Developers love Digital Ocean.
Small or large projects, multiple environments, scalable on a dime, and pay-for-what-you-use pricing. Everything this hosts provides speaks to the specific needs of those who work on the framework of the internet.
Back in 2011, Digital Ocean started for provisioning and cloud hosting for software developers. If you’re someone looking for a business site, or personal blog this isn’t the host you’ll want to go with.
However, if you build applications (e.g. SaaS products), or other software products in a digital environment the straightforward pricing will have you jumping for joy.
Coding is complex enough and comes with a particular set of struggles.
Where you host files should be simple and that is the focus at Digital Ocean. Choosing your setup and getting an environment will take less than a minute (according to their website).
We’ve already said that Digital Ocean isn’t intended for just a website (even though you could build one here) so our pros and cons will be in the context of the ideal client; software developers.
First off, the simplicity and flexibility of the resources is refreshing.
It would be hard for any developer to say you aren’t getting exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. Let’s get into some specifics.
The bottom level, bare bones plan includes 512MB of memory, 1 core processor, 20GB of SSD space, and 1TB of transfer power. Oh, and the price is only five bucks. OR, you can pay less than a penny an hour to get those same resources.
Not bad if you're developing on a budget.
If you have big projects with multiple environments, it’s not a problem. The resources scale to fit any project you could imagine. All plans are plainly laid out and available in a monthly or hourly rate. This payment structure helps you get what you need for when you need it, but avoid wasting money when you don’t.
Once you have the amount of resources you need honed in, you’ll love playing around with the “Droplets”.
Essentially, a Droplet is a digital environment that is (according to their website) “an SSD cloud server in seconds via our intuitive control panel or flexible API.” You can set up as many as you’d like to manage projects as you’d like, not as your platform allows.
A definite win for developers.
Speaking of multiple environments, large developers have several teams, permission levels, access issues and other HR-type problems and may need some help in that regard.
One of the cool features for large scale software developers is Digital Ocean Teams. It’s a program that allows you to manage your projects within the same realm as your resources. Custom built and highly utilized by their current client base.
Some of the users include hp, Salesforce, and redhat.
Those names should tell you about the level of love given by the development community and that it’s not hype. Teams allows everyone under your umbrella to have their own login (two form authentication), security features, and invoicing from one account with up to ten teams.
It really is a huge help to keep your staff compartmentalized and customers secure.
Perhaps the strongest benefit (other than the resources themselves) is the community offered at Digital Ocean.
The truly amazing group of developers have put together thousands of articles that keep you up-to-date on relevant news and tutorials (over 1400 of them) that can help you and your team become software powerhouses.
If you feel like giving back, you can even write a tutorial or post and even get paid for it. Digital Ocean is on the lookout for all the useful intel they can give their customers.
You don’t even have to be a user. Access is readily available right from their website.
There are a couple of issues with the host that need to be taken into account.
A potential downer (specifically for developers) are the features that aren’t included. It is a simplistic and awesome cloud host, but it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles that other comparable services do.
Things like elastic load balancing (ELB), relational database service (RDS), and a few other things that are available in the market.
The customer service is a bit of a problem. The product is intended for people who know how to develop. Setup is made to be so hands off simple and the pricing is crystal clear.
If you do have a problem, you’ll have to submit a support ticket via the website.
This solution isn’t ideal and the fact that they say they’ll be “in touch soon” doesn’t speak well of their service in the support arena. Downtime, resource management, and the product aren’t issues here.
It’s mainly a matter of responsiveness if they are needed.
There is a community of developers that regularly post and publish helpful material.
Speed isn't a directly related issue with Digital Ocean. You pay for exactly what you need resource wise.
The servers are specifically geared to host web-based applications and not websites. These apps are beasts of a different type and keeping them online is a tough job.
Digital Ocean focuses on providing hosting for digital platforms like software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS).
As far as we can see, Digital Ocean doesn't offer an uptime guarantee on their website.
They do have a comprehensive status page that is loaded with warnings of upcoming maintenance and explanations of all outages. The main focus of the page is a list of all regions and services with displays to show if they are currently online.