Ruby on Rails projects that might inspire you to start your own

Ruby on Rails projects that might inspire you to start your own

A list of smaller or bigger Ruby on Rails web apps

I discovered this Reddit thread on /r/rails and I thought it would be a good idea to pick some of the things posted there in an article and also share it on my social media channels.

So the question they asked there was the following:

Anyone here use Rails to start their own business?

Here are some answers that I picked from there.

"The fast, easy way to file airport noise complaints"

His creator describes it as:

"It’s been live for over seven years. I’ve got several thousand users and the system has processed over 15 million noise complaints. It’s mainly hosted on Heroku and AWS though I’m investigating using Kamal to Dockerize everything to run it more cheaply. It still pays for itself, though. My biggest issue is simply updating the app to the latest Rails version, which would have been easier incrementally but here we are! Whatever your idea — just build it and launch it. If you know Rails, use that. Do not agonize over whether or not it’s the perfect or even best platform, just build the damn thing and the rest will work itself out. Don’t wait. Start now. And have fun!"

I want to add here that by looking at what people share online, the upgrades are easier and easier. Also now Shopify and Github along with Basecamp are I think running on Rail's main branch so the upgrade should be way easier

"Software Alternatives And Reviews"

"Discover trending open-source projects and their alternatives"

Both projects SaasHub and LibHunt are created by the same developer. Here is they say about these projects:

"🤚 I’m running SaaSHub, LibHunt (both 1mm+ monthly visits), and some other websites. It’s been a full-time business for a few years now. I’m the single dev, and I can’t imagine doing it without Rails! Some Rails productivity context - My SaaSHub competitors only, e.g. G2 or ProductHunt, have teams of dozens of devs each."

"Each of them run on a single 8GB server (loaded at about 30-40%). There's CloudFlare as CDN. That's all. Everything else is pretty standard. Postgres and some Redis cache here and there."

I would add here that with the help of litestack you can start a Rails 7 project and host it all in one single Hetzner VPS. No extra servers are needed for DB, Cronjobs, or processing queues. Everything is in one single server.

"Radius is a platform for finding and organising events, both online and in person"

Here is what the creator says about this project:

"Yep, using Rails to try and build a better alternative to / Eventbrite - - been building it slowly for the last few years. Not yet launched so can't really call it a business. No idea if people other than me will use it but it's been a good project to learn more about Rails at the very least. I admire anyone who's able to launch a business whilst still employed, and without a large bucket of cash - it's tough work! Luckily though since I'm using Rails, code has been the easy part. The difficult bits have mostly been design/UX related"

"Tracking bills made simple"

Here is what the creator says about this project:

"I've recently soft launched Which basically grabs all your invoices received in your inbox Having limited free time as I work full time rails has actually allowed me to move very quickly, The app originally started of as a golang cli app."

"It's the job platform where creators and innovators unite to redefine the landscape of content, technology, and design"

Here is what the creator says about this project:

"Yes. I use Rails api for (almost ready to soft launch)"

"LogCheck is the easiest way to stay on top of routine maintenance tasks, inspections, and meter readings"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"I co-founded LogCheck about ten years ago. The product includes a native mobile app but the backend and web UI is a Rails app. The initial backend was written in PHP, because I was using a free hosting service, but when it was becoming a “real” thing, I replaced it with a Rails app (to this day, the mobile API URLs still end in .php). I picked Rails because I had some experience with it and it was more important to get something built than it was to “have fun” using something new. I spent the first few years mostly insulated from Javascript/Node/NPM drama and that probably helped the business. Unfortunately, we eventually integrated React because I was led to believe that was the right way to do highly interactive UI on the web. We only used it for a few components (like managing a graph view) but after the company got acquired our new parent got strict about security vulnerabilities and keeping all that junk upgraded soaked up a lot of time. If I were starting a new business today I’d use Rails and HTMX"

"Instant Business Name Generator For Entrepreneurs"

Here is what the creator says about this project:

"Yup, I've been using Rails for over ten years now and love it. Just started using Rails in January, and sold it in October. You should use whatever tools you know to achieve the outcome and not worry about what others thinks or say. The goal of the business is profit, and what gets you there is unimportant. Facebook was running on PHP for the first ten years of their operation, so really, you could use anything. That said, Rails is easy and snappy, and the latest edition with Hotwire tools is a joy to use. Whether or not it's the best choice, not always, but it doesn't matter much if you are just starting out."

"The marketplace for makers. Support open-source hardware creators"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"From the onset, it meant that Lectronz needed to adopt a lean tech stack, which allows any developer to be operational on both frontend and backend concerns, with minimal moving parts and third-party dependencies. A lean tech stack will also enable changes to respond to evolving demands. This drove us towards using Ruby on Rails, which offers a platform that enables small teams of developers to build full modern web applications in Ruby. The release of Rails 7 at the end of 2021 has marked the beginning of an exciting new era for Rails developers, making it the ideal lean tech stack for a web application today. As a result, we were able to built Lectronz with the equivalent of a single developper working part-time."

"StatusGator gives your team a unified status page showing the status of all of your cloud vendors, hosted applications, services, websites, and more"

"Monitor SSL Certificate Expiration"

"Gemfilecheck is the easiest way to keep an eye on your Ruby and Rails® projects for security issues and vulnerabilities. Go to bed every night knowing your project is safe from hackers"

"Decode even the most convoluted Ruby on Rails production incidents with our debugger's powerful visualization, guiding you through the labyrinth of call chains and data flow"

"Free invoice generator"

"We're Motivware, and we've got a prototype in the oven for running coaches. We're cooking up a tool that's helping manage clients, payments, and all the important stuff. It's like your coaching sidekick in the making"

"Discover our legal management solution tailored for SMBs, startups, and growing companies. Our innovative platform offers a template library, simplifies contract creation and contract lifecycle management and streamlines legal workflows"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"Simple language exchanges to improve your listening and reading in another language"

"Vocab Spot helps language teachers create a library of teaching materials and share them with students in a way that's easy and fun"

Here is what the creator of and says about these projects:

"Yep, as others have said if you're looking to build something on a shoestring or with limited resources, rails is pretty awesome. I've built three apps to take a run at being their own business. One thing I realized pretty quickly is that building the app isn't the hard part of making a business successful. In a way, that's also another plus for Rails. It's solid and simple enough that I don't have to constantly be working on it at the expense of other stuff like marketing, user research, etc... For my fairly limited coding skills, rails is pretty much the only way I'd be able to do everything."

"Faster CI with Custom Machines"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"Receipt management with AI and Text messages"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"I'm building, a receipt management tool with AI and text messages. I have tried many other languages like Swift, Java, Kotlin, React, Vue, etc. Nothing is quite like Rails: it's fast, simple, and elegantly written. I love Rails. If you are looking to start a business, Rails is the best option. Also, the Rails community has always been welcoming and supportive."

"KindMind is a delighfully simple online journal with a goal: helping you become a more accepting, mindful, better you"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"It’s an online journal with a focus on mental health and wellness. Was totally free for the first 8 years but I started monetizing it last month through paid memberships. I also have a full time job as a Senior SE. If KindMind continues to grow, I’m hoping I might be able to turn it into a full time gig at some point."

"Whether you're looking for someone to go running with, play basketball, pickleball, tennis, go rollerblading, or a sweaty gym session, or to the movies or the museum, browse posts created by other people and join the ones that interest you"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"Yup, built a cross-platform mobile app of the same name, looknforgroup using Flutter on the frontend and Ruby on Rails backend api. Used Rails because it's what I knew and loved working with the most and looking back boy did it make it easy and I even learned a lot more and I'm still learning as I add more features."

"LocaleData is a simple translation management platform that helps you work on your YAML translation files even with your non-technical teammates"

Here is what the creator says about the project:

"Yes! I use Rails for all my side projects, such as Rails is an awesome (but not only) one person framework"

"A micro saas to collect monthly rents that I use for my properties"


I think you should read the original thread on /r/rails there are more comments there than what I included there.

I just wanted to show the diversity of projects built with Ruby on Rails. I find it inspiring to look at these projects and ideas.

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