Why I (currently) choose DigitalOcean

In my previous post, I briefly mentioned how I wanted this blog to be a resource for things I didn't want to forget as trawling through various Evernote notes was starting to become too cumbersome.

As I'm hoping this blog helps someone other than myself, I suppose this brings me to my next point - why DigitalOcean as the hosting solution not only for the blog, but also for my VPS as a whole? There were a number of reasons:

  1. Cost effective and scaleable plans
    • For every VPS test system so far, I've started off with the $5/mo option, which provides 512MB RAM, a single core processor, 20GB SSD, and 1TB transfers.
    • The option to scale up is always available should I choose, by simply turning the server off and using the resize tab in the droplet control panel. In saying that, this has always proven to be sufficient for most circumstances (lone exception: created an ownCloud server for collaboration with colleagues across states for a fundraising project, where numerous files were constantly being exchanged. This required a slightly more powerful VPS).

  2. User friendly interface
    • I tried Linode, Azure, Amazon EC2 & Google Cloud Platform (in that order). DigitalOcean was the easiest to navigate through, and definitely one of the easiest to launch a server (not to mention the minimalist interface, which I am definitely a fan of).

  3. One-click "application" installation
    • One of DigitalOcean's USPs: the ability to launch a VPS with certain programs pre-installed.
    • I originally decided to get a VPS to host an ownCloud server, after I realized that it wasn't feasible to keep a local server running at all times due to costs involved (mostly electricity, due to ancient wiring in my 60-year old rented townhouse). A large host would enjoy the benefits of economies of scale. After a number of frustrating attempts to install ownCloud, I finally managed to do so, however I made so many changes and had to reinstall Ubuntu countless times. The one-click option was an absolute godsend.

  4. Best learning resources
    • Whilst the first few points definitely are worth consideration, the articles that DigitalOcean release to help the layperson is ultimately what convinced me. Most of what I'm going to eventually post will borrow from their various guides shamelessly, however as I said, this blog is more of a centralized resource (for myself in particular).

Coming up next: launching a Ghost server, whilst using the cloud-init function to tweak the system to personal preference.