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11 Types of Apps You Can Build with Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is one of the most universal and flexible frameworks to quickly build web apps. With Ruby, applications you’re able to build can help you find freelancers, edit a photo online or book an apartment. Frankly, what limits you is only an ideation of your future product. In this article, we take a look at several diversified examples of such development.


Wondering what platform to use for your next startup project? When it comes to building MVPs, Ruby on Rails still remains the king of frameworks but not only startups use Rails - a lot of very mature services, services you probably use every day, managed to utilize its full potential by creating applications used by hundreds of thousands of users.

Why Ruby on Rails? - quick summary

  • It is great for fast and cost-effective development of MVPs - Ruby on Rails was specifically designed to improve the productivity of the developer

  • With time and commitment, developers can quickly learn RoR because Ruby is one of the most natural programming languages to work with

  • Supportive community - Ruby on Rails community is constantly growing. There are more than 200,000 questions tagged with “Rails” on StackOverflow

Here is our list of different websites and applications that are built using Rails, proving that Rails is very versatile and can be used to create pretty much everything :)

Pixlr - photo editing web application

Pixlr is a cloud-based Photoshop-like application with a number of utilities, tools, and features. It can be used on most of the major platforms including tablets, PCs, and smartphones. Pixlr was founded by Ola Sevandersson in 2008 and created using Ruby on Rails. Later the service was acquired by Autodesk.

Basecamp - business organizer

Basecamp (created by the company formerly named 37signals) is a web-based project and business management tool that was developed by David Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, and his team. Currently, it has over 2.5M users and is a very good alternative to services like Slack and Asana for companies that rely on collaboration.

Bloomberg - trading, news, and data analytics

Bloomberg offers a wide range of products and services - a combination of trading platform, data analytics and services, breaking news delivered in their core revenue-generating product - Bloomberg Terminal, a financial data provider. As you probably have guessed - Bloomberg’s web applications are based on Ruby on Rails.

Couchsurfing - platform for meeting people from around the world

If you don’t know what Couchsurfing is, ask someone who travels a lot. In simple words - it is the most popular social networking service for travelers with over 15M users. Members of the service can stay as a guest at home of other users (for free!), meet other members, and join events. Couchsurfing allows you to plan your trip, look for hosts from around the world - everything using Ruby on Rails based applications.

Fiverr - freelancers for hire!

Have you ever needed a logo but you don’t know how to use Photoshop? Fiverr is the way to go! It lists over 3M services (called “Gigs”) from freelancers from around the world, starting at 5$. You can search in Fiverr’s huge database for ‘gigs’ from almost every field of freelancing - graphics, designing, music, programming, writing, translations, and much more.

Github - Git repository and hosting service

This overwhelmingly successful and popular startup created using Ruby on Rails and Erlang, Github provides a wide variety of features for developers - collaboration tools, bug tracking, task management, but most importantly it is a web-based Git repository hosting service. Github is used by over 26M users.

Kickstarter - project funding service

Create and raise money for your project or fund and comment projects you like - everything in one website! Kickstarter is a place where your idea becomes reality. With Ruby on Rails on its backend, the service has handled 13M+ backers and has funded almost 134,000 projects.

Shopify - e-commerce platform

Shopify is a fully packaged e-commerce solution for online shops. It offers everything you may need to start selling goods on the Internet - website hosting, payment integration, Content Management System, a store with plugins and extensions, and much more. More than 500,000 merchants use Shopify platform making over $40 billion in GMV. Shopify was built using Ruby on Rails from the very beginning, it launched after only 2 months of development!

Twitch - most popular gaming livestreams is the most popular livestream service ever created(!) and, surprise surprise, it is using Ruby on Rails framework. has over 15M viewers daily, each of them spends there around 106 minutes on average watching users-generated livestreams. It has donation, ads, and paid-subscription features for streamers making streaming a full-time job.

Zendesk - help desk

Zendesk is a platform that allows you to get closer to your customers by a simple and easy-to-use help desk for your employees and visitors of your website. Companies like Tesco, the abovementioned Shopify and Fiverr, Groupon, Uber, and much more use Zendesk on their websites and in their apps - around 32,000 in total!

Airbnb - hotel/apartment booking

With 150M users, 500,000 stays per night, and 4M listings, Airbnb remains the leader among modern hotel and room renting services. The most important fact - Airbnb was created using Ruby on Rails, making it one of the most popular services that use this framework.

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