Moving to Digital Ocean for hosting
- August 26, 2017
Several years ago I just needed a webspace for sharing stuff and a domain. A shared hoster with a all-in-one package for ~5€/month was my way to go. That was fine for 5 years, but today I switched to Digital Ocean (short: DO). You might wonder why.
Why moving and why DO?
- More control with root access,
- free HTTPS with Let’s encrypt (!!!),
- cheap backup costs compared to the shared hoster,
- more monitoring options at DO,
- my craving for a node.js app in production which I can monitor,
- AWS would be overkill and finally
- more fun with root access :)
What did I migrate?
I am still paying for the domain on the shared hoster but switched to a domain-only package where the Digital Ocean nameservers are listed. Cost: € 36/year.
On my former webspace there was mainly an old version of my portfolio and it was used as a staging environment for some Wordpress projects for clients. Additionally I used it for sharing big files. I basically
- removed Wordpress projects (were just staging instances),
- moved the big files to Dropbox (Pro anyways since a year) and
- ditched the old portfolio to built this site. :)
Time for a fresh start!
Path of migration
Boy, that was silky smooth. I opted for the smallest droplet available:
- 512 MB Memory
- 1 vCPU
- 20 GB SSD
- 1 TB Transfer
5$/month and 1 TB transfer are okay for me, I didn’t spend hours on comparing.
I chose an Ubuntu LAMP stack for a basic setup. I guess DO spent a serious amount of time and money on the onboarding + creation of your first droplet process and that paid off well, it felt like a quick exciting journey.
Registering with a credit card, creating the droplet and setting up SSH access took about 30 minutes due to GREAT tutorials of DO. I was just waiting for some errors, but literally everything worked fine without any problem.
- Basic Setup (SSH Access)
- Additional Recommended Steps (Firewall, Timezone)
- Add my existing domain to DO on the admin interface
- Change the nameservers of the shared hoster to nsX.digitalocean.com
- Adding a Virtual Host
- Adding HTTPS
The DNS change took about 2 hours, then supersimple.at pointed to the DO droplet, yay!
- Setting up node.js with nvm
- Deploy a node.js app to production!
- Monitor the whole thing so nothing goes outta hand :P
If you got curious and are willing to switch too, I would be happy if you’d use my referral link, so we can have a beer together in return :)