DigitalOcean is relatively new hosting provider and in the past 2 years have shown massive growth and are now the 3rd largest hosting company in the world, according to netcraft report.
DigitalOcean provide fast, extremely cheap, SSD Virtual Private Servers catered for developers. There are other services such as Amazon EC2 services that provide you with cheap VPS, but DigitalOcean beats it's competitors with how cheap and how easy it is to get a server up and running, allowing you to setup a new server ready to go in less than 1 minute. The pricing structure used by DigitalOcean is very easy to understand with each pricing bracket is judged on how much transfer of data the server is using, at the time of writing this article (November 2014) the cheapest server you can get is only $5 a month.
For $5 you get a server with 512MB RAM, 20GB storage and 1TB of transfer, this is more than enough to handle most sized websites. For $10 you get a server with 1GB RAM, 30GB storage and 2TB of transfer. For $20 you get a server with 2GB RAM, 40GB storage and 3TB of transfer. For $40 you get a server with 4GB RAM, 60GB storage and 4TB of transfer. For $80 you get a server with 8GB RAM, 80GB storage and 8TB of transfer. The most expensive plan you can get on DigitalOcean will cost you $640 a month which you get a server with 64GB RAM, 640GB storage and 9TB of transfer.
What I think the best thing about DigitalOcean is the ease of creating a new server with the most popular pre-built applications already installed for you just select what you want and click install, wait one minute and the server is up and running for you.
Start off by selecting the operating system you want to install, here you have a choice of Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Coreos, Centos.
Select a pre-built application such as LAMP, LEMP, WordPress (with LAMP), Drupal (with LAMP), Ghost, Magento, Ruby of rails and many more.
You can even select from your previous DigitalOcean setups, backups or your previous destroyed servers. Then you simply click install and what ever you asked for is created for you on a new server and away you go, it's perfect for test servers or getting something up quickly.
So the question I get asked a lot is should I use DigitalOcean over managed hosting packages? I've used a lot of WordPress managed hosting servers such as WebSynthesis, WPEngine, Pressable and Page.ly. These are all great services but if you look at the costs it can be up to 20 times more expensive than running a DigitalOcean server, so you need to look at if cost is an important part of your website. With a DigitalOcean VPS you will get speed, the servers are very fast and all run on SSD hard drives to get the quickest response from your server, you also get a very cheap hosting package where most websites can use the $5 server. If you take WPEngine their cheapest package is $29 a month, next cheapest being $99 a month, where the pricing structure is ran off how many visitors your website gets. You could have a lot of visitors but if your pages are only 100kb in size you will not use up a lot of transfer bandwidth.
But what you do get with these managed hosting companies can be massive for your company, you get a server optimized by professionals to get the very best from the server, you also get 24/7 support so if your server goes down, gets hacked you have someone to call and get your server back up and running ASAP.
Support the biggest reason to go with these managed hosting packages, if you do not have someone in your company that can help with server problems then I would always go with a good managed hosting company to make sure your server is always up and running. But the likely-hood of a server going down isn't that often, so you could take the other option and have a freelance server admin available to call and do work for you if and when you want it.
You could hire them to do the initial server setup and then hire them if anything goes wrong with the server, in the meantime you're saving money on the monthly server cost by going with a company like DigitalOcean.
The DigitalOcean control panel will keep all your servers in view so you can see exactly how many servers you have installed, making it very easy to switch and manage different servers, like I said with the one-click application install makes them very easy to use for a test server. This is exactly what I use DigitalOcean for, client UAT servers, it takes one minute to install a new server, I upload my files and it's done a new UAT server for my clients, it's very easy. I recommend DigitalOcean to anyone and for the cost of only $5 a month there's no reason not to setup a server and see how your website performs. Sign up using the below link and receive $10 in credit to use on DigitalOcean servers, that's 2 months of FREE hosting on the lowest server or 1 month FREE hosting on the $10 server. DigitalOcean