The 12 Best DigitalOcean Alternatives of 2020
Before diving into some of the best DigitalOcean alternatives of 2020 let’s first take a look over what DigitalOcean is and why do people often register with their competitors instead of registering with them.
DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure provider that offers a wide variety of services ranging from hosting and firewalls to developer tools and more. The company is particularly well known for its cloud hosting services, which are very solid and quite affordable. However, DigitalOcean isn’t the only game in town and there are more than a few companies that can give it a run for its money in 2020.
Top Alternatives for DigitalOcean
Some of these alternatives offer services or features that you can’t get from DigitalOcean while others have much better prices. We tested many of these providers for ourselves in order to see what they have to offer and we’re excited to share our findings with you further down below. Here’s what the best DigitalOcean alternatives are in 2020:
- Kamatera – Best DigitalOcean alternative with great performance, support, and prices
- Hostwinds – Cheapest alternative to DigitalOcean
- Vultr – Third best alternative, the most well-known competitor in the list
- Bluehost – Better than DigitalOcean for WordPress
- InMotion – Superior, but more expensive than DigitalOcean
- A2 Hosting – Similar alternative, but better
- Cloudways – Most easy to use DigitalOcean competitor
- SiteGround – Better alternative for beginners in general
- KnownHost – Not so well “known” in the VPS industry, but a good choice for sure
The goal of this article is to introduce you to some of our favorite cloud hosting providers that are just as good, if not better than DigitalOcean. After all, it always helps to have multiple options to choose from. Even though DigitalOcean is great at what it does, the company is by no means perfect and there are certain downsides to signing up with this provider that you might not be aware of.
If you’re looking for the best competitor, you have plenty of options to consider. Here are the 12 best DigitalOcean alternatives and competitors for quality managed VPS hosting:
Kamatera is a fantastic alternative to DigitalOcean for users who are looking for a more hands-off approach to web hosting. The company is known for being extremely user-friendly and offers great hosting plans for all budgets. Kamatera is very versatile and is a good pick for beginners and veterans alike.
The company has been in the cloud computing business for well over 20 years now, which makes Kamatera one of the most experienced providers out there.
The performance is simply outstanding and you have a wide range of products to choose from, including fully managed cloud servers, firewalls, mobile application solutions, block storage, private cloud network, and many more.
The company’s motto is “probably the most flexible cloud in the world” and it’s easy to see why given that Kamatera offers a little something for everybody, whether you own a small start-up or a large enterprise.
Click HERE to get 30-Days Free Trial with Kamatera.
Kamatera has excellent location coverage thanks to its 13 data centers that house thousands of servers around the world. Moreover, the prices are cheaper compared to what DigitalOcean has to offer, with the entry fee coming in at just $4 per month. There are a couple of even cheaper options out there but none that offer the same level of quality, ease of use and scalability as Kamatera. Another great thing about Kamatera is that it allows users to pay per hour for their servers. Needless to say, that option can be extremely useful in a lot of situations.
Highly Professional Customer Support
The company covers all its bases when it comes to customer support, offering 24/7 assistance via phone, email, and live chat. Not only do you have access to all the usual support channels but the company’s tech agents are known to be highly professional and knowledgeable, which is always a big plus in our book. You won’t often run into issues while using the service, but if you do require technical assistance at some point, rest assured knowing that your issue will be resolved in no time.
Most companies that focus on cloud hosting don’t offer a lot of support options, aside from maybe a ticket system. In some instances, you do have access to live chat but only if you’re willing to pay an extra monthly fee for it, like in the case of DigitalOcean for example. Not only does Kamatera offer free live chat, but you don’t even need to have an account in order to use it.
This is a great option for users who are on the fence and want to inquire about the company’s services before signing up.
Easy WordPress Set-up
Kamatera has an option to launch your server with WordPress pre-installed, which is a great option for new website owners who are looking for an easy to use, cheap and fast hosting. Check out this page for more details on how to launch WordPress + 30-days free trial in just minutes.
Unparalleled Server Customization
One of the main reasons why we enjoy Kamatera so much and decided to put it at number 1 on our list is because of the server customization system. Although Kamatera isn’t the only provider that offers server customization, this is by far the most in-depth system we’ve seen so far. While most other companies only give you a handful of options to work with, here you can customize essentially everything. If you don’t want to bother with that, you can always go for a pre-defined configuration, however, I strongly suggest giving the customization system a try if you’re very particular about the type of server you want.
First off, you can choose the type of your server, such as general-purpose or dedicated, along with its specifications. If you need a very specific amount of RAM, storage or processing power you’ll be happy to know that there are well over a dozen options you can play around with until you reach the perfect configuration. In addition, you can also pick the amount of IPs and internet traffic you want, the location of the data center housing your server and even the operating system along with any add-ons you may need, such as cPanel or Plesk. Finally, there are a couple of optional services you can add to your package for a fee, including an extended daily backup system that ensures the safety of your data.
Hostwinds is a DigitalOcean Competitor we recently discovered and loved from day one. It perfectly combines DigitalOcean’s performance with much better ease of use and a great interface you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Unlike DigitalOcean, you can create an account in less than 20 seconds, and set up your host and later launch your website in less than 5 minutes.
If you haven’t heard of them until now it’s because this is one of the few hosts that are investing in the Quality of their servers rather than on advertising. Word of mouth is their main Marketing Strategy and we respect them for that.
Generous Refund Policy
They also allow payments via PayPal and offer a 14-day refund policy, so you are able to test their services for 2 weeks basically risk-free. We strongly recommend you check out their services, as in the past many of our readers who had problems with hosting at DigitalOcean found a perfect home for their website on Hostwinds.
|CPU||1 CPU||1 CPU|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB|
|Storage||30 GB||25 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 TB||1 TB|
|Ease of Use||4.8 / 5||2.5 / 5|
|Overall rating||4.5 / 5||3.8 / 5|
|Visit Website||Visit Website|
They are currently running a promotional offer that gives 53% off their Managed VPS services (check out the offer here and get it for $5.17/mo), and 10% off Unmanaged VPS services ($4.49 per month, check their deal here).
If you are looking for an easy to manage shared Host we advise you to check out their $3.29 (if you take advantage of their 53% off promo, otherwise it costs $8.99).
Hostwinds managed to become Mamboserver’s second-best DigitalOcean Alternative because they offer a combination of great Performance, Pricing, and Ease of Use. We found that most people who were looking for an Alternative to DigitalOcean in 2020 and signed up with Hostwinds ended up being very happy with their website’s new home. Also, Hostwinds is offering some GREAT discounts as of right now in February 2020 plus a 14-day money-back guarantee, so there is no reason not to try them out.
Vultr is a long-time Alternative of DigitalOcean that offers a nearly identical set of services at a more affordable price. The service is reliable, easy to manage, and the location coverage is miles ahead of what DO offers. Unlike its main competitor, Vultr has a very intuitive user interface and gives users the option of installing a wide variety of useful apps, including the ever-popular cPanel.
Update February 2020: Vultr is currently running a special promotion for its users. The company is giving away $50 worth of free credits if you deposit $10 (you deposit $10 and you get $60 to spend). We think it’s actually a great deal for both Vultr and its new customers, as you get the chance to test their high-performance servers with the free $50 credits they give you. To take advantage of this offer, you need to follow this promotional link, which will redirect you to a special page. Then, you just need to sign up, deposit $10 and you will receive $60 in your balance.
The fact that Vultr is giving away $50 is a good indication of why they are one of our top DigitalOcean alternatives. After all, they trust their products enough to give away an “almost free” trial of their high end service.
Vultr is often seen as one of the best alternatives to DigitalOcean and with good reason. The two companies offer very similar services but Vultr outshines its direct competitor in one key area – the price. Vultr offers cheap cloud hosting that starts at only $2.5 a month, which is half of what DigitalOcean charges for its basic package and that’s one of the main reasons why Vultr comes ahead in the DigitalOcean vs. Vultr Comparison.
Although you only get a very basic machine for that price, $2.5/mo is a great place to start when you’re building a new website or blog. Vultr has great scalability so you can easily upgrade to a slightly more expensive package for a few extra bucks once your site starts getting good traffic. Interestingly enough, Vultr offers a $5 tier that’s identical to the one offered by DO in terms of specs. Most of the other tiers are very similar as well so the only big difference is that Vultr has a lower entry point, to see each tier explained in-depth check out our Vultr Review Article.
Unlike DigitalOcean, Vultr offers a cPanel and a very good one at that (We could not find any VPS provider that would be a reliable Vultr Alternative to have a better user interface). The user interface is intuitive and makes it easy to manage teams of sub-users, create API keys, configure IP whitelists, and more. In short, you can use a single portal to manage pretty much everything related to your servers. Not just that but Vultr’s control panel works equally well across all devices so you can easily deploy and manage servers from a tablet or smartphone.
Worldwide Coverage and Reliable Uptime
One of the main selling points of Vultr is its excellent location coverage. The company has a worldwide network composed of 16 data centers spread across four continents. It’s always a great idea to buy a virtual machine that’s located as close to you as possible so it helps to have so many locations to choose from. By comparison, DigitalOcean only has 8 data centers at the time of this writing.
Vultr includes SSD storage with all its packages to ensure maximum performance and uses intelligence cloud architecture in order to maintain 99.99% uptime. From my experience, downtime incidents are very rare at Vultr so you can expect your server to be up pretty much 24/7. In addition to great performance, the provider also shines in the ease of use department thanks to its one-click install apps. Vultr makes it easy to set up everything from WordPress to Minecraft servers in just a matter of minutes.
|$ 2.5 /mo||$ 3.5 /mo||$ 5 /mo||$ 10 /mo|
|RAM 512 MB||RAM 512 MB||RAM 1GB||RAM 2GB|
|Processor 1 Core||Processor 1 Core||Processor 1 Core||Processor 1 Core|
|Storage 10 GB||Storage 10 GB||Storage 25 GB||Storage 55 GB|
|Bandwidth 0.5 TB||Bandwidth 0.5 TB||Bandwidth 1TB||Bandwidth 2TB|
|Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes|
|GET $50 FREE||GET $50 FREE||GET $50 FREE||GET $50 FREE|
I recommend checking out Vultr after Kamatera and Hostwinds if you’re looking for a good alternative to DigitalOcean. The two companies are very similar but Vultr does certain things just a little bit better. Not only does the company offer a cheaper entry point but its platform is more user-friendly and you get double the amount of data centers to choose from.
Bluehost is a name you’re probably very familiar with already; Maybe even read about from our very popular Bluehost Review article. The company has been the most popular web hosting provider in the world for some time now and is a perfect fit for both newcomers and veterans alike. If you’re looking to sign up with a provider but don’t know which company to pick, Bluehost is always a safe choice.
Bluehost offers some of the cheapest shared hosting plans out there, which start at only $2.95 per month (literally the cheapest host, there is no cheaper good alternative to Bluehost). The company also has a very good $5.45/ mo deal if you’re looking for extra resources, as well as a pricier $13.95/mo package that includes some interesting additional features. Bluehost offers a bunch of freebies with all shared hosting plans, including domain names, domain protection, SSL certificates, marketing credits, and more. Some packages also come with spam experts, automatic backup tools, and dedicated IPs.
The provider has a set of VPS packages that can give DigitalOcean a run for its money. These plans are a bit lighter on resources compared to what DO offers but Bluehost includes many more interesting features. Among other things, Bluehost allows users to add more resources to their servers whenever they need them. But if you need even more resources to work with right off the bat, you can always go for one of Bluehost’s dedicated hosting plans.
WordPress’ Number 1 Recommended Hosting Provider
If you’re looking to build a WordPress website, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better provider than Bluehost. The company is WordPress’ number 1 provider of choice in 2020 and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. Bluehost has excellent WordPress integration and offers several hosting plans designed specifically for users who want to work with the CMS. Alternatively, you could go for one of Bluehost’s eCommerce plans, which are also based on WordPress and benefit from the full range of features offered by the WooCommerce plugin.
In addition, the provider also offers managed WordPress hosting, which makes setting up a new website incredibly easy for inexperienced users. Signing up for one of these plans will grant you access to everything you need to start a WordPress website. This includes a one-click installer and staging environment for the platform, daily scheduled backups, marketing center, malware removal, and more. Higher tiers also include SEO tools, business review tools, JetPack Premium, JetPack Ads integration, PayPal integration, and priority support, among other things.
Bluehost isn’t necessarily a direct competitor to DigitalOcean as the company doesn’t offer traditional cloud hosting. However, you can find everything ranging from shared hosting to dedicated servers here at very affordable prices. Not just that, but Bluehost is light years beyond DigitalOcean and most other hosting providers when it comes to customer support.
InMotion isn’t the cheapest DO alternative out there, however, the company strikes a very good balance between price and features. In fact, the main reason why InMotion’s prices are slightly above average is precisely because each hosting plan offers great value in return. I’m talking unlimited storage, free SSL certificate, a full security suite, domain emails, one-click backups, malware protection, and a 90-day money-back guarantee, among other things. And that’s just with the cheapest plan.
InMotion’s shared hosting packages cost anywhere between $6.99 and $12.99 per month. The entry point is a bit higher compared to DigitalOcean, however, the price difference between each tier is only $3 so it’s extremely easy to upgrade to a better plan when the time comes. Unlike a lot of other providers out there, InMotion includes a solid website builder, marketing tools, and good eCommerce integration even with its shared hosting plans.
The company puts a lot of emphasis on WordPress support, so if you like working with the CMS, you’re definitely going to appreciate what InMotion has to offer. The provider tells you right off the bat how many monthly visitors your plan can accommodate and includes a number of useful features, including a WordPress optimized stack and the BoldGrid WordPress plugins suite. Moreover, InMotion offers you build you a unique WordPress site based on your specifications in just two days for a one-time fee of $99, we covered in-depth this unique feature they are offering in our InMotion Review, make sure to read that one out before signing up with them so you know what to expect.
Great Scalability and Options Galore
InMotion has one of the most straight forward scalability systems I’ve ever seen. As soon as you need something better than shared hosting you can upgrade directly to a WordPress-optimized VPS plan and then go for a WordPress dedicated server. Don’t want to work with WordPress? No problem. InMotion also offers managed VPS plans and even cloud VPS packages. The cloud VPS plans are fairly similar to those of DigitalOcean in terms of price and specs but here you get a few more useful features to work with.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you could go for a managed VPS plan instead for a more hands-off approach. Managed VPS packages come with both cPanel and root access. For particularly big websites and enterprises, InMotion offers powerful dedicated servers that easily rival DigitalOcean’s virtual machines. Those who purchase one of the higher tier servers benefit from lifetime discounts so this is a great choice if you’re thinking long-term. Finally, InMotion also offers a set of Business hosting packages aimed at both start-ups and rapidly growing businesses.
Despite focusing heavily on WordPress and shared hosting, InMotion is a great DigitalOcean alternative that also offers solid cloud hosting and dedicated servers. Its prices are a bit above average but the company offers more than enough great features in return to be able to justify the costs.
6. A2 Hosting
A2’s unmanaged VPS hosting is the closest option you can get to what DigitalOcean is offering. Prices start at $5 per month as well but I recommend going for the $15 tier if possible because that buys you a very good quad-core machine. In case you don't know what A2 Hosting plan suits you better, make sure to check out our A2 Hosting Review before Purchasing.
If you want to avoid having to deal with all the technical stuff, you can opt for A2’s managed VPS hosting instead. Prices here range between $25 and $50 per month and you can choose whether or not you want root access to be included in the package as well.
As far as the shared hosting is concerned, the entry point is $2.96 a month right now. On the other end of the spectrum, A2 also offers dedicated servers that will set you back a lot more but you do get what you pay for. Similar to the VPS hosting, users can choose to have managed or unmanaged dedicated servers. Needless to say, the managed ones are more expensive but A2 does all the heavy lifting for you in return.
Unbeatable Money-Back Guarantee
One of the most interesting things that allow A2 Hosting to stand out from the crowd is its refund policy. Whereas most of the big hosting providers settle for the standard 30-day money-back guarantee, A2 has an ‘anytime money-back guarantee’ policy for all of its hosting plans. There are a couple of caveats to this system but for the most part, it does work exactly as advertised.
As far as the customer support and features are concerned, there’s not much to complain about. You can contact support agents via ticket, live chat or phone and there’s also a great FAQ page available on the official website. In terms of features, there are several that really stand out. A few examples include free website migration, free SSL certificate, customizable hosting packages, 99.9% uptime guarantee, site accelerator, turbo mode, and more.
|RAM||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||75 GB SSD||100 GB SSD||150 GB SSD|
|Bandwidth||2 TB||3 TB||4 TB|
|CPU||4 Cores||6 Cores||8 Cores|
|Promo||GET 50% OFF||GET 50% OFF||GET 50% OFF|
A2 comes pretty close to DigitalOcean when it comes to unmanaged VPS hosting and the company offers so much more in addition to that. You can get everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers at affordable prices and some of the features here are really something else.
Cloudways is one of our first Alternatives as it has a very interesting business model that seems to appeal to a very particular category of users. The company doesn’t have its own data centers and instead offers services based on the cloud infrastructure of various third-party hosting providers. It’s a pretty unusual model but it works quite well. You can read more about how it works here.
The company seems to value simplicity and ease of use above all else, which makes it a good choice for beginners. Cloudways includes a truckload of features with all packages but its prices are a bit higher as a result. The absolute cheapest plan you can get here costs $10 a month so a bit more compared to what DigitalOcean is charging. However, the hosting here is managed so $10/mo is actually a pretty good price all things considered.
The Best of Both Worlds
As far as the features are concerned, you get everything ranging from managed backups and free SSL certificates to 1-click apps, dedicated firewalls, SSD storage, free site migration and more. The company also provides 24/7 customer support via ticket and live chat, which is another advantage over DigitalOcean. Location coverage is not an issue either as Cloudways has access to more than 60 data centers around the globe.
Cloudways’ success has everything to do with the partnerships it was able to secure over the years. The company works alongside five major cloud providers, including Vultr, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud, and even DigitalOcean itself. Cloudways makes use of the infrastructure provided by these companies and adds its own services on top to sweeten the deal.
The main benefit here is that you can take advantage of the solid cloud infrastructure offered by a company like DigitalOcean even if you’re not a developer because Cloudways helps you manage everything. The downside is that you will need to pay quite a bit more than you would if you were to sign up directly with one of the company’s partners. At the end of the day, though, you do get great value for the money.
|$ 10 /mo||$ 22 /mo||$ 42 /mo||$ 80 /mo|
|$ 0.0139 /hr||$ 0.0306 /hr||$ 0.0583 /hr||$ 0.1111 /hr|
|RAM 1GB||RAM 2GB||RAM 4GB||RAM 8GB|
|Processor 1 Core||Processor 1 Core||Processor 2 Core||Processor 4 Core|
|Storage 25GB||Storage 50GB||Storage 80GB||Storage 160GB|
|Bandwidth 1TB||Bandwidth 2TB||Bandwidth 4TB||Bandwidth 5TB|
|Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes||Get started in 3 minutes|
|Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7|
|START FREE TRIAL||START FREE TRIAL||START FREE TRIAL||START FREE TRIAL|
Cloudways is a great DigitalOcean alternative that only has one potential downside – the price. However, I wholeheartedly recommend it if you don’t mind the cost because you get a lot of great features in return along with 24/7 live chat, which is something that DigitalOcean doesn’t offer.
Siteground is a solid alternative to DigitalOcean for developers and regular users alike. The company offers cheap shared hosting, powerful dedicated servers, great reseller hosting, and multiple types of VPS hosting. You definitely have plenty of options to choose from and the company’s prices are generally pretty reasonable across the board. Overall we rated Siteground to be above DigitalOcean, Siteground did not even manage to get on our Siteground Alternatives List.
Signing up for a shared hosting plan with SiteGround will only cost you between $3.95 and $7.95 per month depending on which package you choose. Shared hosting is inferior to cloud hosting in some ways but if you’re just starting, you don’t really need to go for a VPS right off the bat. Besides, SiteGround’s shared hosting plans come with a lot of nice features, including a free site builder, SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL databases, daily backups, email accounts, and more.
Fast and Reliable
SiteGround also offers cloud hosting but there’s no cheap entry point here (we explained in-depth why their Cloud Hosting is so expensive in our Siteground Review). The company primarily targets businesses with its cloud hosting plans and the prices reflect that. That said, the company’s cloud hosting is definitely worthwhile if you can afford it. You wouldn’t have to worry about any of the technical aspects because the hosting is entirely managed. In addition, you would also get access to some nice advanced features like automatic scaling and the ability to host other people on your own cloud account.
SiteGround uses redundant electrical systems to ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum even in the case of a power outage at one of their data centers. The company’s location coverage isn’t quite as good as that of DigitalOcean but SiteGround does have servers on three continents and uses NGINX web server technology along with Cloudflare CDN to provide lightning-fast loading speeds wherever you are in the world.
Another major selling point of SiteGround is its excellent customer support. The company offers 24/7 support via tickets, live chat, and phone. The fact that you can contact support agents through so many channels is always a big advantage in my book, especially given that SiteGround’s support agents are known to be very friendly and knowledgeable.
|1 Website||Unlimited Websites||Unlimited Websites||Unlimited Websites|
|10 GB SSD||20 GB SSD||30 GB SSD||40 GB SSD|
|~ 10.000 Visits||~ 25.000 Visits||~ 100.000 Visits||2 Cores + 4GB Memory|
|Unmetered Bandwidth||Unmetered Bandwidth||Unmetered Bandwidth||Unmetered Bandwidth|
|Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7||Professional Support 24/7|
|GET 60% OFF||GET 60% OFF||GET 60% OFF||GET STARTED|
I recommend SiteGround to anyone who is looking for a DigitalOcean alternative that offers affordable shared hosting, as well as solid managed cloud hosting that comes with plenty of nice features. SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option out there when it comes to cloud hosting but you do get great value in return if you own a business or online store.
In spite of its name, KnownHost is a provider that not too many people know about. But this company should definitely be more popular in my opinion because some of its services are really good. If you’re looking for a DigitalOcean alternative that you don’t have to manage yourself, KnownHost is a pretty good choice.
KnownHost doesn’t offer unmanaged cloud hosting like DigitalOcean does but you can get a managed VPS plan instead. Managed hosting is always more expensive but it comes with the benefit of allowing you to sit back and relax while KnownHost does all the heavy lifting for you. Prices for managed VPS servers start at $28 per month for a machine that's roughly equivalent to DIgitalOcean’s $10 tier. Seems like a big difference but keep in mind that you don’t have to manage things yourself and you get access to a cPanel along with some other nice features in return.
If KnownHost’s managed VPS plans are over your budget you could always go with a shared hosting or WordPress hosting plan for much cheaper. Shared hosting starts at $3.47 per month while WordPress hosting will set you back $5.97 per month. In addition, you have a few other options to choose from, including reseller hosting, managed cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. This level of flexibility is one of the things I like most about KnownHost. There’s genuinely something for everybody here.
DDoS Protection and Free Backups
KnownHost puts a lot of emphasis on security, which is why the company includes free DDoS protection with every hosting package. DDoS attacks are commonplace these days so having a layer of protection you can rely on is really helpful. The provider also offers free data backups, so in case something does go wrong, you can easily restore your data and get back on track in no time.
A couple of other nice features you can take advantage of by signing up with KnownHost include automatic updates, free site migrations, and free domain privacy. These types of features are pretty standard with most hosting providers nowadays but it’s not really something you can expect from DigitalOcean. DO doesn’t offer a lot of small quality of life features in general, which is why companies like KnownHost are such good alternatives, especially for beginners.
|Fully Managed||Fully Managed||Fully Managed||Fully Managed|
|SSD Powered||SSD Powered||SSD Powered||SSD Powered|
|Free Migrations||Free Migrations||Free Migrations||Free Migrations|
|24/7 Support||24/7 Support||24/7 Support||24/7 Support|
|From $3.47/mo||From $28/mo||From $50.49/mo||From $159/mo|
I wouldn’t say KnownHost is the best DigitalOcean alternative but the company is definitely worth looking into. Its managed VPS packages are quite affordable compared to other providers and you also get some nice features to boot. The customer support is very good as well and there’s not much to complain about in terms of performance either. Overall, a solid choice.
Linode is a name you’re probably already familiar with as the company has been around for over 15 years now. This company is seen by many as DigitalOcean’s closest direct competitor and it’s easy to see why. Linode primarily targets developers as well and all its cloud hosting plans are unmanaged so there are clearly some big similarities between DigitalOcean and Linode.
Signing up for a Linode cloud hosting plan will cost you $5 a month, same as DigitalOcean. For that price, you get a virtual machine that’s pretty much identical to what DO offers. All of the company's other standard plans are almost the same as its competitor’s in terms of price and specs. However, Linode does have significantly better deals on CPU-optimized plans. Prices here start at $30 per month while DigitalOcean’s entry point is $40 and the machine you get for that cost is arguably inferior.
A thing I found interesting about Linode is that the company also offers cloud hosting packages that are more specialized. For example, you can get a machine that comes with a cutting-edge GPU or one that comes with a large amount of RAM. And, of course, there are also the aforementioned plans that include high-end CPUs. Having so many choices is great because not everybody wants a standard all-purpose machine.
Top of the Line Hardware
Linode invests heavily in its hardware and it certainly shows. All plans come with SSD storage and Intel E5 processors, which are the fastest CPUs on the cloud hosting market right now. If you go for a GPU-optimized package, your machine will also include at least one professional-grade RTX6000 graphics card and 32 GB of RAM. Granted, these packages are very expensive as they are meant for big businesses so they're not really something that everybody will be able to afford.
The company also put a lot of effort into creating a solid network infrastructure. Linode uses a lightning-fast 40 Gbps network with multiple levels of redundancy for added stability. The location coverage is pretty good as well, with 10 data centers to choose from across three continents. Linode doesn’t have that many more locations compared to DigitalOcean but its two extra data centers can make a big difference for a lot of people.
|RAM||1 GB||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|CPU||1 x Cores||1 x Cores||2 x Cores||4 x Cores|
|SSD||25 GB||50 GB||80 GB||160 GB|
|Transfer||1 TB||2 TB||4 TB||5 TB|
|Network In||40 Mbps||40 Mbps||40 Mbps||40 Mbps|
|Network Out||1000 Mbps||2000 Mbps||4000 Mbps||5000 Mbps|
If you want to move away from DigitalOcean and are looking for a company that offers roughly the same products and services, Linode is a very solid alternative. Vultr would probably still be a better pick due to its low entry point but Linode might be the best provider right now for big businesses interested in beefy machines with top of the line hardware.
11. Amazon LightSail
Amazon offers a lot of great products and services via its AWS platform, including cloud hosting. The part of AWS that deals with hosting is called LightSail and it’s surprisingly similar to DigitalOcean. There are a few differences between AWS and DigitaolOcean, of course, but if you’re familiar with DO you’ll know exactly what to expect here.
Just like DigitalOcean, Amazon LightSail offers unmanaged cloud hosting, however, the entry price is a bit lower here. The basic plan costs only $3.5 a month and scales up nicely from there. Another key difference is that LightSail offers both Linux and Windows servers so there’s a bit more choice here. The Windows servers are more expensive, though, so I would recommend sticking with Linux if you’re just starting out.
Although the hosting itself is unmanaged, Amazon LightSail does offer managed databases to those interested. Prices start at $15 per month for the standard plans and there are also high-availably plans that cost twice as much. The difference between the two is that the high-availability plans include extra instances for failovers and redundancies. Aside from that, the two types are identical.
Risk-Free Cloud Hosting
One of LightSail’s main selling points is that you can try out the service for free. Amazon offers a 1-month free trial with no strings attached so you don’t really have anything to lose by checking it out. If you sign up to AWS, you also benefit from a bunch of other free services, some of which you can use for up to 12 months without having to pay a thing. Amazon has created an entire ecosystem here so you might as well use everything the company has to offer.
AWS includes dozens of products and services that you can use in conjunction with LightSail. This is the main appeal of the platform in my opinion. LightSail itself is honestly not that different from DigitalOcean but the fact that you can integrate it with the full AWS suite makes it a very compelling alternative. Granted, you probably won’t use most of the other products but having options is certainly never a bad thing.
LightSail is a great DigitalOcean alternative for users who like what the company is doing with AWS and what to see what it has to offer in terms of cloud hosting. Signing up for the service won’t cost you a thing thanks to the free trial so there’s no real harm in checking it out.
HostGator was founded way back in 2002 so, needless to say, the company has quite a bit of experience under its belt when it comes to web hosting. Hostgator is fairly similar to Bluehost in many ways but offers a bit less value for the money, which is why I wanted to put it last on this list. That said, this is still a very good DigitalOcean alternative and definitely worth checking out.
HostGator’s prices are pretty much on par with many of its competitors and most of Hostgator's Alternatives, including a few of the companies I’ve covered earlier. Shared hosting plans cost between $2.75 and $5.95 per month but there are only three tiers here. From there, it’s very easy to scale up to one of the WordPress packages as they only cost between $5.95 and $9.95 per month. The resources you get in return are fairly decent and the features are pretty much what you’d expect
The company’s VPS plans are a bit pricey compared to what DigitalOcean offers but at least here you get access to a cPanel along with full root access, weekly off-site backups, and some nice security features, among other things. The dedicated servers are also fairly expensive, however, HostGator only offers managed and semi-managed hosting solutions so these plans are beginner-friendly. In addition, you can choose between Linux and Windows here whereas DigitalOcean only supports Linux.
A Little Bit of Everything
HostGator doesn’t particularly stand one in any department but the provider is very versatile and offers a little bit of everything, we also wrote a detailed HostGator Review, but they are not quite impressive in a certain field, they just offer a bit of everything, for a decent price. In addition to web hosting, HostGator also offers domain registrations at affordable prices and free website migration with some of its plans. A few other freebies include automatic backups, SSL certificates, and SiteLock. Meanwhile, things like domain privacy and a couple of other services can be purchased separately for a small monthly fee.
HostGator also has its own website builder that comes with drag & drop functionality and plenty of customizable templates to choose from. It will cost you between $3.84 and $9.22 per month to use the builder but that price includes free hosting and a free domain name for 1 year so it’s a pretty good deal. WordPress is usually a better alternative but if you want to use a different platform instead, HostGator’s website builder can get the job done pretty well.
I would recommend checking out HostGator only after you’ve exhausted all the other options on this list. Although HostGator is a good DigitalOcean alternative, there are a few other providers that offer better value for your money.
A Few Reasons For Looking Into DigitalOcean Alternatives
All products and services offered by DigitalOcean are designed primarily for developers so the company tends to assume that its users know what they’re doing it. As we also mentioned in our DigitalOcean Review, there’s no cPanel here so managing everything is a bit tricky unless you’re a tech-savvy person. You can install a CMS like WordPress to help you easily manage your website but you may struggle with setting up databases or monitoring firewalls due to the lack of a control panel.
Another reason why you may want to stay away from DigitalOcean is customer support. The company’s support agents are very knowledgeable and helpful so that’s not the issue here. The problem is that DigitalOcean works exclusively via a ticket system. There’s no live chat, phone or even email support, which is a big downside. Granted, the company does offer Premier support for select customers but this is a paid optional service meant for large businesses. In order words, it would cost you a pretty penny to get this type of customer support.
The price point is something to consider as well. Although DigitalOcean’s services aren’t prohibitively expensive, they are pricier compared to what other companies have to offer. Prices start at $5 per month for very low-end virtual machines, which is a bit much considering the specs. For a decent VPS, you’ll actually need to spend anywhere between $40 and $60 per month, so not exactly cheap. DigitalOcean does offer good value for the money but not everybody can afford its prices.
The last thing I wanted to touch upon before moving on is that DigitalOcean doesn’t offer Windows-based cloud hosting. That’s not really a big issue since a lot of people like Linux-based hosting better but I wanted to mention this little detail anyway, just in case you prefer Windows.
Final Thoughts on the Best DigitalOcean Alternatives
Some of the providers I covered in this article are nearly identical to DigitalOcean while others do things differently but offer fairly similar services. I handpicked these companies because I wanted to give you a good variety of options to choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of these providers in my opinion so it all boils down to your personal needs.
Vultr is one of the best DigitalOcean alternatives if you’re looking for a company that offers the same services as DigitalOcean but has a lower entry point and a few extra features. Linode is another well-known direct competitor that costs the same but offers impressive hardware that can support even the most demanding businesses out there.
Meanwhile, you can go with SiteGround or A2 if you want to start off with shared hosting and upgrade to cloud hosting at a later time. Both of these companies are very beginner-friendly and their hosting plans are suitable for websites of all sizes. SiteGround is overall the better pick here thanks to its great performance but A2 Hosting is definitely not a bad choice either.
The rest of the companies on this list are not be overlooked either. KnownHost is a very robust provider that focuses a lot on security while Amazon’s LightSail gives you a free trial and access to the full AWS platform. Having said all that, Kamatera is my top recommendation right now as an alternative to DigitalOcean because it allows you to take advantage of all that DO has to offer without having to worry about the downsides. The price is also lower, and you get very good value in return for your money.