Andrew Mackross

March 25, 2021

HatchBox might just be perfect for small rails teams or solo developers

I recently moved most of my own (aka not HappyCo) projects to & I moved them away from Heroku and self-managed servers (hosted on Digital Ocean, GCP, & Linode).

What's special about this new setup? HatchBox is a SaaS product that manages Ruby on Rails apps, think Heroku, but it manages it on your servers (or rented ones through a hosting provider). For hosting, I'm using at the moment because they provide fast, cheap servers with low latency to Australia/NZ. So far, it's been rock solid.

Back to HatchBox, it has been painless to use and handles zero downtime deploys, SSL, rollbacks, restarts, DB backups, DB provisioning, environment config, and more. And, I was able to get away with just one beefy Vultr server that runs all my side projects (some of which can see thousands of hits a day). If you've got something a bit more popular or that needs a bit more reliability, you can set it up to run multiple processes of different types on different servers (Web App, DB, Redis, Background Jobs, etc.). This setup should probably scale until you can afford a dedicated ops person.

Furthermore, because you've still got full access to your servers, you can load other software, like ImageMagick, giving you a whole load lot more flexibility in how things are setup.

HatchBox has saved me a bunch of time setting up servers and quite a few dollars. But, perhaps most importantly, it has significantly lowered the barrier for me to publish a new web app. I've already thrown together and hosted a few tools that took me less than an hour to put together, just because I can. And, I really love not using the big cloud providers. HatchBox has given me the convenience of Heroku and the nostalgic feeling of developing web 1.0. That feeling of just throwing a file or two on your own server and the whole world having access to it. 

I am loving it ❤️

About Andrew Mackross

Co-founder of HappyCo and Inktrail. I 🥰 close friends and family, taking things from zero to one, and the unbeaten path.