Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean, much like other web hosting companies found it’s start from humble beginnings. Started by brothers Ben and Moisey Uretsky under the name of ServerStack, the brothers developed it for 8 years until 2011, when they officially launched Digital Ocean.

Digital Ocean review

What’s the story?

It’s from there where they saw their biggest growth spurt. According to NetCraft, Digital Ocean only had 100 web-facing computers in 2012. Now in their latest checks in May 2020, they have more than 605,000 web-faced computers.

A look at their website will show that Digital Ocean is a web hosting provider with a very different approach than their counterparts. If other companies try to focus on their layman customers, Digital Ocean focuses on developers.

Their mission is to give developers a platform that is truly made by developers, for developers.

What's so special about Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean prides themselves as the platform that every developer should use.

According to Digital Ocean, with their platform, they can launch more apps and platforms, faster and easier.

So how do they perform? Let’s find out.

For the purpose of this review, we bought their Standard Droplets plan, and set up a basic WordPress website.

Let’s get started with this Digital Ocean review and see if they have what it takes to be the top web hosting company in Malaysia.

Pros of Digital Ocean

In this Digital Ocean review, we’ll find out how a developer-centric web hosting platform performs against their other counterparts.

Well, a bit of spoiler here, they do deliver in their promise of making a platform that is catered for developers.

Everything about their platform screams out ‘made by developers for developers’. But is that really a good thing though? Let’s have a look.

Let’s get the Digital Ocean review started.

1. Strong, Reliable Average Uptime

In our experience of using the Digital Ocean platform, the first thing we noticed after the first 6 months were the amazing uptime.

Let’s put this into perspective. The web hosting industry average uptime is 99.94%.

Digital Ocean truly eclipsed this with their average uptime, which is 99.99%. From January 2019 – September 2019, we only experienced a 10 minutes downtime, which is mindblowing.

Here is our average uptime for that nine month period;

Digital ocean review

As you can see in this picture, January 2019 were the only month where we didn’t experience 100% uptime.

This is one of the best uptimes we’ve faced, in fact this puts them right up there as the best, along with Hostiso as the top web hosting companies with the best uptime.

2. Great Speed

When looking for a web hosting provider, the first and most important thing you want to look at is the uptime. After all, it doesn’t matter what the hosting providers’ provide if the website is not up all the time right?

So that cinches it. The first thing to look at is the uptime. Following at a close second though, is the speed.

After all, even if your website is the best website in the world and is up all of the time, who wants to wait 10 seconds for your website to load?

Thankfully, Digital Ocean delivers in this aspect as well.

In our nine months of testing Digital Ocean, we experienced an average speed of 290ms.

This is very good. Again, putting it in perspective, the industry average speed is 890ms.

See how much better that is? In fact, Digital Ocean is one of the fastest hosting provider we have tried.

Here’s a look at our average speed from the last nine months;

  • January 2019 – 253ms
  • February 2019 – 232ms
  • March 2019 – 218ms
  • April 2019 – 252ms
  • May 2019 – 300ms
  • June 2019 – 383ms
  • July 2019 – 330ms
  • August 2019 – 350ms
  • September 2019 – 297ms

If speed is important for you when looking for a web hosting provider, then Digital Ocean really delivers.

3. Developer Friendly Features

As we’ve mentioned above, Digital Ocean is a hosting provider that prides themselves in being a very developer-centric hosting platform.

And this is reflected in the features they offer to their users. Let’s look at the features offered by Digital Ocean

Droplets

Now, explaining Droplets to non Digital Ocean users might be a little hard, so bear with us.

In the simplest of terms, Droplets is a scalable computing platform that is fully customizable to fit any business’s needs.

The way Droplets works, it provides a scalable amount of vCPU, and a configurable amount of memory as well.

Digital Ocean review

Droplets help developers skip all the time-consuming installation and configuration to focus on deployment of their apps or websites.

Spaces

If droplets are for app deployments, Spaces are for simple storage. Spaces are what Digital Ocean uses for you to store and deliver data for their users.

The best part of Spaces is that it operates under a simple process, with a drag-drop UI that is very reliable.

Digital ocean reviewFor users that are using Spaces, it can be used to store website data analysis, backup files, weblogs, and more.

Spaces is also scalable, so as your business grows in size and starts demanding more, Spaces can grow alongside with them.

Kubernetes

And lastly but definitely not least, is Kubernetes. Kubernetes is something that is very newly released by Digital Ocean, and it is amazing.

What is Kubernetes? Well Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open source platform for managing and containerized workloads.

Digital Ocean reviewKinda confusing? Don’t worry, it was confusing for me too. But put it simply, Kubernetes is an open source platform that Digital Ocean uses to help their users deploys and manages apps easier than before.

With the usage of Kubernetes, you will be able to deploy, update, and manage your website or apps easier than ever. Kubernetes also helps your apps scale along with your business, constantly growing with your customer base.

4. Customizable Prices
Digital Ocean review

The pricing for Digital Ocean is very customizable, which can be both a boon and a bane to their customers

Just a heads up, Digital Ocean’s pricing is something that we put in both the pros and the cons of this review.

Why? Read on.

Unlike most of their counterparts who offers a bunch of plans at a set price, Digital Ocean offers a price option to their users that is very customizable.

How does it work? Well, all you have to do is just determine the amount of storage your site is going to need, your CPU usage, bandwidth, database, memory, and everything else you might want. And you just have to pay exactly for the amounts you use.

This is a very welcome way of pricing that surely is very popular with people who knows exactly what they want, and how much they need.

5. Daily Backups

Everytime we see any web hosting provider that offers daily backups, it’s always going to be a big plus for us.

Remember how we said that outages doesn’t come often with Digital Ocean? Well when and if it does happen, we would like some safety that your website is not gone for good.

With Digital Ocean, you get the safety of daily backups, which means that if anything happens to your websites, you can always revert it back to the previous day’s version. This also means that you will never have to reroll back to an obsolete version of your website.

6. Good Security

Let’s face it, any businesses in the world have to be wary of attacks on their businesses. If you’re running your business on the internet, then you have to account for the possibility of cyber attacks, such as DDOS.

Fortunately, with Digital Ocean you can have some peace of mind as all their services are encrypted, and security is also provided.

Digital Ocean goes to great ends to ensure that all your data is safe and protected end-to-end.

Cons of Digital Ocean

Now let’s take a look at the more spicy part of this review, the cons of Digital Ocean.

Although Digital Ocean has performed admirably for us, it’s not without its shortcomings.

Let’s see what they are in our next part of this Digital Ocean review

1. Not For Beginners

Now, I’ve mentioned that Digital Ocean prides themselves as a platform that is created by developers, for developers.

And they delivered. For developers, their services are very well near perfect.

But for beginners, not so much. You don’t have to go far to see the evidence of this.

Even by looking at their website, you can see that it’s filled with complex terms and jargons that your average layman will have a hard time understanding.

The Digital Ocean website is filled with jargons and complex terms that is very daunting for beginners.

This means that for complete average beginners or people without the expertise, Digital Ocean might not be the best fit.

2. No Basic Features

Now here’s another drawback to Digital Ocean that directly stems from their developer-centric approach.

Unlike most other website hosting providers, Digital Ocean doesn’t provide a lot of the basic features that most other website hosting providers do.

With Digital Ocean, you will be missing;

  • Free Domain name
  • The ability to buy domain names
  • Free site migrations

Again, of course these factors are not a big issue for people who are experts. But for beginners? These are very important features.

3. No 24/7 Customer Support

Unlike your traditional brick and mortar stores, there are no limits to your customer base if you’re running an internet-based business. You can be running your business from Malaysia and still have customers all the way from the USA.

Which also means that when you have customer base from other timezones, you need to ensure that your website is running at all times.

Which is why most web hosting providers also offers a 24/7 customer support, so that their customers will be able to contact them at any time of the day, and get a resolution for their problem.

Unfortunately, Digital Ocean does not provide 24/7 customer support. All they offer for their customers is the ability to create support tickets for their support team to resolve.

Digital ocean review

This can be a problem if your website goes on the fritz in the middle of the night, because the support ticket system is not instant at all. You actually have to wait a significant amount of time before you can get any help.

Which also means losing out on a significant amount of sales, depending on your customer base.

4. Confusing cPanel

As I think you can see by now, the main underlying theme for this review is how Digital Ocean is truly made by and for developers.

Unfortunately for the beginners in the world, this also means that Digital Ocean might not be a good fit for them.

This theme continues when looking at their cPanel. Just like everything else about Digital Ocean, it’s very intuitive and helpful, but for developers.

For people who are beginners or the average layman, the cPanel is very confusing and doesn’t explain what they do at all.

You can see in this image that the cPanel actually requires you to have some knowledge before you can actually use it.

5. Complicated Pricing

Remember when we talked about the pricing in the pros, and said that it’s good that Digital Ocean allows you to fully customize your price depending on what you need?

Well it also means that for people who doesn’t know what they need, they won’t know what to get. This leads to them overpaying for something that they won’t need.

The pricing can be very daunting to beginners, especially for beginners.

And this is why in a lot of customer reviews I read about Digital Ocean, there is a bunch of them that says Digital Ocean is expensive.

But the truth is, Digital Ocean is not expensive. In fact, looking at what they offer for your dollar, Digital Ocean is one of the cheapest. But average laymen and beginners tend to overpurchase on features, thus driving their costs high.

Hosting Plans, Pricing and Facts on Hostiso

Managed Hosting on Digital Ocean

Standard Droplets
Cost: Starts From RM21.32/monthly

Features:

• Customizable memory
• Customizable vCPU
• Customizable SSD Disk
• Unlimited email and MySQL

General Purpose Droplets
Cost: Starts From RM255.84/monthly

Features:

• Customizable memory
• Customizable vCPU
• Customizable SSD Disk
• Unlimited email and MySQL

CPU-Optimized Droplets
Cost: Starts From RM170.56/monthly

Features:

• Customizable memory
• Customizable vCPU
• Customizable SSD Disk
• Unlimited email and MySQL

Free Domain No.
Sign up Easy signup process.
Payment Methods VISA, MasterCard, Maestro and AmericanExpress.
Hidden Fees and Clauses

All registrations of domain names are subject to the terms and conditions set out in our Domain Name Agreement.

Upsells

No.

Activation of Account

Instant activation.

Dashboard Experience and Control Panel

Uses cPanel.

Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc) installation

Kubernetes, Droplets, Spaces, Fully customizable everything.

Do we recommend Digital Ocean?

The answer is definitely, if you’re a developer.

If you’re a developer, you will love everything that Digital Ocean have to offer. Pay for only what you need, intuitive cPanel, great apps, and more.

But for the beginners, we seriously don’t recommend Digital Ocean. This is a platform that is clearly not made for you, and will not help you at all.

If you really want to use them, then you should hire yourself a developer, who can guide you through their interface.

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