Over the last year or so, I’ve been using Digital Ocean to host all of my web servers, and in that time, I haven’t had a single issue! Not one. Nada. If you know what to expect from them, they can be the best host you will ever use, and here’s why…
Built for developers
As you can see from the screen shot above, Digital Ocean don’t market themselves as a traditional web host. If you’re after cheap-as-chips shared Cpanel hosting, then you’ve come to the wrong place. That’s not what Digital Ocean are about. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a brilliant alternative to crappy shared hosting on Digital Ocean. I have, and the proof is in the pudding – this site, and all of my customers sites are hosted on Digital Ocean servers.
I’ve started working on a how-to guide for setting up a Digital Ocean server as a great web hosting system. So keep your eyes peeled for that one!
Yes, Digital Ocean is designed for developers, but “normal” people can, and do use it all the time for hosting their website, emails, applications, and much more. If you really want to, you could even buy a Cpanel license and apply it to a Digital Ocean server!
What’s in the box?
Once you’ve signed up and created a Droplet (Digital Ocean’s name for a virtual server), you don’t really get a lot to be honest. Well, you don’t really get anything, apart from the OS that you chose. You can choose from a number of Linux distributions when creating a Droplet, as well as a number of pre-installed applications.
So you may well be thinking “what the hell am I supposed to do with a shitty blank server?” That’s the beauty of Digital Ocean – the answer to that question is simple. Anything. The server is yours to do with what you will (as long as it’s not illegal). This makes Digital Ocean really versatile, if you know what you’re doing.
However, once you make the server, you’re on your own, and that’s what may scare many users off. They will help you with server issues, but they are not responsible for anything that’s stored on your server(s). For example, if you make a web server, and one of your websites goes down; you’re on your own. You will have to troubleshoot and fix the issue yourself. Having said that though, the couple of times I have had to get in touch with Digital Ocean support, they have gone the extra mile and tried to help where they can. This isn’t to be expected though.
The pricing for Digital Ocean is cheap. Very cheap. Their servers start from just $5 per month, and for that you get 1TB of bandwidth, a single core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 20GB of SSD storage. This is more than enough to host a plethora of low traffic websites. From there, the prices double, as do the server specs for every increment.
What’s more, if you want to spin up a Droplet to test something, you can. Digital Ocean will charge you by the hour up until the monthly rate is hit, then it will limit the fee for that month. So if you want a 512MB Droplet to test a new web app for 24 hours, this will cost you around 17 cents (around 12p). SEVENTEEN CENTS! That’s ridiculous.
This may seems like an extremely positive review, that’s because it is. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about Digital Ocean as a company, or the services they provide. In the year or so that I’ve been with them, I haven’t had a single outage, the servers have always been really fast & responsive, and the support team are always there to help, when they can.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a paid review. This is an honest review from my own experiences with Digital Ocean, as a paying customer. I hope you found my Digital Ocean review to be useful, if you have any specific questions that I haven’t answered, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for my web server how-to guide.
Note: this article contains a referral link. If you decide to sign up for a Digital Ocean account using this link, you will receive $10 of free credit from Digital Ocean. If you prefer, Digital Ocean’s direct website is http://digitalocean.com.