This site – my blog, my personal space, my untainted unrestricted online presence – is hosted on DigitalOcean.
What is it?!
DigitalOcean is a brilliant web hosting service. It makes use of SSDs for the storage and hosts the web-server, serving you this very page (and many others), via a virtual private server. Right, what exactly does any of that mean?!
Well, SSD is short for Solid State Drive. They’re hard disks, sort of, that don’t have any physical moving parts which means reading and writing data on those drives are instantaneous. Normal hard disks would have to navigate their read/write heads first to even begin actually doing any real work. SSDs exhibit read and write speeds that are far too higher than magnetic disc based hard drives. This ensures that there is no lag from limitations of the storage system.
A Virtual Private Server is a private workspace complete with it’s own operating system that will be fully under the control of the user. Unlike shared hosts, where you’re given a measly folder to work with a limited set of tools, a VPS is virtually limitless. You can do whatever you like with this server, no questions asked; customise it to get the best most desirable results. Of course, you needn’t be a professional web developer to get started with DigitalOcean which is the coolest thing about it, and maybe I should’ve led with that.
DigitalOcean is a hassle free solution to all your hosting needs. You can get from ground to a fully functioning and operational ‘droplet’ (their word for VPS) in 55 seconds. Get this – that’s not an exaggeration. All you’ve got to do, is select from a simple set of price plans to begin with. From there you’re allowed to choose exactly how you’d like to fine tune your system. Choose your operating system and, maybe, one of the One-Click Applications and that’s it.
Their most basic plan on there allows you a transfer of an entire terabyte a month, 512MiB memory and 20GB storage on a single processor core at just $5 a month. That’s the plan I’m on and it’s faster than anything I’ve seen.
The billing happens monthly but you’re charged per hour. You can literally turn off your droplet any moment you please and you won’t be charged from the next hour. It’s the best mix of affordability and flexibility.
Well, there’s Private Networking for one. You can have multiple droplets on an account and make them communicate with each other. Communication between droplets don’t count as bandwidth usage which means things like file transfer and database replication will not incur any additional charge.
You can also transfer your droplets between datacentres in the many locations around the globe by way of image transfer. You’re given the option to turn these images into fully functioning droplets themselves.
There’s more. DigitalOcean is not just a service; it’s also a community. They’ve got massive amounts of tutorials addressing the needs of every single one – beginner to expert. I didn’t need to think twice about getting started with my droplet as I knew they’d come to my rescue should I get stuck. You can add your own tutorials if you’d like. You can ask questions and have them answered by the members of the community.
I could go on and on about it, but I guess there’s only one thing you really need to know – DigitalOcean is the best.
It would be nice if I could try it first…
Why, yes, you can. You just have to click the button below and create an account.
This will credit $10 into your newly created DigitalOcean account. You’ll need to provide your credit card number as a backup, and you can get started with your very first droplet. At $10, you can have the most basic droplet for 2 months or the most popular $10 droplet for a month before you’re actually charged for it. I bet that’s plenty of time for you to get to know DigitalOcean. This won’t be time limited and you can pretty much use it whenever you like – right now, or even years from now. Once your $10 is exhausted, you can continue using your droplet at the price plan you’ve chosen.
You’ll be actually helping me out quite a bit by giving it a try. If you choose to continue with your droplet past the $10 trial, I’ll be given $25 worth of their resources after you’ve reached $25 in billing. Thank you for that, by the way…