional Web Hosting Services
Some of these may require explicit request in order to support Rails web applications.
- WizHosting. They have Red Hat Linux and Windows Server 2003 plans.
- idVPS. Virtual private servers for Indonesian customers, starting from Rp250,000 for 64 MB RAM / 2 GB space.
- Qwords. Mainly shared hosting. Very cheap and great customer support.
- PasarHosting. Shared hosting starts at only Rp 1,000 per month.
- MasterWebNet. Indonesian Shared hosting.
Free Rails Hosting
For those that starts on a shoestring, no worries! We’ve got you covered.
Run by Pratik. I’ve not tried it yet, but he answered my messages personally, so I’m quite happy with it. Features:
- No Ads
- 100 MB space
- 1 GB bandwidth monthly
- Shell access
- Ruby on Rails
- Pre-installed Gems
- FastCGI Support (Typo blog is not allowed using FastCGI)
- PHP5 & Perl
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Unlimited subdomain, ftp accounts, email accounts
The feature list is extensive (PHP 5, PostgreSQL, Rails, 1 GB space, 100 GB bandwidth, etc.). Lots of satisfied clients in its forum. However, when I signed up for it, I got rejected in less than a week. Maybe it’s just me, you might be luckier though, as it seems so for so many other people.
Free non-profit web hosting. The feature list is totally yummy: Rails, MySQL, Subversion, PostgreSQL, … The bad news is: it does NOT accept new signups as of this writing. You might wait or…
Which one? The choice is up to you. Make a choice based on what you need, not by what others think it’s the best web hosting 3v3r… I’d say you’d be better off with a moderate plan first and upgrade as needed.
Some other places to look: