We’ve covered DigitalOcean plenty of times, they’re one of our highest rated hosts, and frankly they provide an excellent service – but what if you’re looking for a DigitalOcean alternative? There are various reasons you might want to test the waters, and if that’s the case – we’re here to help.
DigitalOcean offers a very specific type of hosting, which has been dubbed as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where they basically set you up with a sectioned amount of hardware and resources, and a platform to easily install whichever operating system you need, whichever apps you need, and then you’re off the races. The catch? It’s an unmanaged server, so you’re responsible for handling any software issues such as updates, patches, and making sure everything is compatible and working correctly.
For the most part, it’s relatively simple to get your DigitalOcean server (also known as a Droplet in this case) setup and running, but it’s when there are hiccups where beginners can run into some headaches.
Since you’re looking for an alternative to DigitalOcean, we’re going to suggest a few similar hosting companies that offer the same type of server, but we’re also going to recommend a handful of web-hosts that offer different types of servers.
This way, if you’re looking for an alternative to D.O. because you want a similar style of webhosting plan, just from a different company, you’re all set. And for those of you who want a different style of server altogether, you’re covered too. We’re going to be looking at an excellent shared host, a great managed VPS provider, and first, a few great brands who offer cloud hosting.
Let’s take a look at some cloud hosts that are more or less doing ‘the same thing’ as DigitalOcean, unmanaged cloud hosting. All of these hosts are different in different ways, but it’s still a matter of comparing apples to apples. Then, after that, we’ll compare apples to oranges to see how well DigitalOcean stacks up against different types of webhosting companies.
The following table compares the offerings from DigitalOcean, Linode, Amazon Lightsail, and Vultr. We’re comparing how much each server costs, for each company’s cheapest option, and comparing a mid-tier option from each company as well. If you need a super high-end server, you can expect to pay quite a bit more, regardless of who you’re getting it from.
|DigitalOcean||$5||512 MB||1||1TB||20 GB SSD|
|Amazon Lightsail||$5||512 MB||1||1 TB||20 GB SSD|
|Linode||$5||1 GB||1||1 TB||20 GB SSD|
|Vultr||$5||1 GB||1||1 TB||25 GB SSD|
|DigitalOcean||$40||4 GB||2||4 TB||60 GB SSD|
|Amazon Lightsail||$40||4 GB||2||4 TB||60 GB SSD|
|Linode||$40||8 GB||4||4 TB||96 GB SSD|
|Vultr||$40||8 GB||4||4 GB||100 GB SSD|
Notice how AWS has the exact same specs as DigitalOcean?
Before we break down each of these Digital Ocean alternatives, we want to remind you about something we’ve discussed numerous times on this site:
There’s more to the story than just price or specs. At the end of the day, performance is what you’re looking for, or performance for your budget more specifically. Sometimes, two servers that cost the same amount can perform drastically different, for any number of reasons. We’ve seen that happen when we tested performance between DigitalOcean vs Vultr.
The same is true for the specs of the server. Two different companies could both be offering servers with the same specs on paper that perform much differently. So, use the table up there as a baseline, but remember that price or specs aren’t the be-all and the end-all, either. The options we recommend the most strongly are here becasue they’re great brands with great support and excellent hardware that performed above average. We’ve also included a budget option, however keep in mind that it may not perform as well for you as the other choices we’re about to discuss.
Here’s the Top DigitalOcean Alternatives of 2018:
If your main concern is budget or ease of use, and having a really solid server with huge value, Vultr is a perfect alternative since they offer their smaller servers at just $2.50 per month. It’s unmanaged, but we’ve had quick response times from their super kind and helpful support staff and their control panels are very intuitive and straight forward. They also offer much more powerful servers at a great value, too. It’s nice because you can save a few bucks if you’ve just got a small, simple site… but you can also scale up very quickly and easily as your site starts to grow.
Vultr haven’t always been a great alternative to Digital Ocean, but lately they’ve been doing a really great job and a lot of people have switched over, so if you’re just getting started – it’s a great time to follow the momentum. We’re confidant that the folks at Vultr will take really good care of you, because we’ve seen it first hand.
Take a look at what they have to offer, compare it to Digital Ocean and other options, and we’re pretty confidant that you’ll see for yourself why Vultr is a great choice to go with. You’ll be blown with at how quickly you can get started. Their interface and backend are excellent, spinning up a new server only takes a few seconds, and they’re the best direct alternative. We’re going to look at some other options, like managed shared hosting, that are also alternatives to DO, but Vultr is the one that essentially offers the same style of server, but kind of feels like they’re the evolution, like they saw what DO was doing right and wrong, and focused more on the right, and got rid of the wrong. All around, we’re really impressed with how far they’ve come and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
See more information about VULTR below:
Siteground is our top choice for an alternative host to DigitalOcean because they’re offering something really useful for people who want something easier than Digital Ocean. Some of these alternatives essentially offer the same type of service as DigitalOcean, but if you’re looking for the type of host that really holds your hand and makes the whole process really simple – none of those other alternatives are going to be much easier, just different. That’s why Siteground is featured in the #1 position. You don’t need to know how to install your server or use the command line in Linux or anything like that, you’ll have a super-simple visual dashboard instead.
With DigitalOcean, you’re managing your own server and of course, there are plenty of benefits to that, but there are also drawbacks. It’s not beginner-friendly, there’s a learning curve, it’s easier to overlook things and have your software become out of date, exposing you to attackers. On the plus side, the servers are usually a little bit faster, and for power-users it gives them more control over their server, but with that control comes a lot of responsability.
With Siteground’s shared hosting, however, their support staff will help you with the entire process of setting up your server, and they’ll manage it themselves. For most people starting out with their first few websites, a shared hosting plan is a great choice.
As far as pricing is concerned, they’re in the same ballpark. It depends which promotions Siteground has going on at the time. In either case, the thing about hosting prices is that by the time you need to upgrade to something more expensive, it’s because your site is popular enough to justify it, and so it’s a very minor expense.
To sum it all up: If you tried out DigitalOcean and were just confused and left staring at the screen like “I don’t know what any of this means…” then Siteground is probabally your best bet as an alternative, because the setup process is easy as pie.
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3. A2 Hosting
This hosting giant sells unmanaged VPS servers like Digital Ocean, and also offers affordable managed VPS servers (with and without root access, depending on what you prefer), shared hosting, reseller hosting, and even dedicated servers. This means you can start with a smaller plan, and then upgrade as your site grows, without ever having to switch hosts.
A2 is also a shared host, and when it comes to A2 Hosting vs DigitalOcean, we could make a lot of the same points that we made for Siteground in our #1 pick. If you specifically want an unmanaged cloud server, and one that isn’t DigitalOcean, then your options include things like Linode and Vultr and A2 Hosting’s unmanaged VPS.
However, if you don’t want that type of server where you’ll be managing and installing everything yourself, and if you’d rather have a much easier and more beginner-friendly option where they’ll take care of everything for you, then A2 Hosting’s shared plan is another completely viable option.
A2 Hosting offers reliable shared hosting plans that will cost you about the same as Digital Ocean, give or take, depending on which plan you choose. If you plan on hosting multiple sites, that’s when it really starts to get cheaper compared to D.O. where you would need to spend at least $5 for each new site you add.
A2 Hosting has great support, great servers, it’s super easy to use, and their product catalog has something for everyone, no matter what type of hosting you need at the moment.
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Linide has been around for ages, and are a close competitor to D.O. Both companies have earned a ton of venture capital funding, and some big players are placing bets on the long-term success of both of them. Both of these hosts do a great job, and Linode now offers servers starting at just $5. This is a solid company, so they’re out top pick, there’s really not a ton more to say. We have already talked about them in a lot more details, so if you’re considering them (and you should be), you’ll find everything you need to know on our Linode review.
You can be confidant that Linode will be around for a long time to come, and will continue to not only be a great choice but to continue to improve, as well. We don’t really know who the leaders will be in the cloud hosting world five or ten years from now, but it’s hard to imagine Linode not sitting near the very top.
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5. Amazon Lightsail
Lightsail is a part of AWS that has been dubbed “The DigitalOcean Killer.” That’s debatable, but it got that name because it’s very similar to the server that DigitalOcean offers. AWS was missing a cleaner, easier option for people who were in the market for what DigitalOcean offers, since their offerings were a bit more convoluted and intimidating. That’s where Lightsail came in, inspired by D.O.’s cloud hosting. They offer very fast, high-quality hardware that makes a perfect alternative if you’re looking for something similar but not from D.O.
They offer a free trail to get you started, too, so why not give them a try along with another host and stick with the one that works best for you? It’s so affordable to spin up a basic server with any of these hosts, so for a few minutes extra, you can try more than one option.
Click Below to Get Started with AMAZON LIGHTSAIL:
One More Shared Hosting Alternative to DigitalOcean
Most shared hosts cost about the same as a basic DigitalOcean server, the difference is that you will likely get less resources, and that you’ll be on a shared server, of course. The pros to going with a shared option instead is for those of you who prefer a managed server, but don’t have the budget for a managed VPS. Shared hosting is great for smaller sites that aren’t getting a constantly flow of tons of visitors, however we don’t recommend them for businesses where performance is critical. If it’s a smaller site, something for a hobby or a club, and things along those lines – it could definitely be good enough for you, otherwise – skip ahead.
We’re going to recommend VeeroTech as a decent shared host for people who don’t want to learn how to manage a site without cPanel, which is the industry standard for basic hosting plans. CPanel takes all of the settings and things you need to control, and puts them into a simple visual interface, rather than having to make chances via the Linux command line.
However, once again, the downside with a shared host is that you won’t get the same performance as you could from DigitalOcean or a similar option, and since you’re sharing the server with numerous other sites, if some of those sites are behaving badly it can also have a negative impact on your site. We’ve gone a lot more in-depth on VeeroTech in our review where we cover everything you need to know in a lot more detail.
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Managed VPS Alternative
If you want something better than a shared host, but you still don’t want to have to learn to manage a server yourself, then a managed VPS is a great choice. It’ll cost you a fraction of a dedicated server, and is plenty powerful to handle the needs of most websites, save for incredibly popular sites, anyways.
Those are the plus sides, however there’s a downside too: It’s going to cost you a fair amount more than an unmanaged server. That’s because instead of just getting a box, installing an OS, and being on your own, with a managed server you’ve got a team of support staff who’ve got your back to help with just about any issues that may arise. It’s almost like having an insurance policy for people who aren’t quite tech-savvy enough to manage and troubleshoot their own servers.
When it comes to managed servers. KnownHost is always a safe bet. They have reasonable pricing, very quick and helpful support staff, and they’ve been around long enough that you know they aren’t just going to disappear after night. They haven’t sold themselves to a big corporation like a handful of other popular managed hosts have, so you can count on their quality and service to remain the same.
They also upgrade their packages, giving additional resources, from time to time, which is always a nice bonus to come across. They’re not the absolute pinnacle when it comes to this type of server, but most people don’t need that and definitely don’t want to spend a fortune on it, so KnownHost fills that gap very well by offering an affordable and very high-quality option. You can also check our in-depth review of KnownHost where we cover their different packages, we test their performance, and a lot more.
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Best Overall DigitalOcean Alternative?
It depends on what you’re looking for and what you need out of the server, along with how much you’re willing to manage things compared to just passing off the responsibility to the hosting company to take care of that instead.
We’re very comfortable recommending VeeroTech for a Shared Host, KnownHost for a managed VPS, and VULTR as the closest direct competitor to DigitalOcean. If you have any other recommendations, please be sure to let us know so that we can check them out and see if they have earned a spot on this list.
WILDCARD: BEST HOST FOR BEGINNERS
We’ve got one more great option for people who are new to web hosting and making their own sites in general, and that’s a company called BlueHost. We’ve featured them in the past, because they have incredibly helpful support and documentation, but on top of that their platform makes it AS EASY AS POSSIBLE to get your website up and running.
From the registration process, to getting your site online, BlueHost couldn’t have possibly made things any easier. From one-click software installations, to the easiest WordPress back end we’ve ever seen, BlueHost is affordable, professional, and PERFECT for anybody who is just getting started with making websites, or is looking for something easier than what they’ve been using already.
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