As a developer I need a web hosting solution for my personal sites, development environments for works in progress, and a few sites for friends and family. I used to use a shared hosting account that allowed for multiple domains like Bluehost (or I’m ashamed to say at one time even GoDaddy). However, while shared hosting is cheap and normally allows for basically unlimited storage and bandwidth there are a limitations on functionality and performance. In the past for larger projects for client’s I had used VPS (Virtual Private Servers) on services like HostGator, however for just a personal site I didn’t want to spend that much money.
Then someone at work told me about a new start up called Digital Ocean (www.digitalocean.com) so I went and checked them out. You can get a VPS for $5 a month or $0.007 per hour. So I figured I would start one up and see how their service was. Creating a VPS (they call them droplets) takes all of about 1 minute. You can select from many different Linux distros to be imaged onto your VPS, I chose Ubuntu 12.04 Server. After reading other reviews and over a few days having 0 downtime I decided it was time to abandon shared hosting completely and never look back. To make things even easier I decided to install ISPconfig (www.ispconfig.org) on my server to make server administration that much easier since I was mainly going to use it for web hosting. For those of you not familiar with ISPconfig it is an open source hosting platform similar to CPanel just not nearly as robust. I followed the instructions found here.
At first I just moved over one person site that didn’t really matter if something went wrong. Within a month though I had moved everything over and cancelled my shared hosting account completely. After I few months and having about 10 sites running on my VPS it was struggling with only having 512mb of memory. So since then I have increased to the $10 a month plan so I have double the memory, and have had no issues. $10 is basically the same price as most shared hosting and much cheaper than most other Cloud hosting places.
I’m not getting any money or anything for this review but I just thought I would try to help other developers out if they have been looking for a place for a VPS. I’ve already “converted” a 3 or 4 developer friends and haven’t heard a single complaint.