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Ok, So I've been a webfaction user for a while but a pretty light user so far.

I'm trying to understand common use patterns that others use to get the best use of the services provided. Specifically I want to know if people commonly do actual 'work' within their webfaction account or mostly just use it for deployable website content. E.g. if I try to set up an Octopress site it seems that there is not an easy way to run the bundler and rake tasks that Octopress uses given that it looks for rvm installations of ruby and that is not easily set up for an individual user account.

I may be looking at this from the wrong angle or maybe even missed something about the Octopress setup that would make it easier to actually publish the content within my webfaction account(e.g. ~/octopress) and then deploy to my webapps/<app> directory.

So, do most people develop site content locally(I've got OS X, windows and Ubuntu environments that I can use for any of that) and then just push to webfaction with (e.g.)rsync or ftp?

I really think this is kind-of a basic question but interested in others takes and it may help other new(er) users too.

Thanks! Brian

asked 10 Apr '14, 17:11

blamb
111
accept rate: 0%


Yes, lots of people use WebFaction for both dev and production, and many others use it for deployment only.

Both are viable. Which you choose will depend heavily on the tools you're using, your latency to the servers, and how closely your local environment matches the server environment, among other factors.

You mentioned Octopress. Ruby frameworks have a tendency to be less compatible with non-root environments, so if it's difficult to operate on WebFaction as a dev environment, then developing locally and publishing on WebFaction may be your only viable option.

However, frameworks unfriendly to an individual user account are in the minority. Django, for instance, is a great example of a popular framework for which it's easy to both develop and deploy on WebFaction. For a framework which is comfortable existing in its own directory under a user account, developing on WebFaction may be the best choice. The primary advantage is that deploying to production will usually go very smoothly, since the server environment isn't changing.

Latency also plays a big role. If your customers are far from you, then you may be developing a website for an audience likewise remote. So, while the site is slow for you, it's fast for your customers, which is more important. In this scenario, working directly on the server (such as in vim) will feel sluggish and reduce productivity. Developing locally and deploying to the WebFaction server would be more feasible.

Environments matter significantly, as well. The more similar your local development machine is to the WebFaction server, the fewer hiccups will be experienced during deployment. If you have a very similar local environment, you'll probably prefer to develop locally anyway. Running linux is the obvious choice, and you'll want to run within the same deployment stack (Nginx to passenger for ruby, Apache to mod_wsgi for python, etc) as well.

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answered 11 Apr '14, 08:51

ryans ♦♦
5.0k93360
accept rate: 43%

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question asked: 10 Apr '14, 17:11

question was seen: 2,684 times

last updated: 11 Apr '14, 08:51

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