Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by James Wilson
DigitalOcean is a service providing servers and web hosting to developers. Although other people can use their hosting, it’s recommended for developers. Currently, DigitalOcean have 12 data centers and serve 195 countries.
We’re on a mission to simplify cloud computing so developers and their teams can spend more time building software that changes the world.
DigitalOcean operate 3 offices worldwide in New York (U.S.), Cambridge (U.S.), and Bangalore (India).
DigitalOcean seem quite a big company, especially for web developers. As I hadn’t heard of them before, I felt it necessary to investigate what other customers thought about them. Unfortunately, my initial findings on their TrustPilot page weren’t good.
With over 120 reviews, they only achieved 2.5 stars with an overall POOR rating. 30% of the reviews were excellent whereas 51% were bad. Things weren’t looking to good based on DigitalOcean’s customer feedback.
The above customer claims they ran a test to see how long their 24/7 support took to respond. Unfortunately the results weren’t good and took over 12 hours to respond!
On the flip side, there were some really good reviews. People were saying that they’ve been a long-standing customer of DigitalOcean and couldn’t understand why there were such negative reviews.
DigitalOcean operate a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Finally a web host that offers MORE than 99.9%. When a web host has this kind of guarantee, it gives me more confidence in their technology. A host wouldn’t risk this unless they were sure they could honour it.
Monitoring & alerts, cloud firewalls, 99.99% uptime SLA, 24/7 world-class support and more.
I was both pleased and relieved that my website had an overall uptime of 99.99%. DigitalOcean stayed true to their word! Across a 6 month period, I only experienced 6 outages which is truly AMAZING.
What’s more, their response time was EXCELLENT. My website’s average response time to the server was 358 ms which is incredible. I feel very confident that my website visitors will have a good experience whilst my website is hosted with DigitalOcean.
DigitalOcean’s pricing plans work more like a dedicated server than a shared server. We’ll explore this in the pricing section below, but for now we’ll cover the features that are included across the board.
Some of the main features that DigitalOcean offer are:
FREE website monitoring and alerts
Collaborative team accounts
Free Cloud firewalls
99.99% uptime guarantee
DigitalOcean’s features are more tailored towards developers (as is their pricing). Although the features may seem intriguing, I wouldn’t recommend beginners or small website owners to host with DigitalOcean as the tools available might not work in your favour.
Other interesting features include:
DigitalOcean claim they offer 24/7/365 customer support. I wanted to test this theory to see if it was actually true, and how good their support was. There were a few mixed reviews on the company, so I got straight down to business and started investigating.
DigitalOcean offer plenty of ways to interact with their customer support. The community Q&A is quite useful for developer to share ideas and potential issues. There’s also plenty of product documents and tutorials to follow.
I quite liked their System Status page which outlined which (if any) of their systems were experiencing issues. This was indicated by a green tick or orange icon suggesting degraded performance. There was also some more detailed information if required.
Unfortunately if you’re looking for INSTANT support via live chat, DigitalOcean don’t offer this as standard. You can submit a question or ticket but won’t be able to speak to someone unless you pay a monthly fee!
To actually inquire about their Premier support, you’ll have to submit another ticket request, which seems quite frustrating. I feel their 24/7/365 support claim is a little bit ambiguous because no one is ACTUALLY available to provide instant support.
DigitalOcean is a bit of a conundrum for me. I personally feel like they are a good web host for developers (which is what they’re aiming at) but for anyone else you’re probably going to get confused. Their pricing is a little all over the place and has more of a dedicated server feel than shared web hosting.
However, for developers, DigitalOcean does offer some interesting tools and features. Their pricing is very reasonable considering what’s on offer, and the reviews surrounding their services seem pretty positive.
Uptime: DigitalOcean offer a SUPER above-average uptime of 99.99%. They have an uptime guarantee which they honour, and over the space of 6 months I only experienced a few outages. I’d definitely recommend them for reliability.
Load Times: Clearly DigitalOcean have selected the right technologies for their customers. My average response time on my website was LIGHTNING FAST at just over 300 ms.
Scalability: Although part of their pricing is a con for me, I do feel like DigitalOcean offer a lot of scalability and customisation. You can literally customise everything on your server including storage space, bandwidth and CPU usage.
Advanced Users: It’s a real shame because DigitalOcean offer GREAT web hosting at affordable prices. However, I wouldn’t suggest anyone use them unless you’re an advanced user and developer. Unfortunately their system is just too confusing for anyone else.
Lacking Features: Although they offer lots of advanced features for developers, DigitalOcean have missed the mark on some classic web hosting features. For example, there’s no free domain name, SSL certificate or free site migrations.
DigitalOcean’s pricing structure may seem a little confusing, but it’s suitable for their target audience. I’m going to (hopefully) break down their pricing to make it easier for you to understand.
YES, I do recommend DigitalOcean. However, if you’re planning on creating a basic or small website, or even a business, I would stick to the like of a great shared host like BlueHost.
Although they do seem to be lacking some standard features, DigitalOcean appear to offer extremely high performing products in the hosting market. If you care A LOT about uptime and speed but don’t mind poor customer support and expensive pricing, DigitalOcean is a good bet.
Here’s a quick summary of DigitalOcean:
GREAT uptime (99.99% guarantee and 99.99% in my own tests)
SUPER fast speeds (response times average around 300ms which is incredible)
Lots of good features for developers (customised coding and lots more)
Customisable and scalable (you can increase CPU, storage and bandwidth as you please)
No live chat available unless you pay MORE for it
Pricing is quite confusing and expensive
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