I'm looking to deploy a new Ruby on Rails project I'm working on but need hosting. A managed server is overkill for me. I just need shared space. I'd like to go with a service that specializes in Ruby on Rails.

I've looked at SpeedyRails and RailsPlayground and they both seem to have pros and cons. Does anyone have experience with either? Does anyone have a different recommendation?


There are a few VPS hosts out there. It's pretty commonly used and most providers let you buy more ram, disk space, transfer as you need it. Personally I've been using Slicehost, and I have had a good experience with them.


There's a million of vps hosting services, you can choose any of them and install RoR. Most of them start around 20$/month. If you want something specific for Rails, there's also mediatemple, which is more expensive but somewhat managed and easily scalable.


I'd recommend mediatemple, Engine Yard or a VPS (e.g. slicehost).

+1  A: 

I'm happy with hostgator as a rails host at the moment.

It doesn't provide fastCGI support (yet), but they provide decent speed servers so I haven't noticed any problems with just normal CGI support on my current rails apps. Definitely a good place for small to medium sized apps. And they only charge $10 a month for their standard package.

As an aside, I'd suggest avoiding dreamhost. They provide fastCGI support, but seem to limit the processing power of your account (in order to charge extra for processing bursts) and as such the response time is appalling and I frequently had rails come up with errors simply due to timeouts.

Edit: Hostgator do now support fastCGI support for their rails hosting. It just uses a different handler script to the one that is autogenerated by rails for fastCGI. If you have a hostgator account and want this, change your FCGI handler to

AddHandler fcgid-script .fcgi
Dreamhost have support for Phusion Passenger now, which has helped. I also have a Hostgator account, but ironically my site has been dropped without warning on more than one occasion for alleged CPU contention.
Toby Hede
+8  A: 

Slicehost if you want a cheap VPS that you have full control over. Install Apache with Phusion Passenger for an quick & easy Rails setup.

+13  A: 

I use Dreamhost. I have been with them for ages, and for the money they have an awesome service. They have recently moved to Phusion Passenger, and the Rails support is as good as you can find outside of someone like EngineYard. Generally, I have usedthem mostly for staging and acceptance testing and for my personal projects. They have been so solid I recently started using them for some of my client's production sites as well.

I also use Slicehost for some sites that have more specific requirements. Again, great value for money, but you will need to be comfortable setting up your own server. They do have some great tutorials that step you through everything you need.

For some of my clients, who require an Australian-based hosting provider, I have a VPS with Net Logistics.

Update 23/04/2010

A lot has changed since this post was created.

These days I am using Heroku for all of my development and staging. I also have several production systems running on it for clients.

I was previously using Dreamhost, but I have found that the free Heroku service performs better than a Rails app on a shared Dreamhost account. Also, Heroku has much better availability and incredible support for Rails - deployment is trivial.

Toby Hede
+1 for Dreamhost. If you dont' mind a little downtime (very little downtime), you can get a <b>really</b> cheap hosting plan, deploy with Passenger (so simple!) and have a ridiculous amount of space and bandwidth to work with.
Decided to go to with Dreamhost. I got a year of hosting with unlimited disk usage and bandwidth for only $70.
Try and catch them around any holiday ever, and get the $10-for-a-year discount ;)
I was curious about Dreamhost. I started using Heroku, but am having trouble with Git. Is it easier to push files to Dreamhost? Do they use an SFTP or an SVN repository?
DH doesn't provide any automatic support for deployment like heroku does. I use GIT and Capistrano for Dreamhost deployments, but have set that up manually. Heroku makes deployment so easy, hard to imagine what problems you could be having
Toby Hede

RailsMachine is a really great company. They have a stack that makes it super easy to get your app running quickly. They also have wonderful service (I've worked with them on several projects).

Lucas Oman
+3  A: 

Slicehost has been rock solid for me.

+21  A: 

I use for my hosting. You get your own virtual server with SSH access and can configure any way you'd like.

+1 for linode too. I worked with linode for the RailsRumble and was really impressed. I would use linode on a client project without hesitation.
Mike Breen
My observation is that Slicehost and Linode have similar reviews, and Linode offers more for the dollar.
+1 for linode!!
+1  A: 

webfaction? slicehost?

+2  A: 

Rails Machine is really good. They have great service, too.

Lucas Oman
+49  A: 

I use for 2 years. I've only had few minor issues in that period.

Dejan Simic
I hope they remain as good since this months acquisition by Rackspace
I'm a user of slicehost too, they are absolutely fantastic.
+1 for slicehost. I've found that you get quicker response to support via irc or campfire.
Mike Breen
Rackspace seems like a solid host, too, though. I trust them, and I know of a few big time apps that have raved about their support and knowledgebase.
Jon Smock
+1 for slicehost.
+1 for slicehost
Brian Armstrong
+1  A: 

We often use HostingRails and their support is excellent

+1 for hosting rails. I'm hosting a couple low bandwidth customer sites with them. Great support through the forums.
Mike Breen
+8  A: 

We use EngineYard, and if you can afford them their support is the best I've encountered.

Kris Nuttycombe
I used to work with some people who later went to EngineYard. They really know what they're doing there, and I believe they actually have people there contributing to Ruby as a language, as well. They're probably the best, or at least among the best... if money is no object.

Dreamhost is cheap and good for low volume sites on their shared hosting plan. Their VPS is more expensive than Slicehost, generally, so if you need/want dedicated resources go with Slicehost or Linode.

+12  A: 

I asked the same exact question over here.

I ended up going with Dreamhost. I've been deploying with no problems using Phusion Passenger and Capistrano. I got a plan for $70 for a year including unlimited band width and disk space as part of a special. Not sure if you can still got the unlimited deal though. Look around the internet for a coupon code.

You also get unlimited MySQL databases, Subversion and SSH access (among a ton of other stuff.) I definitely recommend them.

EDIT: I signed up 6 weeks ago and got the unlimited data/bandwidth as part of their 11th anniversary special. The first 1,111 users to sign up got the unlimited data/bandwidth. When I signed up the page said less than 30 spots remained. It still says that. Not sure what to make of it but - could still be eligible for it.

I don't know if they offer unlimited all the time, however, their maximums are usually so high they might as well be unlimited, for any web application that you'd want to host on a shared host. I think the only real limit is the amount of CPU time you can use in a day.
They don't. It's part of a special that still seems to be going. Edited my answer to reflect that.
After some initial performance problems they've been very good for the price. I did had an issue with Capristano the other day. After I showed them how to reproduce the issue they fixed in a couple of hours. I'll probably move somewhere else when I get 10000 users a day, but I'm happy for now.
I've changed my mind about Dreamhost - lots of the gems on my server have been broken for over 6 weeks including cap. I asked for them to be fixed and got told "Unfortunately, we can't, as we have an entire system to maintain, and diverting from our schedule isn't really possible. Sorry about that"
Dreamhost is great in some respects, terrible in others. It's perfect for hosting non-critical sites at an affordable price. But if you have a problem and you require any kind of urgent communication, forget about it. It can take them over 24 hours to respond to a high-priority ticket.
Andrew Vit
I'm on Dreamhost shared now, and moving off. Part of the issue is that I'm trying to use the Sphinx search daemon, and that's not allowed. The other is that, unless you cheat and set a cron job to wget your site, lack of traffic for any significant amount of time will mean a good 5 minutes (not exaggerating) to get your site back up in the mod_rails load balancing system.
I've not had great luck with dreamhost, maybe because they aren't very flexible in their service. Everything I've ever built with rails has been better-off on a VPS.
+7  A: 

Slicehost just got bought by rackspace. I use Slicehost and they have been great so far. Who knows what changes are coming though?

+1  A: 

We have a dedicated machine via serverbeach which is nice, but with how cheap and reliable virtual hosting is getting I think slice host or dreamhost would work well. Unless you really need full control of a machine and a little more power than slicehost is offering I wouldn't recommend going with serverbeach as it will cost you more.

I used dream host for various small PHP projects with out a problem, I have heard good things for smaller rails projects like blogs and such.

I know people that use slice host and it works fine, but scaling was more difficult than they would have liked and they switched to EngineYard (which as said before if you can afford it is excellent).

Another good options is hosting on EC2 we are running a bunch of worker machines on EC2 and keep them up for long periods of time with out any problems. If you go this route check out it is a great project for getting rails up and running on EC2 in no time.

Anyways just my 2 cents

+1  A: 

I'm not a Rails developer (I use Ramaze), but I thought I'd mention heroku; it looks impressive. I've also heard they are working on supporting any Rack-based framework, which means they'll support Merb and Ramaze at some point.


There's some reviews here:

Gene T

I also use Rails Machine and I'm very happy with them. Very good unlimited email support and top notch hardware. The downside would be the price. You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.


HostGator -

+4  A: 

I've used Slicehost for a few years now, and I'm impressed with what they offer, however if your site is targetting UK users, then I'd take a look at BrightBox.

Mr. Matt
+1  A: 

RackSpace is great but they are expensive. RailsMachine if you want to host on VMs is great. They are better then most because they allocate dedicated CPUs for you instead of sharing processing time. Joyent is also very good but they run OpenSolaris, but if you aren't familiar with Solaris it wouldn't be a good choice. SliceHost if you are looking for inexpensive hosting.

+3  A: 

I've used Rails Machine and more recently Slicehost and have found the service from both to be excellent. However, Slicehost's technical documentation and online SliceManager are lights years ahead of anything Rails Machine offer, leaving Rails Machine looking rather bare-bones and expensive for what you get. Also, Slicehost will have your VPS created and accessible in a couple of minutes, whereas with Rails Machine it took quite a bit longer, although that was two years ago so it may have improved.

I've also looked into (but not personally used) Brightbox who seem to be what Rails Machine could be if they kept their site and deployment gem up-to-date. Their USP is that they include FiveRuns performance monitoring and have also made an environmental commitment to offset the emissions generated by running their infrastructure.

John Topley
+1  A: 

I use BlueHost. for my hosting. It seems to have an easy interface for Ruby on Rails programing. Unfortunatly, I haven't used that function yet to give you a better hands-on experince.

I've been super impressed with BlueHost's flexibility and service. Great if you're looking for some simple shared hosting solution. (If you're more serious, go to SliceHost/Rackspace/EngineYard/etc)
Jon Smock

I use A Small Orange. They're good and really cheap. They also allow SSH and MySQL access.


RailsCluster is the fastest and most reliable Ruby on Rails hosting platform from the Netherlands. The platform is fully redundant, twice as fast as other Ruby on Rails hosts and has an availability of 99,8%. Rack applications such as Merb are supported as well. It's run by a company that has done Rails development and hosting for governments and so certainly knows its stuff. There's a 30 day free trial too.

+4  A: 

The technical documentation for Slicehost can be found here: Slicehost Article Repository

This is a great resource even if you chose some other alternative.


I run a Redmine instance on They offer SSH access, and seem to be responsive and reliable. Please note though, the site I run isn't really accessed by anyone so I am unsure of the performance of their Rails hosting. Also, they have page of coupons that you can use here.

Matt Haley
+27  A: 

I use for deploying the Rails application. I host the application domain name through Google Apps/eNom, and use gmail (with my domain) for the email features of the Rails application. I get Google's domain registrar partner for my domain (eNom) to point the www subdomain to the heroku URL for my app instead of Google's pages for my domain.

I'm not interested in learning how to configure Apache, ModRails, Phusion, Mongrel, Thin, MySQL, and whatever. With Heroku I don't worry. nginx is the web server, and PostgreSQL is the database. They have settled on Ruby/Rack for all new apps. Frameworks that run on Rack include Rails, Merb, and Sinatra. Limited choices.

Heroku is nice. I develop my application at home on Ubuntu, using the SQLite3 database built into Rails. Once I finish testing locally I commit the code using git. After you install the heroku gem installed, you just run a couple of commands to create an application on, and you may need to create your SSH keys as well. To deploy, you just do:

git push heroku master

That's it. Heroku will restart your application when the push is complete, and your app is up and running. (You may have to run data migrations by hand if you changed the data schema).

They have a free plan for low-volume and small applications, but it is amazing how much you get for free. They are also happy to take your money for paid plans. Their pricing looks a little higher than that of Google App Engine. The nice thing about that is that you don't have to pay until you have lots of traffic (and probably ways to monetize that traffic).

Heroku itself is based on Amazon EC2, so you can be sure that they will have very low pricing based on a-la-carte usage of processing, storage, and bandwidth.

Jay Godse
I like the idea behind heroku. I have a couple pet apps on there, and it was fun to just launch - no fuss. It's probably the most friction-less Rails hosting out there.
Jon Smock
Thank you for this link, good sir. Now I have a place to try my Rails apps out.
I have been building an app on and it greatly simplified learning ROR. I got frustrated trying to build an app in PHP CodeIgniter. Took 4 weeks to get 50% completed. Switched to Rails at Heroku and I'm 90% done after 2 weeks. 9 years PHP experience, 0 previous Ruby/Rails experience.
heroku is pretty great to get stuff up and running quickly, and host a small app for free. Using Postgresl has casued a number of problems for me though. I'm looking at currently also to get a small app running for free but haven't tried it yet.
Brian Armstrong
Heroku has matured nicely and has made Rails deployment an absolute non-issue. Can't recommend it enough!
+2  A: 

Definitely Linode:

We sponsored the Rails Rumble, featuring 130 apps created in 48 hours. Check them out at

+2  A: 

+1 for Slicehost. Been with them 2+ years and they've been amazing.

Marston A.

I have used Media Temple's Grid Service for the past two years (for my projects and for clients) and I really like it. Setting up a Rails application is very easy and support is really good too (24/7 and helpful/knowledgeable staff).

In the beginning, hosting was a bit buggy, but things have been running well for quite some time now. I would take definitely take a look.


Try OCS Solutions. A small company with a good reputatioh. I've been there a year and am totally happy.

+1  A: 

Slicehost rocks! I had been using them for over 2 years and they were excellent. Great support, always reliable, and no issues with downtime or migrations. I've even successfully "resized" slices without having any issues. Unfortunately with the economy the way it is, and Slicehost's bandwidth use billing, I've moved some of my Rails sites onto Dreamhost to test out their new Passenger setup. So far it has been fairly good and it is very affordable. The downside is that they are quite a bit slower, and you will definitely notice lag on higher traffic sites.


If you're in the UK or Europe, you should consider Bytemark ( who offer virtual machines from £15 per month. Their service and support are excellent, and they are particularly expert with Debian linux. Many UK Rails developers can vouch for them. (e.g. check out the LRUG mailing list archive).

+1  A: 

You can also try Engine Yard and Rails Hosting.

Stay away from Bluehost however, I asked their support how their hosting for Rails was and they replied HONESTLY: We don't offer support for Rails, and our staff are not experts with Rails. The icon you see in the CPanel is buggy.

Thats the kiss of death right there...Give them 10 points for honesty.


For virtual private server (VPS) solutions, Slicehost and Linode are very good choices. If your application is expected to get heavy traffic (or eventually does), Engine Yard and Joyent are very good, although Joyent sometimes neglects segments of its customers (the smaller VPS customers that joined when they were TextDrive)

Once you decide to go for dedicated servers, RackSpace is still an excellent vendor.


I've been using RailsPlayground for about 1.5 years now, and have been really happy with them. I found there support especially good and fast. Seems like there's someone always on the clock, several times they've installed a bunch of new rails gems for me in the middle of the night after a long coding binge

Before finding RailsPlayground I tried out Dreamhost (slow) and Medi.aTemple Grid (really buggy, terrible support).


I did fairly extensive research recently. My requirements were to be able to handle multiple domains, some rails, some PHP and be able to give my friends their own space. Also, customer service is important to me so I tried to find companies who were responsive in my questions. I think each of my final 3 would be good but I settled on the first choice.

  1. Rails Playground ( - good pricing, Rails expertise, Passenger (bonus free account on which is in beta), good VPS plans, 2 data centers

  2. OCS Solutions ( - good pricing, seems to be the best shared hosting option, Passenger (bonus free account on unfuddle), 3 data centers

  3. Hosting Rails ( - very good pricing (cheapest shared hosting plan I found at a "good" company), Passenger

I think you'll be fine at any of these 3 places but I ended up choosing a VPS plan with Rails Playground and have been very happy so far.


I use for non-RoR hosting but they do offer RoR if you ask. They're really small company so they respond quickly and like to make you happy.

Joe Philllips
+1  A: 

if you are an experienced system administrator get an account at OVH. they offer cheap dedicated hosting (starting at 20€/month). they mirror many well known open source projects/services (sourceforge, ubuntu...), so expect high speed/quality bandwidth (located on france, they are part of the biggest european internet "nodes").


Been using SuperbHosting for almost a year. Great service.


Slicehost are the best i've found...

+1  A: 

I'm using the VM-based, and they're awesome. Their basic package includes enough RAM and speed to run several Rails apps well.


I've been using Bluebox to deploy a website for my company, and their support team is just amazing. It's a bit expensive though.


We are hosting several of our rails apps including in Amazon cloud. I would suggest to go for this if you need absolute control over your environment. Also, there are features that may be useful if you have an uptime requirement. You can take one or more of the following features:- Elastic IP -> switch IP anytime, no need to wait for domain update. EC2 -> your host EBS -> backup your database S3 -> for storage SQS -> queuing


I'm another happy Dreamhost customer. They make deploying Rails apps insanely easy.

+1  A: 

If cost is your biggest priority and you're keen to do all your own configuration and setup, seems like a pretty good option. They're like slicehost as far as being do-it-yourself, but cheaper and with even less support.


I've been using RimuHosting for years. Great support and VPS.

+3  A: 

Here is a screencast that gives you Six reasons to use Webbynode.

If you want a more in-depth walkthrough, highlighting and explaining each separate unique features, check this one:

I use WebbyNode (though not for Rails). They are a good VPS host.
+3  A: 

I can personally recommend Linode as excellent unmanaged VPS hosting providers, there control panel and API is top-notch. I hear similar success stories from Slicehost customers.

For shared hosting WebFaction offer a flexible service.

Alex Barrett

Rackspace has started offering a "cloud" service (at Despite the confusing pricing (by the hour?) the service is essentially what slicehost offers at about half the cost for an equivalent level of resources (memory, specifically). Overall the service feels faster than slicehost, probably because of better hardware. I have no conclusive evidence of this, but the price has been good.


What i've done is signed up with Amazon EC2 and fired up an Debian instance. Configured it myself and got the best environment to host my Rails application. There are quite some tutorials around already to help you get started on managing a EC2 instance.


I use Prgmr for personal projects, its great advantage is the price, by far is the cheaper(RAM/US$) vps you can find out there, but in the other hand you can get a better backup service from other vps services, so, if you need to host your own application non-commercial I highly recommend you to use Prgmr.


jRuby On Rail on Google App Engine can be considered as a solution


Definitely fiberhead: - is the best VPS solution for Ruby on Rails Hosting. Just proof it.


I use for the mere reason that simple is better. unlimited bandwith, diskspace & websites. Plus, the custmer svc very good. "And custmer svc to me is the most important,some companies offer a lot but when you have a problem they have no answers or don't even pick p the phone." That happens more and more each day.


Webfaction is great for small Ruby on Rais projects. They have a nice control panel that enables one-click installation of RoR, Django, etc. Great for tinkerers like myself.

Poor Lil Rich Boy

I highly recommend Rails Machine. Their staff is very patient, very responsive, and has made some good recommendations regarding our applications. At this point, I wouldn't host a Rails app anywhere else.


my choice is this is pretty stable and cheap hosting provider. But Amazon AWS is my one way to provide production environment


We recommend Engine Yard and Joyent to our clients. We've deployed a few dozen commercial applications to the pair. Engine Yard gives you EC2 and their scalability, they have excellent support and a good team who I know personally, they are very easy to use for deployment and management of key things like scheduled backups. Joyent is probably more reliable than Engine Yard, but a bit more difficult to use. Both scale well in their own ways.

Lawrence Sinclair