If you're writing a webapp in PHP or Ruby, your have plenty of hosting options. By contrast, not a single company offers Erlang hosting AFAIK . This is a legitimate complaint I've heard from people who are new to Erlang and who want to use it for building a webapp.
Indeed, the web development community has largely overlooked Erlang -- which I'm trying to fix, btw :) -- but this doesn't mean that you're out of hosting options.
Here are the two good options for an Erlang/Yaws app I know of that you may find appealing:
- The cheap option, which is great especially for the development phase, is to run your app on a VPS (Virtual Private Server). This is actually a nice option for any kind of web development. I'm running this blog on a $20/month VPS server that I'm renting from JaguarPC. I think this is a pretty good package, at least from some research I've done on webhostingtalk.com a while ago, but you might find something even better.
- When your app is ready for production, you can run it on a rented dedicated server. Such servers are pretty cheap these days ($200-$400 a month IIRC). One interesting hosting provider you should know about is SoftLayer, which lets you set up a 1Gbps private network between multiple dedicated servers. This is ideal for running an Erlang cluster without all the headaches of setting up your own hardware. Softlayer has also been getting good buzz, at least when I've done my research a couple of months ago.
Having your own (virtual) server requires more work than a shared hosting plan, but I think it's great because it gives you full control. For people who are interested in Erlang, I think this is a good fit.
I hope you find this useful! Let me know if you know of any other alternatives.