Looking for a reliable + painless + cheap + ... hoster

Hi all,

In 4 weeks, I’ll have to install a - my first - small Rails app for a
client. More will come later.
(small => less than 5-10 people connected at any time, max 1GB required
for photos storage).

As my criteria are partially conflicting, I’m afraid no single hoster
matches all of them:

I can read a guide, but I’m not a Linux/Apache/FCGI Guru, and I’ll have
to install and maintain the whole stuff.
=> I want painlessness and peace of mind: easy to config, stable,
reliable, with good/excellent Rails support.

I include the hosting in my bill, or have the client purchase it
=> I want it - reasonably - cheap- , or with a good referral plan.

The planned apps are “small”, and not very demanding, but they cannot
be/look sluggish. Typically, I would also need 0.5-2+Gb per apps, for
files and photo storage
=> Cannot share one Lifetime TextDrive account accross 20 clients. Too

After two hours on the net, I’m back with more questions and doubts than

  • Dreamhost is very tempting (low price + super high referral amount!!),
    but looks risky (? Rails support).
  • PlanetArgon is tempting (good Rails support and apparently painless
    installation & config), but a little pricey (for small/mini-apps) if I
    use one account per app/client.
  • RailsBase hasn’t landed yet, and I have no idea of the seat price.

I thought about sharing one PlanetArgon account for 3-4 small apps. The
disk space and bandwidth are sufficient. How about the response time? Is
this a good idea?

Any comment, suggestion and/or experience is welcome. Please enlight me;
I’m a little lost.


Alain R.

Hi Alain,

A friend recommended http://www.dreamhost.com to a similar request I did
rails hosting. They are doing a really sweet deal and it’s pretty cheap.
Also my friend mention that the technical support guy are Ace and really
friendly and really open to help you out if you need extra stuff
on the server.


Hi Alain, I’ve got a dreamhost account and I’ve tried to build a Rail
app on
my account for the sake of trying. The installation went fine providing
follow the explanation on the KB forums for rails on the dreamhost web

I’ve tried FCGI and it’s also pretty simple, all you need to do is tick
box in the panel to enable FastCGI and edit a couple of .htaccess file
the Rails dir. Using FCGI the application seemed to respond fast enough
I dont know how well it would behave under heavier load.
In a nutshell, I found it easy to deploy Rails apps using Dreamhost.


I have to recommend www.asmallorange.com. They have excellent service
and tremendous flexibility. I was able to get a number of rails sites
set up with mimimal effort without much linux experience on their
shared hosting. Pricing is very reasonable and they also do not limit
you regarding number of sites hosted, only by space and bandwidth.
I’ve been very pleased.


It’s all explained here for Dreamhost:



PS: I second Laurent on that one and I will also say that Dreamhost
know what they’re doing.

Gael P.
escribió:> Gael

I can read a guide, but I'm not a Linux/Apache/FCGI Guru, and I'll have
The planned apps are "small", and not very demanding, but they cannot
but looks risky (? Rails support).


I also use dreamhost, it rocks…

Matias, Gael, and all

 >  I also use dreamhost, it rocks..

I’ve just received a reply from Dreamhost’s sales dept, where they
confirmed that
“… 200-300 users per machine is a good estimate. …”

(they have 300+ servers, and host 166.000 domains)

They also wrote:
"At the moment, both Ruby and Ruby on Rails are simply hogs of an
They require a lot of fine tuning and good programming to run lean.

 RoR performance on our machines is less than desirable,
 although acceptable for a $120/year budget host."

Choosing a shared hosting plan looks like a leap of faith.
If there were a standard benchmark Rails app, with live results, that
anybody could just install in his account, we could test each hoster in
a snap: all it would take is for one of their users to install the app,
and post the url on the wiki.
It wouldn’t take much to make it automatically queryable, collect
results on a hourly base, and draw a nice graph.



I also use dreamhost, it rocks…

What kind of performance can one expect when one shares a server with
200-300 other accounts?


“hogs of an app.” wohoahoe… thats some interesting marketing speech.


The performance on my rails apps at Dreamhost is great. I have a Typo
(see sig) and a substantially complicated (30-ish tables) app that is
by hundreds of users. Each runs fine, but they do take some attention to
make sure they’re healthy.

Rails apps are hogs – by comparison to PHP apps that are more typical
a shared host. Each fcgi process will consume 20-30MB of ram, if it’s
healthy. Much more if you have a memory leak.

Many people put up apps in development mode which is just not going to
(see point 3):


Personally I find it refreshing that Dreamhost is so upfront with
customers. RoR apps are not easy to deploy. I think in any case you
be prepared for some work in deploying and maintaining your apps,
particularly as you get them running clean.



 > Personally I find it refreshing that Dreamhost is so upfront with
 > potential customers.

I agree. The number of accounts/server is a trade-secret for too many
hosters, as if they were ashamed of it.
I asked the same question to PlanetArgon but got no valuable/numerical
answer. TextDrive only indicates that on business account (min
60$/month), each server host maximum 20 accounts. For standard accounts,
I wonder…

We need some form of performance benchmarks Rails app, to compare
hosting types - dedicated, Virtual, Shared - and hosters .

Alain R.