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.

Small- to medium-sized Rails apps

  1. DreamHost has full support for Ruby on Rails on their shared and VPS plans. Starting at just $8.95 per month all of their plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage, SSH access, 24/7 live chat support, and more. Dreamhost's VPS plans have simple on-the-fly scaling options, and they give you the first week free (two weeks for shared) to try out their services.
  2. HostGator has shared hosting plans that support Ruby on Rails starting at #3.96 per month with unlimited bandwidth and storage. This is a great choice if you are looking to deploy a new app, but don't have much of a budget. HostGator also has a level 1 VPS hosting plan starting at $19.95 per month which includes 10GB disk space and 250 GB bandwidth. They offer support for both passenger and Mongrel. Hostgator wants to help you completely customize a package that is going to fit your website every step of it’s growth. Additionally, they offer full root access and cPanel is available.
  3. A2Hosting offers a very inexpensive shared package starting at $4.95 per month for unlimited storage and unlimited data transfer.This is a great plan for those looking to get an app launched quickly with low costs. For VPS Hosting plans their "Core" plan starts with 10GB disk space and 200GB bandwidth for just $10.46 per month. Like other VPS plans they offer full root access, passenger and Mongrel. All of their VPS plans give you a choice when it comes to which Linux OS you can use including: CentOS, Fedora, Slackware, Ubuntu and Debian.
  4. Bluehost offers their unlimited disk storage, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited email, and unlimited transfer package for only $6.95 per month. If all of that wasn’t enough you also get 24/7 based US-based support with average support hold times under 30 seconds. Mongrel and Passenger come preloaded on all Bluehost servers and they offer full SSH secure shell access.
  5. Site5 offers an inexpensive shared hosting plan that starts at $4.95 per month with unlimited storage and bandwidth. This is perfect for Rails developer just getting started with a small budget. Site5 also offers managed VPS packages starting at $53 per month. They offer “No Worry” full management that takes away the root access so you don't have to handle updates, security and monitoring. They update everything including the operating system. This is a great package for someone who wants to launch their Rails app, but doesn’t want to have to worry about maintaining the server.

Large:

  1. Heroku has a free plan that gives you 5MB database. This will allow new Rails developers to get their app up and running in minutes with no out of pocket costs. Their paid plans start at as little as $36 per month and bigger plans up to $1692 per month. This is the ideal place to host your app if you will be starting small and growing your application to reach the masses. Every plan comes complete with 24/7 platform-wide monitoring, technical support, instant deployment, scaling and the flexibility to grow or reduce your usage at any time.
  2. Engine Yard has great Ruby on Rails hosting at really affordable prices. With this host you will be getting one of the finest Rails hosting experiences on the web. EngineYard features managed application runtime, monitoring of your available resources, and application capacity management. All to bring you the best hosting experience for your money. Also you won't be wasting money on unused resources or having to pay out tons of cash if you go over your resource limit, because with EngineYard, you only pay for what you use. EngineYard has three plans to choose from: Developer Setup, Small Web Application and Production Application. These plans are $178.02, $356.04 and $534.06 per month respectively. However, these are just their recommended plans. EngineYard gives you the option to scale and change your plan to meet your needs exactly.
  3. JoyentCloud offers state-of-the-art hosting solutions. They built their hosting environment from the ground up. This gives them the ability to offer the best performance at a lower price than most big hosting companies. They have plans on their Virtual Machines starting at $16 per month for 5GB of storage that scale up to $2080 for 200GB storage. All plans are scalable as JoyentCloud wants to make sure that you only pay for the resources that you use.
  4. LiquidWeb has their premium VPS hosting plan offered on both Windows and Linux operating systems. These plans come with 500GB disk space, 6000GB bandwidth and each server has mongrel and passenger pre-installed. Each of their VPS plans include full root server access, sonar VPS monitoring, 100% network uptime, and a 30 minute support response guarantee.
  5. HostGator offers their Level 9 VPS hosting plan for $209.95 per month. With this plan you get 231GB of disk space, 3150GB of bandwidth and passenger and mongrel come pre-installed on all servers for quick launching of your Rails application. Every HostGator account comes with unlimited domains, sub domains, email accounts, MySQL databases, full root access, 24/7 customer support and are fully managed.