2016 Digital Ocean review: Everything you need to know
Overview: Digital Ocean specializes in cloud hosting for web developers.
5 Plan: $5.00/mo SSD Cloud
10 Plan: $10.00/mo SSD Cloud
20 Plan: $20.00/mo SSD Cloud
Ideal Customer: Developers who build multiple websites or applications who want a scalable and versatile cloud hosting plan.
Advanced Equipment: To create an environment that attracts web and application developers, Digital Ocean provides the best equipment available for cloud hosting. The company understands the need for a fast, clean and powerful experience and boasts that a new SSD cloud server can be created in 55 seconds. The servers are decked out with the best hardware like powerful HEX Core machines with dedicated ECC Ram to go along with the solid state hard drives. Every plan comes standard with a 1Gb/sec network interface, with the intro plan starting at 1TB transer limit and increasing in the other packages. With multiple data centers available in a few places around the world, developers can choose the center where their data will be stored, which will help with the response time of files. You can use this powerful set up to create multiple virtual server environments, which Digital Ocean call “droplets.” This equipment means faster development and faster load times for end users and website visitors.
Intuitive API/Control Panel: Having equipment that allows you to create just about any website or application means you will need an interface that allows you to organize and see all of your projects in a simple format. This necessity is exactly why Digital Ocean has created a custom API that gives developers complete control over all of the virtual servers (droplets) they create. A unique feature of this API is that it’s completely open source, which allows developers to tweak or renovate the interface entirely. Digital Ocean also provides a custom designed control panel that will allow you to manage all of your resources efficiently. Some of the features of their panel are easy domain management, team accounts to help you keep your staff organized, and one click installs. One of the most natural options is the ability to allocate more resources with a single click. If your need has grown, the process of getting more storage is made simple. Their developer-friendly interface has made them a favorite of the more than 55,000 developers who use this host.
Active Knowledgeable Community: A knowledgebase of information is a standard among most hosting providers, and some have created communities that help each other by asking and answering questions. Digital Ocean has created a community of expert developers that are passionate about helping others who use the hosting platform. They have created a question and answer environment that is accessible by all and is organized by category and whether or not the question has been answered. There are also tutorials for many different functions available through Digital Ocean. To encourage this user-friendly environment, they offer several benefits to those who are willing to help their colleagues. In addition to getting your name on the article or tutorial that you have put together, you will get paid. If you can provide an in-depth tutorial on a subject that is pertinent to their users, Digital Ocean will pay you $200. If you have an overview that is informative, but not too deep they will give you $100. They also pay $50 for articles about industry news and updates.
There are several online reviews for DigitalOcean. Users seem genuinely impressed with the host, and most of the positive reviews focus on DigitalOcean’s pricing and hosting options:
“Digitalocean is very good for developers and also its better for VPS hosting. I am using Digital ocean to learn Linux servers and in same time used it for Host my websites. You can get VPS at less than Shared hosting price so this is really amazing.”
Another customer praising their options states: “I have an irc server, voice chat server, and game server running on mine currently, with plans to also host a web site on it. They have very flexible plans for a Linux vps, starting at just $5 a month. The one I use is a step up from the cheapest option ($10/month) so it can run the game server without any hiccups.”
There are however some people who aren’t completely satisfied. The few negatives we found are downtime and lack of managed VPS.
Here one customer is unhappy due to a downtime issue: “You can not use Digitalocean for professional use. You have to be careful. It is only suitable for simple websites. We faced a downtime for 2 hours and 10` in the rush hour for my customers.”
Another customer states: “Only one issue for Beginners that is they are not offering managed VPS… to resolve this issue they have very good and large collection of tutorials to manage the VPS.”
We also checked Twitter to see what DigitalOcean’s customers there had to say.
One customer expressed his excitement at DigitalOcean’s speed:
I set up a @digitalocean VM and deployed a custom Node app in like 3 minutes. That's so cool.
— Kerry Ritter (@KerryRitter) November 22, 2015
Another customer seemed to be affected by a regional issue:
.@digitalocean Could you at least throw up a status update on issues impacting NYC3. My droplets have been on and off for the past two hours
— Zachary DuBois (@DuBoisZachary) August 19, 2015
- Uptime Guarantee: Due to the quality of their equipment, Digital Ocean is proud to offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Private Networking: The API allows you to network multiple virtual servers.
- Transfer Virtual Servers: Developers can transfer the files on cloud servers around to the other facilities around the world at any time.
- Unmanaged Hosting: Digital Ocean caters to professional developers who want to calibrate their own server experience.
- One Click Installs: Every thing you can do on this platform is built for speed including setting up and installing CMS and coding options.
- Get Paid to Write: The company will pay you to write articles in your area of expertise that will help other developers.
- Limited Support: There is no phone or chat support, but the ticketing system seems to resolve issues in a timely manner.
- No Basic Hosting: Digital Ocean is a host that almost exclusively caters to developers.
- No cPanel: There is no cPanel available, but their API is open source and can be tailored to your individual needs.
Digital Ocean has created a place that both individual developers and large firms can use to simplify their process and focus on building their website or application. If you are looking for a clean slate and a developer’s playground then you will enjoy hosting with this company.
If you are looking for managed hosting options, including shared or dedicated then you’ll have to look for another provider.
Takeaway: Digital Ocean has powerful equipment and an intuitive interface that have made them a favorite host of developers world-wide.