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Heroku is Not for Beginners

Posted by Jim on 08/27/2012 in Rails Community, Heroku, and Rails Hosting Information.

Sure, like a drug dealer, they give you a little bit for free. But, how good is the stuff?

Heroku's main appeal is to take away the DevOps hassles and allow developers to "git push production" and not worry about what happens after the (insanely slow) deploy process. But, like most things in life, if it's too good to be true, then...yep, it's not true.

Heroku: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good:

  • See your app live on the Net for free.
  • Easily "heroku ps:scale web=10" to scale out your web tier or workers
  • Don't have to worry about log rotations, updating server software, creating your own deploy scripts, etc...
  • The Bad:

  • Once you get up and running a few dynos and workers, with a reasonable database, it's NOT cheap (i.e. you are spilling hundreds at this point).
  • Connectivity issues between dynos and third party services (e.g. Amazon S3) is too often unreliable.
  • Meet Virginia. Your web servers are forced into Amazon's Virginia datacenter, which is a serious problem if you need to target a specific area of the world to get faster speeds.
  • The Ugly:

  • TIMEOUT ERROR (And connection refused) HELL. Too many H12s and H18s for comfort. It's a nightmare for some apps.
  • CPU LIMITING. Heroku packs a gazllion of their dynos, presumably, onto large Amazon virtual server instances. When you are virtualizing an already-virtualized environment, you are going to run into CPU issues. We have seen requests that take 6 seconds only because they were allotted a total of 1 second of CPU time, over spurts, in that interval.
  • TOO MANY BLACK BOXES. You loose waaaaay to much customizability (and thus performance) when too many parts of your DevOps are behind the scenes.
  • Read more »

    Hosting Review: Just Host

    Posted by Jordan on 06/30/2011 in JustHost.

    At Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. The reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead they are opinions of customers that have gone before you, people who like you, value opinions and feedback. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy your Ruby on Rails application.

    Read more »

    Hosting Review: Fatcow

    Posted by Jordan on 06/29/2011 in Fatcow.

    At Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. The reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead they are opinions of customers that have gone before you, people who like you, value opinions and feedback. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy your Ruby on Rails application.

    Read more »

    Rails Hosting review: Rackspace

    Posted by Collin on 06/29/2011 in Rackspace and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    We here at Rails Hosting are bringing you yet another review compilation. "Why?" you may ask. At Rails Hosting we feel it is our duty to keep you as informed as we can manage when it comes to Rails hosting and the companies that provide it. We wouldn't want you to get suckered into hosting with some company that has no clue what they are doing. Nor do we want you paying for something hoping that it works out, when in fact hundreds of people have posted warnings all over the web trying to give you the information you need. Alternately we also want to make sure you are clued into the best of the best. So, in an effort to pack your brain with more information than is medically safe, we are bringing you reviews, reviews, and more reviews. We hope this information helps you in your quest to find your perfect Rails host.

    Read more »

    Rails Hosting review: iPage

    Posted by Jordan on 06/28/2011 in ipage.

    At Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. The reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead they are opinions of customers that have gone before you, people who like you, value opinions and feedback. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy your Ruby on Rails application.

    Read more »

    Rails Hosting review: Bluehost

    Posted by Jordan on 06/27/2011 in Rails Hosting Reviews.

    At Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. The reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead they are opinions of customers that have gone before you, people who like you, value opinions and feedback. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy your Ruby on Rails application.

    Read more »

    Rails hosting review: IXWebhosting

    Posted by Collin on 06/23/2011 in IXWebHosting and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that speaks on these posts. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Platform as a service, why should you use it for Rails hosting?

    Posted by Collin on 06/21/2011 in PaaS, Heroku, Engine Yard, and Rails Hosting Information.

    With companies like Engine Yard and Heroku offering great cloud service for Ruby on Rails developers, its hard, if not impossible to peer into the world of Rails hosting without hearing something about a company that provides cloud PaaS hosting, and the surrounding benefits. In case you haven't however, in an effort to be your go to source for all things Rails hosting related, we are going to take a look at the benefits of hosting with a company that provides Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud services.

    Read more »

    Rails hosting review: A2Hosting

    Posted by Collin on 06/20/2011 in A2Hosting and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    We here at Rails Hosting are bringing you yet another review compilation. "Why?" you may ask. At Rails Hosting we feel it is our duty to keep you as informed as we can manage when it comes to Rails hosting and the companies that provide it. We wouldn't want you to get suckered into hosting with some company that has no clue what they are doing. Nor do we want you paying for something hoping that it works out, when in fact hundreds of people have posted warnings all over the web trying to give you the information you need. Alternately we also want to make sure you are clued into the best of the best. So, in an effort to pack your brain with more information than is medically safe, we are bringing you reviews, reviews, and more reviews. We hope this information helps you in your quest to find your perfect Rails host.

    Read more »

    Rails hosting review: Site5

    Posted by Collin on 06/20/2011 in Site5 and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    At Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. The reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead they are opinions of customers that have gone before you, people who like you, value opinions and feedback. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy your Ruby on Rails application.

    Read more »

    Hosting Review: Engine Yard

    Posted by Jordan on 06/17/2011 in Engine Yard and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that will give you their opinions. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Hosting review: LiquidWeb

    Posted by Collin on 06/16/2011 in LiquidWeb and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that speaks on these posts. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Hosting review: Dreamhost

    Posted by Jordan on 06/15/2011 in DreamHost and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts will feature just one host and will give you a plethora of pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that speaks on these posts. We hope that their experiences, good or bad, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Hosting reviews: HostGator

    Posted by Collin on 06/15/2011 in HostGator and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts give you pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that will give you their opinions. We hope that their experiences, whether for good or ill, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Hosting reviews: Heroku

    Posted by Jordan on 06/14/2011 in Heroku and Rails Hosting Reviews.

    Here at Railshosting.org our goal is to bring you the most up to date information in the world of Rails hosting. Whether that's uncovering news stories, bringing you great lists of tutorials, top hosts, or giving you the information you need to make the best choice possible to host your app. In an effort to bring you the most up to date information we've decided to crowd-source some of our information and bring you hosting reviews of some of our top hosts. These posts will feature just one host and will give you a plethora of pros and cons to weigh your decision against. As is expected the reviews contained in these articles are not the opinions of Railshosting.org. Instead it's the voice of the internet, those that have gone before you that speaks on these posts. We hope that their experiences, good or bad, will aid you in your journey to build and deploy the application of your dreams.

    Read more »

    Rails reseller hosting plans. What’s the point?

    Don’t like any Rails hosting options you have come across? Think you could create a better hosting environment in your sleep? Do you have needs that no hosting company seems to be able to meet? Then we may have an option for you. Buying a dedicated server and reselling portions of it may be the solution for you. For many buying a reseller package is a good way for the entrepreneurial developer, with aspirations to begin a hosting company or other web venture, to start out. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: a reseller hosting package is a type of web hosting where the reseller account or dedicated server owner can partition their allotted drive space and bandwidth to host third party applications. Not only does this allow you to rent out space on the server, but it also gives you more control over you hosting environment.

    Read more »

    Free Rails hosting?

    If you’re out there looking for a Ruby on Rails version of free PHP hosting, there are a few options to choose from.Your first choice is going to be Heroku. They are the absolute leader in free Rails hosting. Their free plan offers a single dino and shared server space to get you up and running for free. The free tier works well for staging, testing, and running small apps. If your app grows and you get a ton of traffic the option to upgrade to a paid plan is simple and hassle free. Your second choice is HelioHost. The free plan from HelioHost includes "unlimited" bandwidth and .25GB of disk space, as well they offer Mongrel, Passenger, and Rails 3.0.3. HelioHost does not however offer SSH or the ability to run more than four applications on one plan. Third, check out AlwaysData. The free plan from AlwaysData offers .1GB of disk space, and 1GB bandwidth. AlwaysData's free plan also comes with restrictions such as forbidding the use of your account for profit and using your account for hosting proxies. Some companies will also occasionally offer one year of free Rails hosting in lieu of another year (or so) of paid hosting service on contract. HostingRails is one such company. They are currently offering one free year when you sign up for a "stacked", shared hosting plan. The price moves up to $7.95 a month after the first year of service and the starter plan offers the use of Mongrel, Passenger, 10GB of disk space and 100GB of bandwidth.

    Read more »

    Top 5 hosts for beginning Rails developers

    Posted by Collin on 06/13/2011 in IXWebHosting, HostGator, LiquidWeb, Heroku, Rails Hosting Information, and DreamHost.

    Looking for a place to host your first Rails app? Maybe you just have no idea what to look for in a host. If you are a developer who is just starting out with Rails then you need to know a few things. First, a lot of hosts don’t know what they are doing when it comes to supporting Rails. Second, a lot of hosts just flat don’t support the framework at all. With many hosts you really have to do your homework to make sure that your hosting experience will be a success. We have compiled a list of 5 hosting companies that are worthwhile for developers who are just starting out and are looking for a place to host their first applications.

    Read more »

    Top Ruby on Rails jobs in June

    Posted by Jordan on 06/11/2011 in Rails Jobs.

    As we mentioned a few days ago there are a ton of jobs for Rails developers. And by a lot, I mean there are hundreds, if not thousands of new positions opening up all over the web and world. A lot of positions are for web developers in general, but they all have Rails as either a necessary skill or as "a plus" to your resume. So, whether you're looking for a Rails job specifically, or more of a web generalist/guru position there are plenty of spots out there for you. Most of the jobs listed below are in the United States. However, a quick search will return a lot of jobs located all over the world. From Australia, to China, to Germany and Spain, if you're a Rails developer there are jobs out there with your name on them. We've scoured the net to bring you some of the hottest jobs and the companies you will be working for, if you take them.

    Read more »

    Top 5 websites to find Ruby on Rails jobs

    Posted by Jordan on 06/09/2011 in Rails Jobs.

    There are literally hundreds and hundreds of Ruby on Rails job offers out there. Just do a quick search on google or a search onTwitter and you'll see what I mean. There are seemingly more jobs offered than Rails developers available to fill them. Wondering why so many jobs? I won't bore you with the details. If you're reading this chances are you already know why Ruby on Rails is popular and why so many websites are using it to create great web experiences. What I can tell you is a few statistics about what you should expect as a Rails developer. First, the nation-wide (United States, sorry friends from elsewhere) average salary for a Rails developer is $92,000 per year. That's roughly 25% higher than the average salary for all jobs nationwide. Additionally, here are the stats from major cities in the United States:

    Read more »

    Why you should want a Ruby on Rails host that is in the news.

    Posted by Collin on 06/08/2011 in Rails Hosting News, Heroku, Engine Yard, and DreamHost.

    In the last few weeks there has been a lot of news coming from the Rails Hosting community. To name just a few: the Engine Yard and Aquio partnership, the announcement of the new Cedar stack available at Heroku, and the launch of the Rails 3.1 release candidate and the lack of hosts ready to test and subsequently add it to their services. The truth is that you need a hosting company that stays in the news for being innovative and building their company. Otherwise you will likely be sitting with a company that probably doesn’t pay attention to the growth of the language and the wildly, apparent growing needs of its development community. Most likely, (just read a few of the reviews on less notable hosting solutions) they won’t be able to keep up with service needs. Eventually those stagnant companies will fall away and only the companies willing to grow will be left.

    Read more »

    5 top Rails hosts located in the UK

    Posted by Collin on 06/07/2011 in Media27, 1st Easy, ByteMark, Brightbox, Primehosting, and Rails Hosting UK.

    If you are a Ruby on Rails developer in the UK, you may have had some trouble finding a hosting company with servers actually located in the UK. In our continued efforts to keep you up to date with the best list of hosting solutions, we have searched for, and located, several hosts with servers located in the UK (and the list keeps growing). We have also taken the time to list out the 5 that we think are the best for local UK Rails hosting.

    Read more »

    Engine Yard strikes a partnership with Acquia

    Posted by Jordan on 06/07/2011 in Engine Yard, Rails Hosting News, Aquia, and Drupal.

    Ruby on Rails news is important to us here at Railshosting.org. We hope to put as many resources for your Ruby on Rails and hosting needs together as possible. With that we hope to bring you the information that you will need to make wise choices, and get in on the movement within our ever-growing, Rails influenced sector of the web. With that being said, there is big news coming out of the wire this morning concerning EngineYard. Looks like they have struck a deal with Acquia to provide managed cloud service for Drupal and Ruby on Rails apps. The deal is being toted as the "New Cloud Platform-as-a-Service Partnership that Will Combine Best-of-Breed Open-Source Web CMS and Custom Web Application Development." With the combination of these two efforts, the development of social media websites and very specific web applications should take less time by developers who use Drupal and Ruby on Rails.

    Read more »

    Top 5 free tutorials for beginning Ruby on Rails developers

    Posted by Collin on 06/06/2011 in Rails Tutorials, Heroku, and DreamHost.

    Just getting into developing with Rails? Are you wanting to learn more about how to put together a Rails application? We looked and found the top five most up to date free tutorials for developing with Ruby on Rails. If you’re looking to learn more about coding with Ruby on Rails or just looking to find some good tutorials to brush up on your basics then bookmark these pages for easy reference.

    Read more »

    Find Rails Hosting solutions by server location

    Posted by Jordan on 06/06/2011 in Rails Hosting Information and Rails Host location.
    Looking for a rails host that will give you a quick response? Need a server that is located close to you? Look no further. We've done the leg-work of finding where all the major hosting providers house their servers. Some may surprise you. Datacenter coordinates were determined by IP geo-location. Railshosting.org is the only place to quickly and easily find a Rails Hosting provider by location. Locations are divided up by country and by states for hosts located in the United States. Our hope is to provide you with the information you need to choose the server that will work best for your app. Often hosts will provide information on where their offices are located, but not their servers. This can lead to low ping times and lag for users of your Rails app. Don't be fooled by 99% uptime reports. A hosting company may have great uptime, but do their servers respond in a timely manner?

    Read more »

    Hosts with tutorials on deploying Rails apps

    Posted by Jordan on 06/02/2011 in Rails Tutorials.

    Below is our extensive list of hosts with tutorials on installing and/or deploying a Rails app on their servers. Many new Rails developers have problems deploying their app for the first time. Often times this is attributed to being new at the Rails framework. However, sometimes this is due to servers not having easy installation and deployment methods. So, instead of leaving you to hope the server you choose will be easy to install on, we saved you the hassle and found as many tutorials as we could. Below are all the Rails installation and deployment guides that are server specific we could find. We hope this will be a great resource for you as you choose a Rails hosting solution.

    Read more »

    Heroku releases its “Celadon Cedar” stack into public beta

    Posted by Collin on 06/01/2011 in Rails Hosting News, Heroku, and Rails Hosting Information.

    Heroku is a leading Ruby on Rails hosting provider that prides itself on having a focused, easy to use and reliable service for hosting Rails. Heroku is excited to announce that as of June 1st, 2011 they are releasing their new Cedar stack into public beta. The new version of Heroku has previously been tested in alpha and private beta by hundreds of developers and Heroku customers. It is now ready for a public beta.

    Read more »

    Top Ruby on Rails Hosting Recommendations for Rails Apps of Any Size

    Posted by Jordan on 06/01/2011 in Rails Hosting Recommendations.
    In order to help you make the best decision for where to host your Rails app, we have put together the top five hosts for small-to-medium-sized apps as well as for large, high-traffic apps.

    When deciding on a host, consider: Why do you need hosting? How much experience do you have deploying Rails apps? And how much traffic do you expect?

    First, if you're just playing around or don't expect to be deploying anything huge, go with a free trial at DreamHost. Just configure your domain in their panel to be a Rails app, upload your project folder so the "public" directory matches the DocumentRoot you selected, and you're good to go.

    Second, even if you have tons of experience building server environments and dancing around a unix shell, all of these hosts for smaller apps allow SSH access so you can set things up exactly how you like it.

    Third, if you're expecting more than 1k dynamic hits a day or so, you'll want to deploy on a VPS or a cloud platform. Otherwise, if your app spits out pages that can be completely cached, a cheaper shared host will get the job done.

    Read more »

    The funding behind 6 top Ruby on Rails hosts

    Posted by Collin on 05/31/2011 in 1and1, Heroku, Engine Yard, DreamHost, Joyent, Rackspace, and Rails Hosting Information.

    Starting a new company? Ever wonder where your Rails host got its start? We looked into the backgrounds of several top Rails hosts to find out what started the machine, and what keeps it greased. It’s interesting to note that most (if not all) of the bigger hosting companies don’t have much financial history information readily available.

    Read more »

    5 hosts that support Rails and the exact service level you should expect

    Want your host to offer service with a smile? There are many Rails developers looking for a place to host their applications, and there are increasingly more hosting companies that “support” Rails. However, not all hosts are created equal. This is most clearly seen in their support teams. Not all support teams offer the same level of service. We have made a list of 5 hosts we think you should make note of who support Rails, and the service level you can expect from them. Keep in mind this is not a complete list of hosts that support Rails, just 5 that we think you should pay attention to for support quality and attention to Rails customers.

    Read more »

    Top 12 contributors to Ruby on Rails since 2004

    Posted by Jordan on 05/26/2011 in Rails History and Rails Community.

    We are Ruby on Rails enthusiasts. So we want to offer some love to the Ruby on Rails community, and give credit where credit is due. To the hard working folks who have brought this amazing programming framework to life, we salute you. We’re going to take a look at the top Ruby on Rails contributors since 1994. The list is sorted by the amount of commits they have contributed, not how well known they are. Without further adiu, here's our list:

    Read more »

    5 Rails hosts that have gone green

    Do you have a deep care for our environment and the impact we have on it? Do you fall asleep at night dreaming about recycling and hybrid cars? Is your company one with more recycling bins than trash cans? If so, we found 5 hosts that you may want to check out. Whether it be through solar power or low energy usage technology, these 5 hosts are making efforts to keep environmental impact at a minimum.


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    Results of asking 11 top shared hosting companies the question: "Will you be supporting Ruby on Rails 3.1?”

    Rails hosting services always boast things such as “excellent customer service”, “24/7 technical support” and “world-class customer service”. This is often at the very heart of their marketing campaign. It fills up their emails, tweets, Facebook posts, and covers their websites. If you’ve been coding with Ruby on Rails for any length of time you will testify that not many hosting companies actually live up to their promises. Often, right when you need their help the most, hosting companies will leave you waiting for hours to receive a response.

    So, we sent a few of the hosting companies (11 to be exact) an email with a question. All of the emails were sent around 3PM Central US Time on a Tuesday. The question was fairly simple: “Will you be supporting Ruby on Rails 3.1?” Below are the results of how long it took them to get back to us and the answer that we received. They are sorted by response time. Shortest time is at the top.

    Read more »

    Only 3 shared hosts ready for Rails 3.1? How lazy can we get?

    Posted by Collin on 05/24/2011 in Rails Hosting Information, DreamHost, HostGator, and LiquidWeb.

    For those of you who don’t know, and most of you do, having a host that updates Ruby on Rails with the latest framework and gems regularly is desirable. In this article we are taking a look at the hosts that going to hit the ground running with Rails 3.1 when it’s released. The results we find are astoundingly low. The update of Rails to 3.1 brings with it the implementation of “The Asset Pipeline”, which “makes CSS and JavaScript first-class code citizens and enables proper organization, including use in plugins and engines.” And many more features such as HTTP Streaming, default jQuery, Reversable Migrations, Mountable engines, Identity Map, Prepared statements, Rack::Cache on by default, Turn test-output on Ruby 1.9 ,Force SSL, Role-based mass-assignment protection, has_secure_password, and Custom serializers. Read on to find the champions of up to date Rails hosting.

    Read more »

    10 companies hiring Ruby on Rails ninjas, and why you want to work for them

    Posted by Collin on 05/23/2011 in Rails Jobs.

    Are you a couched Rails ninja? Does your current employer not appreciate your sweet ninja skills? If you’re on the market for a new job finding one can be tough. The economy is slow, less companies are hiring, and the companies that are hiring may not have what you are looking for. So I jumped into the fray to find what I think are 10 great companies to work for and listed them here(in no particular order), for your viewing enjoyment.

    Read more »

    The top 10 websites built with Ruby on Rails

    Posted by Collin on 05/19/2011 in Rails Tutorials.

    Ruby is a growing force in programming. With that growth we have seen some pretty phenomenal applications developed through it. In this article we will take a look at what are in my opinion the 10 best sites built using Ruby on Rails. So, if you have an idea for a large scale web app, and are considering developing it using the Ruby platform - or you are just curious what it is capable of as a language - read on and be informed. Otherwise, read on for knowledge and entertainment. ;)

    Read more »

    The top 10 Ruby on Rails presentations of all time

    Posted by Jordan on 05/18/2011 in Rails Tutorials.

    We’ve scoured the web to bring you the ten very best Ruby on Rails presentations out there. These are not your run of the mill presentations with a boring dude on a microphone droning on for three and a half hours. Instead, these are chock full of great information that will help you learn about Ruby on Rails if you’re new, get insights into programming and the scope of the language, and learn a few helpful tricks along the way.

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    Rubyphobic? Why some web hosts hide Ruby while others feature it.

    Posted by Collin on 05/18/2011 in Rails Hosting Challenges.

    In my search to find hosts that support Ruby on Rails I came across something curious. A lot of companies who provide RoR hosting but don’t seem to want anyone to know about it. Parking the words Ruby on Rails somewhere down at the bottom of a page, blended in with other features like, e-mail support. Admittedly there are a growing amount of hosts that support Ruby. But it’s almost as if, in choosing to support the language, they also hope no one notices. So, why, when a host chooses to support Ruby on Rails do they seem reluctant to admit that they support it at all? (minus a few companies)

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    10 things to look for in a hosting company that "supports" Rails

    Posted 05/16/2011 in Rails Hosting Information.

    In addition to the things you'd normally look for in a host, if you're going to be running a Rails app go with a company that offers:

    1. Shell/SSH Access
      If you can't get to the command line don't even think about it. So no goDaddy, period.
    2. Mod_Rails (Passenger) and/or Mongrel Support
      Rails is way too slow and unstable on cgi, fcgi, etc...
    3. The Latest Ruby and Rails Releases
      If they don't update their server fleet quickly it can be a serious security issue.
    4. Support Staff Who Know Rails
      Too many companies respond with something like 'that is a scripting question and we're not paid to answer that' — which is lame.
    5. Rails Documentation
      If you email support with a question like: 'Help I got a FastCGI: (dynamic) server ... has failed to remain running for 30 seconds error in my apache logs...' and they don't point you to some documentation they have already on the issue. You may want to find another host.
    6. Scalability Options
      Do they have plans that meet your future needs if your app gets big? Will they setup a good Rails stack for you on a VPS or dedicated server (even if they don't advertise it)? Will they help you into a multi-server Rails environment if necessary? Can they move your account between boxes/plans seamlessly?
    7. Pre-installed Gems
      Its nice to be able to run 'gem unpack BlueCloth' or something and have it already installed on the server.
    8. mySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite Databases
      It is extremely helpful and nice to have these options if you're developing apps that soar on (or are designed for) one or the other.
    9. Git, Subversion, Trac, and/or Buzilla Hosting.
      Not only are these helpful apps, but its a good sign that the company supports developers.
    10. A Website or Applications of Their Own Developed with Rails!
      This is certainly a good sign that they are serious about the framework and its use in a production environment.

    Why is a good Rails host hard to find?

    Posted 05/12/2011 in Rails Hosting Challenges.

    The short answer is because it is costly and a huge pain.

    It is difficult to operate a hosting company that has the latest Ruby and Rails software installed across your server fleet, to make updates quickly, to answer support questions intelligently about a relatively new framework, to provide good and full documentation for Rails apps, and to maintain reliable uptime on your servers. Most hosting companies are used to operating with PHP/Perl/etc. and aren't used to the problems with Ruby/Rails — which they are being forced to install because Rails is so popular and people are crashing servers with custom installs.

    At its core, Rails is designed to be served up in a dedicated environment and runs best with cached ruby, models, pages, etc... sitting in memory ready to spit out data to requesting browsers. This is why Passenger and Mongrel are so dang popular (for good reason!). They make sites load and run faster because they utilize server RAM. So you can see why trying to serve Rails in a huge shared environment is tough: holding hundreds of persistent processes in RAM is impossible.

    Shared hosting companies usually pull off the Apache/Passenger stack by simply killing off processes every minute or so and praying that no client actually uses the bandwidth he/she signed up for. Thus, there's no way you can pack as many clients onto a server like you can with PHP/Perl/etc. Loads would go nuts. Servers would crash. Clients would not be happy.

    So, if a hosting company takes the financial hit and doesn't crowd their servers and keeps processes killed — they can serve up Rails OK in a more traditional hosting environment.

    OK — now that you have an idea about why it is so difficult to serve up Rails, check out what would be the right hosting option for your situation as well as our Rails hosting reviews to find yourself a reliable Rails host and get your app live.

    What can you develop with Ruby on Rails?

    Posted 05/10/2011 in Ruby on Rails Features.

    Well, if you haven't experienced it already, you can essentially write your own cookie-cutter Web 2.0 app (full of all the AJAXy community goodness) more robustly and in much less time (and lines of code) than with any other language or framework.

    That is, any database-driven application that you want to fill with all the hottest plugins like Google Maps API and Flickr and such can be done relatively easily. People are busting out with new plugins for Rails everyday. Plus, it really is a joy to code in Ruby with the Rails framework; you'll think to yourself, "why didn't someone come up with years ago? It would have saved me a lot of time."

    Why develop with Ruby on Rails?

    Posted 05/10/2011 in Rails vs Other Frameworks.

    If you've ever been frustrated by spending more time on the syntax of a particular language than on developing the actual content of your web application, then you should look into Rails. Actually, its better than that. Rails allows you to write less code and get more done in less time. Period.

    Many think that Rails is a new "buzz" just because of its integrated AJAX functions and object-oriented database handling. But after developing one Rails app you'll realize that this little framework does much more — it forces a developer to write neater code, segment work-flow, and focus on the implementation of new ideas to get the job done better and faster.

    We can talk all day, but see for yourself. Not only is this site (RailsHosting.org) a tiny example of a Rails app, but you can also check out a huge number of other sites using Rails.

    You can also observe some neat demos we're working on here, as well as the demos on Thomas Fuch's site.

    What is Ruby on Rails?

    Posted 05/06/2011 in Rails History.

    Ruby is an intuitive, object-oriented scripting language originally created in the 1990s by Yukihiro Matsumoto. Check out www.ruby-lang.org to learn more.

    Ruby on Rails is a web application framework written in Ruby. It was created in 2004 by David Heinemeier Hansson and optimized by hundreds of other developers since then. It serves as an authoring environment to facilitate the rapid (and fun!) development of robust web applications. For more information, check out the Ruby on Rails homepage.

    What is the right Rails Hosting plan/stack for you?

    Posted 05/06/2011 in Rails Hosting Information.
    First of all - you should be doing all of your developing on your local machine. Never run your app in development mode (especially with FastCGI!) in a shared hosting environment because it hogs system resources like crazy.

    If your Rails app is:

    • Non-existent or in development ('just checking out/testing Rails)

      • Hosting Plan - Shared
      • Server Stack - Apache/Passenger is great place to start!


    • 0 - 100 hits/day

      • Hosting Plan - Shared
      • Server Stack - Apache/Passenger is more than adequate. If you absolutely need fast page-loads then look into Mongrel or static Passenger instances.


    • 100-1,000 hits/day

      • Hosting Plan - Shared
      • Server Stack - Apache/Passenger (mod_rails) is OK. If you absolutely need fast page-loads then look into Mongrel or static Passenger instances.


    • 1,000-2,000 hits/day

      • Hosting Plan - Shared or Virtual Dedicated
      • Server Stack - Should have Mongrel or static Passenger instances.


    • 2,000-5,000 hits/day

      • Hosting Plan - Virtual Dedicated or Dedicated, depending on bandwidth usage.
      • Server Stack - Go with Apache2/Passenger, use Pound or mod_proxy_balancer to mediate loads to Mongrels if you must.


    • 5,000+ hits/day

      • Hosting Plan - Dedicated server(s)
      • Server Stack - Go with Apache2/Mongrel, use mod_proxy_balancer to mediate loads. Recenter, Passenger has proven suitable in this environment as well.

    Ruby on Rails Hosting Reviews

    Posted 05/04/2011 in Reviews.

    DreamHost Review

    Review of www.dreamhost.com and the company's ability to host and support Ruby on Rails applications

    We'll start with DreamHost because they are probably one of the largest and cheapest hosts that do a good job serving Rails.

    Tip: use their promo code 50OFFRAILS to get $50.00 USD off any of their plans at signup.

    We've been hosting Rails applications with DreamHost for over two years now and would highly recommend them for low-budget, low-to-medium-traffic apps that need a huge amount of space and bandwidth to operate. They are also great for beginners who want to experiment.

    The company itself is run out of a datacenter in California (which is located in the same building as the MySpace.com guys and the hosting company iPowerWeb). They've been in operation since 1996 and have stood the test of time for keeping servers up and running and customers happy.

    When we first stumbled upon DreamHost we were blown away. A factor of 10 more disk space and bandwidth than the other hosts? 97-day full money-back guarantee? There must have been some catch? And yes there was (we found after hours of reading up on the host); Apparently DreamHost was once a dream of a host, but as a result they have expanded big time and are now facing the problem that all hosting companies face 5-10 years into their successful business plans - old equipment, overwhelming problems, and the question "is it really worth fixing it?"

    We suspect that in 2005 DreamHost lost the fast-paced growth that they saw in previous years. However, they seemed to turn things around in 2006 with a ton of new equipment and, after surviving the crazy California power outages that left their building dead a couple of times in Summer 2006, they've learned their lesson. From all the notifications and newsletters we've read, they seem like guys who actually love what they do and professionals who can get the job done at the end of the day.

    To make a long story short, we went with DreamHost and have been hosting an array of test sites and production sites with them and things are going well. They serve a good purpose.

    And fear not about uptime, typing in 'uptime' right now (as of this writing on 2008-03-07) shows us:
     
    10:28:11 up 27 days, 57 min,  3 users,  load average: 3.27, 4.64, 5.30
    
    and we've seen greater than 99.9% uptime overall.

    Thus, we highly recommend DreamHost and have even posted on this page a Rails QuickStart Guide for DreamHost customers to help developers get their Rails apps up and running with FastCGI in minutes. Personally, the deciding factors for us came down to a promo code (use 50OFFRAILS) and the 97-day guarantee, so the final cost was about $5 a month and if things got bad we could always bail and get our money back.


    Site5 Review

    Review of www.site5.com and the company's ability to host and support Ruby on Rails applications

    Site5's datacenter is in New Jersey and they are operating almost 200 shared servers. They are probably one of the fastest growing companies on the Net, have a slick new website, and have hired a team of Rails engineers to build Rails apps behind the scenes for them and for their customers. (a good sign).

    However, our personal experience with Site5 was horrible. Yes they answered support questions fast but they overstuffed our server (they actually admitted this to us) so we had daily downtime.

    Lame.

    More info about Site5.com coming Soon...


    TextDrive Review

    Review of www.textdrive.com and the company's ability to host and support Ruby on Rails applications

    TextDrive is the self-proclaimed 'Official Rails Host' and are undoubtedly smart about what they're doing. Its difficult to say bad things about a company that gives so much of their time, energy, and money toward advancing the development of Rails - but to be honest for a shared environment you can get more hosting, better uptime, and faster support for at least half the price.

    More info about TextDrive.com coming Soon...


    HostingRails Review

    Review of www.hostingrails.com and the company's ability to host and support Ruby on Rails applications

    HostingRails is an excellent hosting company that focuses specifically on Rails - biggest bonus is that they sell dedicated memory and Mongrel hosting setups for less than $10 USD / mo. You can get your app speeding along there by ordering a Mongrel cluster proxyed behind Apache2 with mod_proxy_balancer, which is awesome because that's what the main Ruby on Rails website uses. Being as curious as we are we purchased a "Business plan" account for this site (RailsHosting.org) and things are running great - ten times faster than the FastCGI setup we had with our previous host.

    They've been in operation since the beginning of 2006 and provide high-quality 24/7 support for Rails (i.e. they actually offer to deploy your Rails app for you) and the oppurtunity for mod_rails hosting coming soon. They have nice documentation for Rails apps - which was a huge perk for us. Their datacenter is in Dallas, Tx - and the company has excellent options for you to scale up, even to VPS and dedicated servers.

    More info about HostingRails.com coming Soon...


    RailsPlaygroud Review

    Review of www.railsplayground.com and the company's ability to host and support Ruby on Rails applications

    RailsPlaygound has been rockn' the Rails scene since 2005 and has a strong base of extremely happy clients. We're one of them. We've been hosting some of our larger projects on their dedicated servers and they have done an excellent job with support and network uptime. We know their other hosting is solid as well - you really can't go wrong with these guys.


    More reviews are on the way...



    Deploying a Rails App with DreamHost

    Posted 05/03/2011 in DreamHost and Deployment Tutorials.
    UPDATED TUTORIAL COMING SOON. Greetings everyone. Our experience has taught us that getting an app up and running online with FastCGI enabled on a shared host is not easy. Many developers have run through this tutorial from scratch and we have received a lot of positive feedback from those who have successfully used it to deploy their applications online with DreamHost. If you decide to sign up for a plan with this hosting company (which we'd recommend), please consider using their promo code 50OFFRAILS - which instantly gives you $50.00 off any of their plans (i.e. starting at ~$5/month hosting for 20GB+ space and 1TB+ monthly bandwidth) and helps us out with hosting costs. Thanks.

    Ok - this tutorial assumes that you have a working Rails app on your local machine and wish to have it up and running on your DreamHost server with FastCGI in production mode.

    Here we go:

    As soon as your username and password are set youíll log into their control panel which will look something like this.

    Rails Hosting - DreamHost Web Panel

    Click on the "Domains" tab and look for the following

    Rails Hosting - DreamHost Add Domain

    Click on the "Add New Domain / Sub-Domain" and then you'll see something like this (a slightly older pic, but you get the idea):

    Rails Hosting - DreamHost Fully Hosted Domains

    It is important that FastCGI is selected. You may also use a subdomain and load your app there if you don't want it hogging your site. We'll tell you how to set the web directory root to your public folder later.

    OK, go to Goodies > mySQL and you'll see the following (again, they've spruced up their mySQL so it will look a bit different):

    Rails Hosting - DreamHost mySQL

    Enter in all your info and make note of it.

    Login to your FTP/SSH domain (ours was slauson.dreamhost.com) via your favorite SSH program (we use SSH Secure Shell, but openSSH is free if you're looking for one) and get to the command line to generate your rails app (note: if your user does not have SSH enabled you can do so by going to the users -> manage users -> edit window).

     
    > cd www.domain.com
    > rails your_app_name
    

    You don't need to generate the scaffolds, controllers, or models here if you have them on your local box.

    Ok, at this point we would recommend going to the config folder on your local machine and setting up some *.online versions of the database.yml, routes.rb, and the environment.rb. Even though once you upload them to the server you'll remove the .online part to replace the existing files, we found that using this method helped keep my configurations for local development and online production organized.

    Rails Hosting - Make online files

    The 'production' part of your database.yml.online should look like this:

     
    production:
      adapter: mysql
      database: your_database_name
      username: your_database_username
      password: *******
      host: your_mysql_host_name.com
      port: 3306
    

    Note that we got rid of the socket line used for connecting to a local mySQL database (DreamHost uses remote mySQL servers).

    Weíll also give you a tip about your environment.rb file ñ add the following lines to the end of the file to allow yourself to send emails later from your DreamHost server.

     
    # Include your application configuration below 
    ActionMailer::Base.delivery_method = :smtp
    ActionMailer::Base.server_settings = {
      :address => "domain-of-smtp-host.com",
      :domain => "domain-of-sender.com",
      :port	=> 25,
      :authentication => :login,
      :user_name => "your_user_name",
      :password => "*****" }
    ActionMailer::Base.perform_deliveries = true
    ActionMailer::Base.raise_delivery_errors = true
    ActionMailer::Base.default_charset = "utf-8"
    

    In your environment.rb file it is also important to uncomment the following line:
     
    ENV[ëRAILS_ENVí] ||= ëproductioní
    
    Please Note: NEVER run your Rails app with FastCGI in development mode on a shared host (or anywhere) - this will always lead to memory leaks. DreamHost does have a watchdog for this - but don't test it!

    And in your routes.rb set the default route to the name of your main controller (you will see that all you need to do it uncomment this line and add in your controller name).
     
    map.connect '', :controller => "your_main_controller_name"
    

    OK, at this point you can dump all your mySQL data online to your database domain that you set above (it should be ready by now).

    Then FTP your entire app directory to replace the one that was built on the server.

    Now you can open the config folder and upload in your online versions of database.yml, environment.rb, and routes.rb files (remember to remove the .online part).

    Next, upload your images, styles, and javascripts to the appropriate folders in the public directory. Make sure you public folder files stay CHMOD 755 ish and don't get too high or low (this is, believe it or not, a common error point). Then make sure your .htaccess file has the little ëfí to make your app FastCGI and upload it:
     
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.fcgi [QSA,L]
    
    You must also DELETE the index.html file in your public folder. Your route.rb will now send requests to your main controller.

    OK, at this point you can point your browser to www.domain.com/your_rails_app/public and you should see your rails app running fast and nice. If not, double check everything above. If it still doesn't work, feel free to email us at info _at_ railshosting.org and we'd be happy to help you out.

    It is very important to note that in production mode with FastCGI much of your application data is cached and held in memory. This means that Rails is 'always on' and ready to feed a browser with code. Thus, if you make any changes to your app (database, controllers, views, models, config, etc...) you'll need to run via the command line:
     
    killall -USR1 dispatch.fcgi
    
    You won't be able to kill other user's processes (as you'll see) - but yours should be shut down after this. You can also try:
     
    killall -9 ruby
    
    ...but we believe as of a couple of months ago DreamHost disabled users from doing this (our own observations, please let us know if you see otherwise).

    Ok

    Last thing is make your public folder the root web directory. If your a shell symlink master (see below) you know how to do this, but for everyone else you can do this by going back to the DreamHost control panel and making your way to Domains -> Manage Domains and click "edit" next to your Rails app domain (again, sorry for the slightly old pic).

    Rails Hosting - DreamHost Web Directory

    change the web directory path to your public folder and that's it. Wait about 10 mins, point your browser to your www.domain.com, and youíre all set.

    We actually recommend that you become a shell/symlink master, with Dreamhost we often create our own Rails app folders in my root and then can easily symlink to a test/preview domain ([~]$ ln -s ~/myapp/public ~/www.thetestpreviewdoamin.com ), make sure things are working, then symlink to our live domain ([~]$ rm ~/www.thetestpreviewdoamin.com    [~]$ ln -s ~/myapp/public ~/www.thelivedoamin.com ). It just makes things a little easier and this helps you if you ever go with other hosts that give you SSH/Shell access.