Dave @ Review.casa

By Dave Carr @Review.Casa

This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I may earn an affiliate commission.

Introduction – What does DigitalOcean do?

DigitalOcean has been in the infrastructure market for a long time.

DigitalOcean operates in 14 global data centres and they have over 600,000 Customers building websites and services on their platform.

You could say this qualifies Digital Ocean as a pro provider.

DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure provider. Digital Ocean provides many services such as virtual private servers, Kubernetes and managed databases.

DigitalOcean calls their virtual private servers droplets and they offer storage called spaces.

It’s a very cost-effective service but does have some downsides.

Through digital ocean, you can spin up servers in as little as 60 seconds and scale pretty much indefinitely.

DigitalOcean screenshot

Summary – Who is DigitalOcean not for?

DigitalOcean is not for you if you don’t want a be a sysadmin or learn all about running your own server.

Even though the website says that it’s very simple to set up your infrastructure through them, you still need to know how to run a server which in itself is quite hard as you have to learn a whole new language and programming style.

If you are not technically minded do not even think about running a server with digital ocean or any other cloud infrastructure provider.

Summary – Who is DigitalOcean for?

If you’re technically minded and you want to get into running your own servers for whatever reason whether that’s websites or applications then DigitalOcean could be the solution you’re looking for.

Just bear in mind that there is no safety net if there are any problems you will be searching their forum as from what I gather there is not much support on hand to help you out.

DigitalOcean web hosting or cloud hosting solution?


DigitalOcean is a web hosting platform that markets itself as a cloud hosting solution. The lines between web hosting have been blurred lately by buzzwords such as the “cloud”.

It seems everybody nowadays is a cloud host, not just a simple web host.

When you think about it, the technology is the same as what it was before. Your data is stored on a server somewhere and then served to the internet when somebody visits.

So I would say that it’s the same as it was before web hosting but under a different name.

DigitalOcean hosting pros and cons

The cons

  • Your server is under constant attack as soon as you spin it up it will start being attacked straight away (Hackers seem to have every IP address on a digital oceans network and hack daily they will constantly be trying to brute force in your server)
  • Huge swathes of IP addresses from Digital Ocean have been banned on the internet (That means that you will have to pay spam services to unblock your IP address so the emails can get through to things like Hotmail and Gmail if you use their servers to send emails) and from what I read on the forums the company doesn’t care about the issue.
  • There is no going back. So once you scale a server, you can’t go back so there’s no lowering the space, the memory or anything like that. You stuck with the server you’re on.

The pros

  • Quickly set up and scale servers in minutes.
  • very reasonably priced service.
  • They offer a good range of services.
  • In my experience it’s very quick.

DigitalOcean hosting plans/pricing

Droplets start from $5 for basic droplets.

Managed Kubernetes start at $10 per month

Managed Databases start at $15 per month

Spaces Object Storage start at $5 per month

Volumes (Block Storage) start at $10 per month

Load Balancers start at $10 per month

App Platform (PaaS) start at $0 per month

Container Registry start at $0 per month

My experience with DigitalOcean

Before I get into the issues that I had with DigitalOcean I have to say that is a really good platform as long as you don’t need to send emails with your server.

I use DigitalOcean for about six months and then I had lots of issues with IP addresses and emails being sent to any free service email address (Hotmail and Gmail) and because I was using the server for clients’ websites.

So it turns out DigitalOcean isn’t too picky about who their clients are, and a whole load of their IP addresses like big blocks of their IP addresses have been spam listed.

So unless you want a continually pay some spam list to whitelist your email addresses to free email providers like Gmail then you will constantly have problems with your emails landing in somebody’s inbox.

I shut it down and move to Vultr after about six months of using digital ocean.

Now, this isn’t to say that DigitalOcean is a fantastic platform it is exactly what it says on the box.

An infrastructure provider.

If you don’t need to send emails from your own servers and you’re happy to use something like SendGrid or another API email provider then DigitalOcean will be perfect for you.

It is a very reasonable service and you get exactly what you pay for which is miles cheaper than Amazon Web Services.

Using DigitalOcean cloud hosting for clients

If you’re looking to use DigitalOcean, cloud hosting services for clients, for example by cPanel to host clients’ websites, then I suggest you look for a different provider.

As I mentioned earlier, the IP addresses that DigitalOcean gives you with their servers are under constant attack from hackers and the IP addresses because they’ve been used to send out spam emails a lot are banned on spam lists all over the internet.

So you could end up paying extra to have the email addresses of your clients whitelisted on these spam services.

With that being said there are a load of services you can use with cPanel to send emails without having any issues.

If you know what you’re doing then Digital Ocean is a great service provider. My issue was it was my first attempt at using digital ocean and Cpanel.

If I was to do it again, I would go a different route.

Conclusion – DigitalOcean review

Would I recommend Digital Ocean?

Yes, especially the spaces block Storage that they offer is incredibly good value.

And I wouldn’t have a moment’s hesitation in recommending it to anybody.

It all depends on what you want to use DigitalOcean for in your use case Digital Ocean may be the best possible provider for you and you may have no issues at all.

For example, if you’re hosting an app DigitalOcean will be great you might be able to get away with using SendGrid to send all of your emails and you’ll have no problems whatsoever.



Vultr is a very similar service to Digital Ocean, offering infrastructure as a service.

You can get virtual private servers for roughly the same price as you can from Digital Ocean, making it an excellent alternative.

Full Vultr review


Is DigitalOcean legit?

Yes, DigitalOcean is a legit company offering cloud infrastructure as a service. They’ve been in the business for a long time and service over 600,000 clients.

Who uses DigitalOcean?

Some of the companies that use digital ocean are hack the box, Batch, Kia, Atom learning, Cloudways, Stable point, WPMU dev, Crowd content, The ABLE few, Ghost, URLbox, Digital stage to name but a few.

Is Cpanel free on DigitalOcean?

Now you will still need to pay for a Cpanel licence on DigitalOcean but you can have it as an option and pay in the price so it will be paid as part of your digital ocean fee.

Can I host my website on DigitalOcean?

yes, you can host one website on DigitalOcean or you can host many, you are totally in control of the server that you rent from them. You will need to have some level of sysadmin understanding to use digital ocean services.

Is DigitalOcean fast?

Yes DigitalOcean servers are fast compared to other shared hosting environments. They specialise in providing you with the infrastructure. You can spin up a virtual private server in DigitalOcean in a matter of seconds.

Is DigitalOcean a VPS?

No, DigitalOcean is not a VPS They are an infrastructure provider but they do enable you to create a VPS with their system.

Is DigitalOcean an ISP?

Yes DigitalOcean is an ISP, internet service provider. They provide infrastructure for you to use, such as virtual private servers.