Since the beginning of April, this site has been hosted by DigitalOcean. I’ve been a longtime customer of VPS.net—from September of 2009 up until April of 2012—but the difference in service was so huge that I had to switch. While VPS.net was a good choice back in 2009, when I chose them over the then-comparable Linode, their competition has outpaced them over the years. I’m now getting substantially more for half the price. It was a big decision to move, but I’m glad I did.
History lesson aside, here’s what DigitalOcean has to offer: affordable VPS hosting with plenty of memory and fast solid-state drives. Their offerings are comparable to those of the venerable Linode, though cheaper. (The difference comes down to which is more important to you: CPU or price.)
Their cheapest plan gets you a VM with 512MB of RAM and 20GB of space for a mere five dollars per month (or $0.007/hour). That’s cheaper than a lot of shared hosting plans, for a speedy box with full root access. The plan I’m using is their $10/month option, which comes with one gigabyte of memory.
Backups and snapshots of VMs are priced reasonably, with backups costing 20% of the server’s price (e.g. $1 per month for a $5 per month server) and snapshots being $0.02 per gigabyte stored.
The service has been stable so far, and the one support ticket I opened was resolved in a timely manner. Performance-wise, there has been a definite improvement over my previous host. (It’s also nice having the server be in New York, which results in a much more favorable network latency from where I live.)
DigitalOcean has a freshly redesigned control panel, from which you can manage your servers, DNS, billing and other settings. It’s also the place where you can set up your API access if you want to manage things from a mobile app, command line utility, or even use a Vagrant provider.
I’ve been very happy with DigitalOcean since my big switch, and definitely recommend them if you’re in the market for a decent VPS provider. If you want to give them a try, here’s my affiliate link. If you enter the promo code SSDPOWER on the billing settings page, you’ll get $10 worth of free credit. You can spin up a VM, play around with it, and delete it when you’re done.