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.
Some hosts that offer Rails will argue that safety is in sitting back and sticking with the tried and tested methods. This includes server sizes, configurations, Rails packages, and being unwilling to push growth with mergers, partnerships and new software. I believe that it is true to say that companies should continually offer trusted methods of hosting, as well as push the envelope with new innovations and development. This should include improving their server structures, and language framework upgrades. If a company is focusing on product growth in an effort to better suit their customer base, they are also looking to grow in the world of service and technical expertise as well. At the end of the day your hosting company should be pushing the envelope in all areas they offer. Don't get caught in the dust because you decided to go with the cheapest shared plan on the web. The few dollars you save is not worth the headache of having a bad hosting experience. The little bit of money saved could have been invested into your coding time.
In summary if your current host doesn’t seem to be moving the ball forward with advances in technology you should consider switching to a host that doesn’t have their head buried in the ground. We've mentioned a few of our recommendations before. If you are looking for a forward thinking, shared host consider what DreamHost has to offer. They are innovative and working with the Ruby on Rails community to further the language. Additionally, they are focused on upgrading their own hosting structure. If the shared hosting environment doesn’t suit you we recommend Heroku or Engine Yard . Both of these hosting solutions continue to be innovative and progressive in the field of Rails hosting. Heroku offers one of, if not the, best free plans on the web. Engine Yard is the industry leader in Rails in the Cloud services.