Bitingduck Press

I’m the developer/webmaster (and company co-owner) of Bitingduck Press, a small
publisher dealing mostly in eBooks, with some print distribution as well. I run
a few sites at Hub.org– bitingduckpress.com, authors.bitingduckpress.com,
bosonbooks.com (an imprint we recently acquired), and most recently
store.bitingduckpress.com (our own online bookstore for supporting our new
WebBytez to sell ebooks in physical stores). Over the years I’ve run a few
other sites on hub.org servers, most of which still are around as side
projects.

The sites use a variety of technologies– the Boson Books site is plain old
static HTML that we inherited from the previous owners and haven’t replaced yet.
Bitingduckpress.com and authors.bitingduckpress.com are both running on
wordpress, which has been very easy to set up and maintain. The store that we
recently put up at store.bitingduckpress.com is running the Ruby on Rails based
Spree commerce platform. Rails is a notorious pain to deploy (even after all
these years!) but with the advent of Passenger (mod_rails) and Ruby Version
Manager (rvm), it’s not been too bad. I had built an earlier Rails based site
at hub.org and it’s relatively straightforward if you follow the directions at
the Passenger site. All the sites are using MySQL on the back end.

When I started getting set up for the web store, I shopped around a little, and
hub is still probably the best kept secret in serving Rails sites. One of the
really nice features at hub is that they usually can install the tricky
libraries for you (GD and ImageMagick give me headaches). The prices are great
for capable (and lightly shared) premium servers, there are more VPS options
than most places (I’m still using a FreeBSD VPS), and there’s still more setup
flexibility than just about anybody else I looked at. Basic deployment is
pretty simple now, so I get to spend my time wrestling with making the store do
what I want, rather than trying to work around what the hosting allows.

Chris Lindensmith
Bitingduck Press, VP of Technology