About a week ago my main VPS ran out of disk space, and the cost of an upgrade was more than I was willing to pay. So I set out to find a new VPS to suit my needs. As a staff member for the forum software MyBB, I spend a lot of time talking to other staff and asked them for any recommendations. Euan T suggested DigitalOcean, the providers he uses to host the MyBB 2.0 development site and host of his other projects.
My initial experience was awesome. I spun up a droplet (the name given by DigitalOcean to a cloud instance) and tried it out. I only needed $5 on my account to get started as DigitalOcean take money from your account at an hourly rate. I went for the $20/month plan (at an equivalent hourly rate of $0.03), offering: 2GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 40GB of SSD disk space and 3TB of data transfer per month.
On my old provider I was using cPanel, but decided the benefits didn’t really warrant the added cost per month, with me essentially only using PHP, MySQL and Apache. So I dropped cPanel on this server in favour of a much more lean (and free) option: Ajenti. I paired Ajenti with Nginx, PHP5 and MySQL.
From the start Ajenti has been amazing. I didn’t really want to go full barebones, and like being able to create a site with a click of a button – a feature that certainly helped migrating all of my current sites over. Ajenti allows me to easily monitor resource usage, whilst also allowing me to restart the server at the click of a button. First I copied all of my content over from the old server to the new, by zipping the content from the old server and WGET’ing the zip to the new server. While I was at it, I installed PHPMyAdmin to a new subdomain for easy administration of databases. Configuring Nginx wasinteresting. I’ve never used Nginx before, so it took a little getting used to (Google and Euan T helped me greatly here).
I’m almost done moving the sites over, and had time to do general upkeep on a number of domains. All in all, a good experience.