Ruby on Rails hosting: 7 powerful providers for your Rails projects
In this article, I cover the 7 best Ruby on Rails hosting providers to choose from. More so, at the end of it, I’ve prepared a list of factors to consider when picking the right one.
Popular for its widespread use in web application development, Ruby is a free open-source high-level programming language that places a great focus on simplicity. In spite of its simplicity, Ruby (programming language) on Rails (framework) has proven to be a powerful and productive resource for building all sorts of software tools and applications. This is why a good number of developers have stuck with it even after about 16 years since its inception.
Aside from simplicity and productivity, Ruby on Rails remains a developers’ favorite because of the passionate and supportive community that backs it. This means that even the least tech-savvy beginners can easily find a lot of documentation to help them overcome the learning curve. However, the challenge arises when it’s time to host all the software applications that you intend to build on this framework.
When it comes to web hosting Ruby on Rails, the most important thing to bear in mind is that the framework is highly resource-hungry. In other words, a higher level of server resources may be needed than for your regular website. This is essentially why picking the right hosting services may be a little trickier here than in other cases.
In order to save you the stress and sweat of having to test several hosting providers, I embarked on a thorough search of which vendors are best for Ruby on Rails hosting. Here are my findings.
The 7 best Ruby on Rails hosting providers: ranked
- Liquid Web - affordable advanced Ruby on Rails hosting.
- Hostinger - cheapest VPS hosting with great performance.
- DreamHost- resource-rich shared hosting for RoR.
- Bluehost - an all-in-one unmanaged hosting solution.
- HostGator- RoR hosting with a lot of options.
- A2 Hosting - cheap unmanaged VPS hosting for experts.
- InterServer - easy one-click RoR installation.
If you’re not too sure which provider is the best for you, I have prepared a list of factors to consider when picking one.
1. Liquid Web
|Features||Fully managed, security features, and InterWorx control panel|
|Best for||Premium managed VPS hosting for Ruby on Rails|
Liquid Web VPS hosting plans are arguably some of the most robust options for Ruby on Rails hosting. The web host’s managed VPS hosting offers a great deal of power and tons of security features. Additionally, its ease of use can help with efficiency for busy developers.
Liquid Web comes first on my list because of its focus on managed VPS hosting. The general idea of managed hosting is that your host’s team of experts takes care of critical maintenance and security issues for you. And this vendor does just exactly that.
To make your hosting experience as smooth as possible, the host comes with resource-rich packages. Each of its VPS plans comes with Server Secure Advanced Security, integrated Firewall, DDoS attack protection, and lots of other powerful features.
When it comes to Ruby on Rails specifically, you can install whichever available Ruby version by using RVM (Ruby Version Manager.)
Now talking about control panels, Liquid Web allows you to choose either an InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Admin panel. This means that you can work with a tool that’s the most familiar to you.
Lastly, the provider gives root-level access. This way, you can control your managed virtual private server as you wish.
Liquid Web pricing
Liquid Web offers VPS hosting plans with prices ranging from $15/mo to $95/mo for Linux and $54/mo to $151/mo for Windows. In all, there are 4 Linux and 3 Windows hosting plans.
The standard Linux VPS plans can include from 2 to 8 vCPUs, 40 to 200 GB SSD storage, and 10 TB bandwidth. While the majority of the resources vary, the bandwidth remains the same.
Both the Linux and Windows VPS hosting plans also have special offers like Bundle&Save. Each of the VPS plans can be upgraded for a few extra $ to include threat stack detection, web protection, business emails, and a 100GB backup quota.
Depending on how much resources you’re planning on using, choose the best plan accordingly. If you’re not too sure how much you'll be needing, go for the entry plan and scale when needed. With a 2-year subscription, the 2 GB RAM plan will cost you only $360 in total. If you see additional value in Save&Bundle options, go for those.Check Liquid Web Pricing Now
Liquid Web performance
Looking at the Liquid Web’s performance, the vendor appears to be very reliable and fast.
The host kept a perfect 100% uptime for more than 4 weeks. Throughout that time, the average response time came up to 521ms. The provider promises power and reliability, and that’s exactly what you get.
Such great results do not come as a surprise since Liquid Web guarantees an uptime of 100% in its SLA (Service Level Agreement.)
To make sure that you have some flexibility, the provider allows you to choose 1 out of 3 server locations (west coast, east coast, and Europe.) This way, you can choose the server closest to your audience and battle the unwanted latency.
Simply put, Liquid Web is very reliable and powerful. The host is among the best-performing VPS providers on the market.
Web hosting Ruby on Rails with Liquid Web is generally a pleasant experience. At a great price on the 2-year plans, you’ll be getting fully managed VPS hosting, ample server resources, and great server features.
- Fully-managed VPS hosting
- Many security features
- Good introductory discount
- 100% uptime SLA
- No money-back guarantee
|Features||Semi-managed, VPS control panel, auto-installer|
|Best for||Budget semi-managed RoR hosting|
Hostinger offers arguably the cheapest VPS hosting in the industry. The vendor also boasts a lot of rich features that are absolutely critical for Ruby on Rails hosting. With its intuitive management panel, fantastic performance, and data centers around the world, the web host is a pretty difficult contender to overlook.
Though Hostinger doesn’t support Ruby on Rails hosting on its shared servers, a quick glance at the available VPS hosting plans will quickly convince you that you aren’t missing out on much.
The VPS plans are semi-managed – software installation and configurations are left to you. Hostinger only takes care of the hardware setup and server security. This is slightly less beginner-friendly, but you do get a VPS control panel with web script and OS installers.
If you have the required expertise or you’re willing to learn, it’s one of the best platforms for Ruby on Rails hosting. Plus, you won’t really be lacking any raw power or storage on any of the available plans either.
Additionally, Hostinger gives root-level access, so you can easily manage your VPS fully and freely.
Hostinger offers 6 Linux VPS hosting plans priced between $3.95/mo and $38.99/mo with a 4-year subscription.
All plans include a dedicated IP, full root access, and a 100 Mb/s Network. Resource vise they vary from 1 to 6 vCPU, 1 to 8 GB RAM, 20 to 160 GB SSD storage, and 1 to 8TB bandwidth.
When it comes to a money-back guarantee, Hostinger offers the standard 30-day period for you to test things out. In general, the web host’s VPS hosting plans are easily some of the cheapest in the market. And it doesn’t hold back on the resources on offer too.
Depending on the size of your project, you can opt for whichever plan that offers the amount of resources you need. However, since Hostinger makes it very easy to scale, I suggest you opt for the cheapest VPS plan and grow your way up. With a 4-year subscription, the total will be only $189.60.Check Hostinger Pricing Now
Talking about performance, Hostinger is not one to disappoint. For a low price, you get truly impressive results.
For more than 2 weeks, the provider kept a perfect 100% uptime and 540ms average response time. Indeed, nothing beats cheap VPS hosting that performs great.
Even though the official uptime guarantee promises 99.9%, it’s pretty clear that the actual results are much better.
To guarantee that such results remain regardless of your target audience’s location, the host offers 7 server locations. You can go with either the US, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore, or Indonesia.
For those looking for reliable and fast performance, Hostinger is a great option to try out. With perfect uptime won’t leave you doubting.
Overall, this vendor stands out because of its great performance and highly affordable plans for VPS hosting, which can easily support RoR applications.
- Cheapest VPS hosting
- Excellent uptime result
- Full root access
- VPS control panel
- Doesn’t support RoR on shared hosting
|Features||RoR hosting on all servers, custom control panel, fully managed VPS|
|Best for||Small Ruby on Rails projects|
DreamHost is one of the biggest hosting providers out there. Its main strengths include very affordable prices for very inclusive plans. But why should you consider it for your Ruby on Rails hosting? All DreamHost servers have Ruby pre-installed.
If you’re in search of the cheapest possible hosting for Ruby on Rails, then DreamHost is definitely the way to go. The vendor achieves this by supporting Rails applications on its shared servers. But shared hosting definitely comes with its own resource limitations. You’ll have to decide individually whether your project can put up with limitations like storage, RAM, and an older Ruby version.
If shared hosting is just a tad bit too limiting, DreamHost also supports Ruby on its VPS hosting. The host offers a fully managed VPS, which means that you can rest worry-free as an experienced DreamHost employee takes care of all the possible issues with your virtual server. Also, it’s nice to know that VPS prices don’t increase upon renewal.
Regardless of the differences both shared, and VPS hosting options are managed with a custom DreamHost’s control panel.
Now looking at Ruby on Rails specifically, it appears that the host’s shared servers presently run version 2.5.1 of the programming language, while VPS runs the 2.5.5 version.
The provider itself does not recommend using shared hosting for Ruby. However, it is down to you entirely. If your project is very small and you are positive that shared hosting will be sufficient enough, choose that.
DreamHost offers 2 RoR-compatible shared hosting plans priced at $2.59/ mo and $3.95/mo accordingly. A more resource-packed VPS hosting includes 4 options with prices ranging between $10/mo and $80/mo.
Both shared hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, automatic backups, and a free domain.
Here are the different resources available on each plan:
- Shared Starter ($2.59/mo) - 1 website, 50GB SSD storage, unlimited traffic, free domain, and a free SSL. Email account for an additional fee of $1.67/mo.
- Shared Unlimited ($3.95/mo) - unlimited websites, email accounts, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited traffic, free domain, and a free SSL.
However, 4 VPS hosting plans priced from $10/mo up to $80/mo do a much better job at hosting resource-intensive apps.
The resources vary from 1 to 8 GB of RAM, 30 to 240 GB of SSD storage, and unlimited traffic. Considering the price point of these plans, what you get is pretty generous. More so, renewal rates don’t increase for VPS plans, so you get to enjoy the same price all year round.
The host also offers a remarkable 97-day money-back guarantee no matter if you go with shared hosting or VPS.
If you’re looking for a simple plan for your blog site Single is a very good option. It offers triple 30GB storage, which is more than enough for one site. With a 48 month subscription, this plan will be just $66.72 in total. However, you will have to purchase a domain separately, which will be an extra $8-10 per annum.Check DreamHost Pricing Now
DreamHost shows very impressive results when it concerns performance. The host is reliable and fast – a full package.
Let’s begin with DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee. Yes, the provider claims to offer you 100% uptime. However, keep in mind that this does not include mandatory server maintenance time. Simply put, you will experience some downtime, just barely any. This shows in the provider’s near-perfect >99.99% uptime on its shared hosting plan.
Even more pleasing is the average response time - just 231ms. It’s not even half of the market's average, which means that the host is among the fastest shared hosting providers out there.
One thing to note - DreamHost has data centers exclusively in the US. This means that such great performance can be expected in the US too.
All in all, DreamHost’s performance is simply impressive. The uptime is great, and the response time is even greater.
Considering the affordable shared hosting plans it offers, DreamHost may be the perfect fit for small-scale Ruby on Rails projects. At a very affordable price point, you’ll be getting great performance and ample server resources across the board. It was really difficult to find a clear deal-breaker here.
- Ruby on Rails support on shared servers
- Excellent pricing on all plans
- Very reliable and fast performance
- The latest RoR versions are not available
|Features||RoR hosting on all servers, cPanel for shared hosting, fully managed VPS|
|Best for||Beginner-friendly web hosting for small Ruby on Rails projects|
Bluehost is one of the best-known providers in the web hosting market. It is also one of a few web hosts that supports Ruby on Rails hosting across all its packages. With its competitive pricing, especially on the 3-year shared hosting plans, users get great value for their money.
If you’re on a budget or your Ruby project is of small scale, you might benefit from shared hosting. Since the provider supports Ruby even on its shared plans, you are free to go with this option. However, keep in mind that shared hosting resources may be too little for most Ruby on Rail projects.
For additional ease of use, you get to manage your hosting with a mixture of native management panel and cPanel integration.
If you need something more powerful than shared servers, Bluehost also has VPS solutions. The provider offers fully managed VPS plans with root access. This simply means that you can manage your virtual server as you please. Additionally, you get a cPanel/WHM user management panel for easy use.
Unfortunately, the provider doesn’t state upfront which Rails version it’s running on its different plans. On the positive side, even the cheapest shared hosting plan offers as much as 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, 20 MySQL databases, and a free SSL, which is pretty generous for an entry plan.
Bluehost’s 4 shared hosting plans are priced from $3.95/mo up to $13.95/mo. The more resource-rich VPS hosting allows you to choose from 3 plans ranging from $19.99/mo to $59.99/mo.
All shared hosting plans offer unmetered bandwidth and a free SSL certificate.
Here are plan-specific resources:
- Basic ($3.95/mo) - 1 website, 50 GB SSD storage, 1 domain, and 25 subdomains.
- Plus ($5.95/mo) - Unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited domains, and unlimited subdomains.
- Choice Plus ($6.95/mo) - All benefits on Plus with additional site backup for a year and domain privacy protection.
- Pro ($13.95/mo) - All benefits on Choice Plus with an additional dedicated IP.
Keep in mind that “unlimited” in the hosting world has a pretty loose meaning. There are very few things in this world that are unlimited, and server resources are not one of them.
Now, if shared hosting is too limited for your needs, Bluehost has 3 VPS plans with prices ranging from $19.99/mo to $59.99/mo.
The resources vary from 2 to 4 Cores, 2 to 8 GB of RAM, 30 to 120 GB of SSD storage, 1 to 3 TB bandwidth. More so, you get access to an improved cPanel interface, full root access, and multi-server management.
The cheapest Ruby on Rail web hosting is available with BlueHost’s shared plans. If you go with the Plus plan with a 3-year subscription, the plan will cost only $214.20. Yet if you’re after more power, you can opt for a VPS plan for $19.99/mo.Check Bluehost Pricing Now
When we talk about performance, Bluehost proved to be attention-worthy even with its shared plans.
Truthfully, it is a little concerning that the host does not have an uptime guarantee. However, Bluehost proved that this is not something to worry about by delivering an impressive 99.99% uptime.
Now while the maximum response time of 703ms is not perfect, the overall average response time of 361ms is nothing short of impressive. Just barely over a half of the market’s average time.
Additionally, I must say that the host is expected to perform best for US-based audiences as its data centers are located in the US only.
Rounding it up, it seems that Bluehost will deliver your content to visitors quickly and in a reliable manner. Although, no uptime guarantee is something to be aware of.
All in all, this web host doesn’t seem to outshine in any department per se — but it doesn’t lag behind much either. So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution at competitive pricing, here’s something for you to consider. On the other hand, you must be ready to do a lot of troubleshooting on your own.
- RoR on shared hosting
- Competitive pricing, especially on 3-year plans
- Great uptime
- Managed VPS with cPanel
- Rails version undisclosed
- No uptime guarantee
|Features||RoR hosting on all servers, cPanel for shared hosting, managed and unmanaged VPS|
|Best for||Performance-oriented hosting for smaller RoR project|
HostGator is well known for its pretty low prices and generous plans. Additionally, it supports Ruby on Rails hosting on all its shared, VPS, cloud, reseller, and dedicated servers. This makes it that appealing for both small and big projects.
Depending on how resource-heavy you plan your Ruby on Rails project to be, you can opt for shared or VPS hosting. It is very pleasing to know that pretty generous shared hosting plans also support the Ruby application. In addition, these plans come with cPanel, which makes the hosting experience very smooth and easy.
While unlimited storage and bandwidth with shared hosting look tempting, HostGator’s VPS plans still pack more power. If you opt for VPS hosting, you can either choose to purchase it without a control panel or with cPanel/WHM ($10/mo.) If you do get the cPanel, HostGator offers fully managed support. Regardless, with both approaches, you get full root access.
Now talking about Ruby on Rails specifically, these are the versions it supports:
- Ruby: 1.8.7 version,
- Gem: 1.8.30 version,
- Rails: 2.3.18 version.
If you need Ruby 1.9 and Rails version 3+, the vendor can have one of their admins install it for you on a VPS or dedicated server. But this service will come at an extra cost. Installing extra modules on a shared server may also require you to contact customer support. More stress than many users would fancy.
Although the vendor offers some useful features like DDoS, firewall protection, and SSL certificates for free, you will need to pay for some other equally important ones like automatic backup and malware scanning. However, it’s quite understandable as HostGator plans are generally cheap.
The vendor offers 3 shared hosting plans. Starting at $2.75/mo on the Hatchling plan, you can get really affordable shared hosting with a lot of great features like unmetered bandwidth. However, if you’re in need of more utility, you can choose to go with VPS hosting starting at $19.95/mo.
All shared hosting plans come with a free domain, SSL, unmetered bandwidth, and cPanel.
Here’s what you should expect on shared hosting plans individually:
- Hatchling ($2.75/mo) - 1 domain, unmetered storage, and bandwidth.
- Baby ($3.50/mo) - unlimited domains, unmetered storage, and bandwidth.
- Business ($5.25/mo) - unlimited domains, unmetered storage and bandwidth, and a free dedicated IP.
HostGator is known for being among the “unlimited” hosting providers. But as with most things, take this with a pinch of salt. The server has limited capacity, just like your phone or computer, which means resources will have some sort of limitations.
While shared hosting has very good resources, it is still shared hosting. If you plan bigger projects, HostGator allows you to choose from 3 VPS plans ranging between $19.95/mo and $39.95/mo.
VPS plans vary from 2 to 4 Cores, 2 to 8 GB of RAM, 120 to 240 GB of SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth. Additionally, 2 dedicated IPs are included with each plan.
HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee with its shared and VPS hosting. But HostGator doesn’t refund the entire sum — the domain fee is deducted.
If you’re on a budget and your project is on the smaller end, HostGator’s shared hosting might satisfy small Ruby needs. If you choose the Baby plan with a 36-month billing option, it’ll be $126 in total. If the Ruby project in mind is of large scale, VPS might be a better choice for you.Check HostGator Pricing Now
To test HostGator’s performance on its shared plan, I’ve examined the host for nearly 3 months. And the results were very satisfactory.
An uptime of >99.99% and an average response time of 525ms proved that HostGator is a reliable provider.
While the uptime is almost perfect, the response time could be slightly better. Don’t get me wrong, it is speedy enough to not cause you any headaches in the future. It’s just the fact that it’s so close to the market's average of 600ms that’s making me fussy.
One more thing to note, HostGator’s data centers are located in the US alone. While this means that US audiences will enjoy the best performance, do not get discouraged if your audience is from elsewhere. HostGator includes free Cloudflare CDN, which can save your content on 23 other data centers worldwide. This guarantees great performance for almost any audience.
Simply put, with an uptime of >99.99%, HostGator definitely shows some great prospects for the projects with a focus on performance.
In all, every Ruby on Rails developer will find the swarm of hosting-type options on offer very appealing. If your RoR project is on the smaller end - shared hosting will be more than enough. However, VPS plans will be able to handle bigger projects.
- RoR is supported by all hosting types
- Resource-rich plans
- Very affordable prices
- Basic features missing on some plans
6. A2 Hosting
|Features||Full root access, managed and unmanaged hosting available|
|Best for||Experienced users looking for cheap unmanaged VPS for RoR|
A2 Hosting is a very performance-oriented provider offering both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting solutions. The host also officially recommends its unmanaged VPS hosting plans for Ruby on Rails. At the same time, the provider's shared servers also support Rails applications.
A2 is another provider that supports RoR on its shared and VPS hosting plans. However, as interesting as that is unmanaged VPS, which keep in mind, offers more resources, is barely any pricier than the shared hosting options. More so, if you’d search for RoR hosting on A2, you’d automatically be redirected to unmanaged VPS plans.
Sure, to use unmanaged VPS, you must have quite a lot of technical knowledge as you get fool root access and are responsible for your virtual server entirely. So having a shared server option with a comfortable cPanel to run things is much simpler.
Now, if you lack that extensive knowledge but still want to experiment with VPS, the provider has managed VPS option. Those, however, are much pricier than shared servers or unmanaged VPS.
If you go with shared or managed VPS hosting, A2 Hosting has a Ruby Selector app that allows you to set up multiple Ruby versions in your account. The provider, however, never specified which versions exactly.
With the unmanaged VPS, Ruby can be installed by using the installation tools, where you can opt for the latest available version.
A2 Hosting pricing
A2 Hosting has 6 unmanaged VPS plans - 3 standard and 3 Turbo. Simply put, standard plans are cheaper and less performance-oriented. The latter 3 are the opposite of that. The pricing for standard VPS hosting plans ranges from $4.99/mo to $9.99/mo.
All VPS plans include SSD storage, full root access, and a free dedicated IP address.
Here’s how the resources vary: from 1 to 4 Cores, 150 to 450 GB SSD storage, 1 to 4 GB RAM, and 2 to 4 TB bandwidth.
While the cheapest VPS options are unmanaged, if you lack technical knowledge, A2 Hosting also has managed VPS solutions. Understandably these are significantly pricier.
Lastly, the provider has an anytime money-back guarantee. You can get your money back for the unused period of your A2 Hosting subscription after the first 30 days.
If you’re not aiming for the enhanced performance, Standard VPS plans should satisfy most of Ruby on Rails hosting needs. To get the best price, consider the Runway 1 plan and scale if you see fit.Check A2 Hosting Pricing Now
A2 Hosting performance
A2 Hosting is very confident in its performance, and for a good reason.
The provider offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and surpasses it significantly with a 99.98% uptime. More so, the vendor’s average response time of 253ms was pretty refreshing to see. The best of all the providers I tested.
A2 Hosting is a highly performance-oriented provider, and its Turbo servers demonstrated exactly that – great response time. Performance surely won’t be a point of concern.
To add to that, the host has 4 data center locations to choose from. Depending on where your audience is from, you can either go with Michigan (US,) Arizona (US,) Amsterdam (EU,) and Singapore (AS.) By choosing the one closest to your public, you make sure that there won’t be any delays due to latency.
In sum, the performance you’re getting on A2 Hosting seems to be simply good — good uptime and even better response time.
In conclusion, it may appear that A2 Hosting’s Ruby on Rails hosting is most suited to expert developers looking for powerful hosting solutions. The provider’s plans are cheap and resource-rich.
- Cheap unmanaged VPS hosting
- RoR support on shared servers
- Great performance
- The real power with shared hosting lies with pricier Turbo plans
- VPS requires tech know-how
|Features||RoR hosting on all servers, cPanel for shared hosting, managed VPS|
|Best for||Affordable month-to-month Ruby on Rails hosting|
For users looking for a straightforward approach to RoR hosting, you just may be in the right place. InterServer supports Rails applications on shared hosting and prices it very affordably too. You’ll also find that the vendor makes it easy to add new frameworks to the platform.
As the host is very much a no-nonsense provider, even its shared hosting plans are more similar to VPS plans than shared server one. Yes, you do share resources with other users on the server, but all shared plans differ only in cores and RAM included with each. This means that shared plans might be just enough for most small-to-medium RoR projects. More so, you get a widely used and easy-to-use cPanel to run your applications smoother.
And if you need more hardware, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the 16 available VPS solutions. You are free to choose how many resources you need. At any time, you are also able to scale up and down if you see fit. Additionally, unlike most providers, InterServer only has a monthly billing option for its VPS hosting. Lastly, to manage your VPS, you can either go with the free Direct Admin control panel or choose cPanel ($15/mo) or Plesk ($10/mo.)
Looking at RoR, the host doesn’t really specify which versions it supports with its shared or VPS plans. InterServer offers a one-click Ruby installation on its shared hosting. The virtual servers have different versions of Ruby pre-installed already.
As far as pricing is concerned, InterServer offers 3 shared hosting plans priced from $2.50/mo (with a discount) up to $19.95/mo. For resource-heavy projects, InterServer also has 16 different VPS solutions with prices ranging from $6/mo to $96/mo.
All plans include the same features - unlimited storage, bandwidth, emails, and a free SSL with a free CDN.
The server resources, however, vary: from 1 to 4 Cores and 2 to 8 GB RAM.
If you then choose to upgrade to VPS hosting, you’re met with a whopping 16 different options ranging from $6/mo to $96/mo.
VPS resources range from 1 to 16 cores, 30 to 480 GB of SSD storage, 2 to 32 GB of RAM, and 1 to 16 TB of bandwidth. You can customize your plan and scale any time you see fit.
The cheapest yet very powerful Ruby on Rails hosting solution is with InterServer’s shared hosting plans. With a yearly subscription, the plan will round up to as little as $30. However, if you think that VPS is something much better fitting for you, InterServer’s prices are just as nice as for shared hosting.Check InterServer Pricing Now
When it comes to performance on a shared hosting plan, InterServer is very reliable and noticeably less fast.
In 3 months of examination, InterServer kept a near-perfect 99.99% uptime. This is very pleasing to see, especially knowing that the official uptime guarantee only promises 99.9%.
The response time is a slightly different story. While it isn’t bad, it is not great either. An average response time of 662ms is just a tad over the market’s average of 600ms. If you’re highly speed-focused, InterServer may lack a little.
Additionally, the provider has all its servers located in the US too. This means that the US audience can expect the best performance.
In short, InterServer is very reliable and is more than capable of satisfying most users' needs. However, if you’re strictly after speed, the host is not a frontrunner.
All in all, I think a good number of users will like InterServer, as it is a hassle-free hosting that offers a convenient one-click Ruby on Rails installation process.
- Resource-rich RoR shared hosting plans
- Easy one-click Ruby installation
- Scalable VPS plans with monthly billing
- Outdated user interface
- Unclear limits on shared hosting
Ruby on Rails hosting: final recommendations
There are many providers that support RoR. Some do so on their shared hosting plans, and others with VPS and dedicated hosting exclusively. Regardless, your final choice should mostly be guided by your level of expertise and the type of project you have in mind.
Here’s a recap of the best Ruby on Rails hosting providers and their strengths:
- Liquid Web is a managed VPS option for hosting Ruby on Rails projects.
- Hostinger is the cheapest performance-oriented semi-managed VPS on the market.
- DreamHost is a very well-priced host that offers resource-rich shared hosting plans.
- Bluehost is a beginner-friendly web hosting for small Ruby on Rails projects.
- HostGator supports Ruby on Rails hosting with all its hosting solutions.
- A2 Hosting is a very fast and powerful unmanaged VPS solution for advanced users.
- InterServer is an inclusive, no-nonsense hosting provider.
Picking the best Ruby on Rails hosting
Choosing the right web hosting for Ruby on Rails depends on a couple of important factors. The first thing to look out for is a web host that supports the latest framework versions. Then you’ll need to consider the hosting type, server hardware resources, and the overall quality of the host.
Choosing the hosting type for your project
Every major hosting provider offers different types of hosting services. In general, I would recommend Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting for most Ruby on Rails applications. Other types of hosting like shared and dedicated server hosting, however, can also prove advantageous in a number of cases.
VPS hosting is generally the most popular option for the majority of Rails applications. It is a relatively inexpensive way of getting close to a dedicated server experience, as it allocates you a distinct portion of resources within a physical server or servers. The 1 or 2 GB RAM most VPS hosts offer will also prove sufficient to get you started with almost any Ruby on Rails app. However, in some cases, opting for VPS hosting will mean you have to take care of all the installation, maintenance, and security details yourself. A risk I cannot advise newbies to take! Luckily, most vendors now offer managed VPS hosting.
If you’re looking for an option that demands less expertise, then shared hosting may just be the thing for you. At a lower price point, most of your maintenance and security worries will be taken care of on your behalf. But, before you hurry off to purchase shared hosting, you must take note that this type of hosting will not offer you the processing power or storage most Ruby on Rails projects demand.
For the Oliver Twists who always want more, you can hardly ever lack — both in storage and processing power — with dedicated server hosting. You must, however, be ready to pay the most premium price for the most premium service.
Whichever type of hosting you choose to go with, you must pay close attention to the resources on offer as well.
Calculating the server resources you’ll need
It’s almost impossible to say just how much RAM or storage will be sufficient for any Ruby on Rails project. The amount of resources you’ll need will depend solely on the specific type of Rails application you intend to build. Heavier applications will require more server resources.
Also, keep in mind that to develop an application with Ruby on Rails, you’ll need the following software:
- The Rails framework.
These can be very resource-hungry, so be aware. Some large-scale applications with lots of traffic can require as much as 32 GB of RAM. Smaller ones, on the other hand, may find 2GB sufficient.
In essence, the most important hosting resources to consider when choosing a Ruby on Rails web hosting plan are storage space, CPUs, and RAM. Minimal RoR requirements for apps with components such as a database can loosely fit into these frames:
- Storage: 25 GB - 50 GB (preferably SSD);
- CPU or vCPU: 2- 4 cores;
- RAM: 2 - 4 GB.
Though some small-scale projects or applications may find this amount of power overwhelming, the vast majority requires even more.
Assessing the quality of the host
The quality and general reputation of any web host is also an equally important factor to consider. You must never neglect the host’s performance, customer support, and ability to host Ruby on Rails smoothly. These three areas are too important for too much of a compromise.
A web host’s performance in regards to uptime and response time is very crucial to the kind of experience your application users will get.
- Uptime generally refers to the measure of a system’s reliability — in other words, the period of time the host’s server is functioning properly. Though the industry’s standard for uptime today is 99.9%, I would always recommend vendors with uptime of 99.95% and above.
- The server response time is the amount of time your host’s server takes to respond to a visitor's request to open the site/application. The lower the response time, the better the user experience. Average response times around 200ms are at a perfect spot. Anything above 600ms will start to impact your project’s performance.
Additionally, no matter how much experience you have, you’ll definitely run into some problems when hosting Ruby on Rails. To make sure that you can get help whenever needed, look for vendors who offer 24/7 live chat, phone support, and email support. After making sure that their hosting plans support Ruby on Rails hosting, it is also important to do a little search on the expertise level of their support team. This can be a lifesaver in very critical moments.
As earlier mentioned, picking the right Ruby on Rails web hosting isn’t a walk in the park. However, if you pay close attention to the hosting type (VPS hosting preferably), server resources, and quality of the host, you should be able to make an informed decision.
Ruby on Rails hosting FAQs
Is it easy to use Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails is not an easy-to-use application framework. Though the Ruby programming language may be easy to learn, the user can easily run into major problems if there’s ever a need to debug code. This is no thanks to Ruby’s ambiguous syntax. Also, when compared with other commonly used frameworks, RoR demands a large number of hardware resources.
Can I use shared hosting for Ruby on Rails?
You can use shared hosting for Ruby on Rails — especially for small-scale projects. A good handful of hosting providers also allow you to install Ruby on Rails on their shared servers. DreamHost, HostGator, and Bluehost are very good examples of such.
Is VPS better than shared hosting for Ruby on Rails?
VPS hosting is significantly better for hosting Ruby on Rails than shared hosting. On VPS hosting plans, the subscriber is allocated a specific amount of RAM and other server resources that are otherwise unavailable on shared hosting. This resource advantage makes a lot of difference when it comes to Rails applications.
What is Ruby on Rails used for?
Ruby on Rails is a general-purpose framework that can be used to build different kinds of software applications. Today, Ruby on Rails is more commonly used to build websites and web applications. In essence, the framework places a great focus on high-performance projects.
Can I host Ruby on Rails for free?
Technically yes, you can host Ruby on Rails for free, but it’s not advised. As the free solutions often offer quite limited resources and have many other limitations, free Ruby on Rails hosting is better left alone.