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What Is DigitalOcean and Why Should You Select It for Your Web Hosting?

Updated on June 21, 2023

13 Min Read

Choosing the right hosting service for websites and web apps can be tricky. Whether you are a developer or an agency looking for hosting solutions for clients or an individual looking for problem-free hosting, DigitalOcean can be a great choice.

Honestly, all the services have their pros and cons. Your aim should be to choose something that fits right on your requirements. In this article, we’ll see why DO can be the perfect choice for your hosting needs.

Below, I’ve covered several parameters, such as user interface, performance metrics, pricing, etc., which will help you with your decision to choose DO. Also, I’ve drawn a competitor analysis of DigitalOcean with its top two competitors – Vultr and Linode.

Overall, the article comprehensively covers reasons to help you understand why you should choose DO over others. Let’s explore!

What Is DigitalOcean?

DigitalOcean Infrastructure is a leading cloud service provider based in the United States of America. Their headquarter operates from New York City, and their data centers are prevalent in every corner of the world to provide seamless cloud services across the globe.

The company offers web developers and businesses simple and highly scalable cloud computing solutions.

DO customers can scale their websites, web apps, and other digital assets by deploying DigitalOcean applications that run parallel across multiple cloud servers without compromising performance!

In January 2018, it became the third-largest cloud-hosting company in the world in terms of web-facing computers. On March 24, 2021, DigitalOcean became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company offers several products and tools, but let’s have a brief look at some of the featured products:

DigitalOcean offers a complete range of cloud solutions to anyone who needs it. And above-mentioned are just a few featured products. With DO, you can get various solutions in different domains, like networking, computing, and even assistive tools for developers.

Besides the comprehensive cloud solutions, let’s see why developers love DigitalOcean.

This is important to know because whoever you are – an agency, a sole proprietorship, or an SME, it’s highly likely that a developer is running the show for your websites and stores.

5 Reasons Why Developers Love DigitalOcean?

In a world full of cloud service providers, the question arises:

Why choose DigitalOcean infrastructure? And why not choose any other cloud hosting provider?

Here are 5 reasons why:

choose do

1. No-Fuss and User-Friendly Interface

Most of the popular cloud service providers overcomplicate things. Sure, it’s good to have many features, but bombarding the users with all of them at once can leave them confused. That’s not an issue with DigitalOcean.

Its user interface is highly navigable and easy to use. The number of links, buttons, and one-click features is optimal to ensure access to the available functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that DigitalOcean lacks functionality.

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It is the perfect cloud provider to deploy and manage scalable web applications. Its one-click apps are greatly regarded among individual software developers and small-scale organizations as they allow you to enjoy automation and integration with 3rd party tools as well.

Moreover, it provides easy API integration for your convenience. After generating an API, developers can use standard HTTP tools, including curl, to invoke the API. It also provides SDKS for all the tools which the developers might require while programming in PHP or another language of choice. These tools include various libraries and plugins.

samplenext

You can see above how clean the interface is. DigitalOcean’s interface is indeed designed to help users have the best experience.

2. Remarkable Performance

Every developer expects high-quality performance from its cloud hosting providers. They don’t want to waste time with server management. In this regard, DigitalOcean is the platform that does not disappoint.

It is one of the first providers of SSD-based virtual machines, and it utilized IPv6 before other service providers even considered it. The droplets that DigitalOcean offer have a lightning-quick boot time that slates into about 55 seconds.

Their cloud servers are on powerful Hex core machines with dedicated ECC Ram and RAID SSD storage. Furthermore, it offers private networking among the Virtual Machines for running database clusters and distributed systems in a few selected regions.

3. Professional Documentation

The best way to learn about any product is through official documentation. This is a strategy that even Google adopted and succeeded.

DigitalOcean’s documentation is comprehensive and very resourceful. It includes everything from tutorials, installation guides, how-to guides, and walkthroughs.

From setting up a simple LAMP stack to deploying a complex Kubernetes cluster, its documentation covers every aspect that could trouble a software developer on the DO cloud platform.

4. Affordable Pricing of DigitalOcean

Its pricing is what sets it apart from other cloud computing companies offering similar hosting services. DO’s basic plan starts at $4/Month.

And the choice of hourly and monthly payment options makes it very affordable for small startups and individual software developers.

Despite the pocket-friendly arrangements for software developers, there’s no compromise on high performance, which truly is the reason for DO’s success.

5. Active Digital Community

One of the best things this cloud platform offers is an active digital community. Members of the community belong to various digital segments.

different personas

You can already see some of the many personas that DigitalOcean caters to above. And the people are super active. Members of the DO community are ready to help developers when the need arises.

Another amazing thing about DO is the Hacktober meetups. DO hosts meetups for developers every year in October, where they come and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

Plus, DO’s own support is something worth mentioning as well. All in all, DigitalOcean successfully managed to build a large and supportive community. The experts are there to help you with their bundles of knowledge so that you can continue with your developer hosting related matters without much hindrance.

There are several other salient features that you’ll explore as a customer. For now, let’s jump to a comparison of DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode. You can also use our Web hosting pricing calculator tool to get updated pricing.

DigitalOcean VS Linode And Vultr

This is where it gets interesting; comparing DO with the other providers to see what this service offers that others miss.

DigitalOcean VS Linode

Features DigitalOcean Linode
Pricing Starts at $4/Month Starts at $5/Month
Data centers 15 data centers 11 data centers
Billing Hourly billing Hourly billing
Performance Developer-friendly performance with an easy-to-use and understand interface.The service also has better local response times and other performance metrics than Linode. In close comparison with Digital Ocean in terms of performance. Several performance figures for Linode almost catch up with DO.
Scalability Highly scalable with a pay-as-you-go model. Highly scalable with a pay-as-you-go model.
Support Dedicated support is available for customers 24/7. There are different tiers of support available and high-paying customers enjoy premium service.DO also has a large and active community that’s ready to support fellow users. Linode does reasonably well on the support front as well. Community support is also available for Linode users.

Performance

Let’s now compare the two in terms of performance. DigitalOcean and Linode are worthy competitors, but the former wins in some areas.

In terms of local response time, DO wins. Response time means how quickly the server responds to the requests made by a user.

Websites need the quickest response time so that the users get a great experience and DO wins here.

local response

Source: Vpsbenchmarks

Another metric where DO wins in terms of performance is the Sysbench Disk IO performance. The Sysbench test is a utility test that analyses performance on various parameters such as CPU, memory, Input/Output, database, etc.

When compared, DO wins against Linode. Here you can see that the difference is stark.

sysbench io

Source: Vpsbenchmarks

Ease of Setup and Use

Both platforms are really easy to set up. You just need to signup and pay to get started. You can then get to work and start using cloud solutions.

do interface

DigitalOcean Interface

linode interface

Linode Interface

DO’s interface looks easier on the eyes and has a comparatively better navigable design. However, a little time with Linode will also make you comfortable with the platform.

Customer Support

Both services offer support to assist their customers in times of need. However, DO’s support is more responsive compared to Linode.

Also, support documentation by DigitalOcean is readily available and easy to understand. Plus, DigitalOcean has developed an amazing community that includes a wide range of personas.

So, the scales tilt towards DO in this regard. DO places a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, which means you’ll not be left confused and without guidance when encountering a problem.

DigitalOcean VS Vultr

Features DigitalOcean Vultr
Pricing Starts at $4/Month Starts at $2.5/Month
Billing Hourly billing Hourly billing
Performance 99.99% uptime guaranteed for DigitalOcean users. Plus, you get several developer-friendly options that can boost performance. Vultr offers good performance options.
Scalability Simple and easy to scale. Offers scalable solution.
Support 24/7 support available + community support. 8.7 G2 rating with 289 responses. Vultr’s customers can sometimes struggle because the company doesn’t fare well on the support side.7.7 G2 rating with 84 responses.

User Interface

Comparing the user interface, DigitalOcean is a clear winner compared to Vultr. Even on G2, DO is a clear winner in terms of ease of setup and ease of use.

do interface

DigitalOcean Interface

vultr interface

Vultr Interface

DigitalOcean’s interface is more friendly for users. Vultr can get confusing at times. DO’s interface is true to its vision of helping people worry less about hosting troubles and focus more on growing their digital presence.

Friendlier for a Wider Audience

DigitalOcean focuses on keeping the platform friendly for users. That’s the reason why DO has such a broad audience signing up as customers.

You can integrate features easily and won’t be left feeling flustered about how to proceed. Anyone from small business owners to developers can easily work with the platform.

Vultr, on the hand, requires some time for mastery. It’s more suited for people with some technical expertise.

g2 ratings

Stats from G2 clearly show that so many people are more comfortable using DO than Vultr. Even the second last metric, “Has the product been a good partner in doing business?”, gets a high DO ranking compared to Vultr.

Documentation and Tutorials

As mentioned, DO is super focused on customer experience, whereas Vultr falls short in this domain.

The company has produced extensive content work regarding documentation and tutorials to ensure that users don’t feel lost. On top of that, there’s 24/7 support available and ready to help customers in case of any issue.

Vultr, on the other hand, doesn’t have such extensive material. Although it surely isn’t nonexistent, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Location of DigitalOcean’s Datacenters

At the moment, DigitalOcean has 15 data centers at key locations that allow them to server a significant chunk of global users. The following is the list of the currently operational data centers:

  1. New York City, The US: NYC1, NYC2, NYC3
  2. San Francisco, The US: SFO1, SFO2, SFO3
  3. Toronto, Canada: TOR1
  4. London, United Kingdom: LON1
  5. Frankfurt, Germany: FRA1
  6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: AMS1, AMS2, AMS3
  7. Singapore: SGP1
  8. Bangalore, India: BLR1
  9. Australia: SYD1

Now, let’s learn a little about DigitalOcean’s history. It’s important for you to see how the company evolved year by year to deliver the best experience to the users.

History of DigitalOcean

It came into being on June 24th, 2011. However, its history of formation goes long back. In 2003 Ben and Moisey Uretsky; the founders of DigitalOcean, had already formed a company called Server Stack.

After surveying the cloud computing industry, they felt a void. As, most companies were targeting corporate clients only, who required a cloud infrastructure to manage their servers on a larger scale. They were ambitious to fulfill that gap and create a profitable future for themselves.

But none among the competitors were targeting individual software developers and small-scale companies as their potential customers. So after extensive research, Ben and Moisey Uretsky founded DigitalOcean. This company provides cloud hosting services and server provisioning for individual software developers and small-scale startups, making it easy for them to host websites with one-click solutions.

They smoothly scaled themselves in a linear fashion. By the mid of 2012, they had a strong team in place and became a part of a startup accelerator program by none other than TechStars.

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By the end of this startup accelerator program, the company was able to sign up nearly 400 customers and provide more than 10,000 instances of cloud servers. At the beginning of 2013, It was among the first few companies to offer SSD-based virtual machines for a seamless experience.

It evolved into a highly profitable company. In April 2016 alone, they raised US $130 million in funding. Their initial seed funding amounted to a total of US $3.2 million.

Since then, they have conducted a Series A round of funding and a Series B round of funding, both providing fruitful results. In April 2016, the company secured a whopping US$130 million in credit financing to build new cloud services.

Right now, the company is under the leadership of Yancey Spruill, former CFO and COO of SendGrid.

Now that you have an insight into the company’s history let’s explore how the DO’s storage mechanism works.

What Is DigitalOcean Storage?

DigitalOcean stores data on hardware that is separate from your droplets and keeps multiple copies of that data made and stored in a secured location. This reduces the chances of data loss in case of a catastrophe like hardware failure.

Their live scale feature allows their users to scale Block Storage volumes from 1GB up to 16TB. They can resize them if they need more space and move them between droplets, all in a very convenient manner.

Moreover, all the encrypted data on this platform is transferred to the users’ droplets over isolated networks.

Their cloud servers are able to programmatically control the data. Their API lets you deploy and manage your block storage volumes. Users can expand droplet storage space and manage block storage volumes using conventional HTTP requests.

Users can perform actions that include creating volumes, attaching, detaching, and retrieving volume information—with curl commands or the official Ruby and Go API wrappers.

Let’s now see what a droplet is.

What is a droplet?

If you’ve made it this far into the article, you must be wondering what exactly is a droplet? This terminology is associated with everything related to DigitalOcean’s infrastructure.

Droplets are flexible Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) that run on top of virtualized hardware. Each droplet you create is a new server for you.

There are three different kinds of droplet plans currently being offered by DigitalOcean:

  1. Standard Droplets offer a lot of freedom and flexibility regarding your hosting needs. These droplets are best suited for individuals looking to host websites, staging environments, and companies with low-intensity computing needs.
  2. General Purpose Performance Droplets are best for a mainstream production workload that requires predictable compute performance and a higher ratio of memory to CPU.
  3. CPU Optimized Performance Droplets are best for CPU-intensive tasks and projects that require predictable performance or rely on CPU more than RAM or I/O, like batch processing large data sets, large builds, and video encoding.

Furthermore, you can use the feature of ‘tags’ to add a custom label to your droplet. It helps in viewing filtered lists of droplets.

If you want things even simpler, you can choose DigitalOcean via Cloudways. Here’s why:

Why DigitalOcean With Cloudways?

Although DO has made the lives of every developer easier with a remarkable performance, it’s still a little technical for laymen and non-tech people. Directly going to DO means you may need support frequently.

This makes small-scale businesses and developers even more frustrated as they do not have the time or the technical skill set to resolve concerns independently.

Henceforth, a managed DigitalOcean cloud hosting provider like Cloudways can take care of their server management so that their users don’t have to remain a system administrator just to ensure the servers are performing flawlessly.

A managed hosting service will allow you to save time from all the hassle of server management. Additionally, users can deploy one-click applications and enjoy maximum security at all times.

It is ideal for users who lack technical expertise as it takes away the pain of server complexities.

Even if you have the technical expertise, but you’re unable to provide timely attention to your servers, you can always shake hands with Cloudways for a flawless experience of server management.

You Might Also Like: What Should you know About AWS EC2

How to deploy a web application on DigitalOcean?

Hosting a website on DigitalOcean’s infrastructure can be a difficult task for some. With a number of complications involved in the direct hosting process, if you manually aim for their droplets, it is going to take a lot of your time.

But, with Cloudways in the picture, it’s just a game of a few clicks and 7 minutes to set up a DO server.

Try DigitalOcean on Cloudways.

Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting with affordable plans and ease of setting up servers.

DigitalOcean One-Click Apps Deployment by Cloudways

do app development via cloudways

Cloudways provides a powerful Thunderstack for developers to deploy their web applications with ease so that they can focus on their tasks without worrying about technical server management issues.

Cloudways helps developers with a one-click application deployment process, which is one of the many reasons why it stands out from the crowd.

Here’s how you can deploy your web applications by using Cloudways’ one-click process.

cw login

  • Once done, it’s time to pick your desired application

test

  • Now you must select your cloud service provider, i.e. DigitalOcean, in this scenario.

server providers

  • Once selected, it’s time for you to scale your cloud server. Remember that you need a server that offers enough space to manage your monthly traffic without fuss. Cloudways makes this very easy through Cloudways Autonomous. With Autonomous the server automatically scales up vertically whenever there is a traffic spike.
  • Once you’re done with scaling your cloud server, you must choose your cloud server’s location. It is a wise practice to choose the server location that is nearest to your home country.

server location

  • With all that taken care of, you’re now free to hit that LAUNCH SERVER BUTTON.

launch now

And that’s it! You have successfully deployed your web application on the DigitalOcean cloud server using managed cloud services by Cloudways.  Now you don’t have to worry about server management; Cloudways will take care of everything from here.

Conclusion

DigitalOcean is a fantastic cloud computing choice for businesses and large corporations alike.

While operationally, it’s at par with its competitors, the exceptional support and the friendly user interface it offers makes it a no-brainer choice.

And if you are a small team or don’t want to have a developer look after your hosting needs, you can simply opt for managed hosting via Cloudways and make your lives even easier. After all, hosting should never leave you scratching your head. Rather, it should only and always assist your targets for online growth!

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Share This Article

Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Been in content marketing since 2014, and I still get a kick out of creating stories that resonate with the target audience and drive results. At Cloudways by DigitalOcean (a leading cloud hosting company, btw!), I lead a dream team of content creators. Together, we brainstorm, write, and churn out awesome content across all the channels: blogs, social media, emails, you name it! You can reach out to me at [email protected].

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