Why Use Ruby on Rails and How Can It Benefit Your Next Product? | Agente

Why Use Ruby on Rails and How Can It Benefit Your Next Product?

ruby on rails development

So your company decided to launch a new product or add a new feature to an existing app built on Ruby on Rails (RoR). Now your team faces a tough question: Why use Ruby on Rails for the backend in this project when the Internet is so hyped over its alleged death? 

You might be wondering:

  • Is Ruby on Rails still relevant?
  • What are the advantages of Ruby on Rails in 2021?
  • Is Ruby on Rails good for your website or app?
  • How to choose the right agency and developers who use Ruby on Rails?

If you are considering whether you should choose the Ruby on Rails framework for web development, read this article—it will help you make the right decision. You will understand the perspectives of coding in the Ruby on Rails programming language and get an overview of how it can benefit your product.

Benefits of developing apps using Ruby on Rails

The Internet indeed has been proclaiming the end of Ruby on Rails for years. But if you are still looking at Rails, you are in a good company. Today, there are nearly 400k websites worldwide that use Ruby on Rails as their backend framework, including top-tier organizations such as AirBnB, Groupon, Shopify, Zendesk, and many other giants. 

How many websites use Ruby on Rails framework in comparison with NodeJs

Source: SimilarTech

If so many businesses prefer RoR, there clearly must be a reason. Let's look behind the flashy headlines and focus on the list of benefits.

Here are the key Ruby on Rails advantages to consider:

  1. Maturity, stability, and good maintenance. Web developers all over the world have been using Ruby on Rails for over 16 years. For various reasons, this fact can appear on both sides of the Ruby on Rails advantages and disadvantages list. On the brighter side, the maturity of RoR allows programmers to create clean code that is easy to sustain. It becomes a great asset to the company in the form of stable and well-maintainable applications.
  2. Open-source libraries and a wide range of tools. The so-called Ruby gems—proven and well-tested tools—are among the reasons why Ruby on Rails is used for so many projects today. These ready-made gems significantly improve the workflow. RoR and its open-source libraries are constantly evolving and are regularly updated, with each new release offering more great solutions. This means that almost any idea or necessity emerging during a project can be quickly implemented.
  3. Speed and cost-effectiveness of web development. Why is Ruby on Rails good for your project in terms of business? Thanks to the maturity of RoR, the giant online community, and available open-source modules and configurations, programmers gain valuable time. This leads to a higher speed of coding and optimized business processes, which is often seen as one of the most significant advantages of Ruby on Rails. 

 Ruby on Rails uses throughout the decade

Source: BuiltWith 

It would be hard to deny the decline in the popularity of RoR. Yet the reason behind this drastic fall could be not the extinction of the framework, but rather a global shift in trends. To be fair, the programming language market has become much denser and way more competitive since the times when RoR was one of a kind.

The fact is that the demand for Ruby on Rails has remained stable over a span of more than 15 years. 

Why Startups Hire RoR Developers for MVP Projects

With that said, it's no wonder why startup companies that need to test a market for a new product choose a RoR framework. For more than a decade, launching minimal viable products has been the prime Ruby on Rails uses. 

Why is Ruby on Rails good for MVPs?

  • Great flexibility on a budget
  • Easy prototyping
  • Short time-to-market periods

Many websites, apps, and e-commerce platforms that started as MVPs and were built on the Ruby on Rails framework have made their way towards millions of users became brand names worth millions of dollars, to name a few:

Basecamp, Square, Groupon, Airbnb, Shopify, Goodreads, Kickstarter, Hulu, GitHub, SlideShare, Dribbble, Bloomberg, CrunchBase, Fiverr, Soundcloud, Scribd, Hulu, Couchsurfing, Clarity, Twitch, Yellow pages, Zendesk, UserVoice.

What projects does Ruby on Rails app development suit best?

Before we start talking about the projects that Ruby on Rails suits best, let's highlight the context in which making a decision to build your product on RoR will be the right thing to do. 

Your project will benefit from choosing Ruby for the backend if: 

  1. You already have a product built on this framework. It will be pretty costly and time-consuming to convert to an alternative solution.
  2. You have a non-standard project with a complex structure, and your company plans to extend its functionality in the future.
  3. You want to create a project from scratch that embeds a wide range of functionality with the possibility of quickly testing ideas and implementing changes.

Now, let's move on to the products. Here's a shortlist of sites and web applications that the Ruby on Rails framework will suit best:

  • Ecommerce websites: online stores, coupon services, and marketplaces. There are ready-made gems for integrating your application with other crucial e-commerce elements, such as payment gates, email marketing solutions, and infrastructure providers.
  • Social: social networks, dating apps, or collaboration platforms. If your solution is envisioned as a social network or collaboration platform, most likely you need some specific functionality, including membership and social networking options. 
  • SaaS solutions: data portals, classified websites, stock exchange apps. SaaS solutions with large databases need to be scalable, fast, and secure. Rails provides powerful testing and debugging tools, which is good for building reliable APIs.

Examples of popular websites built with Ruby on Rails

 Let's take a closer look at the world-renowned companies and brands that fall into these categories.

ruby on rails websites

Shopify. Yes, it was written using Ruby on Rails in 2006. Today, the CMS is a home for over 1 000 000 merchants and continues to scale.

The modular approach of RoR makes the framework optimal for developing B2C, B2B, B2B2C, or subscription-based e-stores. It has the ability not only to kickstart a project quickly but to make it functional with eye-candy.

Groupon. Every bargain hunter knows this site. Such online destinations are well known for gathering traffic, as well as bringing quality leads. Ruby on Rails is perfect for the fast development of such a project. 

Couchsurfing, Fiverr, and Clarity. It is not a full list, but you get the idea. RoR has everything required when building two-sided marketplaces for buyers and sellers.  

We are living in the social world. Likes and comments, message systems, relationships, and public activities are just some of the functionality that guarantees a better on-site user experience. All can be easily added with the help of Ruby on Rails gems (libraries).

Twitch. Every gamer’s home from home developed on Ruby on Rails would be the best example here.

Yellow pages (the Internet Yellow Pages). It’s a business directory that lists the contact details of companies.

Zendesk, UserVoice, and Github are some of the most popular and widely-used solutions that chose RoR for their development and did not substitute it as they scaled. Time has proven them to remain secure, well-performing, and reliable. 

How to choose the Ruby on Rails team for your next project

Software developers who professionally code on Ruby and stay updated with the evolving RoR tool are rare gems. It may be difficult to choose the right Ruby on Rails team that is qualified for your project.   

Why is that?

The percentage of newbies in Ruby on Rails development is close to zero. Often, Rails developers turn to RoR after getting a couple of years in PHP development behind them. The learning curve drastically reduces the number of unskilled specialists working on a project. 

It may also turn out to be too costly to hire an additional full-time Ruby on Rails developer in your team. If that's the case, then outsourcing RoR expertise is a better choice. It may help your company to close current project tasks and stay within the budget limits.

Search for the agencies and web development companies who know when to use Ruby on Rails and how to do it properly to achieve the expected outcome. Browse through the portfolio of the launched products and pay attention to the client's reviews to make sure of the expertise and relevant experience of your future partners. 

Even though it may be difficult to find the right vendors, you will only benefit once you do. The more qualified a developer is, the more proficient, inexpensive, and faster a project development turns out to be.

Examples of Agente Projects on Ruby

Agente has successfully launched various projects using the Ruby on Rails framework for backend web development. Each project turned out to be a success. The agency finished the work within the time frames while maintaining respect for the budgets. 

Meet our favorite RoR creations:

  • eLearning platform for corporate marketing courses. For this LMS project, the Agente team created a custom e-learning solution with video lessons in various domains of online marketing. Besides RoR, we also provided UX/UI design, LMS software development, and quality assurance services, as well as supporting the project launch. 

    E-learning web application built using Ruby on Rails

    Source: Agente case 

  • SaaS for PR and media pitching: during the Just Reach Out project, we redesigned and redeveloped a website and PR software solution, including coding in Ruby on Rails. We created a PR platform that helps small businesses and startups gain media exposure through pitches to journalists, bloggers, and influencers. 

    SaaS web application built using Ruby on Rails Just Reach OUt

    Source: Agente case

  • E-commerce platform for wine order: within the Hey Wine project, our programmers designed and developed an iOS plus a web application with the functionality of browsing through a catalog, forming orders, buying wine, and leaving feedback. We also created a promo website for this project and produced the product identity.

    E-commerce web application built using Ruby on Rails Hey wine

    Source: Agente case

Final thoughts

Despite the Internet-hyped forecasts of the end of the Ruby on Rails programming language, in 2021, it still offers decent development tools (utilities, generators, ready databases, extensions, and modules).

Still asking why use Ruby on Rails for the backend of your next product?

Remember this:

The stability of a web app is paramount for the successful operation of business workflows. Ruby on Rails is a mature technology. This translates into stability—and with stability comes good performance and security. It offers massive opportunities for testing, as well as making the created solutions more stable, bug-free, and easier maintained. 


For instance, a gaming website developed with Ruby on Rails can demonstrate enhanced performance and user engagement.

Development time is money. The more time a developer spends on writing the code, the more expensive the project becomes. Rails is agile and is suited to rapid project development. The conventions behind the Rails code allow the creation of a clear code that is easy to support and modify quickly, especially if you hire Ruby on Rails developer.

If you're a startup or a business launching a new product, when you need to prototype or test an idea for a new product, Rails should be the first thing to consider. Reaching out to a Ruby on Rails app development company may be the solution you need.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We will happily discuss your next project and provide you with detailed information.


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