Digital Ocean has gained a lot of popularity and good user feedback lately. If you want our opinion on the matter, read our review below. How good is it? Are there any better alternatives for cloud hosting? Read on to find out.
Back in 2011, the American cloud hosting company Digitalocean launched its first server. Since then, they have been putting all their efforts into making it easier for developers to launch apps faster and effectively.
In the beginning, Digitalocean was a small business established in New York City. Nowadays, it’s a well-known company that offers great cloud hosting services and a whole new experience for developers. Recent statistics show that more than 500 000 people use their DigitalOcean cloud servers.
Digitalocean aspires to use SSD or solid-state drive to significantly increase the speed of transferring projects to and from the cloud. The company wants to allow its numerous clients to use a more user-friendly cloud platform.
Pros of Using DigitalOcean Hosting
Fantastic “Average” Uptime of 99.99%
The standard uptime for a cloud service is accepted to be 99.94%. Digitalocean provides 99.99% uptime, which sets a very high bar in the industry.
From the beginning of April 2018 to March 2019, this hosting provider was not available eight times. However, the overall outages combined lasted for only 43 minutes—statistics for 2020 show even better results. From May 2020 to November 2020, the uptime was 100%. When numbers speak, the world listens.
The lowest percentage of recorded uptime this year was in March, with 94.22%. A month later, the server performance was going full steam ahead once again. For us, this means Digitalocean knows how to deal with problems, continues to improve and all in all gives us a sense of a reliable web hosting company.
Lightning-Fast Load Times
Fast load times are the second thing to take into consideration when choosing between different hosting companies. Fortunately, DigitalOcean comes again with one of the best services on that matter. Speed is crucial for successful web hosting.
Internet is growing fast and without a limit. There is plenty of information and companies that offer these types of services on every corner. Nobody would want to wait more than a minute to open your web page every time, so if you have a lagging website, this might cost you to lose even a loyal customer of yours.
For some, this might sound crazy, but the main reason many people fail with their websites is the load time and their web hosting services, which are the reason for their sluggish websites.
There is research you can check on the internet, which states that more than 74% of the potential mobile traffic can be lost if a page loads for more than five seconds. It is safe to say that speed sells.
Well, don’t worry about it! This is exactly why we did this research, read many Digitalocean reviews of current developers, and tested it ourselves. Only to provide extensive information and good advice for the best cloud services.
Digitalocean does wonders when it comes to fast load times. In fact, we are happy to say that this review is featuring the fastest virtual server that we have ever stumbled upon while doing these reviews. Many hosting providers can only learn from Digitalocean. The company is an”ocean” of possibilities and surprises.
The average load speed among most service providers is 890ms. Digitalocean offers 218ms speed, which is incredibly fast. However, you would think that the server will hit the average speed at least at its slowest. Guess again! The lowest speed in 2019 was 496ms, while in 2020, the numbers dropped down to 316ms.
With this fast hosting and excellent user reviews, Digitalocean is progressively climbing the industry’s victorious future. Currently, the fastest load time belongs to A2 hosting.
Developer-Friendly Product Ecosystem
Web developers bear a huge responsibility for the experience of the site’s visitors. If visitors are having a great time navigating through the website, this means they will come back.
Bad experience means the person who creates and designs the site isn’t using their maximum potential. Or at least, it seems they are the ones to blame. Sometimes developers are restricted by the options provided by the web hosts. This is not the case here, though.
Digitalocean offers tons of freedom for developers that think outside of the box and have a wide imagination. What is making Digitalocean different than its alternatives?
Droplets are virtual machines that are SSD-based. They are resizable and include additional add-on storage that can be upgraded at any time, depending on your needs.
The capabilities of this cloud computing company go beyond every expectation. Since Digitalocean droplets are scalable computing platforms, they are well thought to serve as enterprise data centers. All business needs could be met with this host. Advanced security and monitoring are provided.
Do you often travel around the world? You can use your Digitalocean droplets in the company’s eight server locations.
There are divided into standard or CPU optimized Digitalocean droplets. Digitalocean lets you customize them however you want.
Spaces is a security system that is built to support businesses by complementing local and network storage. It is about simple object storage with a build-in Content Delivering Network (CDN)for transferring huge amounts of content. Every app will load so much faster with this bad boy.
Scaling your business is going to be easy and affordable with Spaces by Digitalocean. It only costs $5 per month for a reliable service, 250 GB of storage, and unlimited uploads.
You can access it from anywhere. Developers from all around the world use the cloud infrastructure of Digitalocean. You have no restrictions with Spaces. For $5 per month, you get trustworthy storage. This feature wins points for ease of use because of its drag-and-drop intelligent user interface or artificial intelligence.
The best feature is that you can create storage instantaneously. The whole process is straightforward. The scalable storage will never put you in trouble when you need to evolve and materialize your ideas. We all know how frustrating it is when the storage is full, and people can’t grow their projects as they desire.
Use Digitalocean Spaces as a service on its own or with other features of the company. The choice is yours! What we love about the products is that it really gives developers creative freedom and has all the services that one might need up their sleeve. Spaces by Digital Ocean allows storing backup files, data analysis, weblogs, and so much more.
Digital Ocean launched Kubernetes back in 2018. It is designed to deploy and manage container workloads in the cloud. The cost of using it is $10 per month if you want to start on a smaller budget. Later on, you can scale up if you want to.
Digitalocean Kubernetes features inexpensive bandwidth and a free control plane. The product offers operators and developers easy management of the apps, the release of updates, and overall productivity increase. It also checks regularly how your apps are doing and fix any not responsive instances.
One of Digitalocean’s pros is that you can pay for what you need and always buy more site storage, database, memory, bandwidth, or CPU usage when you feel like it. We appreciate that the people behind Digitalocean support developers by giving them a wide range of possibilities depending on their goals and budget.
This is extremely helpful if you are an advanced user and know exactly what you need from your cloud host server. Have you been struggling with finding the one for you and feel like you always pay for features that you don’t use in expensive Pro plans?
The customizable pricing of Digitalocean and their extraordinary services will mesmerize you, and you will no longer pay for anything that you don’t use.
Although we stumbled upon a review or two that states Digitalocean performs daily backups, this is not exactly the case. It actually offers weekly backups. However, one way to receive backup snapshots for your droplets daily or per hour is with the Weal.io community tool. You can restore data from the last 7 days.
Digitalocean really focuses on providing good security for their common user. They are a leading host in the industry because they do an outstanding job, ensuring that every bit of their customer’s traffic and data are protected completely.
There is an encryption system added to Digitalocean volumes. In case your website needs even more security, they offer super easy explanations on how to do that. The only thing is, you might need little knowledge of coding to put into action the additional layer of security.
Cons of Using DigitalOcean Hosting
For Advanced Users
If you’ve decided to check out some web hosting reviews to choose the right host to start with, this review might not be the one for you. Without a lot of experience and knowledge, a person would find it difficult to jump right on cloud servers like Digitalocean.
Tech companies have a long way to go when it comes to outlining how to work properly with all the features if you are not a professionalist or you have just entered the world of cloud hosting.
Some of them use jargon to name specific services, actions, and features. If you are dealing with a lot of technical data, it is normal to explain it with all the expressions and difficult words you learned along the way. However, the average human being can’t understand it, and we get it. For a beginner, the whole ocean of unfamiliar words is just not going to make any sense.
Digitalocean, advertised mainly for developers, and any other customer new to the technical terms, will stand no chance of successfully working with their host service. It will take a while to find what every acronym means without an explanation on their site. How is someone supposed to grow their site if they can’t even launch or maintain it!?
Beginners need their hosting company’s website to provide information with an understandable language. HostGator is a Digitalocean alternative with a simplified explanation of stuff that offers excellent support for newbies. However, advanced users would also enjoy working with it.
Lacks Basic Features Other Consumer Hosts Provide
In addition to the first con, Digitalocean doesn’t take care of basic features that can be helpful for someone that has just signed up. Most cloud hosting products include the same extras such as backups, content delivery networks, or even digital certificates that will provide authentication for your website (SSL).
As we already mentioned, Digitalocean focuses on winning the hearts of the most knowledgeable crowd. They don’t feature a free domain name with hosting or the ability to purchase one. Free site migrations are also missing from their extras.
Limited Customer Support
It’s always important to review the customer support service because it shows how much a company cares about its users. It’s lovely when there is 24/7 support, but this is not the case with Digitalocean.
Bad things happen. You might find yourself with a website that suddenly goes down at midnight. Vendors that sell goods overseas have to deal with this situation as fast as possible. However, there would be no one to talk to.
If this situation occurs, you have to go to the Digitalocean website and create a support ticket. Then you have to sign in to your account and fill the online form.
They could come up with at least a chatbot to help when problems like this happen. Time is money, which might be a major downside if your cloud provider can’t offer immediate assistance in fixing your troubles.
The virtual promises with “We’ll get back to you shortly.” is not enough reassurance when you are worried about your business. Customer service with a hotline is the best on these occasions. The interaction with humans in real-time is so much better and comforting.
The worst is the contact form which you have to fill in doesn’t even work properly sometimes. Many users complain they receive a message with an error. As a result, you have to email them asking the same question all over again and then wait for their answer.
It’s a pity such a large company as Digitalocean lets clients fix their problems on their own. We hope they will provide users with a better support team and more available working hours in the near future.
A control panel should be intuitive and easy to use. Developers with strong programming language might not care about it, but as we already mentioned, some beginners will experience serious difficulties working with Digitalocean. Building your website depends on the control panel, and you will agree with us that nowadays, it’s all you need to understand in most cases.
When you start with Digitalocean, you have to set up Droplet and then install the cPanel. Installing it will acquire several coding skills. Then you will have to register your account and install the execution file.
Covering all this, you also have to purchase the right to use cPanel from a third party. It will cost you a monthly payment of around $20. If you have decided to use Digitalocean for your business and don’t have any coding experience, we advise you to hire a professional developer.
Pricing is Expensive
Although we put pricing as a con in our review, we consider it worth it for everything the product offers. However, if you are on a budget, this highly-functional product will empty your wallet pretty fast.
First, you have to pay for the Droplets that are divided into Basic ($5-$80 per month), General Purpose ($60 – $1,200), CPU-optimized ($40-$720), Memory-optimized ($80-$2000), and Storage Optimized Droplets ($125-$2500). You may be shocked by some of the prices but consider that they are for extremely high-end services.
You can buy additional SSD-based Block Storage that is adequate for your database, app, file storage, mobile, and backup needs. The block storage pricing starts from $0.10/GB per month. Spaces by Digitalocean which starts with storage of 250GB have a free trial period of 2 months and then continue with $5 per month.
Since they have plenty of other features that are also expensive, you might reconsider using Digitalocean services if you have a small business, no knowledge in coding and are looking for basic hosting.
Regardless, the speed and performance offered by Digital Ocean are unmatched, so Digitalocean can afford to proudly put a high price tag.
Pricing is Complicated, too
There are so many options and possibilities with Digitalocean that you might get confused about which one to use or upgrade and how much it will cost you all in the end. So many categories it will make you go dizzy!
You see security options, servers with different speeds, CPU, and suddenly you need them all. Trust us, for a keen developer, Digitalocean might “accidentally” take all his money with their excellent features. It’s like a woman shopping at the mall. Once you start, if you don’t have composure, things might end up in a bad way for your wallet.
Most companies offer a significantly small number of plans compared to Digitalocean. They usually explain what you get, you have the full price in front of you, and then you use whatever you need from it. However, this is not the case here.
You don’t get the full overview because you need to build your own plan, combine various options, and decide on your own what you need the most. Customizing everything yourself is not an easy task, although if you know exactly what you want to achieve, it can be a pro instead of a con.
Do We Recommend DigitalOcean?
Yup, we strongly do recommend it for developers. For beginners, not so much.
If you just have started in the web presence, please check out some other user-friendly alternatives before making up your mind.
Digitalocean is fast and shows off as a high performing product. On the other hand, it costs a lot of money, and the customer support is not their advantage.
Everyone who wants to support their website with unmatched uptime and speed, though, should try this product and see the benefits for himself.