Hello Everyone! I came to you today with another web hosting review. That is about DigitalOcean.
DigitalOcean has first launched its server in 2011. It is an American cloud hosting company that is aiming on helping developers to launch more apps faster and easier. Even though they started as a small start-up company in New York City, now they have grown into a big company with a customer base of around half a million developers.DigitalOcean was able to come to the top 10 in our hosting service rankings. Furthermore, their goal is to use a stable state drive or SSD in order to create a user-friendly platform. That will allow its clients to transfer projects to and from the cloud efficiently.
So, we started monitoring DigitalOcean in 2018 and until now we keep monitoring the test site we are created in DigitalOcean. We specifically monitored the vital metrics of the system, including load times, customer service responsiveness, uptime, and downtime. Gladly up until today, the results are good.
Advantages of using DigitalOcean Hosting
1. Great Uptime (Average is 99.99%)
As you already know by now, the average uptime of the industry is around 99.94% for a cloud hosting service. DigitalOcean was able to even exceed the industry average delivering an average uptime of 99.99%.
In other words, DigitalOcean had only eight outages from April 2018 to March 2019. And the total downtime was only 43 minutes.
Average uptimes during the past 12 months:
- March 2019 average uptime: 100%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
- January 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- December 2018 average uptime: 100%
- November 2018 average uptime: 100%
- October 2018 average uptime: 100%
- September 2018 average uptime: 100%
- August 2018 average uptime: 100%
- July 2018 average uptime: 99.94%
- June 2018 average uptime: 100%
- May 2018 average uptime: 100%
- April 2018 average uptime: 100%
In the above values, you will see a small dip in the summer including the lowest recorded uptime in July. That is 99.94%. But after that, there were no outages in September, October, November, or December. That is very impressive, right? DigitalOcean has an improvement in the exact direction. And they keep moving up!
2. Super Fast Loading Times
Some of you might know by now, that is the first thing you have to consider when selecting a web host is their uptime. Then the next thing would be the speed.
Sluggish, lagging websites will half cost your traffic. Unfortunately, a difference of a few seconds can cost you three-quarters of your potential website traffic.
According to Market Research, if a website won’t load within five seconds, around 74% of its traffic will be lost.
Now let’s take a look at what are the potentials of DigitalOcean. They are excellent actually. DigitalOcean is the fastest product we have reviewed. While the Industry average fluctuates around 890ms, DigitalOcean gives you a speed of 218ms. And the slowest speed was 496ms. Amazing, right? Even the lowest is 50% faster than the industry average.
Average page loading times during the past year:
According to the above values, you will realize how fast DigitalOcean is. And the overall average speed is 357ms.
During the last few months, they had some of the fastest values while being a competitor. By now, A2 Hosting has the fastest speed.
3. Developer Friendly Product Ecosystem
DigitalOcean’s suite of products will offer a lot of potential for developers. The following is an account of those options.
Basically, Droplets is a computing platform. You can customize it according to the application needs of your business. Moreover, it includes add-on storage, monitoring, and advanced security. There are two options; standard droplets and optimized droplets. You can choose either of them to customize as you wish. Another thing is that droplets let devs skip time-consuming installation and configuration to move right along toward code deployment.
Spaces is about simple object storage and a security system that lets you store and deliver data to applications and end-users. Gladly, spaces operate via a simple process while creating reliable storage with a drag and drop UI or API. You can use Spaces to store backup files, weblogs, data analysis, and much more. Another good news is that the service is also adjustable and can be combined with other features of DigitalOcean or on its own.
This is an upcoming product that is being launched in late 2018. We haven’t heard much about the product. But DigitalOcean has shown in their official website that Kubernetes is, “Designed for developers and businesses who want a simple way to deploy and manage container workloads in the cloud.”
4. Customizable Pricing
Actually this is an advantage in a way and a disadvantage in another way. We think it is good that you can customize everything that you pay for like site storage, CPU usage, bandwidth, database, memory, etc.
And this feature will be more beneficial for an advanced user who is already familiar with his needs and goals.
5. Daily Backups
DigitalOcean runs daily backups and you will be able to restore any data up to 7 days before.
6. Good Security
According to our experience, most hosts won’t focus much on the security of your data and traffic. But DigitalOcean always does. They provided end to end security to your data. So that will be a good advantage to chase away the troubling connections and viruses from your system.
Additionally, DigitalOcean has added encryption to its volumes by default. If you are planning to add another layer of security you just have to go through a tutorial and follow the steps accordingly.
Disadvantages of using DigitalOcean Hosting
1. A Jargon for Advanced Users
According to our opinion, a product should be able to summarize its service in lay terms. So any person will be able to get an idea about the services they provide.
When considering DigitalOcean they have used a lot of technical data which only be understood by an expert in the field, not by an average person. Not good for the beginners though. Their official website is filled with technical terms and acronyms without explanations. Just marketing their product only advanced developers. So, others won’t be able to figure out how to move a site over, launch, maintain, or even grow their website.
But hosts like HostGator have done an excellent job by using a simplified language which is understandable by each and every person. So it is definitely a user-friendly product for both beginners and advanced users. But not DigitalOcean.
2. Lacks Very Basic Features
Almost all the hosts we have reviewed will offer some extras like backups, a good CDN, and even an SSL certificate. But DigitalOcean won’t do that.
They don’t offer,
- Free domain name with hosting
- The ability to purchase a domain name
- Free site migrations.
So you should not be expecting a lot of hand-holding services when you are signing up with them.
3. Limited Customer Support
The majority of the hosts offer some variation of 24/7 customer support. Even though it is not matched with the demands, somewhat adequate.
But DigitalOcean has nothing. If your website had a problem at midnight, you won’t find a support agent. You have to go to DigitalOcean’s website and open a support ticket using the following online form.
And the contact form doesn’t even work! We typed a question regarding the Kubernetes product and got an error message. So, we had to email them directly. We got a reply a day later. And they don’t even provide a virtual assistant. They only have a chatbot.
4. Complicated cPanel
If you are a beginner or someone who is not comfortable with programming languages you will need a cPanel to build your website.
So to do that in DigitalOcean, first, you have to set up a Droplet of your choice (DigitalOcean servers). Then install cPanel using some code commands! After that register, your account, install the execution file likewise.
Even worse, you must purchase the right from a third party to use the cPanel. The monthly payment will be $20 or $15.
If you are a beginner or a person without any experience with coding we recommend you hire a good developer.
5. Expensive Pricing
DigitalOcean is a highly functional product with an expensive price tag.
Look at the image and the prices of Droplets:
Standard Droplets start at $5 per month but the memory is only 1GB. Afterward, the Prices will rise higher to $80 per month.
And the CPU optimized Droplets starts from |$20 and ends at $920 per month!
Next, have a look at the storage prices.
Spaces start with 250 GB storage and $5/month. And the same droplet, when coupled with the first tier of standard droplets will be $10/month.
Furthermore, though they have a lot of additional services, each and everyone will cost you. Those are some steep prices actually.
But there is something you have to keep in mind. You will get unmatched speed and performance with DigitalOcean even though the price is a bit high.
6. Pricing is Complicated
When you are trying to understand the pricing plans, you will be confused with all the options and possibilities which you can use and upgrade. There are various categories of bandwidth, space, server speeds, CPU, security options likewise.
In simple terms, DigitalOcean has a lot of ways to increase your monthly fee. It is better to be able to customize everything, unlike the other hosts. But it will be complicated and time-consuming if you are not an advanced user. And the prices will be steeper than other hosts.
Do We Recommend DigitalOcean?
Yes. We do…. only if you are a developer.
If you are a beginner who is planning to launch a website, we will recommend you to go for another user-friendly product with lesser costs.
And if you are a tech-smart, DigitalOcean will be a highly recommended option.