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What is Ruby Hosting?

Ruby is a general purpose programming language developed in the mid nineties. Ruby has a number of similarities to Perl and Python. It was influenced by Perl, Ada, SmallTalk and other programming languages.

It’s open source, licensed under both its own Ruby License and the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 2-Clause. It was created with ease of use in mind and is intended to feel natural, but that does not mean that it lacks features.

Ruby is object-oriented, it supports dynamic typing and 'duck typing', features an interactive shell (REPL) and it is implemented on all major platforms, with a large standard library with comprehensive modules for HTTP, XML, OpenSSL, CGI, FTP, RSS and other widespread standards and technologies.

Ruby also features exception handling, first class continuations. custom dispatch behaviour, operator overloading, package management with RubyGems and much more.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby should not be confused with Ruby on Rails, which is sometimes just called Rails. Ruby on Rails is an open source framework for Web applications built using Ruby. Since it is written in Ruby, they are related and the common DNA results in a number of hosting implications.

The purpose of Ruby on Rails is to streamline and simplify the creation of Web apps by providing templates, databases, session management, and code reuse. The modular approach keeps developers from having to perform repetitive tasks and waste valuable time each time they create an application or dynamic website. Ruby on Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.

Rails gained traction in a relatively short time, after Apple integrated support with Mac OS v10.5 Leopard back in 2007. Since then, Ruby on Rails has become a popular alternative to Java in the development of agile and scalable Web applications. Notable services running Rails include Twitter, Hulu, Shopify, Scribd, Groupon, Basecamp and GitHub.

A conservative estimate of Ruby on Rails proliferation found that it is used on more than 600,000 websites, including a number of major sites and services.

While that may sound like a lot, Ruby is estimated to be powering just 0.5% of websites. However, it makes up for the meagre market share with big names.

Ruby and Rails hosting trends and user habits

Ruby hosting lets you manage packages from a user control panel included with shared hosting. Typically they include some amount of technical support.

A framework like Ruby on Rails will come pre-installed by the hosting provider. Plans that include Ruby are affordable for just about any business or individual programmer. Approximately 10% use free hosting, while more than 50% spend less than $100 per month on hosting.

There are a number of different options on the market and many developers have different preferences, but the Ruby space is still maturing and new options appear on a weekly if not daily basis.

Surveys indicate that three fourths of Ruby on Rails developers have been using the framework for less than five years and more than a quarter have been using it for less than two years. This means there are a lot of novices in the space, thus there is still a lot of experimentation, trial and error rather than clear industry standards.

The most popular version of Ruby used by developers is 1.9.3, while the most popular version of Rails is 3.2. The Ruby scene is vibrant and young – most developers deploy updated applications on a weekly basis and they usually use automated deployment tools, namely Capistrano. they use the latest available Ruby/Rails versions and the vast majority uses Git as their source control management system (SCM).

Mac and Linux dominate the Ruby ecosystem

The vast majority of Ruby developers relies on Mac OS X, while about a quarter uses Linux or Unix. The number of Windows users is negligible. The web server of choice is Nginx, followed by Apache. Once again Microsoft IIS has a negligible share.

This results in a disconnect, as a quarter of Ruby users tend to self-host. However, more than 40% use Cloud services, such as Amazon or Heroku. Basic VPS is used by less than a quarter of Ruby developers, while just 3.7% use managed hosting.

The majority of users prefers to rely on a basic OS install and handle the rest of the process on their own, but an increasing number is using cloud services.

Keen to get on board, VPS providers have started tailoring competitive packages in several price tiers, usually ranging from $15-25 per month for entry level packages to $100+ for more comprehensive packages with upwards of 100GB of storage and 2-4TB of bandwidth.

Ruby Frequently Asked Questions

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