I think you are asking about the costs and benefits of writing a site
in Rails, as compared to PHP.
My experience is that being familiar with PHP makes learning Rails
quite tiresome at first. The problem is that every single task seems
to require a lot of learning about the whole system. This leaves you
wondering why you don't just write a few lines of PHP, instead of
reading a chapter in a book. This circumstance arises precisely
because the Rails is so powerful, because it can handle so many tasks.
It's a bit like being very familiar with a swiss army knife, which can
handle a lot of tasks somewhat awkwardly, and then being handed a few
dozen specialized tools that require new learning. Yes, it's a pain
at first. But things will start to pay off eventually.
The great thing about Rails is that things come "for free". Instead
of writing a quick PHP hack and later having to go back to strengthen
the method or fix a problem, you can rest assured that what you've got
(when you finally have it) will be fairly powerful.
I think maintaining Rails should be easier than maintaining Rails.
However, you'll need to keep abreast of Rails changes as they
develop. That's a bit of a pain, unless you like that or can convince
someone to pay you to do it, as the case may be.
I hear repeatedly that Rails is slow compared with PHP, and I have no
reason to doubt that.
Deploying Rails is also a problem for some people. For example, at my
university, tens of thousands of individuals have personal websites.
Anyone can use PHP if they like it better than HTML. Rails is not
On balance, I would say that it is worth learning Rails, especially if
you enjoy Ruby. Your second and third applications will be a lot
faster than the first one. Soon you'll find it all quite natural.
But if you just want to get work done, and if you know PHP well enough
to do that, why not just get that coding done and move on to something