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

Updated on December 20, 2021

9 Min Read
What is DigitalOcean

This article will answer all your queries like what is DigitalOcean, history of DigitalOcean, their Hacktoberfest meetups, pros and cons of using DigitalOcean hosting, deployment of DigitalOcean one-click apps, data centres and storage on DigitalOcean. Let’s dig in!

What is DigitalOcean ?  

It is a unique cloud hosting provider that offers cloud computing services to business entities so that they can scale themselves by deploying DigitalOcean applications that run parallel across multiple cloud servers without compromising on performance!

In January 2018, it achieved the title of being the third largest cloud hosting company in the world in terms of web-facing computers.

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 in order to provide seamless cloud services across the globe.

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; a company that provides cloud hosting services and server provisioning for individual software developers and small scale startups making it easy for them to host website 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 provided more than 10,000 instances of cloud servers. At the beginning of 2013, It’s among the first few companies to offer SSD-based virtual machines for a seamless experience.

It is a highly profitable company. In 2015, alone they raised US $123.21 million in funding. It revenue in 2015 was $77 million as per business insider report. Their initial seed funding amounted to a total of US $3.2 million. Since then, they have conducted Series A round of funding and Series B round of funding, both of which provided fruitful results. In April 2016, the company secured a whopping US$130 million in credit financing in order to build new cloud services.

Right now, the company is under the leadership of the former CEO of Citrix; Mark Templeton, who took over from Ben Uretsky in April 2016.

Hacktoberfest Meetups

Hacktoberfest is an event for the open-source community that runs almost a month long. DigitalOcean powers it with the association of Github. From its name, one can guess that this meetup is held in October every year. In 2018, Hacktoberfest completed five years of knowledge-sharing and networking.

This popular meetup offers an opportunity for the open-source community to gather under one roof and share unique ideas and opinions to help each other out. The knowledge-sharing allows developers to accomplish their business goals with minimum effort. This meetup hosts like-minded open-source developers who work diligently in order to contribute to the betterment of the developing community across the globe.

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’s why.

digital ocean performance

  • Aesthetic and No-Fuss User Interface

Most of the popular cloud service providers overcomplicate things by providing advanced features compromising the user interface, cluttering it with additional features.

It’s user interface is aesthetic, functional, and without all the bells and whistles that complicate things for the new user. 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 simple and minimalistic APIs 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.

  • Remarkable Performance

Every developer expects high-quality performance from its cloud hosting providers. They don’t wish to waste their time in the hustle bustle of server management, and DigitalOcean is the platform that does not disappoint in this regard.

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 offers have a lightning quick boot time that slates in 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 VMs for running database clusters and distributed systems in a few selected regions.

  • Professional Documentation

The best way to learn about any resource is through the official documentation. This is a strategy that Google has adopted, and to a great success. DigitalOcean’s documentation is comprehensive, concrete and very resourceful. It includes everything from tutorials, installation guides, how-to guides, and walkthroughs.

From setting up a simple LAMP stack to deploying complex Kubernetes cluster, It’s documentation covers every aspect that could trouble a software developer who is familiar with the jargons and terminologies of the cloud platform.

This distinctive feature that it offers is the useful resources for developers that work on any cloud platform.

  • Affordable Pricing of DigitalOcean

It’s pricing is what sets it apart from other cloud computing companies offering similar hosting services. Their basic plan is set at $5 per month and the choice of hourly and monthly payment options makes it very affordable for small startups and individual software developers to adopt their platform. Despite the pocket-friendly arrangements for software developers, It ensured to offer high performance, which truly became the reason of their success.

  • Active Digital Community

One of the best things this cloud platform offers is an active digital community that helps by answering queries and holding feedback discussions, so everybody can benefit from them.

DigitalOcean infrastructure has always incorporated new cutting-edge technologies, even if they have not matured completely. Their community experts are there to help you with their bundles of knowledge so that you can enjoy the freedom of mobility with little to no restrictions at all.

Apart from these great features, you can also check out the detailed comparison of DigitalOcean with other leading cloud providers including Linode, Vultr, AWS and Google Cloud.

Location of Digitalocean Datacenters

At the moment, DigitalOcean has 12 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:

  • New York City, The US: NYC1, NYC2, NYC3
  • San Francisco, The US: SFO1, SFO2
  • Toronto, Canada: TOR1
  • London, United Kingdom: LON1
  • Frankfurt, Germany: FRA1
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands: AMS2, AMS3
  • Singapore: SGP1
  • Bangalore, India: BLR1

What is DigitalOcean Storage?

Tech-enthusiasts and laymen alike are probably curious about how DigitalOcean manages storage. It stores data on hardware that is separate from your droplets and multiple copies of that data is made, and stored in secured location. It 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.

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 very frequently used and associated with everything related to DigitalOcean’s infrastructure, but what does it mean?

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 them:

  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.

What is DigitalOcean Partnerships & Research Program?

Their core objective is to build an unmatched cloud platform for its users. To do so, this cloud computing giant has partnered with some of the best tier-one cloud hosting providers, including Cloudways, Flywheel, and Rainmaker. But, Cloudways is the best flywheel alternative.

It greatly values its partners with high regard and ensures a win-win scenario for everyone without any complexities.

Apart from its partnership program, it also believes in providing value to their end users. The organization encourages people from all across the globe to participate in their research program. It allows the end users to share their perspectives, ideas, and opinions in order to expand its current cloud infrastructure service that can provide fruitful results in the future for everyone. With users’ feedback, it aspires to enhance its one-click services for a remarkable user experience.

Why DigitalOcean with Cloudways?

Although it has made the lives of every developer easier with a remarkable performance, their busy support team is at times unable to cater the requests of its users.

It makes small scale businesses and developers even more frustrated as they do not have the time or the technical skill set to resolve concerns on their own. Henceforth, they opt for a managed cloud hosting provider like Cloudways to 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 are able to 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.

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How to deploy a web application on DigitalOcean?

Hosting 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.

Interested in trying out DigitalOcean on Cloudways?

Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting with affordable plans.

DigitalOcean One-Click Apps Deployment by Cloudways

Digital Ocean Cloudways

Cloudways is one amongst the proud partners of DigitalOcean. With all the technicalities of DigitalOcean, one cannot stop pondering about the fact that how can a newbie host its website on DigitalOcean’s infrastructure. This is where managed cloud hosting services by Cloudways comes in handy to make web hosting easy.

Cloudways provides a powerful Thunderstack for developers to deploy their web applications with ease so that they can focus on their tasks, without having to worry about the 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. Without further ado, here’s how you can deploy your web applications by using Cloudways’ one-click process.

  • To begin with, you must sign up with Cloudways and verify your email address
  • Once done, it’s time to pick your desired application
  • Now you must select your cloud service provider i.e. DigitalOcean in this scenario.
  • Once selected, it’s time for you to scale your cloud server. Do remember that you need a server that offers enough space to manage your monthly traffic without any fuss.
  • 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.
  • With all that taken care of, you’re now free to hit that LAUNCH SERVER BUTTON.

And that’s it! You have successfully deployed your web application on 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.

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Salman Saleem

Salman is a software engineering graduate and digital marketer by profession. He works as a Digital Marketer Strategist at Cloudways. He loves to create value for the Startup community & help entrepreneur reach their goal. He is a big fan of cricket and does play AAA games in his free time.


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